News Profit's Takes

Does EA Really Know What Fans Want When It Comes To Loot Boxes?

Electronic Arts is coming out in defense of loot boxes. The video game giant is now claiming fans “love” FIFA Ultimate Team mystery packs. This comes after the United Kingdom ruled it would not regulate loot boxes, a concept reportedly being considered by many other European countries.

“We wholeheartedly believe that Ultimate Team and FUT Packs, which have been part of the game for more than a decade, are a part of FIFA that players love – fans love that the game reflects the real-world excitement and strategy of building and managing a squad,” EA said in an official statement. “Giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair. It’s worth saying that spending is entirely optional in our game, and we do not encourage spending over earning rewards through gameplay. FUT Packs work in just the same way whether they are paid for or earned, and most players don’t spend in-game at all. For example, nine out of 10 FUT Packs opened in FIFA 22 were earned.”

It’s not a good time to be a video game developer that offers loot boxes. In early June, a report from 18 European countries released by the Norwegian Consumer Council argued that loot boxes “exploit cognitive or behavioral biases to incentivize spending.”

The Profit‘s Take:

I would not have guessed that 90% of loot boxes are earned rather than bought. Loot boxes are ridiculous. These types of mechanics are rarely ever found in other industries. In the alcohol industry, nobody would ever give a server $10 and then accept whatever drink the bartender made for you. You can draw two conclusions from the 90/10 data point in here: either people don’t like buying loot boxes (ie prefer to earn them), or so many loot boxes are given out (earned) that it skews the data. I think most gamers would prefer an item store. But then you lose the addictive nature of gambling on loot boxes.

(All information was provided by Comicbook Gaming and Video Games Chronicle)

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