EA Hilariously Calls Loot Boxes ‘Ethical Surprise Mechanics’
Mike Sanders / 4 weeks ago
EA Calls Loot Boxes ‘Surprise Mechanics’
I think most would largely tend to agree that, like it or not, loot boxes are part and parcel of many AAA gaming releases these days. They are, after all, a very effective means of developers being able to squeeze out additional profits from a game by offering skins or upgrades. The whole question of the nature of loot boxes has, however, been under scrutiny for a couple of years now. Specifically, whether they are, essentially a form of gambling.
Speaking to a UK Parliamentary commission, however, EA may have just sunk to hilarious new depths as they attempted to rebrand loot boxes as “surprise mechanics”. Oh, don’t worry though, EA thinks that they are “very ethical”.
Firstly, I feel the need to clarify. Yes, they are direct quotes from EA’s Kerry Hopkins, VP of legal and government affairs. EA considers loot boxes “surprise mechanics” and are convinced their approach is “very ethical”. They are (and again I quote) the gaming equivalent of a “Kinder Surprise”… I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.
It’s still the morning as I write this and I’m 100% convinced I’m not going to hear anything more ridiculous today or, indeed, probably for the rest of the month!
What Do We Think?
Honestly? If this is the official position that EA is taking, then you have to admire their confidence, but nothing else. While game publishers are clearly loathed to see loot boxes classed as gambling, a move that would turn any game with their inclusion to an automatic 18 in the UK, they’re waving a banana in the face of this commission calling it a female aardvark! (100 points if you get the reference).
It’s just a ridiculous position to take, however, that this is surely only going to backfire on them. While you might be sitting on the fence as to whether loot boxes are gambling here, such statements by EA only insult everyone’s intelligence.