Even though Loot Boxes are under fire in many countries and outright illegal now in Belgium and The Netherlands, EA isn’t phased.
EA’s Ultimate Team modes in games like FIFA, Madden, NBA Live and NHL are some of the publisher’s biggest money makers. In these modes players buy random card packs (the loot boxes in question) that unlock virtual athletes to build teams with each respective game. Many lawmakers feel this feature constitutes as gambling but EA refutes the claim.
“First, players always receive a specified number of items in every FUT pack, second, we don’t provide or authorize any way to cash out digital items or virtual currency for real-world money. And there’s no real-world value assigned to in-game items.” Explained EA CEO Andrew Wilson in an industry analyst conference call.
EA posted a $1.2 Billion profit for the last quarter and much of that was digital sales of these types. We’ll see how EA and government regulators work the legals out for the future but for now it’s all steam ahead.