Groups urge US regulators to investigate EA’s FIFA: Ultimate Team for misleading use of ‘Loot Box’

Groups urge US regulators to investigate EA’s FIFA: Ultimate Team for misleading use of ‘Loot Box’

Groups urge US regulators to investigate EA's FIFA: Ultimate Team for misleading use of 'Loot Box'

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On Thursday, consumer advocates urged U.S. regulators to investigate video game maker Electronic Arts Inc for the deceptive use of a digital “loot box” that “aggressively” urges gamers to spend more money while while playing a popular football game.


The groups Fairplay, Center for Digital Democracy and 13 other organizations have urged the Federal Trade Commission to probe the game EA FIFA: Ultimate Team.

In the game, players create a football team using avatars of real players and compete against other teams. In a letter to the FTC, the groups said the game typically costs between $50 and $100, but the company will push players to spend more while playing.

“This incentivizes gamers to buy packs looking for special gamers,” says the letter sent by these groups along with the Consumer Federation of America and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health and others.

Packs, or loot boxes, are packs of digital content sometimes purchased with real money that give the purchaser a potential advantage in a game. They can be purchased with digital currency, which can hide the amount spent, they said.

“The odds of opening up a coveted card, such as Player of the Year, are minimal unless a player spends thousands of dollars in points or plays for thousands of hours to earn coins,” they wrote. declared the groups in the letter.

The letter also tied loot boxes to the game.

“In some cases, youth who have already developed problem gambling behaviors seek out games with loot boxes; for others, loot boxes are a gateway to problem gambling,” they wrote. .

The FTC, which goes after companies that engage in deceptive behavior, held a workshop on loot boxes in 2019. In a “staff perspective” that followed, the agency noted that microtransactions of video games have become a multi-billion dollar market.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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