EA Claims Loot Boxes Are Just “Surprise Mechanics”
Posted Jun 22, 2019 by DarthHazard
It really hasn’t taken EA that long to appear in the news again and unsurprisingly, it’s not for anything positive either.
The vice president of EA games, Kerry Hopkins, defended the company’s practice of utilising loot boxes in-game, comparing them to kinder eggs. She was speaking in front of UK MPs this week in a discussion about addiction related to video games.
“We do think the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics - and FIFA of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs - is actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people”
She then went on to compare them to buying products like Kinder Eggs, LOL Surprise toys and Hatchimals. “People like surprises”, she mentioned.
She then went on to argue that “they aren’t gambling and we disagree that there’s evidence that shows they lead to gambling”. Her appearance in front of the House of Commons committee comes after the British Parliament investigation into loot boxes and concerns that they may constitute gambling and the potential issues that they may cause to children due to their addictive nature.
It’s not just the United Kingdom that is looking into the matter either. Just last year, Belgium came to the conclusion that loot boxes were a form of gambling with many developers having to adapt their games to ensure that they complied with the country’s regulations.
Additionally, this isn’t the first time that EA has come under fire for their loot boxes. Star Wars Battlefront II suffered a huge backlash when it came to light that players could either spend money to get powerful items and characters or play for hours to gain access to the same – thus making the game pay to win!
What are your thoughts on the phrase “Surprise Mechanics” being used to describe loot boxes? And do you think the UK will eventually class loot boxes as gambling? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.