A Holland District Court has fined EA in a case over loot boxes in the FIFA series. The fine comes after the court ruled against the video game publishing giant for violations against the Betting and Gaming Act in Holland.
To add further insult to EA, the court has also denied its bid to attempt to not to make the fines public, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz.
The Kansspelautoriteit’s (KSA), a gaming regulator in Holland, stated that they believe “it is crucial to shield vulnerable groups, such as minors, from exposure to gambling,” as the reason why a line must be drawn between gaming and gambling.
The KSA added in a statement: “Gamers are often young and therefore particularly susceptible to developing an addiction. As such, gambling elements have no place in games.”
Electronic Arts has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years which arguably reached boiling point with the “pay-to-win” loot box mechanics implanted in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
Loot box mechanics are nothing new, certainly in the FIFA series, especially in the FIFA Ultimate Team mode which is a huge money-spinner for Electronic Arts.
It can be argued that the spotlight has intensified on EA and the FIFA series ever since the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy.
Despite this court ruling, it’s unlikely that the “gambling mechanics” will go away anytime soon, especially as EA will want to keep these mechanics as active as possible in a variety of countries across the globe.
However with this domino effect continuing to roll against EA, at some point you’d think that video games such as FIFA will run out of countries to implement their loot box mechanics.
Of course EA is far from the only company to use loot box mechanics and this recent ruling will surely have a knock-on effect worldwide against other video game publishers.
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