Kerry Hopkins, vice president of legal and government affairs at EA appeared before a House of Commons committee this past Wednesday and was responding to a Member of Parliament who had asked if the publisher had any “ethical qualms” about loot boxes in their games. Loot boxes, in the form of Ultimate Team packs, are also a major source of revenue for EA, particularly in their FIFA franchise. The use of loot boxes in other EA games, such as Star Wars Battlefront 2, drew the ire of many governments, including the US and nations across Europe.
Hopkins went on to compare loot boxes to other products, such as Kinder Eggs, a chocolate, and Hatchimals, a blind box-style toy. “People like surprises,” she said.
“We do think the way we’ve implemented these kinds of mechanics is quite ethical and quite fun,” she said. “They aren’t gambling and we disagree that there’s evidence that shows they lead to gambling.”
The British Parliament are investigating loot boxes over the concern that they are, in effect, gambling. The committee is also worried about the potential harm that could cause to children, calling the loot boxes addictive. Parliamentary members on the committee have not announced any plans to regulate loot-boxes in the U.K. as of the time of this article going live.