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

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.