A fine of 10 million euros
That’s how clear the Netherlands Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit, Ksa), which is the organization that has imposed an administrative order on Electronics Ars Inc and Electronic Arts Swiss Sàrl de 5 million euros each one for violating the Gaming Law with their FIFA Packs.
Everything goes back to 2018, which is when the Ksa produced a study whose conclusions reflect a relationship between gambling and Ultimate Team card packs. According to the organization, the loot boxes generate a principle of addiction to the game that should not be available to minors, and since FIFA is a video game designed for all audiences, that is where the problem arises.
For this reason, the Ksa asked all companies in the video game industry to adapt their games so that they did not infringe the country’s Gambling Law, and although many took note, it seems that Electronic Arts Inc and Electronic Arts Swiss Sàrl did not listen. .
According to the law, those companies that offer games of chance must have a license specially created for it, and also, underage players could not have access to it. The Ksa has been behind Electronic Arts in FIFA 18 and FIFA 19, and although it may seem too old games to enter into lawsuits now, in reality everything is due to the slow bureaucratic processes that end up delaying everything.
What does EA say about all this?
EA’s defense is based on the fact that FIFA Ultimate Team packs cannot be considered mechanisms of chance since what they offer cannot be converted into money. In the end, they defend that FIFA is a game of skill, and not chance, and point out that there is no evidence that Ultimate Team packages are addictive.
But in court he was clear about things, and instead of being convinced by those defenses, they admitted that they knew perfectly well that there are high-value letters that sell for 2,000 euros (through account transfers), and that in the end, a lot Users can unlink the main reason from the game to focus on buying cards.
Something that EA did ask is that the fine should not be made public, since it would tarnish its image and reputation, but the court ruled that the public interest would serve to raise awareness of this type of illegal practices and would be more useful than preserving the brand reputation.