EA learned the hard way that though many don't like the use of microtransactions, they really don't like when they start to adapt a pay-to-win model. That's exactly what happened with Star Wars Battlefront II, and even though that move has since been retracted, the damage has been done and with more and more countries looking to call this mechanic illegal, the mega-publisher is standing by their practice by calling them "ethical" and a nice surprise.
EA's VP of legal and government affairs refuses to use the term 'lootboxes' in favor of 'surprise mechanics', compares them to Kinder Eggs, says they are not gambling and 'quite ethical'https://t.co/IbRqMwvJea pic.twitter.com/bJ8t3Fkib6— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 19, 2019
Any fan of EA's, or at least their games, knows that microtransactions are nothing new. Every one of their sports titles has them, Apex Legends has them, they're everywhere. Most of the time, they aren't an issue. Usually they are completely voluntary and limited to cosmetic items only. Except that's not what they did with Star Wars Battlefront II at launch and with the legal heat heating up, EA called loot boxes "quite ethical" during a meeting with the United Kingdom's Digital Culture, Media and Sports Committee.
During this meeting, Scottish National Party PMP Brendan O'Hara spoke with VP of Legal for EA, Kerry Hopkins, what the company thinks this practice contributes. Hopkins replied, "We don't call them loot boxes, but Surprise Mechanics." So ... loot boxes.
Hopkins then went on to say that the entire process of loot boxes is not only ethical, but fun for players and it's something that they want to continue doing for that 'element of surprise.'
Some regions have classified loot boxes as illegal gambling, while others have ruled them to be a harmless practice. The investigation continues, though it looks like a unanimous decision won't be happening anytime soon regarding these "fun surprises."
Thanks, PlayStation Lifestyle!