The lat­est patch for FIFA 21 is report­ed to have code that would allow EA to dis­able Ulti­mate Team in some coun­tries or regions that have strict gam­bling laws. Of course, EA isn’t look­ing to block Ulti­mate team in these areas soon, the stu­dio is still prepar­ing to poten­tial­ly enable the feature.

FUT Watch found the code for a pop-up mes­sage in the lat­est patch, stat­ing “FIFA Ulti­mate Team is cur­rent­ly not acces­si­ble due to a demand from the author­i­ties of your region.” EA’s his­to­ry with local gam­bling author­i­ties and law­mak­ers, in both North Amer­i­ca and Europe, has­n’t been good. Dur­ing this year, a class-action law­suit was filed against EA in Cal­i­for­nia, sim­i­lar to the one filed in Cana­da. A dis­trict court in the Nether­lands allowed a fine over EA’s loot box­es to go forward.

EA has been com­pli­ant in some regions, by not offer­ing FIFA points for sale. For instance, in Bel­gium, the com­pa­ny removed the game’s vir­tu­al cur­ren­cy after the coun­try cracked down on loot box­es. FIFA 21 play­ers in Bel­gium can still play Ulti­mate Team, but can only pur­chase play­ers and oth­er con­tent through the use of in-game coins.

Based on the mes­sage found in the patch, EA might be try­ing to block the mode entire­ly, rather than adjust the game in regions that are restrict­ing their micro­trans­ac­tions. This is the extreme end of the spec­trum, but could be EA’s eas­i­est way to deal with this issue.