Publishers like EA can deny it, fight it, cry about it but the time for MTX and Lootboxes are coming to an end with the law in pursuit. Ever since Battlefront II, there has been a war against MTX and Lootboxes, going as far as the Belgian Government declaring that loot boxes were a form of gambling and passed legislation earlier this year. Companies like 2K and Valve changed their games up to comply with Belgium outside of one tiny company called EA.
You would think that given from EA’s personal actions that EA would take a step back and learn from their mistakes and to an extent, they technically have with games like Battlefield V and Anthem not having any P2W aspects in them and having no lootboxes but really in truth, they haven’t really learned their lesson and to be real, we have been here before with EA numerous times earlier in the decade.
The Belgian Government, earlier this year, declared that lootboxes was a form of gambling and considered game companies to change the approach on how they receive money back and EA isn’t willing to change that. FIFA is the only game that EA isn’t willing to change their monetization practices; Blizzard, 2K, and Valve disabled lootboxes for those in Belgium but EA is refusing to change their stance on their monetization practices when it comes to FIFA and due to this, EA is now under criminal investigation by the Belgian Government.
EA has stated, back in April, that its games were “developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world” and that it did not agree that its games could “be considered as any form of gambling.”
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People may say publicly that they hate lootboxes but in private, they’re buying it like its candy in the grocery store and they’re the reason why EA is still up and floating and is stronger than ever.
EA, in particular, has seen a surge in the wake of the Battlefront II disaster with their net worth surging up to 39 percent to $787 million in sales for its third quarter and they have admitted that the increase was from FIFA and Madden’s UT mode where you can buy cards packs, which is the very same thing that EA refuses to take out for their Belgian consumers.
There is a ton of money to be made here and EA is not willing to step back from that money which is millions and millions; they’re refusing to step back away from that money and they’re willing to break the law to get that money.
I think this is very good news and I only hope that more governments across Europe begin to take a look at EA and investigate them further, I wish our own government, the American government, also begin to take a look at EA and how they conduct their business. In order to make a change, laws will need to be passed but that will take some time. How long? Who knows but this is just the beginning. The gaming industry isn’t taking responsibility so someone has to do and the law will take responsibility so this is good.
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