FIFA 23 Gambling Austria Sony Lawyer Legal 1

Sony has been ordered to pay refunds after an Austrian court ruled FIFA Ultimate Team a form of gambling. The controversial game mode sees players spending money on digital card packs, which include virtual footballers. These can then be traded, sold for in-game currency, or used to assemble teams, which fans can use to compete online.

But Games Wirtschaft reports that a small court in Hermagor filed in favour of several FIFA players who took Sony to court in 2020. It should be noted that PlayStation doesn’t make the football game, but it does take a cut on all transactions conducted through the PS Store, and that includes those paying for FIFA packs.

The plaintiffs, including one minor, argued that they’d gambled away €400 (~$425) in the game, and lawyer Ulrich Salburg said that the random nature of the rewards violated the country’s gambling laws. As a result, Sony has been ordered to pay back €338 (~$359) but is yet to comment on the ruling. While the sums aren’t exactly eye-watering for a company of its size, it’ll be interesting to see whether this sets a precedent for FIFA Ultimate Team moving forwards.

Obviously, the mode has been subject to much scrutiny all around the world for several years now, with various governments arguing that it’s a form of gambling. This has resulted in the feature being removed in some territories, such as the Benelux region, although it remains available – largely unchanged – in most countries.

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