EA tries to rebrand loot boxes to worm their way out of lootbox ban

As a parent that has witnessed many Kinder Eggs, I must say, they are all trash when it comes time to clean house.

Sounds like an EA game to me. (ok, after 1 minute of the new smiley face system, I give up, imagine whatever grin is appropriate).

1 Like

Yeah, Jim Sterling mentions this too, or at least how EA’s current attempt to rebrand loot boxes could backfire on other things, like Kinder Eggs.

that’s fine. The more backfire against corporations, the better.

EA have really huge balls to think it’ll be OK. The spokeswoman almost seems embarrassed.
That’s sarcastical euphemism at its best. It’s like the notorious:
“I didn’t rape her, Your Honor. We just had a little disagreement on the notion of consent.”

In other EA news, there were 5 people waiting in a queue to form a match in Battlefront the other night. That is 5 times more than Anthem. “Games as a service” : another great EA-ism. You might even say that the matchmaker for these AAA games is a “surprise mechanic”, you have a 1 in a 1000000 chance of an actual match being created.

EA is taking the piss with all of us. Do they think it will get them out of court rulings? Changing the wording?

Another article on ingame purchasing, this time the FIFA game. Admittedly the parents weren’t careful enough, but still.

Which linked to this one.


But hey, spending over 10 grand on a game is fine, right?

1 Like

Good thing Mr Carter had only four kids, bad thing he was less responsible and much less foretelling than his 10 year olds.

Also he was cheapskate for buying them only single pack. They showed him how to spend!

Jim Sterling has also covered this.

And for anyone who cares my opinion on lootboxes is: any game containing them should receive a R18 rating and be forced to comply with gambling regulations.

And not just lootboxes that cause problems.

The UK gambling watchdog has told MPs that it does not currently oversee the purchase of in-game content like Fifa player packs and video game loot boxes.

This is because there is no official way to monetise what is inside them.

A prize has to be either money or have monetary value in order for it to fall under gambling legislation.

However, there are unauthorised third party sites which buy and sell in-game content or enable it to be used as virtual currency.

Gambling Commission programme director Brad Enright admitted that games publisher EA, which sells the football team management game Fifa, faced “a constant battle” against unauthorised secondary markets.

“There is unquestionably a demand for a secondary market,” he said.

In Fifa, players can be bought in packs but their content is only revealed after payment.

The same applies to loot boxes, which contain bonus content, often in the form of character costumes or weapons.

Dozens of parents have told the BBC that their children are spending hundreds of pounds on in-game purchases, and have criticised the process as a form of gambling as there is an element of chance in the outcome and their children are then tempted to buy again in order to try to get the result they want.

Speaking at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McCarthur admitted that there were “significant concerns” around children playing video games in which there were elements of expenditure and chance.

However, he added that under current legislation it did not classify as gambling.

“There are other examples of things that look and feel like gambling that legislation tells you are not - [such as] some prize competitions but because they have free play or free entry they are not gambling… but they are a lot like a lottery,” he said.

Loot boxes

In 2018 Belgium banned loot boxes on the grounds that they were in violation of its gambling legislation.

Despite loot box prizes having no official transactional value, there are third party websites which enable people to gamble the virtual content they acquire in games - such as character clothes or weapons - on casino or slot machine type games, offering them the chance to generate real money. This is known as skin betting.

“We have said [to the video games industry], ‘it’s not enough to say we don’t want this happening’,” said Brad Enright.

He added that the terms and conditions of most games prohibit it.

“We’ve been robust and said, ‘we can see you have T&Cs, what are you doing to apply them?’,” he said.

Mr Enright said the video game which generates the most complaints on the subject of skin betting is Counterstrike: Global Offensive, published by US game maker Valve.

“Where we have drawn their attention to British consumers, including children, taking part in gambling, they have closed [skin betting sites] down,” he said.

But he added that it was not up to the Gambling Commission to monitor the internet on behalf of the video games industry.

“We think Valve in the US should do more,” he said.

GTAV Casino

The hearing took place the day before Rockstar Games is due to open a digital casino inside the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

It is unclear what the player mechanics behind the Diamond Resort casino will be. Its website suggests that in-game chips will be required but it is not known whether they will be acquired through purchase or game play, or both.

The DCMS Select Committee is currently examining immersive and addictive technologies.

Could loot boxes be on the way out?

Sure, if they find some new revenue stream to replace them. If those don’t work out I don’t expect lootboxes to go anywhere.

Well, true, as getting rid of parasitic shareholders expecting bigger and bigger profits for not lifting a finger is not yet in the cards.