EA has caused a stir in the gaming community after a spokesperson for the company claimed its loot boxes are “quite ethical.”
EA’s Vice President of legal and government affairs, Kerry Hopkins, gave a little insight into how EA views its loot boxes during an evidence session with the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee [via PCGamesN/Kotaku].
When asked about EA’s stance on loot boxes and the associated concerns of gambling, Hopkins said “We don’t call them loot boxes,” instead referring to them as “surprise mechanics.”
She also described them as “quite ethical.”
Hopkins went on to compare the idea of these “surprise mechanics” to the rise in popularity of children’s ‘blind bags,’ – mystery toy packs that can contain one of a number of items, selected at random.
“If you go to—I don’t know what your version of Target is—a store that sells lots of toys, and you do a search for surprise toys, what you’ll find is that this is something people enjoy. They enjoy surprises. And so, it’s something that’s been part of toys for years, whether it’s Kinder Eggs, or Hatchimals, or LOL Surprise.
“We do think the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics in FIFA—[which] of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs—is actually quite ethical and quite fun. Enjoyable to people.”
She went on to add: “we also disagree that there’s evidence that shows it leads to gambling.”
Hopkins was then questioned about countries such as Belgium and The Netherlands, who’ve cracked down hard on loot boxes after deciding they actually are a form of unregulated gambling.
Hopkins responded saying those laws were placed in accordance with their country’s stance on the matter, though EA doesn’t believe they are correct in the matter. She also made it clear that EA has complied with these laws since they were implemented.
“I don’t think we can agree to say that games are addictive,” said Hopkins. “I would tell you that Electronic Arts already is a very responsible company.”
I’m not sure too many gamers would agree with Hopkins on that one…
Featured Image Credit: EA Games