EA will "push forward" with FIFA Ultimate Team's loot boxes

Nichole VegaMay 10, 2018

In the call's Q&A session, Wilson was asked about making changes to FIFA's Ultimate Team mode as some countries have ruled that lootboxes can indeed be labeled as gambling, including Belgium. "We're always thinking about how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way for our players - and we'll continue to work with regulators on that", Wilson noted.

During the conference, EA confirmed that the Ultimate Team modes are the biggest live-service moneymakers of the company in its games for PC, consoles and mobile. These card packs include random soccer players that can improve your team and your chances of winning against friends and others online.

That statement is in pretty direct contradiction to the findings of Belgium's Gaming Commission, which declared that Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 joined Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in breaching the country's gambling laws.The Commission will have asked to consult with EA, as well as Blizzard and EA, but if the games are not adjusted, the companies could be fined up to 1.6 million euros.

In a recent earnings call with investors (transcript available over at Seeking Alpha), EA indicated that it will continue implementing loot boxes in its games. Though EA essentially sparked this latest fervor surrounding overreaching loot boxes, it has indicated to shareholders that it will continue to press on with the practice. And because EA doesn't facilitate a way to sell the items for real-world money (like you would cash out chips at a casino) or assign a currency value to the FUT gear, it's acting within the law.

The issue of loot boxes, a form of microtransaction that has players spending real money to purchase a virtual box and then open it to discover what's inside it, came to a head late previous year with the release of Electronic Arts' "Star Wars Battlefront II" which featured a form of the box that players felt was costly and unfair.

"Firstly, players always receive a specified number of items in each ['FIFA Ultimate Team'] box".

"While we forbid the transfer of items and in-game currency outside of the games, we also actively seek to eliminate that where it's going on in an illegal environment", said Wilson. It is working with regulators to be able to keep them in games.

Government agencies will ultimately decide whether loot boxes are a form of gambling.

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