Belgian Government Launches Criminal Investigation Into EA Over "Illegal" FIFA Loot Boxes

12 September, 2018, 06:01 | Author: Leah Owens
  • FIFA 19

Described as an "illegal game of chance" by the Commission, the loot boxes could be deemed illegal for failing to ensure that minors aren't subjected to gambling, with the unknown nature of the loot boxes' rewards being to blame.

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

2K Games has also limited access to certain MyTeam features in National Basketball Association 2K, and Blizzard has removed the ability to purchase Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm loot boxes with real money in both regions. Fortunately, EA was already amidst its own rework of Battlefront II after listening to fan backlash, removing the purchasable progression-tied loot box system, however Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 and upcoming Federation Internationale de Football Association 19 packs remained untouched in the region despite breaking the new laws.

Ultimate Team mode's randomized card packs seem to have been the matter of discussion.

As we previously reported, The Belgian Gaming Commission has been looking to remove or prosecute over the inclusion of loot boxes in videogames.

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In May, it recommended to the Belgian minister of justice publishers of games with loot boxes should be prosecuted.

Today there are reports that Belgium's Gaming Commission has opened up a criminal investigation via the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office, and EA might be faced with going to court.

Valve complied with the BGC authorities in July when it released a CS:GO patch restricting players in Belgium and the Netherlands from opening loot boxes.

Belgium declared purchasable in-game loot boxes illegal back in April, with the treat of criminal prosecution looming over less than a month later.

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