EA Sports is really one of the most valuable video game developers in the entire world. The company produces an abundance of successful video games. However, they are best known for making sports games. For instance, the company has contracts with FIFA, NFL, NHL and more. Over the years, the company has been through a little bit of turmoil. Most of the time, the company has managed to weather the storm and find a way around it. This time, it seems that EA Sports has been bested. EA Sports and other big video games have reaped the rewards of in-game purchases. Often times, these items are purchased using in-game currency.
Belgium might be interested in putting a stop to the problem. Below, you’re going to learn about the showdown between Belgium and EA Sports.
The latest FIFA game from Electronic Arts features in-game currency. Players are required to purchase this currency in order to buy in-game items and such. However, it seems that EA will soon stop selling in-game currency. This comes after Belgium authorities threatened the company that it could prosecute it under gambling laws. In May, a report was published. It claimed that the gambling regulator in Belgium specifically said that FIFA 18’s paid loot box system could be classified as gambling. It claimed that the system was a game of chance and was held under the Gaming and Betting Act.
In other words, it claimed that the player was paying money for a chance to win in-game items. In the end, the Belgium regulator recommended that the company and others begin modifying their content to ensure that it complied with current Belgian law. Otherwise, these companies would face prosecution.
After Belgium’s regulator released its findings, EA went ahead and responded right away. The company made it clear that it did not believe its microtransactions could be classified as gambling. However, it became clear very quickly that the company wasn’t willing to contest it in court. EA discusses the matter with Belgian authorities. After the discussions concluded, the company decided that it would stop selling the points in Belgium. The company was working quickly to get the problem resolved. It released a statement claiming that console and PC copies of the game would be fixed by January 31, 2019.
The company made it clear that it did not agree with the Belgian interpretation of the law. It went on to claim that it would be seeking more clarity on the matter.
Are They Gambling?
Websites like OnlinePokiesPro.net could be classified as gambling. However, there is a big difference between said websites and EA Sports video games. EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson spoke about the matter in May of last year. He made it very clear the company did not consider FIFA Points to be gambling. Why? Well, the company went to say there was no way for consumers to cash out the company. Plus, it was impossible to convert the virtual currency into real-world money using third-parties. While third-party trading sites do exist, they’re outside of EA’s real.
Belgium is not the first country that has spoken out about such matters. The opinions of the regulators in these countries vary significantly. In fact, Belgium is not the only company that has regulated these boxes. Holland, China and Japan have also made it clear that loot-boxes should be regulated under gambling laws. Other countries are currently carrying out investigations of their own.
EA Sports is not the only company that has been required to make changes due to the new regulations. Epic Games is best known for publishing the Fortnite series. The company decided that it would take steps to ensure that their loot boxes would obey the regulations. For instance, the company said it would make its paid boxes more transparent. This would give consumers the ability to see exactly what might be won. In return, there is a possibility that they’ll be able to quell the accusations of gambling. It is unknown whether or not these measures will satisfy the regulators.
Nevertheless, it is definitely a good step in the right direction. Gamers and gamblers should keep an eye on the news. It could impact their world in the near future.