EA has announced that it will remove the sale of FIFA points in Belgium after the country's government ruled that loot boxes were illegal under current regulations last year, and demanded that the controversial "games of chance" are removed from titles.
The publisher has announced that it plans to stop selling FIFA points in Belgium by January 31st. The result will be that players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase packs containing players and consumable items in FIFA Ultimate Team for real cash, although they can continue to play Ultimate Team using coins earned through natural progression in the game. Following the removal from the store, EA has also announced that Belgian players with existing FIFA points will still be able to spend them as normal.
Despite the fact that EA has caved into the pressure of the Belgian authorities, the publisher isn't happy with the decision and released the following statement:
We seek to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to our players in all our games. In addition to providing players options in how they play, we include pack probabilities in our games for the transparency players want to make informed content choices. While we are taking this action, we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law, and we will continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward. The impact of this change to FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our financial performance.This news follows only days after Epic announced changes to loot boxes in Fortnite. With authorities pressuring publishers and plenty of fan backlash over the past 12 months or so, could the controversial sale of loot boxes finally be coming to an end?
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