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EA under Criminal Investigation by Belgium Government over Illegal FIFA Lootboxes

11 September 2018

From the outset of the commission's ruling, they have been very clear on the severity of the punishment if major publishers did not comply with the mandate.

As we previously reported, The Belgian Gaming Commission has been looking to remove or prosecute over the inclusion of loot boxes in videogames.

Valve removed CS:GO loot boxes in July after implementing a temporary workaround the month prior, while Blizzard only just caught up at the end of August following a request surrounding Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. 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. Again, the commission's opinion is still that loot boxes are legally regarded as gambling since an unregulated player base is not given certainty on which rare items will be received from the box.

Loot boxes are virtual containers filled with mystery in-game items, such as weapons or currency. As such, the Belgian government is taking the company to court.

While 2K Games, Blizzard and Valve, already took measures to comply with Belgium's gambling laws, EA has denied that lootboxes in Federation Internationale de Football Association are in violation and has done nothing to comply with the country's gambling laws.

GamesIndustry.biz reports that CEO Andrew Wilson said in may that the company doesn't believe that loot boxes are gambling. They're sticking it out with FIFA 18, FIFA 19 and others, while maintaining that FIFA Ultimate Team packs are equivalent to Panini stickers, despite now facing a criminal investigation by the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office.

EA under Criminal Investigation by Belgium Government over Illegal FIFA Lootboxes