EA defies Belgian loot box decision, setting up potential "gambling" lawsuit
Sep 12 2018
2K Games and Blizzard Entertainment have also been in the firing line for National Basketball Association 2K and Overwatchloot boxes, repsectively, which have subsequently been removed to comply with Belgian law, while Valve has also had to remove loot boxes from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Niewusblad reports that EA is now under investigation by the Brussels public prosecutor's office as requested by the Belgian Gaming Commission for this refusal to remove paid loot boxes from products.
Belgian website Nieuwsblad (via Google Translate) said EA intends to let players buy loot boxes with real-world cash in upcoming release Federation Internationale de Football Association 19, violating regulations.
Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games all adhered to the ruling and disabled the offending loot boxes in Belgium, but EA still hasn't followed suit. People can still buy loot boxes in "FIFA 18", Metro said, and "FIFA 19" will have them as well when it launches later this month.
It seems EA has decided not to comply with Belgian law regarding the sale of loot boxes in the country, and officials there are taking the company to court.
"As you might imagine, we're working with all the industry associations globally and with regulators in various jurisdictions and territories, many of whom we've been working with for some time and have evaluated and established that programs like "FIFA Ultimate Team" are not gambling", Wilson said.
Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 and 19 are the specific titles cited here, with the Ultimate Team mode's randomized card packs as the specific loot box mechanic being targeted. EA has opted to ignore these warnings, however, resulting in this criminal investigation.