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Loot boxes declared gambling by court as players granted refunds

Kate Harrold

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| Last updated 

Loot boxes declared gambling by court as players granted refunds

Featured Image Credit: EA, Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels

Sony has been ordered to refund gamers after an Austrian court ruled that FIFA Ultimate Team is a form of gambling.

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Microtransactions have come under heavy scrutiny in recent months. In the general consensus, microtransactions are wholly unpopular and yet, they rake in a ton of money. You need look no further than mobile game Diablo Immortal which earned a whopping $24 million in its first two weeks of release alone. Fortnite and Epic Games landed themselves in hot water after they were found guilty of tricking players into making unintentional purchases, plus the European Parliament has recently laid out their plans to take action against loot boxes.

As reported by Push Square, an Austrian court has decided that FIFA Ultimate Team is a form of gambling. As I’m sure you’re aware, the mode sees players purchase virtual card packs, each card featuring a different footballer. These can then be used to create teams to compete online, or they can be traded and sold for in-game currency.

Back in 2020, several FIFA players took Sony to court over the mode. Although FIFA is created by Electronic Arts, Sony does get a cut of all transactions conducted on the PS Store. One of the plaintiffs, a minor, said they’d gambled away €400 (£356) with lawyer Ulrich Salburh arguing that the random nature of the rewards violated Austria’s gambling laws.

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In recent days, the court in Hermagor has filed in favour of the gamers. Sony has been ordered to pay back €338 (£301). The case now poses a predicament for EA and Sony. Due to the success of the lawsuit, further Austrian players could now come forward demanding refunds. It may be the case that the game mode will be altered to prevent this from happening.

In some territories, including Belgium and the Netherlands, FIFA Ultimate Team has already been banned along with loot boxes in general.

Topics: FIFA, EA, World News

Kate Harrold
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