Last year, the Netherlands declared that loot boxes in video games were a form of gambling. Any product containing them would be prohibited from sale without a proper license. Seemingly ready for a court battle, EA went about continuing to sell loot boxes in FIFA, thus breaking the law. Now, it looks like EA will be conceding defeat as FIFA‘s “Ultimate Team” will no longer be selling FIFA points in Belgium.
The current system hasn’t been removed from FIFA, but players will no longer be able to purchase additional currency to buy new packs. Effectively, this has ended the sale of microtransactions for the sports title. In an official statement, EA wrote, “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.”
EA then goes on to say some mumbo jumbo about “choice, fairness, value and fun” and how it doesn’t agree with the Belgian authorities’ ruling on loot boxes. Most damning, though, is the final sentence that reads, “The impact of this change to FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our financial performance.” Then why were loot boxes there in the first place?
Whatever the real reason for the decision, at least loot boxes are out of another game. Now we just have about 1,000 other titles to strip the “feature” from.