• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

What's in a Lootbox? EA Says "Surprise Mechanics, Quite Ethical"

Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
89 (0.07/day)
Location
Germany
Processor Core i5-6500
Motherboard MSI Z170A Krait Gaming
Memory 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury Black
Video Card(s) Radeon HD7970
Display(s) 2x BenQ E2200HD
Case Xigmatek Utgard
Power Supply OCZ Fatal1ty 550W
Mouse Mad Catz M.M.O.TE
Keyboard Coolermaster Quickfire TK MX Blue
Software Windows 10 64bit
Yes, but the United States has a particular disdain for gambling and it's very heavily regulated. Lootbox's might be viewed as "chance gamble" mechanism's. That bill could happen.

True. Germany is relatively lax with gambling in comparison. We have ads for online betting sites and online casinos on TV.
We also have female breasts shown uncensored around noon or rather any time, if it is needed for the topic or entertainment and not the obvious Main Focus.
But out movies and Games need to be cut because the US Originals are often too violent for our censors. Or have Nazi stuff in them

Back to topic, I really would wish those lootboxes would disappear.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
1,043 (0.72/day)
Location
Tanagra
EA: "We're a casino now!"

Seriously, how is a lootbox any different than interacting with a slot machine?

Because in gambling you risk losing your bet for the hope of a big payout. A loot box will always have a reward, so EA will argue that you are getting something for your money. It may just be crap, but it’s still technically a transaction. It follows the addictive principles of gambling (random reward), while still not being gambling.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
478 (0.25/day)
Location
Here
System Name Skypas
Processor Intel Core i7-6700
Motherboard Asus H170 Pro Gaming
Cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212X Turbo
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6GB
Storage Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB + WD Blue 1TB
Display(s) LG 22EA63V
Case Corsair Carbide 400Q
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2 w/ Deepcool XFan 120
Mouse Logitech B100
Keyboard Corsair Vengeance K70
Software Windows 10 Pro
Pushing gambling into the mainstream :shadedshu:
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
3,610 (1.65/day)
System Name Wut?
Processor 3900X
Motherboard ASRock Taichi X570
Cooling Water
Memory 32GB GSkill CL16 3600mhz
Video Card(s) Vega 56
Storage 2 x AData XPG 8200 Pro 1TB
Display(s) 3440 x 1440
Case Thermaltake Tower 900
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Ultra Platinum
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
501 (0.67/day)
Because in gambling you risk losing your bet for the hope of a big payout. A loot box will always have a reward, so EA will argue that you are getting something for your money. It may just be crap, but it’s still technically a transaction. It follows the addictive principles of gambling (random reward), while still not being gambling.

So if a slot machine gives a minimum "prize" of 10 cents every time, it is not gambling ?
This argument from EA is weak.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
12,255 (4.38/day)
Location
USA
System Name GPD-Q9
Processor Rockchip RK-3288 1.8ghz quad core
Motherboard GPD Q9_V6_150528
Cooling Passive
Memory 2GB DDR3
Video Card(s) Mali T764
Storage 16GB Samsung NAND
Display(s) IPS 1024x600
Kinder surprise is a bad analogy.
With kinder surprise, you are buying a chocolate egg first and foremost, with a surprise inside.
EA loot boxes are nothing with a surprise, it is gambling, pure and simple.
Oh I like that analogy! Further, what you get inside has a good chance of being completely useless/worthless.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
14 (0.01/day)
with a kinder surprise when you pay your money and buy a egg , you own it
you can do anything with that egg after
you can eat it, throw it in the bin , stamp on it ,or give it to someone, you could even sell it
you are the owner of the product from the moment you purchase it

what do you own when you buy a surprise mechanic ?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
14,541 (6.17/day)
Location
The Washing Machine
Processor i7 8700k 4.7Ghz @ 1.26v
Motherboard AsRock Fatal1ty K6 Z370
Cooling beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200/C16
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X @ 2100/5500
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB + Samsung 830 256GB + Crucial BX100 250GB + Toshiba 1TB HDD
Display(s) Gigabyte G34QWC (34'' 3440x1440x)
Case Fractal Design Define C TG
Power Supply EVGA G2 750w
Mouse Logitech G502 Protheus Spectrum
Keyboard Sharkoon MK80 (Brown)
Software W10 x64
with a kinder surprise when you pay your money and buy a egg , you own it
you can do anything with that egg after
you can eat it, throw it in the bin , stamp on it ,or give it to someone, you could even sell it
you are the owner of the product from the moment you purchase it

what do you own when you buy a surprise mechanic ?

