Electronic Arts refuses to remove FIFA loot boxes, in trouble with Belgian regulator

by Sammy Chan
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Just last week we talk about 2K Games having to remove microtransactions from their games in Belgium. Electronic Arts, however, refuses to do the same and remove FIFA loot boxes. Due to this, Brussels prosecutors are currently investigating EA as they still have their card packs in FIFA 18. EA is also looking to implement these FIFA loot boxes in FIFA 19 as well. So far, the video game company has not revealed any hints of altering or removing the FIFA Ultimate Team mode.

FIFA 19 ultimate team concept item design

When that FIFA loot boxes money is just too good…

The Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) deemed that loot boxes are considered gambling due to its random nature. Consumers don’t know what they will get after they purchase the loot boxes, or in this case, the card packs. If EA does not change the system of their microtransactions, the BGC may decide to prosecute and bring them to court.
EA Sports VP, Daryl Holt, disagrees that their loot boxes are considered gambling. He mentioned that players can earn rewards by just playing the game regardless of their current standings in-game. He added that the team ratings will not impact the game as much between two skilled players.
Furthermore, changes will be implemented in the new game for consumers to understand their services better. EA confirmed recently that FIFA 19 will have statistical numbers for consumers to know the percentage of what they can get from their card packs. The company still stand by their idea that loot boxes are not considered gambling.
Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, also shares the same belief that the FIFA Ultimate Team does not fall under gambling. He added that players will always get a specific amount of items in the packs. In addition, these items cannot be sold for real money.
EA is challenging the BGC to take action upon them. It fits their tagline when you boot up one of their games, “Challenge Everything”. We will have to wait and see if the Belgium government take actions against the video game company.

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