If there is any company that digs themselves into horrible PR messes, it has to be Electronic Arts. Following the disaster regarding the loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA promised fans they would cut back on loot boxes for future games at E3 this summer. But apparently, they didn’t state they would remove loot boxes from their current games.
Belgium developed a law that bans “video game gambling for profit” which includes loot boxes. Companies such as Blizzard and 2K have removed their loot boxes from their games earlier this year but EA’s FIFA games still have card packs. Card packs give players the chance to obtain certain players to develop their “Ultimate Team.” EA’s CFO, Andrew Wilson stated that the loot boxes in FIFA are not a form of gambling.
“Firstly because players always receive a specified number of items in each pack, and secondly we don’t provide or authorize any way to cash out or sell items or virtual currency for real money..We’re working with all the industry associations globally and with regulators in various jurisdictions and territories, [and] have established that programs like FIFA Ultimate Team are not gambling,” said Wilson (Ars Technica)
EA recently announced the odds of earning certain cards in July but some fan spent over $10,000 on developing his ultimate FIFA team. EA could potentially be sued by the Belgian government. There are penalties of up to €800,000 and five years in prison, which can be doubled if “minors are involved.” Considering that FIFA is rated E for everyone, the lawsuit could be a major loss in EA’s massive wallet. Whether Belgium will sue remains to be seen.