EA amends FIFA loot boxes in Belgium after regulators increase pressure
EA will no longer sell FIFA Points in Belgium after the country's gaming authority declared loot boxes illegal.
The U.S. publisher had initially refused to remove or amend loot boxes in its FIFA titles, but "after further discussions with Belgian authorities" has agreed to pull FIFA points from sale by January 31.
It's a move that means players will no longer be able to purchase randomized FIFA Ultimate Team packs for real-world cash. Instead, they'll only be able to buy them using coins earned in-game.
The Belgian Gaming Commission outlawed loot boxes in video games back in April 2018 after investigating their usage in popular titles like Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
It ruled that loot boxes were "games of chance," and thus in breach of the countries gambling laws. Other publishers like Blizzard and 2K all chose to amend their loot box practices, but EA had refused until now.
Although its finally decided to comply, the publisher isn't happy about the regulatory changes, and says it doesn't agree with the new interpretation of the law.
"We seek to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to our players in all our games. In addition to providing players options in how they play, we include pack probabilities in our games for the transparency players want to make informed content choices," wrote EA.
"While we are taking this action, we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law, and we will continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward. The impact of this change to FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our financial performance."