FIFA Loot Boxes Lead to Investigation of EA by Belgian Government

Belgian Government Launches Criminal Investigation Into EA Over

Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA - Industry - News

EA CEO Andrew Wilson said during an earnings call in May his company doesn't believe loot boxes are a form of illegal gambling because players always get a specific number of items in each box, and those items can't be traded or sold for real-world money in-game. The randomized card packs in Federation Internationale de Football Association 18's Ultimate Team mode are still available, and they'll be present in Federation Internationale de Football Association 19, which launches at the end of this month.

Belgian Gaming Commission Director Peter Naessens said, "Paid loot boxes aren't an inoffensive component of games which act like games that require skill".

A hot potato: Following the loot box controversy that was ignited by Star Wars Battlefront 2 late past year, several countries and states began investigating whether these systems were a form of gambling.

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However, unlike other publishers, EA apparently hasn't altered its in-game purchases in Belgium, and now it could be in trouble with Belgian authorities.

Ultimate Team mode's randomized card packs seem to have been the matter of discussion. Blizzard turned off paid loot boxes outright in Belgium, while 2K followed suit for National Basketball Association 2K, but complained bitterly about it and had the gall to ask fans to petition the Belgian government to change their minds. The case could potentially end up in court if EA fails to comply.

Belgium declared purchasable in-game loot boxes illegal back in April, with the treat of criminal prosecution looming over less than a month later. Things could get significantly worse for the company if Federation Internationale de Football Association 19 comes out at the end of the month clad with loot boxes as intended.

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