In the Netherlands, EA can be fined €500,000 every week if they don’t stop selling loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team, approves the court of The Hague on Thursday.
After a lengthy battle between the Gaming Authority and EA, the independent body ruled that EA and its Swiss subsidiary are prone to a weekly total fine of €500,000 a week. This arrives after the Gaming Authority found FIFA’s Ultimate Team Packs (FUT) mechanics in violation of its Gambling Act. This was challenged by EA in court which resulted in the current scenario.
EA’s defense was that FUT content had in-game value only and could not be converted into real money. The judge, however, dismissed it and gave the company three weeks to disable the loot boxes. If not, EA will be obligated to pay the weekly fine.
According to EA’s Benelux Country Manager, Dirk Scholing (via VGC) –
“Players all over the world have enjoyed FIFA and the FIFA Ultimate Team mode for many years and as such, we are disappointed by this decision and what it may mean for our Dutch community.”
He said the company doesn’t believe that its products and services violate gambling laws in any way. “We are appealing this decision and we seek to avoid a situation impacting the ability of Dutch players to fully experience and enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team,” Scholing said.
“Electronic Arts is deeply committed to positive play. We seek to bring choice, fairness, value, and fun to all our players in all of our games. We remain open to discussions with the Netherlands Gambling Authority and other stakeholders to understand and explore solutions to address any concerns.”
EA has stopped selling FIFA loot boxes in Belgium as the country’s Gaming Commission found these loot boxes under gambling. Many other companies have restructured their loot box policies to comply with gambling regulations across the globe.
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