EA are in for a fun ride in The Netherlands. They have been found guilty of violating Dutch gambling laws through FIFA loot boxes and could be penalized with up to €10 million for their crimes. Another minor victory for loot box opposers out there!
EA have been getting away with flooding their games with loot boxes for so long, most of us had lost hope in ever seeing another one of their games gamble-free. The Dutch court of law has sparked the light of that hope right back with its latest ruling.
EA Sports Found Guilty of Violating Dutch Gambling Laws
The Netherlands' holy war against FIFA loot boxes began in 2018 when the country's Gambling Autority (KPA) began investigations on the matter. Their Belgian neighbors were actually the first to tell major companies to f#$% right off with their gambling bull#$% that same year by straight out banning loot boxes in video games. This included games by Valve (CS:GO), Activision Blizzard (Overwatch) and 2K Games (NBA 2K), all of whom did the smart thing and pulled loot boxes out of the Belgian market.
Electronic Arts showed its dedication to integrity way back then when it was the only major publisher to refuse to obey Belgian law and claimed FIFA Ultimate Team is as clean as a maiden's tear. Belgium then told them to f#$% right off for a second time and eventually, in January 2019, loot boxes became a thing of the past for Belgian players. God bless the tossers!
The Dutch, who most people could not distinguish from Belgians, somehow felt the same way and what do you know, they went after EA's buuuuuuuuuuuuullshoite too. It did not take long for the KPA to find the publisher guilty too, because, well, loot boxes are gambling. EA appealed. The Court of The Hague also told them to take loot boxes and shove it right down their chimney, and here we are.
The official ruling of the court is that FIFA Ultimate Team loot boxes are a game of chance that can lead to addiction and as such they count as gambling, violating Dutch law. Now Electronic Arts have three weeks, which is actually a week, because the decision was made on October 15, to obey and remove loot boxes from FIFA. If they don't, they will be fined €500,000 for every week they fail to comply, up to a maximum fee of €10 million.
EA Being EA as Usual
Unsurprisingly, EA are not letting go of the golden goose just yet and are again going to appeal. It would be a miracle if this decision is overturned, but hey, when you are a multi-billion company, you're forced to squeeze out every penny out of every single situation.
Today is a fantastic day for every Dutch FIFA player out there and another small step for gamers everywhere. The dream of playing games that don't pick your pocket while you hold the controller survives yet another testing day. Hurrah!