A digital item that you can do 'anything' with... within the boundaries set by the supplier.

A false sense of freedom and choice
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,564 (1.89/day)
Location
SE Michigan
System Name Dumbass
Processor AMD-9370BE @4.6
Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 +SB950
Cooling CM Nepton 280L
Memory G.Skill Sniper 16gb DDR3 2400
Video Card(s) GreenTeam 1080 Gaming X 8GB
Storage C:\SSD (240GB), D:\Seagate (2TB), E:\Western Digital (1TB)
Display(s) 1x Nixeus NX_EDG27, 2x Dell S2440L (16:9)
Case Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/8 140mm SP Fans
Audio Device(s) onboard (realtek?) SPKRS:Logitech Z623 200w 2.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G910 Orion Spark
Software windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://i.imgur.com/aoz3vWY.jpg?2
It’s technically not gambling because gambling in the traditional sense involves putting money down in the hopes of winning a reward with value. In EA’s case, they are selling a random reward, but it has no definable cash value. It’s essentially following the same psychological principle that makes gambling so addictive, but they get around it by making the “payout” a part of the game, and that payout is technically not even your property, based on how games are licensed.

They also indirectly prey on minors knowing there are clueless or permissive parents out there. Even the responsible parents pay a price before they realize this is a thing their kid has done and manage to shut it down. So yeah, what EA is doing might be legal, but I wouldn’t call it ethical. They’ve essentially built a gambling system where the player never really wins, but never realizes it because it passes as an experience.
It technically IS gambling, if loot boxes were free (no purchasing anything or working to earn tokens or whatever the games calls currency) in a games store then it wouldnt be. Even if the boxes are purchased with in game currency, its still "technically" gambling. Currency is currency whether you buy tokens or earn them in the game, *gasp*, its still currency. The rest I agree. :):)
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
14,541 (6.17/day)
Location
The Washing Machine
Processor i7 8700k 4.7Ghz @ 1.26v
Motherboard AsRock Fatal1ty K6 Z370
Cooling beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200/C16
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X @ 2100/5500
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB + Samsung 830 256GB + Crucial BX100 250GB + Toshiba 1TB HDD
Display(s) Gigabyte G34QWC (34'' 3440x1440x)
Case Fractal Design Define C TG
Power Supply EVGA G2 750w
Mouse Logitech G502 Protheus Spectrum
Keyboard Sharkoon MK80 (Brown)
Software W10 x64
Ladbrokes

Its like they want you to be in debt so you end up dying in the gutter with nothing to your name or your family.

What's in a name, ey ;) The UK has a real problem in that sense, historically they've always been very good at applying filters on their own population. Very harsh culture imo -and very counterproductive. Its also a much more defined class society, still than most other W.European countries.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,978 (0.60/day)
Location
Bulgaria
System Name Sandfiller
Processor I5-7600K
Motherboard Asus PRIME Z270-P
Cooling Noctua NH-L9i
Memory 2 x 8GB Cruicial 2400 mhz DDR4 CL17
Video Card(s) RX 580 4GB NITRO+
Storage Cruicial M.2 275GB drive
Display(s) 2560x1080 LG 29"
Case TT URBAN R31
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Fractal Design IntegraM 650W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Dell Somethin wireless
Software Windows 10 x 64 bits
Kinder surprise is a bad analogy.
With kinder surprise, you are buying a chocolate egg first and foremost, with a surprise inside.
EA loot boxes are nothing with a surprise, it is gambling, pure and simple.

