Now, with various official bodies around the world starting to declare loot boxes as a form of gambling (and therefore, in some cases at least, at odds with local laws), EA's investors were clearly eager to hear more from the company as to their plans with regards to microtransactions and loot boxes, an income stream that is proving most profitable for the company. "We're always thinking about our players".
Government agencies will ultimately decide whether loot boxes are a form of gambling.
According to Wilson however, various industry associates and regulators and have evaluated and established that FIFA's Ultimate Team Mode, which is also present in titles such as Madden, NHL and NBA Live, can't be considered gambling. We're always thinking about how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balancd way for our players - and we'll continue to work with regulators on that. Both Belgium and the Netherlands recently declared the divisive "card collecting" format to be a form of gambling, but unsurprisingly the gaming giant disagrees. Laws in Belgium and the Netherlands, however, have caused EA to hit an worldwide snag while rolling out FIFA Ultimate Team packs.
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EA has posted a $1.25 billion growth in revenue year-on-year last quarter in despite not releasing new games from its big franchises.
Firstly, players always receive a specified number of items in each box. "And there's no real-world value assigned to in-game items".
"And so net-net, we're going to continue to push forward".
But on the internet, where there's a will (and money) there's a way.
Loot boxes are microtransactions that allow players to spend real money to purchase a virtual box. EA says that it is aware of this as well. It is working with regulators to be able to keep them in games. Wilson stated that EA's policies strictly forbid such transactions and that the company "actively seek to eliminate that where it's going on in an illegal environment". For now, however, it is telling investors that the FIFA Ultimate Team factory is still printing money.