EA defends lootboxes by calling them ethical surprise mechanics, and comparing them to Kinder Eggs

Chary Jun 21, 2019.


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    In the latest scrutiny over the biggest modern gaming controversy, lootboxes, the United Kingdom's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has called both Epic Games and Electronic Arts into Parliament in order to discern whether lootboxes should be outlawed. With both companies publishing some of the largest video game franchises that include lootboxes as a major mechanic--Fortnite and FIFA, respectively--the Committee has begun an investigation into whether lootboxes are harming consumers. During the meeting, which was held on June 19th, Scotland's National Party MP claimed that studies and evidence showed that lootboxes have a close link to gambling. In response, EA's Vice President of Legal Affairs, Kerry Hopkins, made a few comments in the defense of lootboxes in video games, saying, "We don't call them lootboxes. They are instead referred to as surprise mechanics."

    Hopkins continued her statement by stating the following, "We do agree with the UK gambling commission, the Australian gambling commission, and many other gambling commissions that they aren’t gambling, and we also disagree that there’s evidence that shows it leads to gambling. Instead, we think it’s like many other products that people enjoy in a healthy way, and like the element of surprise."

    In attempts to further explain EA's stance on preventing lootboxes from being considered gambling, especially towards minors, Hopkins then said "People enjoy surprises, it's been a part of toys for years, like in Kinder Eggs or Hatchimals. [...] Lootboxes are actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people".

    Regardless of EA's own stance on the subject, it appears that smaller European countries do not agree, with Belgium and the Netherlands having outlawed lootboxes, resulting in the removal of those elements from their Belgian and Dutch releases, such as Blizzard and 2K removing the option to pay real money for lootboxes in Overwatch and NBA 2K18. Even in the United States, the Senate has put up a bill that, should it manage to be passed, would also ban pay-to-win microtransactions.

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    Discussion (146 replies)
  1. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    This is a joke right? Trying to subvert the issue and the fact governments are banning them. Oh, EA, you are some piece of work.
     
  2. Chary
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    Chary Never sleeps.

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    I'm just amused at how EA tried to compare lootboxes to Kinder Eggs, by using something that people in Britain would recognize.

    "How do you do, fellow kids Englishmen?"
     
  3. SexySpai

    SexySpai xdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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    your mom lol
    Aren't kinder eggs illegal in the U.S?
     
  4. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    Not surprising to see the two worst companies in gaming defending this garbage. EA relies on profits from people getting addicted to the gambling mechanics in FIFA, and Epic relies on profits from kids stealing their parents' credit cards to get Fortnite cosmetics.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Jun 21, 2019
  5. Hoppy

    Hoppy GBAtemp Regular

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    I see them all the time at my local grocery store, so I don't think so. Unless they're pulling off some sneaky tactic to sell em' there...
     
  6. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!

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    EA is really killing my vibe for gaming, here. These publishers with their toxic attitudes toward consumers has to stop.
     
  7. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Maniac

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    EA, the guys who bought games rights only to fill them with pay to win and are only good at sports games. And whose sports games are so similar you better skip a few years between each ones so at least the newest one looks better.

    Also, how many Kinder Eggs can you buy with what one of EA loot boxes cost?
     
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  8. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I bet there are still EA shills who will defend them and their games ad infinitum. These are the people who enable them and think they can do no harm.
     
  9. bowser

    bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    EA's Vice President of Legal Affairs, Kerry Hopkins, made a few comments in the defense of lootboxes in video games, saying, "We don't call them lootboxes. They are instead referred to as surprise mechanics."

    Oh, really? Dare you to make them free then.
     
    MicmasH_W, shamzie, sks316 and 7 others like this.
  10. Greymane

    Greymane Lurking gbatemp pony

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    Not so much kinder eggs themselfs, but food that entirely envelops a non edible substance.
    From what i remember reading of that law.
     
  11. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    Fifa has lootboxes? A game, that is SOCCER (or FUTBAL for the european friends) have "SURPRISE MECHANICS" :blink:
     
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  12. gamemasteru03

    gamemasteru03 Nintendo nerd

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    They are illegal because there is a toy inside the egg which you could choke on if you dont open the egg and take the toy out. There are kinder eggs in america which are worse versions which separate the toy from the choclate. The only reason I know this is because I go to the uk every summer and smuggle kinder eggs back to the us to eat ;).
     
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  13. leafeon34

    leafeon34 Expecto Patronum!

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    What about Fire Emblem: Heroes? You earn orbs through gameplay which you use to summon heroes. The hero you get and their star rating is random. You also have the option to buy more orbs using real money.
     
    Last edited by leafeon34, Jun 21, 2019
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  14. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!

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    Loot boxes are loot boxes. No matter how you advertise em.
     
  15. supergamer368

    supergamer368 this isn’t bookworm adventures deluxe

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    yeah and just like how you can choke on a kinder egg and die, your wallet can choke on the insane prices of these lootbo- ahem, surprise mechanics, and die.
     
  16. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    Yep, and even though I'd love to see them banned outright, I'd also see it as a win if they were limited only to smartphone games.
     
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  17. wormdood

    wormdood pirate booty inspector

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    I am glad they included Hatchimals in that quote because to directly compare a randomly selected digital item to food just because it includes a randomly selected item is stupid ... is the chocolate just trash then?
     
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  18. Treeko

    Treeko GBAtemp Fan

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    Honestly EA/Activision/Epic games need to stop with the bullshit, why is it that the majority of US based publishers have the most scummiest lootboxes in the industry, I am not against dlc but micro transactions are the worst thing to happen to gaming since mobile gaming.
     
  19. the_randomizer

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    EA, challenge nothing
     
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