FIFA 23 Loot Boxes Considered as Gambling in Austria: Sony to Compensate Players
FIFA 23, the latest edition of the popular video game franchise, has recently faced legal troubles in Austria. Loot boxes, also known as FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs, have been classified as a form of gambling by Austrian authorities, prompting legal action and compensation demands from affected players. This article will explore the situation in detail and its potential implications for the gaming industry.
FIFA Ultimate Team is a game mode that allows players to build and manage their own football teams using virtual cards. These cards can be obtained by purchasing FUT packs with real money or in-game currency. The contents of each pack are randomized, and players have no control over what they receive. This element of chance has been at the center of the debate over the legality of loot boxes, as it resembles traditional forms of gambling.
Legal Troubles in Austria
In early 2022, the Austrian Ministry of Finance conducted an investigation into FIFA 23 and its loot box system. The findings concluded that the game mode constitutes a form of gambling, and as such, is subject to gambling laws and regulations. Specifically, the ministry found that the randomized nature of FUT packs, the potential to win rare items or players, and the ability to trade these items on third-party websites all contributed to the classification of loot boxes as gambling.
As a result of this decision, a group of Austrian players filed a class-action lawsuit against Electronic Arts (EA), the publisher of FIFA 23. The lawsuit demanded compensation for the money spent on FUT packs, arguing that they were misled into purchasing them under false pretenses. In addition, the Austrian Consumer Protection Association (VSV) called for refunds for all affected players and requested that EA remove the FUT packs system from FIFA 23 entirely.
The legal action in Austria also affected Sony, the manufacturer of the PlayStation console. The VSV filed a separate lawsuit against the company, claiming that it was complicit in the promotion and sale of FIFA 23 and its loot box system. Sony denied any wrongdoing but ultimately decided to settle the case out of court. As a result, the company agreed to pay a total of â¬400,000 in compensation to affected players in Austria.
Implications for the Gaming Industry
The situation in Austria is not the first time that loot boxes have faced legal scrutiny. In recent years, several countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, have banned loot boxes or classified them as gambling. This has prompted some game developers to remove the feature entirely, while others have implemented changes to make them less random or more transparent.
The decision in Austria, however, is significant in that it marks the first time that a court has ruled loot boxes as gambling. This could set a precedent for similar cases in other countries, potentially leading to further legal action and financial consequences for game developers and publishers. It also raises questions about the ethical implications of loot boxes and whether they should be considered a form of gambling at all.
The classification of FIFA 23 loot boxes as gambling in Austria has sparked legal action and compensation demands from affected players. Sony, the manufacturer of the PlayStation console, has agreed to pay â¬400,000 in compensation to affected players in Austria. This decision could have significant implications for the gaming industry, as it marks the first time that a court has ruled loot boxes as gambling. It raises questions about the ethical implications of loot boxes and whether they should be classified as a form of gambling at all.
That's it for this article.
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