Game News

Belgium wins, EA will cease sales of FIFA Ultimate Team points

Published: 13:05, 29 January 2019
EA
Picture of Ronaldo on FIFA 19 cover
FIFA 19

Belgium's government has finally managed to weed out EA's FIFA Ultimate Team point sales in the country. EA announced they are no longer going to sell the gambling-connected currency after a prolonged discussion with the government.

EA are notorious for their microtransactions and hated even more for bringing loot boxes to AAA gaming market with their annual FIFA titles. All of this began with FIFA Ultimate Team packs, and now it will end, at least in Belgium.

Het Nieuwsblad reported that the company has finally backed off, claiming that they "decided not to offer FIFA points for sale in Belgium anymore". This is a fairly interesting choice of words for EA, as it implies it was their decision to cease the sales of virtual currency that enables gambling, rather than being forced into it by the country's laws.

EA didn't miss out on another opportunity to say that they don't agree with the Belgian authorities' interpretation of the law. Do keep in mind this is coming from the same people whose CEO stated that loot boxes aren't gambling just because you are guaranteed to get something out of them.

They keep disregarding the fact that loot boxes are often filled with junk that the consumers don't find useful and is about as good as getting no drops whatsoever. Another argument that loot boxes aren't gambling is that people can't cash out. EA have been hiding behind these technicalities for a long while now, but Belgium has won another battle in the war on gambling in video games.

The country has already made other major offenders, such as Valve, Activision Blizzard and 2K submit, by restricting loot box purchases from CS:GO, Overwatch and NBA 2K19, respectively.

AltChar Spoof image of a video game versus screen pitting Belgium vs fictional Captain Loot Box Belgium vs Captain Loot Box

One major difference between EA and the rest of these developers/ publishers is that this company not only leaned into loot box revenue, but rather jumped headlong into it. Giving it all up will likely prove to be disastrous. You can find more information on EA's history with loot boxes on the video linked in the first paragraph.

For more information about the current Belgium vs EA situation, you can check out the news piece on Het Nieuwsblad's website, or check out the related Reddit thread for translation and comments.

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