In case you didn't know, loot boxes is a derogatory term. "Loot Boxes" are actually simply "surprise mechanics," and they are "quite ethical," even if the prey on children and players with gambling problems. Further, players love them! Sounds like malarkey, right? Well, welcome to the world of EA. Recently, EA's vice president of legal and government affairs, Kerry Hopkins, insisted that EA's "loot boxes" aren't "loot boxes" they are "surprise mechanics" during an oral evidence session with the UK Paraliament's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. More so, according to EA's legal team, loot boxes aren't bad, they are basically the Kinder Eggs or Hatchimals of video games. They actually said that.
As you will know, EA has been at the heart of the loot box controversy, and its games like Star Wars Battlefront II and FIFA (Ultimate Team) have drawn the attention of global governments who are now actively regulating the video game business, or at least this part of the business specifically. It's loot boxes and their implementation that has helped make EA one of the most disliked publishers in the business, but, here they are, doubiling down.
“We do agree with the UK gambling commission, the Australian gambling commission, and many other gambling commissions that they aren’t gambling, and we also disagree that there’s evidence that shows it leads to gambling," added Hopkins. "Instead we think it’s like many other products that people enjoy in a healthy way, and like the element of surprise.”
EA's VP of legal and government affairs refuses to use the term 'lootboxes' in favor of 'surprise mechanics', compares them to Kinder Eggs, says they are not gambling and 'quite ethical'https://t.co/IbRqMwvJea pic.twitter.com/bJ8t3Fkib6— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 19, 2019
Of course, with FIFA Ultimate Team, there's a lot at stake here for EA. FIFA Ultimate Team makes a TON of money for EA. A TON. So, of course this is its stance, but it's increasingly not the stance of many governments. In other words, expect to hear a lot more about this issue going forward if the industry and the ESRB continues to do nothing about this growing issue.