Is FIFA Pack Opening Gambling? This question was discussed in the meeting between UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee and representatives of EA and Fortnite. Read about whether EA succeeded in defending their games with “loot boxes system” to the UK Parliament.
Belgium Says Yes, What Does The UK Says?
At the beginning of the year, FIFA UT Packs were declared to a kind of gambling in Belgium, which is against Belgium law and regulations. The main problem was that players can spend real money to buy FIFA points. Then, they would be able to buy packs in the game with those points. As real money is involved, it automatically questions the nature of opening FIFA packs. Is FIFA pack opening gambling, or not?
The Belgium government said yes (source: Forbes). They concluded that FIFA pack opening is against the law of that country. Therefore, EA had to remove the option of buying FIFA points with real money. Truly, EA still could earn money from game sales. Nevertheless, it’s commonly known that EA makes much more money from FIFA points sales than from game sales. So, it seriously affected their income that comes from Belgium FIFA players.
EA, however, managed to convince the UK Parliament that FIFA pack opening is not really gambling. There was a problematic term that UK Committee used during the meeting. They characterized the FIFA pack opening as “loot boxes”, which are considered to be gambling. However, representatives of EA claimed that FIFA and other EA games packs are not “loot boxes”. They called it “surprise mechanics“. They used Kinder Eggs and surprise toys as an example. Kinder Eggs and surprise toys are allowed and ethical in the UK. So, it implicates that packs in EA games are ethical as well as they use the same mechanics.
As a result of this discussion, EA and Fortnite representatives managed to convince the UK Parliament that pack opening is not gambling and unethical.
What Does Nick28T Think?
One of the most famous FIFA streamers, Nick28T, also talked about this topic on his Twitter account. Even though he is a passionate FIFA player, Nick28T considers FIFA pack opening to be nothing else but “casino slot machine” or, in other words, gambling. This is a very honest and interesting thought of Nick as everyone would expect of FIFA players to defend the game, especially if that particular player makes living from the game.
This is all so gross.
I love FUT and will always play the game mode because it caters to everything I love about football, card collecting and video games…
BUT pretending FUT Packs are anything other than a casino slot machine (gambling) is a lie… pic.twitter.com/zey1b5wcrl
— Nick (@Nick28T) June 20, 2019
Indeed, there is definitely some kind of ethical problem with FIFA pack opening. It maybe would be fine to call it “surprise mechanics” if you can get only the players of the same or similar quality and price. However, considering that the discrepancy between the weakest and strongest players you can get in pack is huge, FIFA pack opening can indeed be considered as gambling.