Skip to main content

Electronic Arts is in legal trouble over loot boxes

Late last year, Belgium’s Gaming Commission declared that loot boxes — digital crates in games that contain randomized rewards — are a form of gambling. They were subsequently made illegal in the country and most major publishers have complied with the government’s request that they be disabled in their games. Electronic Arts have not complied, however, and the decision has the company in legal trouble.

According to the Metro in Belgium, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into Electronic Arts over its continued offering of loot boxes in the FIFA series. The report specifically mentions FIFA 18 and FIFA 19, the latter of which has not yet been released.

Related Videos

Publisher Blizzard previously removed loot boxes from games like Overwatch in Belgium, and though the system has been around in games for years before Overwatch released, it helped normalize and popularize their use.

Electronic Arts’ use of loot boxes was perhaps the most egregious of the major game publishers, with the progression system in Star Wars: Battlefront II initially being based on opening crates and receiving items to upgrade your character. Players pushed back, accusing the game of using a pay-to-win system due to its use of real money to purchase loot boxes. The outrage was so severe that Battlefront II was eventually reworked to remove paid loot boxes altogether.

You don’t have to dig very far to realize why the company is so opposed to their removal in the FIFA series, however. Last year, EA revealed that the Ultimate Team mode in FIFA, which makes heavy use of card packs, generates about $800 million in net revenue. It has become a core element of EA’s business, and it’s also present in the company’s other sports games.

That being said, Electronic Arts has listened to players’ feedback in regard to its other games. Battlefield V, which is due to release in November, will not have any gameplay-focused microtransactions, and there are no current plans to include a season pass for new maps or weapons. Given the amount of money people spend on card packs in FIFA, though, we don’t see it going the same route anytime soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Beginner’s tips and tricks for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Before you and your BD-1 Droid run off across the galaxy in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, there are some things you should know. Fallen Order is influenced by a few other games, drawing upon their best ideas, and then injecting that classic Star Wars twist. There are ways to maximize your use of certain mechanics, saving you time and possibly a limb or two. Despite it being a fairly accessible game, Fallen Order can get complicated, especially when learning the ins and outs of the combat system.

Here are just a few tips we wish we'd known before starting our quest to rebuild the Jedi Order.

Read more
EA just made a genius mobile gaming power play with Glu Mobile acquisition
Kim Kardashian Hollywood

Electronic Arts has been on a buying spree for the last few months – but its latest purchase was an absolutely essential one.

The publisher announced plans Monday to acquire Glu Mobile in a deal worth $2.1 billion. It’s a pairing that might not make sense at first. Why, after all, would the company behind Madden, Mass Effect, and Battlefield want a mobile gaming company best known for fare like Design Home, Diner Dash, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood?

Read more
How to get the Baby Yoda dashboard decoration in Star Wars: Squadrons
how to get the baby yoda dashboard decoration in star wars squadrons

One of the most beloved Star Wars characters right now is Baby Yoda (aka Grogu) from The Mandalorian TV series. He's so beloved that EA Motive has implemented a Baby Yoda (or as the game calls it, the "Mysterious Creature") dashboard decoration into Star Wars: Squadrons. Given the character's popularity, many will likely want to use the new decoration, but newcomers might not be entirely clear on how to do so.

Luckily, we've got all the details on how to get the Baby Yoda dashboard decoration in Star Wars: Squadrons. The best part is that it's free and can be acquired as long as you're connected to the internet.

Read more