EA loot boxes, and really all loot boxes in general, have come under heavy fire these past months, with Belgium and the Netherlands recently ruling that loot boxes are just like gambling and this in violation of their laws. However, all of that does not appear to be stopping EA, who says they plan to continue programs like their Ultimate Team mode, which uses loot boxes to uncover new player cards and perks.
EA chief executive officer Andrew Wilson had the following to say in a recent conference call with industry analysts:
We’re going to continue pushing forward [with FIFA Ultimate Team]. We’re always thinking about our players. We’re always thinking about how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way for our players — and we’ll continue to work with regulators on that.
All of this really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since it was also revealed that the Ultimate Team modes across their sports games are a huge part of their business and bring in a lot of money. Wilson then assured investors that this is to protest a valuable revenue source, which has helped to secure yearly growth for the company.
We’re working with all of the industry associations globally and with regulators in certain regions and territories. Many of [the regulators] we’ve been working with for a long time, and they have evaluated and established that programs like FIFA Ultimate Team are not gambling.
Wilson then took to the offensive, stating that they didn’t feel that FIFA Ultimate Team and other gaming loot boxes are the equivalent to slot machines.
First, players always receive a specified number of items in every FUT pack. Second, we don’t provide or authorize any way to cash out digital items or virtual currency for real-world money. And there’s no real-world value assigned to in-game items.
What do you think of these statements from EA? Do you enjoy the Ultimate Team modes and want to see them continued?