EA is under criminal investigation in Belgium over failure to remove “Loot Boxes” from FIFA

EA is under criminal investigation in Belgium over failure to remove

EA is under criminal investigation in Belgium over failure to remove “Loot Boxes” from FIFA

Earlier this year, the Belgian Gaming Commission confirmed that paid loot boxes in games are in “violation of gaming legislation”, after investigating games like Star Wars: Battlefront II (which kickstarted public outcry against loot boxes), FIFA 18 (which has a PEGI 3 rating), Overwatch and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. More information about this initial ruling can be found here.  

Since then, Blizzard and Valve have taken measures to comply with Belgium’s gambling laws, removing the affected components of their games when played within Belgium. EA, on the other hand, has taken no action to comply with Belgium’s gaming laws, refusing to change any aspect of their FIFA series, including FIFA 19, which releases later this month. 

Due to EA’s lack of compliance with Belgium’s gaming regulations, the company is now under a criminal investigation from Brussel’s Public Prosecution office, with Belgium’s laws threatening huge fines and the threat of imprisonment for the game’s operators if the company is found guilty. The Belgian publication Metro has reported that EA has received a warrant and that a public prosecutor has received the Gaming Commission’s file on EA. 

If this case makes it to court, Belgium’s stance on “loot boxes” will be challenged in court for the first time, which will either solidify Belgium’s position or force the country to adjust their gaming regulations. The matter will be for the judge to decide, assuming the case makes it that far. 
 

EA is under criminal investigation in Belgium over failure to remove  

FIFA 19 will become available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on September 27th and is set to include the game’s Ultimate Team mode and its randomised paid pack system in all territories. 

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