Electronic Arts (EA) has finally surrendered in its fight against Belgium law dictating that loot boxes are gambling. The publisher said that it will stop selling FIFA Points in FIFA games, at least to customers in the country.
When Belgium declared that loot boxes were gambling, most publishers begrudgingly pulled versions of it from their games. This includes the likes of Valve with Counter-Strike Global Offensive and Dota 2, and Take-Two with the NBA 2K series. EA, on the other hand, decided to go the legal battle route to defend its FIFA Ultimate Team game mode’s revenue stream.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, EA has confirmed that it will stop selling the premium currency of its FIFA licensed games, FIFA Points in Belgium. The changes are scheduled to come into effect for all FIFA games on PC and console by 31 January 2019.
Players that still have FIFA Points tied to their accounts will still be able to spend them, but will not be able to buy more after the cutoff date. Any rewards that can be bought using them will then have to be earned through gameplay.
While this is news worthy of celebration, it’s still a little too early to do so. While this is a positive change, it only happened in just one country and it remains to be seen if this will affect other EA titles as well as other regions around the world.
Also, while EA claims that this “is not material to our financial performance”, it is a rather interesting statement though, considering the way EA attempted to defend its lootboxes when other publishers relented.