EA Overturns $11 Million Loot Box Fine

EA Overturns $11 Million Loot Box Fine: The question of how to handle loot boxes within game titles has turned into an enraged topic. 

Some countries have viewed the practice of microtransactions as gambling that is fed to young people and children and harmful to people suffering from gambling addictions. 

The FIFA Ultimate Team is among the most well-known loot box techniques in the gaming industry, resulting in various nations imposing a ban upon loot machines in general. 

Some have taken Electronic Arts to court and got the victory. 

The appeals court currently challenges this victory, and EA avoids paying an $11 million fine.

In 2018, the Netherlands Gaming Authority, which regulates betting and gambling, found that loot boxes violated gambling laws in the country and were deemed illegal.

 The authorities gave players eight weeks to FIFA and three other games to alter their loot box policies or risk sanctions.

 EA refused to remove its Ultimate Team packs from FIFA 18 and was trialed. 

In 2020 The Court of The Hague ruled against EA in a ruling that imposed a EUR500k weekly fine up to the maximum amount that is EUR10 million (US$11 Million)

The Dutch Administrative Jurisdiction Division, the most important court in the country, has reversed the decision of the Hague court in the year 2020.

 The court stated that in their judgment, Ultimate Team packs were “part of a wider game of skill.” 

Since FIFA Ultimate Team isn’t solely about acquiring (through purchase or other means) or opening packs, however, instead, the rewards from card packs were a part of a bigger game that “added an element of chance,” the Hague court shouldn’t be viewed as gambling.

An EA spokesperson provided an official statement to Eurogamer following the decision: “Today’s decision confirms our belief that no aspect of FIFA or FIFA Ultimate Team can be considered gambling under Dutch law… At Electronic Arts, our approach to game design puts choice, fun, fairness, and value first. Our priority has always been to make sure that our players in the Netherlands and across the world have a positive experience.”

The change in direction is the latest chapter in the story of curtailing the practice of the loot box, which some consider predatory. 

While Electronic Arts have won its case in the Netherlands, officials from other European nations are not particularly happy regarding the FIFA Ultimate Team.

 EA remains prohibited from selling FIFA Points in Belgium. There are ongoing discussions in the UK concerning the practice. 

an EA representative was infamously accused of calling the loot box “surprise mechanics.” 

Additionally, there are continuing discussions with US Congress and state representatives concerning selling the loot box items in video games to children.

EA getting this victory could begin to favor the publisher in other countries where soccer (soccer) has become the top sport; look at what Dutch justices have determined to be. 

While some games have introduced the microtransaction system based on the season, FIFA Ultimate Team and other games that use loot box mechanics are still being closely scrutinized.