EA’s executive appeared before a panel today in the UK Parliament to talk about the issue with loot box gambling issue that has taken the media and the gaming industry by storm, as consumers demand changes to how mechanics work in video games across the industry.
EA’s Vice President of Legal, Kerry Hopkins, insisted during the session that loot boxes should instead be called “surprise mechanics” and that they can be compared to other surprise toys that have been around for years in many different forms “whether it’s Kinder Eggs, or Hatchimals, or LOL Surprise.” His statement continues to prove how out of touch many of the industry’s executives are with customers.
He stated during the session that he believes the implementation of loot boxes in their titles are “quite ethical” and “enjoyable” experience for the fans, despite numerous complaints for users all the time about EA’s loot boxes experience.
“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.“
“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. Instead we think it’s like many other products that people enjoy in a healthy way, and like the element of surprise.”
The loot box controversy has also made its way to the US Government with Senators introducing a bill to ban pay to win mechanics and loot boxes in games targeted at minors in the country. The FCC also opened an investigation into loot boxes and details on open session in the US Congress are set for August.
Countries like Belgium have already issued a mandate banning loot boxes in many games in the country, like FIFA and Overwatch, and more countries are joining the investigation to stop this disaster.
You can listen to what EA’s VP of Legal said today in the UK Parliament broadcast, starting at 15:43:15.