The loot box plot continues to thicken, to the point at which it’s amazing it isn’t 100% solid already. Recently, several companies, including Valve, 2K Games, and Blizzard, have removed real money options to purchase loot boxes in their respective games after the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled loot boxes no different from illegal gambling. However, one of the other major companies under the loot box microscope, EA, has supposedly drawn a line in the sand. Dutch news outlets Nieuwsblad and Metro have both reported that after refusing to remove loot boxes from FIFA 18 and FIFA 19, the Brussels Public Prosecutor is conducting a criminal investigation which could result in a court battle between EA and the Belgian government.
While nothing has happened yet, and EA has not commented on the situation as it is currently, Metro reported that EA has already received a procès-verbal. Essentially, while the Belgium Gaming Commission declared loot boxes gambling, there is no specific legislation on loot boxes, so if the matter goes to court the situation could change drastically depending on the outcome. If it does go to court, it’s possible the ruling ends up in EA’s favor, at which point the Gaming Commission has stated that it would then move in an attempt to get the law changed to specifically include loot boxes.