Despite the Dutch and Belgians cracking down on loot boxes in their recent legislative escapades, EA seems to be standing firm and speaking in a recent investor call, its CEO Andrew Wilson said he doesn't see their loot boxes as gambling.
Wilson said that EA neither provides nor authorises a way for players to cash out or sell items received in FIFA Ultimate Team packs for real money. Furthermore, players receive a set number of items in every pack so it's not gambling, he thinks. And why wouldn't he, considering that so called "Wilson loot boxes" are what's paying the bills for a while now.
He stressed that EA is actively working with regulators to eliminate trading of FIFA items or currency on illegal markets, seeing as how the company strictly prohibits this. Wilson said that EA is very mindful of its players and ensuring their gaming experience is transparent, fun and fair.
Now, we're not sure which regulators EA is talking about, because the Dutch and Belgians sure don't seem to care. Both countries have issued ultimatums for removal of loot boxes and if EA, among other defendants, doesn't comply, they will be facing hefty fines and even heftier prison sentences.
Wilson was most likely referring to US regulators, which would indeed make sense, what with the ESRB's anaemic reaction to US and Hawaiian initiatives regarding loot boxes. At the same time, this explains his bravery when talking to investors but we're not sure how well it will serve him in Europe time. Get it? Never mind.
Sweden was among the first to raise the issue while drafting their gaming legislation, which is expected by January 2019. The recent renewed interest in loot boxes is likely to make many a government ask these same questions and by the looks of it - loot boxes are losing. To be perfectly frank, we at AltChar won't be shedding many tears over it either.
I've got to admit though, seeing EA claim they're aiming for transparent, fun and fair experience is hilarious, because my experience of EA was notable for lacking these exact three components. Seriously, do they play their own stuff? Preferably while they're not high?