EA's loot boxes aren't going anywhere

Posted May 10, 2018

That isn't the case overseas, however, as Battlefront and EA's wildly profitable FIFA Ultimate Team mode spurred the Belgian and Dutch governments to classify the loot box mechanics as a form of gambling, violating laws in both nations. "We're always thinking about our players", he said.

EA, of course, says it doesn't think FIFA Ultimate Team and other video game loot boxes are equivalent to slot machines.

During the conference, EA confirmed that the Ultimate Team modes are the biggest live-service moneymakers of the company in its games for PC, consoles and mobile.

When asked about the matter during a recent call with investors, CEO Andrew Wilson explained that the company is "going to continue pushing forward FUT".

EA is adamant about stating that loot boxes are not a form of gambling. The reason why this is so has to do with how card packs with random soccer players improve a player's team and chances of winning against opponents online, according to VentureBeat. Second, we don't provide or authorise any way to cash out digital items or virtual currency for real-world money. "And we work with regulators in various jurisdictions to achieve that", he said.

The issue of loot boxes, a form of microtransaction that has players spending real money to purchase a virtual box and then open it to discover what's inside it, came to a head late a year ago with the release of Electronic Arts' "Star Wars Battlefront II" which featured a form of the box that players felt was costly and unfair. Wilson argues that loot boxes aren't gambling because players are guaranteed a number of items every time they are purchased. Wilson mentioned that they have been working side by side with others in the industry and corresponding associations regarding the new outlook on loot boxes and that they are not going to see a negative impact on their current library.

Firstly, players always receive a specified number of items in each box. And there's no way we can make value assign to FUT items in game currency. That the developer works with regulators in various jurisdictions to curb illegal activity from the game. Just because something can't be traded for real-world money doesn't mean people won't find a way to do it. EA has stated that they are fully aware of this and are working with "various regulators" to control such instances.