EA’s latest financial call touched on the hot topic of loot boxes and how EA was now approaching them following calls for regulation.
With countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands calling for loot boxes to be classed as gambling, it could cause problems for the large publishers. EA seems unconcerned about the possibility of regulation but does say they are working with regulators on the issue.
During the earnings call, EA’s Andrew Wilson tackled the subject adding:
“As you might imagine, we’re working with all the industry associations globally and with regulators in various jurisdictions and territories, many of whom we’ve been working with for some time and have evaluated and established that programs like FIFA Ultimate Team are not gambling. And we don’t believe that FIFA Ultimate Team – all loot boxes are gambling.
“Firstly, players always receive a specified number of items in each FUT pack. And secondly, we don’t provide or authorize any way to cash out or sell items in virtual currency for real-world money. And there’s no way we can make value assign to FUT items in game currency. And while we forbid the transfer of items of in-the-game currency outside, we also actively seek to eliminate that where it’s going on in an illegal environment, and we work with regulators in various jurisdictions to achieve that.
“And so net-net, we’re going to continue to push forward. 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 communicate with regulators around the world on it.”
If EA does manage to make loot boxes work in a “fun, fair, and balanced way” then there should be no problem with gamers or regulators but we know that EA and other large publishers such as Activision will push this to limit. There’s just too much money to be made.