EA have come under fire in the UK following BBC's report on minors spending insane amounts of money and even emptying their parents' accounts on FIFA 19 and NBA Live 19 loot boxes. Did we say loot boxes? We meant surprise mechanics.
BBC's report from 09 July 2019 seems to have opened the flood gates on parents' reports, which happens to coincide with the UK's recent roasting of gaming companies on this exact subject.
The said report is about FIFA 19 and FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs, which ended up costing a Hampshire family £550 over the course of three weeks.
After seeing their father buy a single £8 FUT pack on Nintendo Switch, the children went on a buying spree. It didn't help that the card in question lacked additional security but, thankfully, Nintendo reimbursed the family in full and the Switch has been confiscated by parents.
BBC's most recent report, however, cites a number of cases where parents that didn't get reimbursed, although to be fair - most of the complaints are actually about other games like Clash of Clans, Mini Golf King and others.
Nevertheless, EA have also found themselves on the list, and with the highest spending sum of £2,000 on NBA Live 19 Ultimate Team packs.
The packs were purchased via Google Play but, unfortunately, there were no refunds this time, neither by Google nor EA, where the latter reportedly did not respond to an email.
Now, let us make one thing clear - we've absolutely no love for loot boxes in gaming, and are actively hoping for them to be removed as soon as possible. We feel for the parents, as the experience of your card being wiped, by a child no less, is not a pleasant one.
That said, each and every single listed case is characterised by inadequate supervision, ignoring of parental controls and failure to use additional security methods on credit cards.
There are many things one could pin on EA, and we often do, like them acting as a distant enabler in these unfortunate situations, but leaving credit cards in the hands of children is not one of them.
If you are curious about various instances of underage surprise spending sprees, hop over to the full BBC piece.