After trying to battle out the Belgian government who deemed that its “loot box” system in FIFA 19 was unethical, the game developer EA has finally come to terms with the country’s demands. The threat of legal action from the Belgian government is what made the game developer change its course and announce that it will remove loot boxes from FIFA 2019.
Their statements were noted as, “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.”
The final part of their statement expressed EA games disagreement with the Belgian authorities stating that the EA games seek all possible ways to ensure its players get a combination of choice, fairness, value, and fun through their games. Furthermore stating that even though they are removing the Loot Boxes, they do not agree with Belgian authorities’ and would make further attempts to have clarity on that matter.
Belgian authorities aren’t the only ones taking action. Historically, in April 2018, the Dutch game authorities had also delivered a report on an investigation into 10 games featuring loot boxes. The investigation found that loot boxes in four of these titles (FIFA 18, DotA 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Rocket League) broke Dutch laws surrounding gambling, namely the country’s Betting and Gaming Act.
That being said, these steps taken up by the Belgian authorities would drastically affect future game releases in the country as well. As of now, the other country authorities haven’t said anything regarding the matter. So Loot Boxes will still be available in those markets.
FIFA 19 is available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One gaming consoles. Do let us know your thoughts regarding the Loot Boxes in the comment section below.