BBC Launches Investigation As Teenager Spends £3000 on FIFA’s ‘Surprise Mechanics’

BBC Launches Investigation As Teenager Spends £3000 on FIFA’s ‘Surprise Mechanics’
Credit: EA Sports FIFA via YouTube

They aren’t loot boxes, they’re card packs. And it isn’t gambling, it’s surprise mechanics. All of that verbal dodging and squirming, however, is likely to mean very little as the BBC interviews a teenager who has blown almost $4,000 in the title as a way to cope with his mother being diagnosed with cancer.

The fact that this event is coming to light as the UK has requested evidence in its investigation against loot boxes in video games (and whether they should be constrained by UK Gambling Law) is scheduled to occur sometime this Summer.

EA has declined to comment on the story, which is likely for the best considering how their adroit verbal fencing often embeds them deeper into whatever issue that the public is discussing; the subject which tends to be one of two: loot boxes, or running a recently purchased IP into the ground.

Regardless, perhaps Electronic Arts has noted that there is more to be gained from silence than there is from attempting to spar with your opponents disingenuously.

This isn’t even the most egregious example; multiple users have noted that they’ve spent well over $10,000 in loot boxes within the FIFA series; a series that has been scorned by few for recycling outdated assets in newest iterations of the franchise that, ultimately, offer very little additional content to the games aside from an opportunity to purchase hundreds of card packs yet again.

EA’s own financial report shows that they’re raking in billions of dollars annually on microtransactions alone, enough to fund multiple titles while netting a pleasant profit at the end of every year.

If the UK does bring about a legal slapdown to the company (which seems likelier by the day) if could fundamentally shift how titles are monetized, at least until the next scheme takes its place that requires lawmakers to eventually come around to a modern pattern of thinking.

On the back of the news that the UK is taking a hard look, and children are spending thousands in these gambling simulators, ESRB is taking a couple of additional lumps from their bizarre rating of titles that contains gambling.

Noting that they contain ‘randomized items’ and presuming that geriatrics understand that they’re buying eight-year-old Timmy a softcore introduction to the world where the house always wins.

The UK Government has responded to the public outcry regarding these tactics from developers while the House of Lords looks on: in the United States, we can’t even develop adequate protections against a pandemic that other nations have already completely wiped. It’s going to be a long second half of 2020.