Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
A 38-year-old CEO has filed a complaint against EA Sports after blowing 15,000 EUR on FIFA Ultimate Team in three years.
The CEO, who has been given the false name ‘Bruno’ in reports, has since put a stop to his “addiction” and has filed a complaint against game publisher Electronic Arts along with around 15 other parties who claim that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is an “addictive” game that is like “playing in a casino”.
‘Bruno’ said: “I decided to stop. I was totally addicted.”
He says it was a game that he “loved so much” but it gradually turned into “a nightmare”, adding: “I wasted 15,000 EUR (13,000 GBP) in three years, it really was a vicious circle.”
He says he started by “spending 10 EUR (8.68 GBP) to try to improve my team. Then I did it again once, then twice… I always thought it was the last time, but the system is made so that it pushes you to pay without really realising it. In the end, I no longer had a social life, I spent all of my time on FUT, every evening, every weekend… It was like a drug no one has warned you about.”
FIFA Ultimate Team is a game mode available in the famous FIFA football video game franchise where players can spend real money to boost their team.
According to wholesgame.com, FIFA 20 was the bestselling game in the UK for 2019, with a whopping 1.5 million copies sold.
L’Equipe quote gaming specialist ‘GagzZz’ as saying that “even if you are really good, you have to have the best players, which are the most expensive ones, to win. However, unless you spend all your time on the console, the only way to get them is to pay.”
Gamers can buy players, which are found in card packs, just like in the Panini days of old, using FIFA points. These can either be acquired by playing the game or by using a credit card to purchase them.
This is where the two Paris lawyers Victor Zagury and Karim Morand-Lahouazi come in. They have launched legal proceeding against the game’s FUT mode.
L’Equipe quotes them as saying: “We have filed two complaints against persons unknown in Bobigny and Creteil on behalf of two clients.”
They added: “We also believe that the purchase of packs with completely random content is part of a game of chance. It is a slot machine that has been introduced to the family home.”
Malik, 22, a courier from the Paris suburbs, was quoted by L’Equipe as saying: “The staging of the opening of the packs, the entertainment, the adrenaline is like a casino. I spent 1,000 EUR (866 GBP) in four months and I didn’t get anything better than Sadio Mane… FUT was driving me crazy, I invested half my salary in it. To me it’s a scam.”
L’Equipe report that since news of the legal complaint made international headlines last month, the two lawyers are very busy, with Victor Zagury saying: “This is the first time that FIFA has been attacked in France, it made some noise. Since then, we have received hundreds of messages and have already filed 15 additional complaints, from men aged 19 to 42, from all over France and from all walks of life.”
He added: “Before, some players were afraid because EA is all-powerful. It acts at the same time as the state that taxes you, the bank that collects and the judge who sanctions. But people are speaking up.”
Victor Zagury and Karim Morand-Lahouazi say they are big football fans and big fans of gaming and even explain the EA case in a 1-hour YouTube video (in French).
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