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EA's loot boxes land them in class-action lawsuit in Canada

Published: 07:44, 21 October 2020
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The newest troublemaker in town

It looks like Electronic Arts' legal department will be en route to Canada soon, where the company faces a class-action lawsuit over EA's - you guessed it - loot boxes.

According to the gaming and esports law blog The Patch Notes (TPN), a lawsuit was filed against EA in Canada on September 30, 2020. Interestingly, there was virtually no media coverage on this, but this is where they came into play. 

In their report, TPN claim the lawsuit covers all the games with loot boxes that came out since 2008. In addition to Madden, FIFA, NHL and EA's other annual sports games, pretty much every game they have is covered by the lawsuit, Apex Legends included.

In terms of legal matters, plaintiffs argue that loot boxes constitute gambling, which would technically make the publisher an operator of unlicensed gambling business. That's just the tip of the iceberg though.

The lawsuit claims that EA's implementation of concealed loot box odds, and their importance to progression, is a violation of multiple consumer protection statutes. Among them is the BC Consumer Protection act, which makes it a pretty high-profile case. 

"This is not a self-represented litigant filing a nuisance lawsuit, but a well-pled claim brought by an experienced legal team who specializes in going after large corporations for stuff like this", TPN wrote.

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Note that this is still a civil suit between private parties, but if the plaintiffs win, it sets an important precedent and, perhaps more importantly, throws the ball into the Canadian government's court. Knowing that the lawsuit entails pretty much all the loot boxes from 2008 onwards, we're talking about serious money.

You can find the full report here .

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