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Report: EA risking prosecution after refusing to comply with Belgian loot box laws

Report: EA risking prosecution after refusing to comply with Belgian loot box laws

September 11, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

September 11, 2018 | By Chris Kerr
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

EA is risking legal prosecution in Belgium after refusing to remove or amend loot boxes in FIFA 18 in accordance with the country's new gambling laws, according to a local report.

Belgian website Nieuwsblad (via Google Translate) said EA intends to let players buy loot boxes with real-world cash in upcoming release FIFA 19, violating regulations.

EA seems to be standing firm over its implementation of loot boxes, which were banned in Belgium back in April after the Belgian Gaming Commission found them to be "games of chance," and therefore gambling. 

That decision has since forced other publishers such as 2K and Blizzard to tweak and remove loot boxes from titles including NBA 2K18, Hearthstone, and Overwatch

EA chief exec Andrew Wilson disagrees with that outcome, however, and claims the randomized loot boxes in FIFA aren't gambling as players know exactly how many objects they're going to receive, and because there's no way for players to sell in-game items for real world cash.

Even so, the Belgian Gambling Commission is standing firm, explaining that "anyone who does not conform runs the risk of legal prosecution."

The case has now been handed over to the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office.

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