EA is dragging the Belgium government to court so they can keep selling loot boxes in FIFA 18 and FIFA 19.
When Belgium announced that loot boxes constituted gambling and were thus illegal in their country, most game developers removed their loot boxes without issue. Some, such as 2K Games, issued a statement saying they disagreed with the decision and called on Belgian gamers to revolt against their government. Or write a tersely worded letter to their local representatives. Either or.
But the biggest name in the business isn’t taking this “no loot box” thing lying down. EA is taking the Belgian government to court over their demands to remove loot boxes from two of the most popular games in Europe: FIFA 18 and FIFA 19.
Currently, FIFA 18 has a system that should seem pretty familiar to most gamers. You can buy “packs” from the online store to get a chance at obtaining certain players. It’s completely random, so you have no idea what you’re buying before you press the purchase button.
EA argues that this system does not actually constitute gambling because the purchaser knows exactly how many players are in a pack and those players can’t be traded or sold after the fact. Thus, according to EA, so long as you can’t actually transfer the gambled in-game item later, it’s not gambling.
We’re not exactly a bunch of philosophers here at TheGamer, but Wikipedia describes gambling as “the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods.”
Note that at no point is the gambler required to resell their winnings after the fact in order for it to fit the definition of gambling.
However, EA has quite the vested interest in changing the definition of the word “gambling.” According to the Belgian news site Nieuwsblad.be, 67% of all EA’s online revenue comes in the form of loot boxes. That amounts to about $3.5 billion annually.
For that amount of money, you’d also probably try to re-write the dictionary.