Consumer Protection

Consumer Advocates Urge FTC to Investigate Video Game Publisher

CFA joins a group of consumer advocates asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Electronic Arts, Inc. in connection with its extremely popular video game, “FIFA: Ultimate Team.” The group alleges that Electronic Arts unfairly exploits teens and children through the use of targeted marketing techniques to sell “lootboxes” and virtual currency to FIFA game players. The use of virtual currency is problematic with minors, as they are still developing a sense of financial literacy and the practice obfuscates the true cost of the goods being sold. The letter also highlights the use of dark patterns which exploit children’s and teens’ developmental vulnerabilities and expresses concern that the lootboxes resemble slot machines and introduce minors to gambling. The groups allege that these practice violate Section 5 of the FTC Act and ask the FTC to take appropriate action.