An EA executive said he can’t see FIFA’s approach to monetizing the lucrative Ultimate Team change, even with legal changes that would classify loot boxes as a form of gambling.
In an interview with him EurogamerEA CEO Chris Bruzzo was asked how the company would react if the UK, which is one of FIFA’s key markets, started classifying loot boxes (and thus FIFA Ultimate Team packs) as gambling.
Brozzo replied that he couldn’t see the paid loot boxes changing, given their obvious importance in providing funding for the continued development of FIFA games throughout the year.
Explaining that game development now means developers can no longer take breaks after a game is released, he added: “So if we’re offering a lot of value, and it looks like we’re already doing it because 100 million people are playing the game, when you get to that many of them People who play the game across every format you can play in, yeah, that’s a very large scale, and it can generate significant revenue. And we need that revenue in order to keep paying our developers so they can continue to bring more value and make the game more fun over time. Time. I don’t see that changing. I think the players are clearly responding to the fun they get by distributing constant content in the game. I think we will continue to do that.”
While Prozo sees no need to change in-game payments, a change in law in the UK will likely force EA to change how it is implemented. Gambling laws could force EA to obtain a gambling license in the UK, and as analyst Pierce Harding Rolls pointed out to Eurogamer, it could also force the company to add an age verification system to FIFA to prevent people under 18 from playing. Access to paid gambling content.
While EA has repeatedly said that FUT packs and loot boxes are not considered gambling, their financial documents (pp. 17 and 18) indicates that changes in laws could affect its business model in the future. This is not surprising given that the leaked internal documents show that EA Sports wants it
When Belgium banned loot boxes, EA simply stopped selling premium FIFA Points currency in the region, meaning that FUT packs can only be earned by playing in-game. Given Brozzo’s comments, this appears unlikely in future cases, although the CEO offered no hint of what the approach might be.
The CEO explained that EA has been thinking more about cases where players are spending too much on the game and how to combat this behavior. He explained, “I think we need to talk about extremism. I think we need to work on real solutions for those players who find themselves in a difficult situation where they have lost control of their time where they spend their money.”
You can see the Eurogamer interview full here.