When there’s money to be made off of something lucrative, you best bet the defenses and excuses will be high when under scrutiny, and there’s no difference here when EA’s VP of legal and government affairs, Kerry Hopkins, was questioned by the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee in an oral evidence session regarding the legitimacy and fairness of loot-boxes.
In a new write up that PCGamesN published (archive.is), Hopkins, EA’s VP of legal and government affairs, implores that the company’s loot-boxes aren’t randomized but “surprise mechanics.”
During the oral evidence session pertaining to the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, the website relays Hopkins comparing loot-boxes to “surprise toys” like “Kinder Eggs, or Hatchimals, or LOL Surprise.”
Of course, none of this should come in as a surprise given EA’s past stance and responses to the controversial mechanic known as loot-boxes when it had to defend the money-making scheme. However, the website included Hopkins’ response to questions from Scottish National Party MP, Brendan O’Hara, on whether loot-boxes are ethical or not:
“We do think the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics – and FIFA of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs – is actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.”
The second to last quote that the publication site listed sees Hopkins doubling down further as if she were a bold player playing blackjack:
“We do agree with the UK gambling commission, the Australian gambling commission, and many other gambling commissions that they aren’t gambling, and we also disagree that there’s evidence that shows it leads to gambling. Instead we think it’s like many other products that people enjoy in a healthy way, and like the element of surprise.”
The final quote that PCGamesN reports on is that of Hopkins and EA disagreeing with the anti-loot box stance taken by the Dutch and Belgian regulators:
“They decided – the regulator, not the courts – that under their local law, these mechanics under certain circumstances violate the law.”
The website concludes by noting that the U.K. government is investigating loot-boxes (as announced earlier this year), and should they find anything wrong EA will likely have to change their safe bet money making mechanic across their games.