In the publishing giant's recent investor call, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked by a representative from Goldman Sachs about loot boxes being classed as gambling in some regions following the aforementioned controversy.
He further explained that the reason why Federation Internationale de Football Association ultimate team is not gambling is that players always receive some item which can't be exchanged for real-world money.
"We don't believe that FIFA Ultimate Team - all loot boxes are gambling", said Wilson. For its part, EA admits its ultimate Team modes in FIFA, Madden, the National Hockey League series, and NBA Live on PC, consoles, and mobile are its biggest live-service moneymakers.
Somewhat humorously, Wilson adds that EA is "always thinking" about its fans in terms of "how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way".
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A flourishing fad in online gaming has been the introduction of sweet, sweet loot boxes; because now, not only can you dunk on your rivals, you can do it in style. As of now, Wilson has explained that EA is in the process of convincing policymakers in these countries that they are working within regulations, and are continuing plans to push on with FUT packs, "we're always thinking about our players".
EA argues that FUT packs aren't gambling for two reasons.
The Dutch and Belgian gambling regulators carried out separate investigations into loot boxes and released their findings last month. Wilson says that by not assigning real-world value to cards sold in FIFA Ultimate Team that the company is staying in line with the law. "While we forbid the transfer of items or in-game currency outside [the games], we also actively seek to eliminate that where it's going on in an illegal environment".
But on the internet, where there's a will (and money) there's a way. It is working with regulators to be able to keep them in games.
EA will have to convince policymakers around the world that it is doing enough and that its mechanics are not the same as the kinds of games you'd find in a casino.