Sony must reimburse a client who paid hundreds of euros on in-game microtransactions after an Austrian court found that FIFA packs were a kind of gambling. A licence will be required for businesses in order to profit from FIFA packs, according to the Austrian district court in Hermagor, albeit this ruling has not yet been made legally obligatory.
This comes at the conclusion of a lawsuit Sony was subjected to because it made money off of a player who spent more than €300 on FIFA in a single evening. While criticising loot boxes for giving customers a “dopamine burst” upon purchase, the law firm representing the player claims that the case has made them aware of how “addictive” this type of microtransaction can be.
The Lawsuit Targeted Sony
The Austrian court has determined that all FIFA packs must be governed as “games of chance that require a licence,” according to Notebook Check. It is unclear what this actually means, but it is likely to require EA to apply for a gambling licence in order to run FIFA as it does in other areas. It’s possible that the lawsuit will only change how PlayStation manages its cut of microtransactions because it focuses on Sony’s involvement.
The lawsuit, according to the initial report, targeted Sony rather than EA because the former was in charge of handling the payment. Although the precedent set in the case probably spells disaster for EA’s practises in Austria, this layer of separation appears to have protected the company thus far.
Sony is anticipated to challenge the ruling. Even though it can afford to pay the €300 fee, it will want to avoid the ruling’s additional consequences because they could lead to additional angry customers suing the business. However, if the court upholds this judgement, it might also have an impact on other businesses that handle FIFA payments, like Microsoft and Nintendo.
At the time of writing, it appears that Sony has not made any public statements regarding the incident. It might not until all of its appeal options have been exhausted.
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