EA has announced plans to stop selling the points of FIFA in Belgium after the government's pressure on looting boxes.
In FIFA Ultimate Team, you can spend money from the real world at the FIFA Points, which can then be used to buy card packages.
In September 2018, the Belgian government, which had declared looting boxes as a form of game, because players do not know exactly what items can contain a box when buying one, they initiated a criminal investigation into EA after the # 39; Editor refused to modify random files from FIFA card packing boxes to comply with the betting laws of the country.
The Belgian Games Commission determined the attack boxes found at FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were an "illegal gambling" and, therefore, subject to the Belgian betting laws.
After the ruling, Blizzard, Valve and 2K Games chose to disable looting boxes in their games in Belgium. EA, however, had not done anything until now.
"After further discussions with the Belgian authorities, we have decided to stop offering FIFA points for sale in Belgium," said EA.
This change will take effect on January 31, which means that players from Belgium will not be able to buy points to buy FUT packages. You can still play Ultimate Team and use your existing players, and you can still get the FUT packages with the FUT coins, the virtual currency that you get through the game. But they will no longer be able to pay to advance.
"We apologize to our players in Belgium for any inconvenience caused by this change," said EA.
Last year, EA came out pretty much to say that I did not think loot boxes were a way of playing. On April, he said that his game was "developed and implemented ethically and legally around the world" and was not in agreement that his games could be "considered as any form of game." This, CEO Andrew Wilson said in May, because "players always receive a certain number of items in each package" and because "does not provide or authorize any form of" Making or selling articles or virtual currency for real money. "
However, as reported by the Eurogamer, when it comes to FIFA, you can take full advantage of it.
In FIFA 19, EA added probabilities of FUT package for the first time. This system indicates the percentage of opportunities that you have to get a certain quality card of a package (for some cards, the percentage of opportunities is scandalously low). This was seen as an attempt to add transparency to Ultimate Team, which makes billions of dollars a year for EA.
In his statement published today, EA reaffirmed his belief that robot boxes are not a form of play. Belgium is not the biggest FIFA market, of course (and EA insists that the change will not affect its financial performance), but it can be said from the text that EA is not content with the situation.
"We are looking to choose the choice, justice, value and fun for our players in all of our games," said EA. "In addition to providing players with options on how they work, we include package probabilities in our games so that transparency players want to make informed content decisions. While we are taking this action, we are not in agreement with the interpretation of the law by the Belgian authorities, and we will continue to seek clarity about it as we move forward. The impact of this change in the FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our financial performance. "
Video game publishers are under increasing scrutiny on robot boxes, not just from governments, but also from player communities. In the United Kingdom, the Gambling Commission has said so far that it does not believe looting boxes are random games, but last week the government asked for opinions on a series of questions about Video games, including the links between games and bets.