EA Sports Sued For Hidden Fraud: FIFA 21Ultimate Team
EA Sports will face legal action for allegedly increasing the difficulty of FIFA 21’s Ultimate Team (FUT) mode in a deliberate attempt to increase loot box revenue.
The lawsuit was filed in a California court by Jason Zainok, Daniel Williams, and Pranco Lozano. In FUT mode, players create their own teams. If successful, players can win coins that can be used to buy loot crates, commonly referred to as packs, that contain a random assortment of players.
Players can pay in real currency to buy the bags. The lawsuit alleges that EA is using artificial intelligence technology to dynamically increase difficulty in FUT FIFA mode in an attempt to trick players into spending large amounts of money on packs.
EA Sports Sued For Hidden Fraud
According to the lawsuit, EA is using artificial intelligence technologies called Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment and Adaptive Difficulty which is helpful to adjust the difficulty of the game in real-time. This can affect the outcome of the game, causing players to have bad passes or bad shots. The technology was supposed to be used to keep players engaged without getting bored during the match. Still, the lawsuit alleges that EA is instead using technology to increase the difficulty of the game to trick players into spending money on packs.
The main complaint of the plaintiffs is that EA does not disclose information about its “scripting” practices to players. They argue that the company deliberately chooses not to share information to sell more packs. The lawsuit also alleges that this is a violation of California consumer protection law. This case also covers Madden and NHL games, which also have similar modes to Ultimate Team.
Earlier in 2020, EA set a new FIFA microtransaction record, earning $ 1.1 billion in the first quarter of this year. This isn’t the first time EA has been sued for microtransactions. In August, one player filed a lawsuit claiming he was “forced” to spend over $ 600 on packs in FIFA and Madden. In September, EA removed the FIFA microtransaction ad from the children’s magazine out of outrage.