Loot boxes have been a topic in the British gaming industry for years. Because the mechanics of random rewards that you get for real money is a thorn in the side of many. Now there has been an important judgment in Austria – Sony should reimburse Lootbox costs.
Anyone who hasn’t heard of loot boxes is missing out on one of the big issues in the gaming industry. After all, there have been discussions about random real money rewards for years. Belgium has long defined these mechanics as gambling and thus banned them in video games. The “packs” from FIFA in particular are repeatedly the target of these allegations, a Dutch court also classified them as illegal gambling in 2020. Now the “impacts” are getting closer – an Austrian court has ruled against console manufacturer Sony: The company should reimburse money that a 17-year-old player had spent on loot boxes in FIFA.
Loot boxes: FIFA enables illegal gambling
The judgment of a court in the Austrian state of Carinthia can be summarized as follows: From the court’s point of view, the loot boxes in FIFA are illegal gambling. So Sony should give a player back the money he spent on the loot boxes in the game as a 17-year-old – 338.26 euros. Incidentally, Sony is the target of this indictment because the purchase contracts were concluded in the Playstation Store – FIFA publisher Electronic Arts is therefore not affected.
The verdict is not yet final, as Sony’s lawyers can appeal. It will probably come to that, otherwise there will be a precedent for many other lawsuits: A four-digit number of FIFA users have contacted the litigation financier Padronus, mostly with claims of around 800 euros, with one case even claiming reimbursement of 85,000 euros .
The spokesman for Padronus, Richard Eibl, finds the previous judgment extremely important and calls it one “A bang for the entire video game industry”. He also emphasizes once again that Sony & Co. have long been based on classic games of chance when staging the loot boxes. So it remains exciting to see how Sony and Electronic Arts react to this verdict.
Source | games economy