Many a gamer's gaze has recently been turned towards the UK, who finally decided to look into loot boxes via roasts of game devs and publishers, but the UK Gambling Commission now stated that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs are not gambling
If you've been following the recent enquiries, you know that EA renamed FUT packs from loot boxes to surprise mechanics, likening them to Kinder Surprise eggs and whatnot.
Now, however, the UK Gambling Commission stated that they do not oversee the purchases made in games like FIFA, or other loot boxes for that matter, on the grounds of no official way of monetising what players get.
In order for loot boxes to be subject to gambling legislation, they said, the prize must either be money, or something with monetary value, which FUT packs are not.
That said, the Commission is well aware that there are secondary websites that find a way to profit off of digital goods and the programme director Brad Enright told BBC that EA constantly battled unauthorised secondary markets.
Nevertheless, this still doesn't make them gambling, they said. The Commission chief executive Neil McCarthur said that similarities to gambling should not be confused for gambling.
"There are other examples of things that look and feel like gambling that legislation tells you are not - [such as] some prize competitions but because they have free play or free entry they are not gambling... but they are a lot like a lottery", he said.
EA was one of the companies that have recently come under fire, quite unfairly if we may add, for various instances of parents leaving poorly secured credit cards in the hands of minors.
The kids did exactly what you'd expect kids to do - spend until they empty the accounts and realise what they've done.
Strangely enough, somehow it all got pinned on EA, and we're not convinced that FIFA's Terms and Services include "parenting your children" for the price of the game, not to mention it was quite conveniently timed with the enquiries.
Make no mistake - we can't wait to see loot boxes out of games, but mobbing EA using emotions like arguments is not the way to go about it.
You can find the Commission's statements on BBC's website.