Since 2017, loot boxes and microtransactions have been a hot button topic for gamers everywhere. Many games have different renditions of loot boxes, but FIFA Ultimate Team mode has been seen as the most egregious. So much so that the Netherlands Gaming Authority launched an investigation and hit EA with a fine in 2019.
Electronic Arts were hit with a fine of 11 million USD when it didn’t change its Ultimate Team mode to meet legal requirements in the Netherlands. Today, the Netherlands Gaming Authority has overturned the fine and deemed the mode is “not a game of chance”. You can check out the entire ruling by the Administration Jurisdiction Division (via Google Translate) here.
A Setback For The Fight Against Loot Boxes
While this ruling has been overturned in the Netherlands, many countries are now fully aware of pay-to-win microtransactions that infest some of our most popular games. As of now, a bill has been introduced in the United States to regulate certain pay-to-win mechanics. However, this bill has only been introduced, and if you know anything about US politics, this could take a while.
For now, I stay clear of FIFA 22‘s Ultimate Team mode due to its predatory nature. It’s a design flaw that EA sees as profitable and reasonable. I criticized Ultimate Team in our SGO review of FIFA 22, stating that; “While the esthetic of Ultimate Team looks great every year; it’s hard to recommend this mode due to the predatory microtransactions that it constantly throws in your face”. You can check out the full review here.
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