Belgium has said that card packs in Electronic Arts’ FIFA games are gambling. EA says they aren’t, and is willing to go to court to prove it.
A pair of Dutch news outlets have the story, which is summarized by PCGamesN. In effect, while Blizzard and Valve were willing to comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission and remove random loot boxes in their games, EA has refused to do so. As such, the commission has gone to the Brussels public prosecutor’s office to determine if charges will be filed against EA.
As the story notes, there’s no new law on the books; rather, loot boxes in games are being counted as part of already established gambling laws. Naturally, EA will argue that their packs for FIFA 18 and 19 are not gambling, which probably comes as much of a “surprise” to them as it did to Blizzard with Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch.
The difference is that Blizzard complied with the commission while still arguing its point — a decision that, in the short term, will cost the company money but at least ensure that it complies with local law. EA apparently isn’t willing to forgo that income, or at least seems to think it has a stronger case, and is willing to risk legal sanctions to prove its point.