Fifa 20 accused of being gambling: what changes

Two French lawyers have denounced Electronic Arts accusing it of having created a video game that incites to bet money, like in a casino

Would you spend 600 euros in FIFA 20 FUT packages, to have in exchange a team in which the best player is Kostas Manolas of Napoli (who, in real soccer, this year is at two goals in 19 games)? Surely not, being able to choose one by one the players included in the packages. But since it is not possible to choose them, then FIFA FUT is not a soccer game but a game of chance.

This is the reasoning of two French lawyers, Karim Morand-Lahouazi and Victor Zagury, who have denounced EA Sports because one of their clients has spent 600 euros in five months without ever finding a champion in his team. And, considering the fact that many Fifa Ultimate Team users are just kids, the accusation is even more serious. And it is even more serious that the game does not provide an effective mechanism of "Parental Control" on purchases in game. In the specific case, however, the person who has turned to the two lawyers is not a minor but a 32 year old man who claims to have become addicted to the mechanism of the bet inherent in FUT: "You get addicted quickly: every time I buy a package I always tell myself it's the last time, but then I do it again. And you get so frustrated that you don't get good players that you do it again and again."

The in-game buying business

Video games are a business that has completely changed face in recent years. If at one time those who developed them earned money only once, selling a certain number of copies, now instead the gains are continuous thanks to the mechanism of expansions and especially in-game purchases. The FIFA case is emblematic and, in fact, has long been the focus of controversy: the fact of having to spend a lot of money to have a team that is competitive in online leagues, in fact, has earned EA a lot of money but also the accusation that the game is a "Pay per Win". Who does not pay does not win, in short. The fact is that, in the last quarter of 2019 alone, EA grossed $993 million from paid add-on services connected to its games and, in all of 2019, grossed $2.8 billion from microtransactions.

Gaming Vs Gambling

But the accusation of the two Parisian lawyers is far more serious than those made so far to FIFA 20. It is no longer a matter of accusing FUT of being a Pay per Win game but of being a real gambling game. No longer gaming, then, but gambling (betting in Italian) to all intents and purposes. And, in France as in many other countries in Europe and the world, gambling is strictly regulated (and taxed). "We believe that a gambling has been inserted within this video game because the purchase of packages is nothing more than a bet - say the two lawyers - It is the logic of the casino that enters our homes."