EA defies Belgian loot box decision, setting up potential "gambling" lawsuit


A Belgian news outlet is reporting that EA may be being investigated by Belgian court officials as the company has yet to remove loot boxes from its games in the country.

From the outset of the commission's ruling, they have been very clear on the severity of the punishment if major publishers did not comply with the mandate.

Earlier this year, the country's Gaming Commission declared that loot boxes present in Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and EA's Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 would be examined under Belgian gambling laws. Recently Blizzard has removed paid loot boxes from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, however, in a report in Nieuwsblad it is affirmed that EA has yet to do similar for Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 or the upcoming Federation Internationale de Football Association 19.

Loot boxes are virtual containers filled with mystery in-game items, such as weapons or currency.

GamesIndustry.biz reports that CEO Andrew Wilson said in may that the company doesn't believe that loot boxes are gambling.

Metro and Nieuwsblad have reported that the Belgian Gaming Commission contacted the public prosecutor's office, which has opened a criminal investigation into EA.

Wilson also stuck to his guns that there is no way to trade the items won or cash out, which, despite being a fundamental aspect of gambling laws in other countries, does not apply to Belgium. The case could potentially end up in court if EA fails to comply. Things could get significantly worse for the company if Federation Internationale de Football Association 19 comes out at the end of the month clad with loot boxes as intended. How do you feel about EA's purchasable loot boxes?