FIFA Fans From This Country Might Miss Out On the Game’s Most Popular Mode

Published 10/29/2020, 10:53 AM EDT


EA Sports has been going through some legal conflicts with the district court of The Hague city in the Netherlands. Apparently, the court ruled in the favor of the Netherlands Gambling Authority’s claim that FIFA Ultimate Team violates the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. However, the company does not agree with this ruling and has consequently decided to appeal against it.

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Why does the NGA have a problem with FIFA Ultimate Team?

Players around the world love the FIFA Ultimate Team mode because of the skilled players it offers. Following every match, the game rewards the players with coins to upgrade their teams. With these coins, they can open several packs that contain the best players in the game. This sounds like a simple game dynamic, however, the Netherlands Gambling Authority feels differently.

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According to the NGA’s press release, it has investigated many video games since 2018 and found that ‘a number of loot boxes were not in compliance with Dutch law’ and that ‘there was evidence to suggest a possible association between loot boxes and the development of addiction in players.’

As a result, the authority is adamant in its decision to stop the sale of any FIFA Ultimate Team pack cards in the country. EA Sports can either remove the system or pay a weekly fine of over $500,00 dollars. Certainly, the company is not happy with these options and will appeal to a higher court.

EA Sports responds to the court’s judgment

While talking to PCGamesN.com, the FIFA publishers clarified that their game does not violate any laws.

“Players all over the world have enjoyed FIFA and the FIFA Ultimate Team mode for many years and as such, we are disappointed by this decision and what it may mean for our Dutch community,” said Dirk Scholing, Country Manager Electronic Arts Benelux.

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“We do not believe that our products and services violate gambling laws in any way. We are appealing this decision and we seek to avoid a situation impacting the ability of Dutch players to fully experience and enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team.

“Electronic Arts is deeply committed to positive play. We seek to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to all our players in all of our games. We remain open to discussions with the Netherlands Gambling Authority and other stakeholders to understand and explore solutions to address any concerns.” 

The response from EA Sports is very obvious. Soccer is the national sport of the Netherlands and naturally, FIFA has a vast community in the country. Under no circumstances will the company want to agree to such terms by the government. As a result, it is trying its best to overturn the ruling.

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Following EA Sports’ appeal, the case will now be under the jurisdiction of Netherlands’ four courts of appeal. A lot of Dutch players will have butterflies in their stomachs until the authorities conclude.

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Aakrit Sharma

886 articles

Aakrit Sharma is an eSports author at EssentiallySports, and has written over 600 articles for their eSports division. He is an undergradate student at Delhi University. From getting chased by The Dahaka while playing Prince of Persia Warrior Within, to sweating his way up in ranked Apex Legends matches, he developed his consuming passion for the massive world of gaming and now writes about it with the same enthusiasm.

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