Loot boxes have been a hot-button topic for gamers, highlighted by the disastrous launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2. Developers of Star Wars Battlefront 2 EA has seen the controversy that loot boxes cause and has decided it will still keep loot boxes in its games.
EA is adamant about stating that loot boxes are not a form of gambling.
EA's Loot Boxes
During an investor's call for EA, chief executive Andrew Wilson says that the developer is working with regulators and industry associations to certify that loot boxes are not a form of gambling. Wilson argues that loot boxes aren't gambling because players are guaranteed a number of items every time they are purchased.
He also argues that loot boxes aren't a form of gambling by saying that EA doesn't let players sell items that they buy in the real world. Wilson says that by not assigning the real-world value to cards sold in FIFA Ultimate Team that the company is staying in line with the law.
Wilson says that EA actively works to stop illegal activity surrounding FIFA Ultimate Team sales. That the developer works with regulators in various jurisdictions to curb illegal activity from the game.
He adds at the end that EA will continue to push forward and says that the company always thinks of its players. Wilson says that EA is always thinking of ways to present its experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way for the players.
EA protects loot boxes so much because they are a large source of revenue for the company.
Legal Problems With Loot Boxes
While regulators in the US have been slow to react to loot boxes, European countries have been at the forefront of the fight against loot boxes. In April 2018, Belgium declared loot boxes illegal and threatened game publishers with fines and jail time if they're not removed from games. Belgium said that loot boxes violate gaming legislation which would make them a form of gambling.
Belgium was inspired by the debacle of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 to investigate loot boxes in the gaming industry. Belgium's gaming commission named games such as FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive directly.
Prior to that, The Netherlands revealed that they found that loot boxes are a form of gambling. It gave game publishers until the middle of June to modify loot boxes and remove the addictive elements from games. The Netherlands didn't name which games it looked into but it did say that out of the 10 games that were studied four were found to violate a betting and gaming law.