Things Keep Getting Worse For EA Sports And FIFA 21

It just does not stop. EA Sports and FIFA 21 are in hot water. The publisher was hit with a class-action lawsuit in the US District Court of Northern California.

EA Sports is being sued for allegedly increasing the difficulty of FIFA 21's Ultimate Team (FUT) mode in an attempt to increase loot box sales. The scripting mechanic in question is being categorized as a technology referred to as Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA). The tech does just what its title says — it adjusts game difficulty dynamically. In some instances, it is believed that this mechanic influences and dictates the final outcomes of a match.


The plaintiffs, Jason Zajnoc, Danyael Williams, and Pranko Lozano, also claim that EA Sports is violating the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The act itself is supposed to protect California consumers from false advertising and deceptive business practices. The plaintiffs claim that the company chose to intentionally withhold information on the Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment in an effort to increase their overall sales. "Earlier this year, EA disclosed that it had generated nearly $1 billion in revenue from in-game 'microtransactions,' including loot box sales, in the quarter ending December 31, 2019 alone," the suit stated.

What is a loot box? Loot boxes have been introduced to a variety of games. They encourage players to spend additional money in an attempt to obtain virtual items. The selection of items is completely randomized and varies according to each game title. Some loot boxes are specifically designed to reward cosmetics, while other loot boxes, more sinisterly, create a "pay-to-win" financial structure. The loot box has been widely accepted as a form of gambling, and some researchers have even found a correlation between loot boxes and problem gambling.


It isn't just FIFA 21. The lawsuit also points the finger at two additional EA Sports franchises, specifically games from FIFA, Madden NFL, and NHL from 2017 to 2021. The allegations approximate the millions of players across multiple platforms and game franchises that partake in Ultimate Team mode.

EA has responded to the lawsuit's accusations. According to Rebekah Valentine of, EA provided the following statement: "We believe the claims are baseless and misrepresent our games, and we will defend." EA Sports will be looking to make a stand against the alleged DDA and loot box claims.

FIFA 21 is currently available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.