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EA will continue to use loot boxes that are 'transparent, fun, and fair'

EA says it will continue to "push forward" with loot boxes, but only as long as it can deliver experiences in a "transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 9, 2018

2 Min Read

As loot boxes continue to be scrutinized by regulators around the world, it was perhaps unsurprising to see EA be quizzed about its own use of the controversial monetization model during a recent investor Q&A. 

The U.S. publisher was asked whether it'd be rethinking how it employs loot boxes in titles like FIFA 18, which features an Ultimate Team mode that sees people build a soccer team by opening 'FUT' player packs that can be bought for real-world cash. 

The short answer was 'no.' Company CEO Andrew Wilson explained EA has been working with regulators from around the world to ensure it stays on the right side of the law, but that its loot boxes don't constitute gambling because players can't cash-out or sell items for real-world money. 

He also believes Ultimate Team's loot boxes are sufficiently transparent about what they contain, so players aren't being duped into dropping cash time and time again. 

"Firstly, players always receive a specified number of items in each FUT pack. And secondly, we don't provide or authorize any way to cash out or sell items in virtual currency for real-world money," commented Wilson.

"While we forbid the transfer of items of in-the-game currency outside, we're also actively seeking to eliminate that where it's going on in an illegal environment, and we're working with regulators in various jurisdictions to achieve that."

With that in mind, Wilson said EA will continue to "push forward" with the model, but that it'll only do so as long as it can deliver loot boxes experiences in a "transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way."

Of course, FIFA isn't the only title EA has launched with loot boxes at the core. The publisher recently came under fire for the way it integrated them into Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and narrowly escaped sanctions from the Belgian Gaming Commission after amending the title back in March.

Still, despite that near-miss and the huge amount of fan backlash that came with Battlefront II, it looks like EA won't have any qualms implementing the model in future releases. 

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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