An EA executive has defended the loot boxes used in many of the video games released by the gaming giant. Kerry Hopkins, who is EA’s Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs, recently spoke in front of UK MPs and said that the company believed that loot boxes are quite ethical and fun.
Loot boxes are used in many of EA’s video games. They contain things such as weapons, skins and other cosmetics. Loot boxes have been very controversial in the gaming industry, with some communities repeatedly criticizing EA for their use.
The EA executive compared the loot boxes to purchasing real life items such as Kinder Eggs, LOL Surprise toys and Hatchimals. She went on to mention FIFA packs and added that loot boxes are quite enjoyable to people.
Ultimate Team and Recent Changes
EA’s FIFA series has been extremely popular over the years for its Ultimate Team, a mode where people can create their own teams. The popular game mode requires players to open packs, which contain different players from all the leagues available. The packs also contain other cards such as stadiums and uniforms.
The game mode has been a success for EA since it was introduced with the release of FIFA 09. But there has been some criticism throughout the years, especially from those who have spent hundreds without receiving anything worth their purchase. FIFA Ultimate Team does allow players to earn coins by playing matches but building a team this way takes a lot of playing time. Last year, EA announced that it would start showing pack odds for FIFA 19’s Ultimate Team.
Star Wars Video Game Controversy
Back in late 2017, the gaming giant was surrounded by controversy over its Star Wars Battlefront II release. Gamers quickly found out about the loot boxes and it all got worse as players began calculating how much time it would take to unlock a character without spending money. The calculations revealed a lot of playing time. EA later disabled microtransactions for a bit but they returned in early 2018.
For Battlefield V, the gaming giant decided to release the game without microtransactions. In April, EA updated the game and added microtransactions. The microtransactions allow players to customize the look of their vehicles, weapons and characters. The addition wasn’t a surprise since Battlefield 1 had microtransactions and map packs.
Belgium and The Netherlands
In April 2018, Belgium declared video game loot boxes illegal. Earlier this year, EA announced that it would selling FIFA points, one of the ways that FIFA players could buy packs. The Netherlands also declared loot boxes illegal right around the same time. Last month, Nintendo decided to pull two mobile games from Belgium over its loot box laws. In February, the two countries banned paid PUBG loot boxes.
In other places such as the UK, loot boxes are not classified under the gambling laws if the items found in them can also be unlocked by simply playing the game. This means that Ultimate Team and other modes with microtransactions are allowed.