FIFA 22: EA does not have to pay a million penalty for Lootboxes in the Netherlands

In October 2020, in the Netherlands, a court was decided that the Lootboxes in the FIFA series of Electronic Arts violate the country’s gambling set. As a result of this judgment, the publisher was asked to remove the mechanics of FIFA 19, FIFA 20 and FIFA 21. If EA does not comply with this statement, the company would be punishable per week to a fine of 500,000 euros. The maximum amount of the penalty was set at 10 million euros. Electronic Arts, who constantly represented the view that Lootboxes are not gambling, but much more about surprise mechanics, the judgment of course challenged. The requirement about the removal of the Lootboxes they have not fulfilled accordingly.

Now the Supreme Administrative Court of the Netherlands has declared the decision of the District Court of the Hague from October 2020. Accordingly, the criminal fee of 10 million euros was wrongly imposed. The top judges are concluded that Lootboxes are not gambling. They justify this decision, among other things, that the acquisition and opening of card packages is not a game concluded, but part of a larger game requiring skills. The Lootboxes would add that only a random element.

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“The vast majority of packs are acquired by players and used for the game participation. The tradability of packs on the black market is relative. The black market focuses mainly on trading with complete accounts and not on individual packages or their content. Since the packs are not Independent game, they are no gambling and do not require a license. The publisher has therefore not violated the Gambling Act and therefore the gambling authority should have been able to impose the publisher no penal penalty. The Department of Administrative Court has repel the imposed penalty, “says the verdict of the court.

Opposite the online platform Eurogamer.net has already expressed a spokesman for Electronic Arts pleased with this decision. “At Electronic Arts, our approach is in the Game Design selection, fun and fairness to put the first place. Our top priority was always to ensure that our players in the Netherlands and around the world have a positive gaming experience,” says that Statement of the Publisher. Thus, the position of many publishers is underpinned on the subject of Lootboxes from the highest judicial body. For the fight against this manipulative monetization form certainly a reply. The fact that Lootboxes have certain dangers in themselves, clarify regular reports of excessive output behavior in connection with “surprise mechanics”.

From Matthias Dammes
editor
11.03.2022 at 12:45

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