Electronic Arts, when called on to defend its practice of including Loot boxes in its games, chose to shield its money-maker in the most cringeworthy way possible, by comparing them into Kinder eggs.
Yesterday heard evidence from EA and Epic Games representatives about various game-related problems, the legality and propriety of loot boxes along with other microtransactions in games chief among them. For the most part, the gaming reps danced around the problem as tactfully as possible, but if the EA camp was asked about loot boxes, they responded by stating they refer to loot boxes because”surprise mechanics” and comparing opening you to breaking a Kinder egg along with a Hatchimal.
“Surprise mechanisms,” huh? Wow, that is… over a small tortured. You paid $5 and got several pieces of useless loloot,ou’re never going to use — surprise!
Do believe the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics… is actually quite ethical and rather fun, very enjoyable to individuals.”
Danced around the issue of whether they adequately ensure children are not spending cash willy-nilly in matches. Regardless of how it might appear out of their cagey demeanor, the game companies aren’t automatically the bad guys in this scenario.
Nevertheless, this little tete-a-tete does highlight a continuing Problem with this discourse: government officials maintain framing this as a matter of lootboxes being a gateway drug for childhood gambling. There’s no evidence that is the case — there is more evidence to suggest it is a gateway drug for mature gaming, but I suppose that’s not an issue that wins votes. A more important question would be how ethical it’s to divvy up pieces of content and lock them into a paid mechanic when a player has already paid for the match in question.
In any case, EA’s activities with respect to its upcoming Star Wars title would appear to indicate it’s at least marginally aware gamers don’t consider loot boxes as a giant pile of whimsy. No more loot boxes. And nowe will not be adding them.” Certainly if it really considered loot boxes were harmless, entertaining “surprise mechanics,” and folks loved them as much as EA’s rep implied, It would happily include them.