[Hexus] Belgian Government opens criminal investigation into EA. - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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[Hexus] Belgian Government opens criminal investigation into EA.

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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[Hexus] Belgian Government opens criminal investigation into EA.

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Back in April you might remember that Belgium declared loot boxes were effectively gambling and therefore illegal in video games. Minister of Justice Koen Geens said publishers could risk prison sentences (up to five years) and fines (up to €800,000) if games with loot boxes continued to be distributed within Belgium. The country was resolute in wishing to protect minors and vulnerable players particularly, from games of chance being squirreled into their computer entertainment.

Some time has passed and it appears that gaming industry big guns like Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games have all disabled loot boxes in Belgium. However, EA have shrugged off the warnings so far and made no changes to the ways its games use this addictive gaming technique.

Today there are reports that Belgium's Gaming Commission has opened up a criminal investigation via the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office, and EA might be faced with going to court. Specifically it has been observed that EA has kept its Ultimate Team card packs in FIFA 18 and upcoming release 19 and has given no indication that it will make changes to comply with the law in Belgium.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 04:30 PM
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This reminds me of an article I read a while ago about it, FIFA is one of EA's bread and butter and loot boxes have been flying under the radar in terms of social acceptance for more casual players, so they have been willing to stick to it for these two reasons. It's like a separate world, really, and it's going to be very interesting to see if they relent or not once the case goes higher up in the system.



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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 07:44 PM
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I hope EA gets boned harder than Mia Khalifa

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2018, 11:34 PM
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Hopefully other countries follow or the EU Commission looks into this.
Would be great to put EA down a notch with their shady practices.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2018, 07:44 AM
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Simply classify those games as gambling and 18+ only but that's not what developers want... to become a gambling licensed company.

It's pretty ridiculous how some people will throw money into machines and get nothing back, or in case of computers click endlessly to spend money on some random skin rubbish. It could be argued that such people deserve the loss but the problem is many of these "games" are not even 18+ rated and sold to 18+ only at all. Meaning it's trying to exploit that old loop hole of getting money from parents of children whether they know or realize it or not.

Strange they tout prison sentence, what are they gonna do? Go to USA and imprison the whole EA staff? 800k EUR may seem like a lot but for EA it's probably still cents compared to how much they milk in.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2018, 08:09 AM
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I honestly hope that Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office will prevail in this one.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2018, 04:58 PM
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Ok, after looking....when buying a player pack with ingame credits or whatever they're called, it's states exactly how many items you will receive. If you are guaranteed to receive a set number of items, how is that gambling? I'm failing to understand. When gambling you take the chance of losing and not receiving anything. I've seen it mentioned in places, that you don't know what you will get....well does that mean buying a pack Baseball Cards or other trading cards is gambling? When you buy a pack of cards, you don't know which ones you are going to get.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2018, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Diffident View Post
Ok, after looking....when buying a player pack with ingame credits or whatever they're called, it's states exactly how many items you will receive. If you are guaranteed to receive a set number of items, how is that gambling? I'm failing to understand. When gambling you take the chance of losing and not receiving anything. I've seen it mentioned in places, that you don't know what you will get....well does that mean buying a pack Baseball Cards or other trading cards is gambling? When you buy a pack of cards, you don't know which ones you are going to get.
As far as I remember, not knowing what to get while paying for it is the gambling part in video games.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-13-2018, 01:23 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by iARDAs View Post
As far as I remember, not knowing what to get while paying for it is the gambling part in video games.
That's not the traditional definition of gambling. At best, that's a metaphorical application of the concept to abstract notions.

This whole thing started as a knee-jerk reaction, and some champions of the meek want to fight on. It's pretty reaching because it's all based on a lot of assumptions, one of them being the value attributed to things not marketable.

You could make that case (pun unintended) for CS:GO, but it's not all-encompassing because not every game has tradable items susceptible to assignation of financial value.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-13-2018, 02:08 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Diffident View Post
Ok, after looking....when buying a player pack with ingame credits or whatever they're called, it's states exactly how many items you will receive. If you are guaranteed to receive a set number of items, how is that gambling? I'm failing to understand. When gambling you take the chance of losing and not receiving anything. I've seen it mentioned in places, that you don't know what you will get....well does that mean buying a pack Baseball Cards or other trading cards is gambling? When you buy a pack of cards, you don't know which ones you are going to get.
In FIFA, people buy these packs in the hope of getting top players or special cards which are very expensive, & pretty much impossible to buy with in-game points. OTOT EA comes up with special packs which mention improved chances of winning rare cards, but the packs are quite expensive(in game points). There are those who would spend 100s of pounds/dollars to buy multiple packs in the hope of getting one of these rare cards/players. But end up with very mediocre players which do not reflect the value of the money spent.

EA started out with top players as expensive rare cards, then moved on to Players with special/improved abilities / stat boosts such as;
Chemistry Style, In-Form players, TOTY, TOTM etc..
Legend players, Icon players etc..

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