It finally happened. After months of pressure, EA has announced it will officially stop selling FIFA Points in Blegium. This makes EA one of the last few AAA publishers to disable in-game purchases in Belgium. The change will officially go into effect on January 31, 2019 for PC and consoles.
The change comes after EA had engaged in “further discussions with Belgian authorities.” Back in 2017, the Belgian government officially declared loot boxes to be a form of gambling, which made them fall under the country’s gambling laws. As a result of this monumental decision, various companies began to respond accordingly. Both Blizzard and 2K disabled the ability to use real-world money to purchase in-game items in Overwatch and NBA 2K, respectively. However, EA refused to do so, resulting in a criminal investigation. As with other companies, EA has made it clear it does not agree with Belgium’s stance on the matter.
EA to End Sale of FIFA Points in Belgium Following Legal Pressure
Because of this change, FIFA players will not be able to use their money to obtain FIFA Ultimate Team Packs. However, these can still be earned in-game. In addition, any FIFA points the player already has when the change goes into effect can still be used after January 31st.
The last few years have certainly seen loot boxes, and in-game purchases in general, fall under increasing scrutiny, even in countries where they aren’t illegal. Perhaps in preparation for some sort of legal decision, many companies have revised their stance on these loot boxes. Epic Games, for example, is doing away with blind loot boxes in Fortnite. In addition, Psyonix decided to actually show players the drop rates within Rocket League loot boxes.