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Home / Technology / The Dutch judge ruled that EA must be fined 500,000 euros every week until the FIFA loot box is removed

The Dutch judge ruled that EA must be fined 500,000 euros every week until the FIFA loot box is removed



This article was updated at 12:05 GMT.

After the feature was deemed a violation of gambling rules, the Dutch Gaming Authority will allow it to fine 500,000 euros for selling loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team every week.

After a long legal battle between the Gaming Authority and EA, the decision was approved by the Hague Court on Thursday.

The independent agency ruled in 2018 that FIFA’s ultimate team gift pack mechanic violated its “Gambling Law” and recommended a weekly fine (up to 10 million euros), and then EA challenged it in court.

EA and its Swiss subsidiary responsible for the sale of FIFA will be fined 250,000 euros per week, totaling 500,000 euros per week.

According to NU.nl, FIFA publishers believe that the contents of their FUT packages have value only in the game itself, because they cannot be converted into money.

However, the judge rejected EA̵

7;s objection on Thursday and ordered that if the company wanted to avoid weekly fines, it would need to ban the loot boxes within three weeks.

Dirk Scholing, country manager of EA’s Benelux Economic Union, said in a statement to VGC that the company will appeal the decision.

“For many years, players all over the world have liked FIFA and FIFA Ultimate Team modes, so we are disappointed by this decision and what it means for our Dutch community.

“We do not believe that our products and services violate the gambling laws in any way. We appeal this decision and we seek to avoid situations that affect the Dutch players’ full experience and enjoyment of FIFA’s ultimate team capabilities.

EA has 3 weeks in the Netherlands to remove the FUT package.

Electronic art is committed to active play. We strive to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to all players in all our games. We are still willing to discuss with the Dutch Gaming Authority and other stakeholders to understand and explore solutions to any problems. “

In recent years, compared with gambling, loot box mechanics have received mainstream criticism.

Some European countries have categorized loot boxes as gambling, and all three console platform holders have established policies requiring games made for their consoles to disclose the odds of the loot boxes.

The loot box also attracted the attention of the House of Lords. In September 2019, a report from the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Commission recommended that the UK government regulate loot boxes under the gambling law and prohibit their sale to children.

In the United States, there is currently no legal consensus on whether a loot box constitutes gambling. However, the ESRB Game Rating Board has begun marking games that contain random in-game purchases, such as loot boxes or gacha mechanics.

In January, Ukie, a British trade agency, launched the “Get Smart About PLAY Campaign” to help parents use the safety features of consoles to promote healthy games.

In April, the pan-European game information rating system introduced additional information about physical game packaging and digital storefronts, including in-game purchases, including random items such as loot boxes or card packs.