We all know the controversies revolving around loot boxes in games. More specifically in Electronic Arts (EA) games, especially in the case of Star Wars Battlefront II where the mechanic was comparable to in-game gambling.
EA’s upcoming FIFA 19 will apparently have this mechanic in place and after being asked to remove it from the title, EA has refused.
The Belgian government, however, isn’t playing ball after this move. Earlier this year the Belgian Gaming Commission declared loot boxes in games as a form of gambling which essentially makes it illegal. EA is now under criminal investigation for not complying with their upcoming release of FIFA 19.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson has released a statement saying:
“players always receive a specified number of items in each pack” and that it doesn’t “provide or authorize any way to cash out or sell items or virtual currency for real money”
Whether you are able to acquire real money or not, the player is still giving EA money in hopes of obtaining something of in-game value which will give them an “edge” over other players when playing online. This is essentially gambling and for EA to not recognize that just shows their ignorance on the matter.
For the sake of facts, here is the definition of gambling:
gerund or present participle: gambling
play games of chance for money; bet.
“she was fond of gambling on cards and horses”
synonyms: bet, place/lay a bet on something, stake money on something, back the horses, game; informalplay the ponies
“he started to gamble more often”
take risky action in the hope of a desired result.
“the British could only gamble that something would turn up”
synonyms: take a chance, take a risk;
While the first definition falls more in line with EA’s beliefs, it is the second definition that comes into play here. I have made “bold” the text in question. A player is taking a risk by spending money in hopes of gaining something of in-game value to give them and edge, as I stated before. This is indeed a “hope of a desired result”.
Loot boxes have no place in gaming and EA needs to adhere to the territorial laws in whatever regions they are attempting to release their game. Of course this is just my opinion (should I have made this an “opinion” category as well?) but I would love to hear what you guys have to say in the comments below! While you are here, please feel free to jump over to our Community forums and be apart of something awesome!
SourceCode, aka Lucas Hughes, is the creator/owner of Nintendo Playroom. He spends his days primarily as a husband/father/programmer/gamer. He loves all things Nintendo and is very passionate about the Nintendo community.