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EA may go to court over loot boxes in Belgium

FIFA publisher has kept loot boxes in its games despite Belgian Gaming Commission warning

After the Belgian Gaming Commission found loot boxes to be a violation of existing national anti-gambling laws, companies like Blizzard and Valve pulled the boxes from their games in the country. But one company has yet to comply: EA.

In April, when the BGC finished its investigation into gaming loot boxes, EA was one of the companies mentioned as being in violation - specifically, its Ultimate Team card packs in FIFA 18 and upcoming release 19. Unlike other companies called out by Belgium, EA has not pulled these from 18, nor has it given any indication it will do so for FIFA 19.

As reported (and run through Google Translate) by the Dutch outlet Nieuwsblad, EA is currently under criminal investigation by the Brussels public prosecutor's office (by request of the BGC) due to its refusal to remove these loot boxes from its games.

Based on past statements (such as CEO Andrew Wilson's assertion in May), it appears EA is ready and waiting for a legal battle. The BGC determined that loot boxes fell under an existing gambling law, but a court challenge could reverse that decision. In that case, BGC general director Peter Naessens told Nieuwsblad that the commission will pursue efforts to change the law so that loot boxes are included again.

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