[NM] EA Fought the Law and the Law Won, Removing Loot Boxes

EA fought the law and the law won, at least that’s the lesson the company learned this week after going head to head with Belgian authorities regarding loot box sales for FIFA games.

Those of you keeping score will recall that last April, the Belgian government criminalized certain loot box systems in video games, and sent notices to Valve, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts warning that several of their titles were found to be in violation of the law. The Gaming Commission warned that the loot boxes would need to be removed, otherwise the companies could face fines and even jail sentences.

Valve and Activision Blizzard took near-immediate steps to disable loot box accessibility to Belgian players, while a number of other developers have opted to either alter their titles or outright shut them down within the country. EA meanwhile decided to take a gamble of its own and face a criminal investigation in order to keep selling those sweet ultimate team bucks. Unfortunately for EA, this gamble didn’t pay off, and the developer has posted a warning that FIFA Points will no longer be for sale in Belgium by the end of the month.

In case you were worried, EA notes that this change will have no material impact to their quarterly revenues.

After further discussions with the Belgian authorities, we have decided to stop offering FIFA Points for sale in Belgium.  We’re working to make these changes effective in our FIFA console and PC games by January 31, 2019.  This means that players in Belgium will not be able to purchase points to obtain FIFA Ultimate Team packs.  Players still can access Ultimate Team and play with their existing players.  All content in the game can be earned through gameplay, as has always been the case, and players can continue to use coins and the in-game transfer market.  Any players in Belgium that have existing FIFA Points in their accounts can continue to use them, but they will not be able to purchase more.  We apologize to our players in Belgium for any inconvenience caused by this change.

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.  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.

Source: EA Games

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
? Top MMORPG Blogs to Follow