A GameDaily.biz interview with EA CEO Andrew Wilson delved even further into EA’s loot box stance. According to him, the company has been “transparent” about the chances you have when purchasing loot boxes, which Wilson seemed to be defending.
During the interview, Wilson said:
We want to talk to a lot of regulators around the world. There’s no sleight of hand here. If it’s ultimately found that any form of monetization is inappropriate, we’ll do something different. Many territories and many regulators have tested it and found it to be completely fine in the same way that collecting baseball cards or KISS cards is fine. So, what we did last year ahead of, I think, anyone in the industry is we went out, and we started providing odds and being very transparent about the chances that you’re going to get whatever it might be in any one of these packs. We’re going to continue to do that because our objective was never to be opaque.
When it came to Star Wars Battlefront II, Wilson admitted that the company stumbled out the gate, but that “a lesser company would have just tossed it and moved on.” He also noted that the company absolutely misjudged consumers’ willingness to buy into loot boxes in Battlefront II, hence the changes made shortly thereafter.
Wilson had this to add about the loot boxes’ value:
Whether it’s direct purchase or this mystery box style that’s become commonly referred to as loot boxes we really think about four key vectors: Value, fairness, choice, and fun. We want to feel like we got a good deal. We’ve got some live services businesses that are microtransaction fueled that have some of the highest sentiment and highest engagement in the industry. So, it’s actually possible to do this right.
It’s fascinating to hear things from EA’s point of view. More often than not, the gamers and consumers are the ones who are vocal about their concerns, with large companies taking the brunt. EA has been making strides to do right by its consumers, but it still seems like a “one step forward; two steps back” kind of situation.
You might have heard loot boxes being compared to gambling, even going so far as to having the government get involved with a Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act bill from Republican senator Josh Hawley.
Whichever side you’re on, it’s not a clear cut issue and it’s one that will likely evolve over time. What do you make of Wilson’s comments about EA’s lootboxes? Let us know!