Even as countries like Belgium are shutting down loot boxes in the wake of the controversy last year, it looks like EA is not willing to back down. In an investors call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that the company will push forth with lootboxes, while also simultaneously admitting that they are gambling.
Wilson points out that EA technically operates under the law, since you are guaranteed a certain value each time you spend money on, say, an Ultimate Team pack, and that EA doesn’t allow an option to cash out—which means loot boxes don’t need regulation either. Wilson says that EA has worked with “all the industry associations around the world” to establish that loot boxes are not gambling (which not only contradicts his own admission that they are, but also ignores that industry associations like the ESA are lobbies funded by none other than the big publishers themselves).
And what about the fans, whose backlash was, after all, what caused this whole controversy to begin with? To them, Wilson only offered empty platitudes. “We’re always thinking about our players,” he said. “We’re always thinking about how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair and balanced way for our players. And we’ll communicate with regulators around the world on it.”
So, yeah. Prepare yourself for even more lootboxes in your EA games, I guess. Or do the smart thing and just avoid them.