Ever since Star Wars Battlefront 2 released, EA has been under heavy scrutiny from multiple governments; especially regarding the Loot Box system. Loot boxes have been a common premium content in many multiplayer games. Whether it is Overwatch, FIFA, or NBA 2K, many game companies are using loot boxes to make more profits.
What is bad about Loot Boxes?
Loot boxes usually contain multiple in-game items that can be difficult or slow to earn normally in games. However, there are no guarantees what you can obtain from a loot box. You could be spending money on items that aren’t very valuable. This could cause players to continue to spend money on loot boxes in hopes to obtain rare or good items in games.
EA says Loot Boxes are “Ethical” and “Fun”
Kerry Hopkins, EA’s VP of Legal and Government Affairs, stated that the company’s randomized purchases aren’t “loot boxes” but rather “surprise mechanics.” (PCgamesn) He states loot boxes are similar to Kinder Eggs or other surprise gifts. In regards to questions from the Scottish National Part, Hopkins stated: “our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs – is actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.” Whether it is fun for players to spend countless dollars in hopes of obtaining a good player seems ridiculous. This is mostly to defend EA’s pack system as FIFA is one of their best selling titles and generates massive amounts of revenue to the player pack system. FIFA 19 sold 9.15 million units for the PlayStation 4 last year. It is the 3rd best selling game of 2018.
Hopkins and EA believe that loot boxes isn’t similar to gambling or leads to gambling addiction. Many governments believe loot boxes will lead people, especially children, to be gambling addicts. EA is hoping the government won’t make any laws to prevent the banning of the system as it generates massive amounts of revenue for the company. While many hardcore players are recognizing and complaining about loot boxes or similar systems, many other players are still purchasing them in hopes of getting their best characters, loot, or cosmetics.
I believe loot boxes should be removed from games. It creates an unhealthy habit because it causes players to spend more money then they should on a chance of obtaining their desires. If you want to just spend money on a character or cosmetic, then that’s fine. At least you know what you’re paying for but spending over $100 a month just for a chance is ridiculous. It is a smart business tactic for companies who can pray on consumers but it isn’t a healthy option in the long run.