Electronic Arts Chief Comments On Loot Box Gambling Allegations (Update)

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated May 11, 2018

Games provider intends to continue including loot boxes despite regulatory claims of gambling

Reacting to recent claims by regulators and politicians in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Germany that loot boxes in its Star Wars Battlefront II, Overwatch and Fifa 18 games constitute gambling (see previous InfoPowa reports), the chief executive of Electronic Arts, Andrew Wilson, came out fighting this week, and pledged to continue offering the accessories crates in the future.

Noting that his company has worked closely with relevant industry associations on the issue, Wilson commented:

“We don’t believe that FIFA Ultimate Team or loot boxes are gambling firstly because players always receive a specified number of items in each pack, and secondly we don’t provide or authorize any way to cash out or sell items or virtual currency for real money.”

Wilson has good cause for concern – the games are among its biggest money makers, and helped to boost its revenues to $1.25 billion in Q1-2018. However, he can point to the contradictory opinions of the regulators in New Zealand and Great Britain, who have opined that loot boxes are not gambling per se.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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