Back in March we reported in detail on the sensational judgment in Austria, after which the court in Hermagor classified FIFA FUT packs as illegal gambling in a class action lawsuit. However, it remained unclear whether this judgment will be final since the defendant Sony Interactive Entertainment Network Europe Limited had the opportunity to appeal. As GamesWirtschaft reports, this is now officially not the case.
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And what happens now?
Sony was asked to pay 338.26 euros in damages to the plaintiffs as part of a class action lawsuit. Furthermore, FUT packs are no longer sold in Austria. Players for the FIFA Ultimate Team mode can only be unlocked there by playing. Similar judgments were made in Belgium in 2019 and in the Netherlands in 2020, with the latter being revised in 2022.
What the future will bring can only be speculated. Such a success for the plaintiffs, who have now got at least part of their money back, could also encourage players in other countries to start a class action lawsuit. This could be quite expensive for EA and FIFA providers.
It is important to remember that this is a single judgment and not a change in the video game gambling law. Still, this precedent could have serious repercussions for loot boxes in other titles that work in a similar way.
Here you can find more exciting legal disputes from the gaming industry:
What do you think of the judgment of the Austrian court? Would you be happy if such a judgment were made in other countries? Do you play FIFA Ultimate Team yourself and see problems in international competition? Or do you have anything else to do with loot boxes? We would be really interested in your opinion, so write it in the comments!