EA Games: “Loot Boxes” Aren’t Gambling – Despite Some Calls To Contrary

by: The Knowledge Group

June 24, 2019


Videogame company EA Games is defending the “loot boxes” in its videogames, insisting that they have no ill effects on children.

Loot boxes are apps that offer the player a way to get virtual goods for real money. The contents of these mechanisms are typically surprises—”loot” that can boost a player’s chances of winning the game. FIFA18 and Star Wars Battlefront, produced under the EA umbrella, commonly include monetized features that attract young videogamers and have raised concerns about addiction and gambling in children and teens.

Loot box opponents cite research in which adults were exposed to monetized apps—random perks that could mean competitive advantages. Reportedly, such apps can correlate with gambling habits in those who use them.

Monetized Games of Chance

EA has taken certain items out of loot boxes after a wave of negative responses, including proposed U.S. legislation restricting their use and a Belgian ban on the apps.

Loot boxes are also the subject of a continuing investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Under this scrutiny, Google recently modified the Google Play Developer Policy. Now, the company’s monetization rules require loot boxes to clearly tell players the odds of receiving specific items before they decide to buy. Two years ago Apple established a similar rule for the Apple App Store.

Key Developments for Gambling and Gaming Law in 2019

Join The Knowledge Group for an upcoming examination of state and federal gambling law, including recent cases.

Whether you’re a game developer, an industry law specialist, a lawyer or manager for resorts or casinos—even if you hold giveaways on social media or bets at the workplace—you’ll want to join us Tuesday, July 30, 2019 from 3 to 5 p.m. eastern time for a live webcast on gambling, gaming, and the law.