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EA facing Canadian class action lawsuit over loot boxes

Two plaintiffs seeking damages as suit calls out "unlicensed, illegal gaming system" in over 60 titles

Electronic Arts is facing more legal action over its use of loot boxes and other randomised monetisation mechanics.

The latest is a class action lawsuit filed in Canada on September 30 by joint plaintiffs Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore.

According to the filing, shared by gaming and esports law blog The Patch Notes, Sutherland is a British Columbia resident who purchased loot boxes in the Madden NFL series of games while Moore hails from Ontario and spent money on the same monetisation model in EA's NHL games.

The pair assert that the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits unlawful gaming, betting, lotteries and games of chance.

Since EA does not hold a gambling license in the region, it is accused of operating "an unlicensed, illegal gaming system through their loot boxes."

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Moore, Sutherland and any other Canadian customers who purchased, directly or indirectly, loot boxes in almost every EA game that contains loot boxes.

There is a list of over 60 titles that stretches beyond the usual suspects of FIFA, Madden and other sports franchises to include Battlefield, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, Dragon Age and Plants vs Zombies games as well.

The suit even targets mobile games such as Command & Conquer: Rivals, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and WarFriends, with a note that there may be other titles containing loot boxes the plaintiffs have yet to become aware of.

"The senior officers and directors of [Electronic Arts] were at all times fully aware of the unlawful nature of their enterprise and took active steps to carry it out," the filing reads.

"In the alternative, the senior officers and directors... were reckless or willfully blind to the unlawful nature of their enterprise and took active steps to implement it."

The lawsuit is seeking, among other things, damages for Moore and Sutherland under the Competition Act and a declaration that EA has contravened the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

Earlier this year, Electronic Arts was targeted by a similar class action lawsuit in California, which claims the Ultimate Team mode in its sports games -- and the associated loot boxes -- violate the state's gambling law.

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Latest comments (1)

Rogier Voet IT Consultant A month ago
I know it whishfull thinking but I really hope that this succeeds and will be the first step in reducing these predatory Loot mechanics. I have nothing against monetisation but the way these practices go are really bad.
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