Electronic Arts has announced that, as of the end of January, it will no longer offer FIFA Points for sale in Belgium. Players will still be able to use coins and the in-game transfer market, and any existing FIFA Points will remain for use as usual. But new points, used to acquire FIFA Ultimate Team packs, will not be available for purchase.
The change follows discussions with Belgian authorities, who have been at the forefront of efforts to regulate the sale of loot boxes in Europe. The country's Gambling Commission issued an April 2018 ruling against their presence in Overwatch, FIFA 18, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive; Valve disabled CS:GO loot cases in Belgium in July 2018, while Blizzard pulled them from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm in August.
EA hung tough, however, leading authorities to open a criminal investigation in September. Given this new development, it looks like they were able to convince EA that they weren't messing around.
"We seek to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to our players in all our games. In addition to providing players options in how they play, we include pack probabilities in our games for the transparency players want to make informed content choices," EA said. "While we are taking this action, we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law, and we will continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward."
Players in Belgium aren't being cut off completely, as all content can still be earned through gameplay. EA apologized for the inconvenience and said that the change "is not material to our financial performance."