After the Belgian gambling commission founded the game and other titles in violation of existing gambling rules, the Electronic Arts finally agreed on the laws of Belgium and it announced that it would remove loot boxes from FIFA 19.
Companies would mainly have to respect regional legislation and remove the loot boxes from their games, but not every company wanted to play ball. Initially, Electronic Arts was unfazed by Belgian legislators’ threat to prosecute, but Electronic Arts decided to finally give in after months of coming with the national authorities.
In a letter to the Electronic Arts community, it was stated that the modifications would not affect their finances, but that players can continue to participate in the ultimate team modes without the ability to buy real cash loot boxes.
“After further discussions with the Belgian authorities, we have decided to stop offering FIFA Points for sale in Belgium. We’re working to make these changes effective in our FIFA console and PC games by January 31, 2019. This means that players in Belgium will not be able to purchase points to obtain FIFA Ultimate Team packs. Players still can access Ultimate Team and play with their existing players. All content in the game can be earned through gameplay, as has always been the case, and players can continue to use coins and the in-game transfer market. Any players in Belgium that have existing FIFA Points in their accounts can continue to use them, but they will not be able to purchase more. We apologize to our players in Belgium for any inconvenience caused by this change”
In this case the Belgian government had to remove loot boxes from games like Counter-Strike: the Global offensive and the Dota 2, as well as sporting games like FIFA 19, publishers such as Blizzard Entertainment, 2K Games, Valve and Electronic Arts. The other publishers have complied quite fast, but EA tried as long as possible to combat the mandate. Although EA still had to bow to regional authorities with all its money and publishing power, loot boxes in Belgium have been prohibited.