After a long legal battle between the Netherlands Gaming Authority and Electronic Arts, the judges in the court of Hague have given approval to fine the latter a sum of €500,000 per week till it stops selling loot boxes in their popular video game FIFA.
According to a report from Nu.nl, EA and its Swiss subsidiary responsible for the sale of FIFA will be fined €250,000 each, for a total of €500,000 per week.
In 2018, the Gaming Authority claimed that FIFA’s Ultimate Team Packs mechanic was in violation of the Gambling Act. A weekly fine of the said amount and up to a maximum of $10,000,000 was suggested by the body. This decision was later challenged by EA in court.
In their defence, FIFA claimed that their Ultimate Team packs could in no way be converted to real money and only had an in-game value associated with them. The argument was, however, dismissed by the court.
The concept of loot boxes in video games have been under scanner multiple times across several countries. In the past, many popular video games had to change their loot box mechanics to comply with the laws of certain countries.
For instance, in 2019, Valve’s first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had to introduce a new ‘X-ray scanner’ to their game after the title was under fire from France for its ‘case opening’ mechanic which seemed to promote online gambling.