On Nov. 16, EA sent out a statement to Gamespot commenting on the story, stating that loot boxes and the mechanics behind them “are not gambling.” You can view their full statement below.
Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling. A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game.
The Belgium Gaming Commission announced on Nov. 15 that the agency would be opening an investigation into EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II and the loot boxes that are featured in the game to determine whether or not they constitue as gambling in the country.
As Belgian TV channel VTM reports(and translated by Creamium via ResetEra)
The gambling commission is investigating the new video game SW: Battlefront II. In this game, you can pay money for upgrades, only you don’t know what you’re getting beforehand. Overwatch, another popular game, is also being investigated.
The game features loot crates, which offer items but the contents are random. “Therein lies the problem”, says director of the gambling commission Peter Naessens to VTM news. “It depends on luck and at that point you’re gambling.”
The commission says this game poses a danger to minors, who are under (social) pressure to spend a lot of money on the game.That’s why they’re starting an investigation. “If we are dealing with a game of chance, they need to have a permit.”
In the worst case scenario, this could lead to fines of hundreds of thousands of euros. The game could also be removed from stores. EA, developer of the game, declined to comment.
The decision to investigate loot boxes as whether they are gambling tools disguised as optional features is not surprising, given that many players, promiment personalities such as Jim Sterling, and even licensed attorneys Ryan Morrison and Marc Whipple agree that loot boxes are gambling, and under U.S. law they could be deemed as such.