For many years, loot boxes have become a controversial issue due to, supposedly, causing emotional damage and addiction in young people and adults. Now, they once again hit the headlines after the resolution of a case in Austria related to the infamous FIFA card packs was revealed.
Austria against FIFA microtransactions
According to Games Wirtschaft, a court in the Austrian district of Hermagor ruled that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs are gambling and break the country’s betting laws. This is in response to a lawsuit against Sony filed in 2020, in which several players, including a minor, allege that they spent more than €400 EUR on micropayments.
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Ulrich Salburg, the plaintiffs’ defense attorney, lashed out at loot boxes, saying that these kinds of microtransactions can be highly addictive, giving you “a dose of dopamine when you buy them.” Consequently, the Austrian court noted that FUT packs should be regulated as “licensed gambling”, although what that means in practice remains to be seen.
In addition, the Hermagor district court required Sony PlayStation to make refunds to those affected. As highlighted by TheGamer medium, the lawsuit was against Sony because it was responsible for processing the payment of the microtransactions. However, it is speculated that this case may also have repercussions for EA and other platforms such as Nintendo and Microsoft.
At the time of writing these lines, neither Electronic Arts nor Sony have commented on the matter. However, they can still file an appeal to challenge the verdict.
But tell us, do you usually buy envelopes? Do you think they are problematic? Let us read you in the comments.
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