12 votes

Video game giant EA steering players into loot-box option in popular soccer game, insider says

5 comments

  1. [4]
    nothis
    Link
    This is super obvious, what I find funnier is their vaguely dystopian-megacorp response, which shows they are scared. That's unintentionally revealing since the whole problem with...

    This is super obvious, what I find funnier is their vaguely dystopian-megacorp response, which shows they are scared.

    We do not “push” people to spend in our games. Where we provide that choice, we are very careful not to promote spending over earning in the game, and the majority of FIFA players never spend money on in-game items.

    That's unintentionally revealing since the whole problem with microtransactions is that it forces a rather small group of whales to overspend in order to make it lucrative.

    We also firmly disagree that FIFA or any of our games involve gambling. Regulators in multiple countries around the world have stated publicly that where there is no cashout method, loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We take great care to ensure that our games are played as designed, including by taking action against those who violate our rules against trading outside the game. We do not believe there is merit in any of the recent litigation filed in the U.S. or Canada and are confident the courts will agree. Recently, a U.S. Federal Court judge dismissed a related case noting that “the lack of any real-world transferable value to items takes them outside” of the gambling laws. So again, supported by all of these perspectives from authorities, we do not believe any aspect of EA’s games constitutes gambling.

    They're scared shitless of being regulated. Good luck, I see gambling regulation hitting game studios hard over the next 10 years, especially in Europe (where Fifa rules).

    I enjoy watching them squirm.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      riQQ
      Link Parent
      I don't agree with this reasoning. The addictive elements also work, if you don't have a monetary gain. I hope this will change in the future.

      Regulators in multiple countries around the world have stated publicly that where there is no cashout method, loot boxes do not constitute gambling.

      I don't agree with this reasoning. The addictive elements also work, if you don't have a monetary gain. I hope this will change in the future.

      4 votes
      1. nothis
        Link Parent
        I've long thought that the main difference between lootboxes and traditional gambling is that, with loot boxes, you can't actually win the money back. It's the exact same instinct that's abused....

        I've long thought that the main difference between lootboxes and traditional gambling is that, with loot boxes, you can't actually win the money back. It's the exact same instinct that's abused. It's just that no legislation expected this to even work without at chance of winning back the money. So this kinda is worse and is abusing a loophole in the law. The law is too specific and should focus on the ways to spend money, not about whether you can win it back.

        7 votes
      2. Saigot
        Link Parent
        I think we need some sort of tiered system ideally. In a game like Counter Strike, the loot boxes are sold and traded really openly, you get a ~$1 crate which you open with a ~$5 key for the...

        I think we need some sort of tiered system ideally.

        In a game like Counter Strike, the loot boxes are sold and traded really openly, you get a ~$1 crate which you open with a ~$5 key for the chance of either a 30c item or a $500+ item., all but the cheapest items are impossible to get without spending money. These items are also gambled by 3rd party sites based on the results of the pro league, it is transparently sports gambling. I've seen very young people in game with inventories worth 4digits at least. I see no difference between this and traditional gambling and it should be regulated exactly like gambling, it is appalling that it is allowed to continue and I'm surprised at how little flak Valve gets for it.

        Overwatch on the other hand has no way to trade or sell any part of it. you can only buy the boxes from overwatch, directly (no fake currency or key system). Every item is obtainable through play, and in my experience the vast majority of players seem to have most of the items they want through play. There's a theoretical max amount of money you could put into the game, and I think it's very telling that overwatch has had to have multiple revenue generating streams (a sanctioned pro league, the base cost of the game and non-gambling based cosmetics for sale) whereas CS was able to go free to play. I think this sort of thing shouldn't be completely regulation free, but it's a very different thing to the above with very different addictive properties and I think they can be somewhat less regulated.

        I'm not really sure exactly what those regulations should be, and I think most politicians are even less likely to be able to understand the problem properly, so it's probably going to have to be an all or nothing type of thing, but I think it's at least discuss the idea.

  2. Muffin
    Link
    I kinda guessed this would be the case after learning the latest sport titles are going to come to Game Pass day 1, or close to it. Cash cow has to be milked.

    I kinda guessed this would be the case after learning the latest sport titles are going to come to Game Pass day 1, or close to it. Cash cow has to be milked.

    2 votes