As of 31 January, FIFA Ultimate Team players in Belgium will have to take to grinding to gain a sense of pride and accomplishment in the form of unlockables. At that date, EA will stop selling FIFA points, which are used to buy FIFA Ultimate Team packs, the popular soccer game’s equivalent of loot boxes.
As per the research of the Belgian Gaming Commission, released in April 2018, FIFA Ultimate Team packs were classified in Belgium as a form of gambling, because of the presence of all their constitutive elements to fit that definition. In this case, gambling is defined by the presence of game, wager, chance and the dichotomy of win/loss. Up until very recently, EA has not made any efforts to comply with Belgium’s guidelines, including warning labels and transparency in terms of winning odds.
Now EA has released a statement in which the company details their discontinuation of sale for FIFA Points in Belgium, apparently in an effort to comply with the newly implemented gambling guidelines. The general tone of their statement seems rather defiant in last consequence, with EA emphasizing their disagreement with the Belgian authorities’ decisions.
Another interesting tidbit is that the “impact of this change to FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our [EA’s] financial performance”. Of course, this piece of information can be interpreted in a couple of ways. My take as an endless cynic would be that they’re trying to appease investors. You’re very welcome to change my mind.
Belgium’s FIFA players will still be able to spend their remaining FIFA Points after 31 January, according to EA all content can also still be unlocked by playing the game instead of paying for it.
Has the changes to Ultimate Team in Belgium got you interested to try FIFA 19? Check out our review here!