EA Attempts To Argue Loot Boxes Are “Quite Ethical” And “Fun” (VIDEO)
Randomized loot boxes have often been compared to gambling for their use of real-world money to chancefully “win”coveted in-game items. The debate of whether this comparison is apt has proven to be an international issue over the last handful of months, game companies–particularly Electronic Arts–firmly denying such practices are predatory, even suggesting the mechanic’s implementation is actually preferable to players.
Testifying before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the UK, EA’s Vice President of Legal, Kerry Hopkins, continued the company’s stark defense of loot boxes amid months intense government scrutiny. Downplaying the potentially addictive nature of randomized purchases, Hopkins asserted that loot boxes are intended to evoke the idea of “surprise toys,” notably referring to these microtransaction-driven exchanges as “surprise mechanics.”
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
Further making the case for loot boxes, Hopkins acknowledged the many EA games that utilize these “surprise” methods, claiming efforts such as FIFA’s widely-criticized Ultimate Team card packs are “actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.” Concluding EA’s argument, Hopkins aligned with several organizations denying connections between loot boxes and gambling, also voicing disagreement with all evidence leading to the opposite conclusion.
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.”
Though EA has publicly professed no issues with loot boxes, there’s been a number of governments that are at the very least skeptical of that idea. Belgium and the Netherlands have both gone to great lengths to outlaw these insisted instances of gambling, with various other governments currently also assessing the potential issue. The United States notably joined the lot last month, with an anti-loot box bill being introduced to the Sentate and subsequently gaining bipartisan support.
EA’s full comments can be viewed on the official UK Parliament broadcast website, beginning at around 15:43:15.
What do you think? Are you not buying EA’s defense of loot boxes, or do you feel they may have a good point? Do you think loot boxes could possibly see bans stateside? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Eric Hall2158 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.