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Thread: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

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    Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Expect a legal scuffle over the 'gambling' loot boxes found in FIFA 18 to ensue.
    Read more.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Read that as

    Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EU
    Disappointed.
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Read that as



    Disappointed.
    Why would it?
    "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."


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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    *breaks out the popcorn*

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    I love how EA disagree that spending 'real currency' on a "pack" that, when opened, unlocks a 'random' virtual item(s) is not gambling. lol

    All they have to do to keep ripping off the idiots that actually pay this money, is to allow players to straight-up purchase the virtual items they want. Taking away the choice or by adding a random variable makes it gambling.

    Tell ya what, EA. Lets say I have 3 cars for sale. One is worth 10k, one is worth 5k and one is worth 1k. Pay me 10k and I will "randomly" pick one of the cars for you to have in exchange for your 10k. Sounds like a bit of a gamble, doesn't it?

    I hope they fine them to the point of bankruptcy, I really do.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by outwar6010 View Post
    Why would it?
    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    *breaks out the popcorn*

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    LoL that what you get EA

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    I must be missing something but isn't this going to end badly for EA no matter what? On the one side they prove it's not gambling because the items they're selling customers have no value, on the other they do have value and so it is gambling, the former is admittance they're ripping people off and the latter is admitting they promote underage gambling.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I must be missing something but isn't this going to end badly for EA no matter what? On the one side they prove it's not gambling because the items they're selling customers have no value, on the other they do have value and so it is gambling, the former is admittance they're ripping people off and the latter is admitting they promote underage gambling.
    Well there is that aspect to it.

    Wilson went on to claim that its 'loot boxes' were not equivalent to gambling as there is no way to cash out or sell loot items for real/virtual currency.
    I think EA are assuming that because they don't provide those means, that third parties also don't provide that means (or in some cases individuals simply selling their accounts). Regardless of whether that breaches any form of TOS EA may try to point to (which have been pointed out as not enforceable in some countries iirc.), that doesn't make that aspect of the ability to "cash out" a moot point.

    I think EA are seriously stupid to even contest this and should follow suit with the other publishers and simply remove this type of monetising consumers.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    What i don't understand as to me personally gambling isn't something only done with real or virtual currency, it's done with anything of value. I'm not a judge or lawyer and i dare say if this gets to trail they'll make a judgment on the definition of gambling but it seems they'd have an uphill struggle to prove gambling is only done with real or virtual currencies.

    I also agree with you that it would seem difficult to prove just because they don't provide the ability to cash out that the virtual item don't have value.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Would be nice if you could disable the packs on kids accounts, I dread to think how much money youth here has spent on Fifa, Fortnite and other online games...

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    "Wilson went on to claim that its 'loot boxes' were not equivalent to gambling as there is no way to cash out or sell loot items for real/virtual currency."

    What a stupid argument...

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    *tip of iceberg

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I must be missing something but isn't this going to end badly for EA no matter what?
    I'm pretty sure company like EA can afford lawyers and we don't know the law in Belgium. Since its only Belgium and not eu court/law, we could be looking at maximum penalty of bother all when you look at how much EA takes in.

    On the other hand they got all to lose, by not challenging and complying, so makes sense to me tbh.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by LeetyMcLeet View Post
    I love how EA disagree that spending 'real currency' on a "pack" that, when opened, unlocks a 'random' virtual item(s) is not gambling. lol

    All they have to do to keep ripping off the idiots that actually pay this money, is to allow players to straight-up purchase the virtual items they want. Taking away the choice or by adding a random variable makes it gambling.

    Tell ya what, EA. Lets say I have 3 cars for sale. One is worth 10k, one is worth 5k and one is worth 1k. Pay me 10k and I will "randomly" pick one of the cars for you to have in exchange for your 10k. Sounds like a bit of a gamble, doesn't it?

    I hope they fine them to the point of bankruptcy, I really do.
    But your analogy rather makes EA's point for them - that example IS gambling because the cars have real-world value.

    Make them virtual cars worth, say, £100k, £10k or £1k, but the cash handed over is real and you have a different scenatio. What makes a £100k virtual car "worth" more than a £1k virtual car .... if you cannot cash out on the virtual car?

    Also, I'd guess there's going to be disputes over what jurisfiction Belgium has in the first place, if you bought a game online with a contract stipulating that the contract is governed by the laws of a US state, where EA sre based.

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    Re: Belgian govt opens criminal investigation into EA

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I must be missing something but isn't this going to end badly for EA no matter what?
    Of course not - You couldn't fine them enough to make them lose, and people will still buy their cack anyway. This is just a day out of the office for them.

    Wilson went on to claim that its 'loot boxes' were not equivalent to gambling as there is no way to cash out or sell loot items for real/virtual currency.
    There's no way to cash out of, say, horse racing, but that's still gambling.
    There's the chance that you can come away with less (or no) money than you put in - That chance and that loss makes it gambling, simple as.

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