The latest patch for FIFA 21 reportedly features code that would allow EA to disable Ultimate Team in some countries or regions that have strict gambling laws. While this doesn’t mean EA is looking to imminently block Ultimate Team in certain countries, the studio is at least preparing for the potential eventuality.
FUT Watch found the code for a pop-up message in the game’s latest patch, which states, “FIFA Ultimate Team is currently not accessible due to a demand from the authorities of your region.” EA has a history with local gambling authorities and lawmakers in both Europe and North America, of course. Just this year, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the company in California, a similar lawsuit was filed in Canada, and a district court in the Netherlands allowed a fine over EA’s loot boxes to proceed.
EA has remained compliant in some regions by not offering FIFA Points for sale. In Belgium, for instance, the company removed the virtual currency following the country’s crackdown on loot boxes. Players in Belgium can still play Ultimate Team, but the only way to purchase players and other content is through the use of in-game coins.
As more countries begin to tighten their restrictions and file lawsuits against EA, it appears as though the company may be considering blocking the mode in certain countries to get the authorities off its back. This seems like the most extreme conclusion, however.
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