Friday, 19 October, 2018

Brussels prosecutors launch investigation into EA over refusal to remove loot boxes

Belgian Government Launches Criminal Investigation Into EA Over Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA - Industry - News
Mandy Jefferson | 12 September, 2018, 05:59

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.

Some time has passed and it appears that gaming industry big guns like Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games have all disabled loot boxes in Belgium.

This may be the start of a legal battle in court for publisher EA and the Belgian authorities. EA, meanwhile, doesn't feel it is in violation of the existing anti-gambling laws, because loot boxes, in its opinion, do not constitute gambling.

2K Games and Blizzard Entertainment have also been in the firing line for National Basketball Association 2K and Overwatch loot boxes, repsectively, which have subsequently been removed to comply with Belgian law, while Valve has also had to remove loot boxes from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts is reportedly under threat of prosecution in Belgium after refusing to remove "loot boxes" from its FIFA football series.

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

They're sticking it out with FIFA 18, FIFA 19 and others, while maintaining that FIFA Ultimate Team packs are equivalent to Panini stickers, despite now facing a criminal investigation by the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office.

A member of the commission, Peter Naessens, however, is not convinced, and will proceed to meet EA before a formal court hearing.

Loot boxes are virtual containers filled with mystery in-game items, such as weapons or currency.

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