EA is being taken to court over Ultimate Team loot boxes

EA is being taken to court over Ultimate Team loot boxes

US publishing giant Electronic Arts is facing a class-action lawsuit which claims that the Ultimate Team modes in its FIFA and Madden games break California gambling laws.

As spotted by VGC, the case was filed in the state's Northern District Court last week, with plaintiff Kevin Ramirez demanding damages of $5m. There are more than 100 other plaintiffs in the class.

Ramirez himself has spent over $600 on loot boxes in Ultimate Team for both FIFA and Madden.

In the filings, also seen by, the lawsuit claims that "EA relies on creating addictive behaviours" in users in order to "generate huge revenues," just like tobacco firms did back in the day. The suit also says that Ultimate Team packs are reminiscent of slot machines and are designed to "create addiction."

It also makes reference to Belgium blocking the sale of loot boxes and the report from the UK's Digital Culture, Media and Sport select committee from last year, which said the government should regulate loot boxes as gambling. Research conducted for the European Union said that the business model should be a consumer protection issue rather than gambling


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.