It doesn't seem so bad analogy to me to be honest. When my daughter is up for an egg, and they go in series: like barbie-series or minion-series, she'd look into the available boxes, shake a few eggs and then make a choice. Why would you shake the egg: you are aiming for a certain toy/reward. You don't really know what's inside the 50 eggs in front of you. There are adults collecting these series and I can only imagine how many eggs they got until complete a specific set. I am not defending EA here, I am just addressing my experience with this one.
 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
26,147 (5.78/day)
Location
IA, USA
System Name BY-2015
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (4 x 4.00 GHz) w/ HT and Turbo on
Motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M7
Cooling Scythe Kotetsu
Memory 2 x Kingston HyperX DDR4-2133 8 GiB
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon RX 5500 XT Pulse 8 GiB
Storage Crucial MX300 275 GB, Seagate Exos X12 TB 7200 RPM
Display(s) Nixeus NX-EDG274K (3840x2160@144 DP) + Samsung SyncMaster 906BW (1440x900@60 HDMI-DVI)
Case Coolermaster HAF 932 w/ USB 3.0 5.25" bay
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150, Micca OriGen+
Power Supply Enermax Platimax 850w
Mouse SteelSeries Sensei RAW
Keyboard Tesoro Excalibur
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Faster than the tortoise; slower than the hare.
It technically IS gambling, if loot boxes were free (no purchasing anything or working to earn tokens or whatever the games calls currency) in a games store then it wouldnt be. Even if the boxes are purchased with in game currency, its still "technically" gambling. Currency is currency whether you buy tokens or earn them in the game, *gasp*, its still currency. The rest I agree. :):)
What about casinos in Fallout New Vegas and Yakuza? It's a game within a game and there's no material cost to participate other than time and initial purchase of the game. Another example is which toy you get in a kid's meal. It's generally not considered gambling because it's a gift rather than putting something of lesser value in on the hope you'll get something of greater value back. The purchase is the food, not the complementary toy.

I draw the line at inserting legal tender (hiding it behind tokens like you do at brick and mortar casinos doesn't belay that fact) for a chance in a game. The only difference from traditional gambling is that it's spending money on the hopes that you'll get more money back. Because the publisher owns the market for the loot box contents, they'll never let the value of the gambled item exceed the cash odds of getting it. I think that distinction is academic only.

Honestly, I don't know what the solution is other than the service banning children from participating. My hope is that consumers see it for what it is and simply don't partake but that's about as likely as snow in the Sahara. They don't get nothing from me, that's for damn sure.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
4,053 (1.00/day)
Location
Gougeland (NZ)
System Name Cumquat 2000
Processor AMD RyZen R7 3700X
Motherboard Asus Strix x570-F Gaming
Cooling Cryorig R1 Universal
Memory 16GB GSkill TridentZ DR4-3200 16-18-18-38 1.35V
Video Card(s) Sapphire Nitro+ OC RX6800 16GB DDR6 1980Cclk / 2000Mclk
Storage 1x Adata SX8200PRO NVMe gen3 x4 1X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB, 12TB of HDD Storage
Display(s) ViewSonic VX2457 MHD 75Hz FreeSync 1920x1080p
Case SilverStone Raven RV02B-W + 3x SS AP181 + USB3.0 upgrade
Audio Device(s) RX6800 via HDMI + Pioneer VSX-531 amp Technics 100W 5.1 Speaker set
Power Supply Enermax RevolutionXT II 750W 80+ Gold
Mouse Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Keyboard Logitech G105
Software Windows 10 X64 PRO (build 2004)
Benchmark Scores it sucks even more less now ;)
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
1,043 (0.72/day)
Location
Tanagra
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is good or even ethical, I just question if it’s illegal. There is a reason a congressman drew up a bill about it—the concept is just not well covered by current law. And it tells you all you need to know that a lawyer has to tell the side of the story for the game publisher.
 

INSTG8R

Vanguard Beta Tester
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
6,785 (1.14/day)
Location
Canuck in Norway
System Name Hellbox 4.0(same case new guts)
Processor Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard Gigabyte Auros X570 Pro
Cooling TT Kandalf L.C.S.(Water/Air)EK Velocity CPU Block/Noctua
Memory 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3800CL18
Video Card(s) Sapphire 5700XT Nitro+
Storage 970 Evo Plus 500GB WD Caviar Black SATA 3 1TB x2 RAID1 2xSamsung 850 Evo 500GB RAID 0 1TB WD Blue
Display(s) Samsung CGH70 27” 1440 144hz Freesync 2 HDR
Case TT Kandalf L.C.S.
Audio Device(s) Soundblaster ZX/Logitech Z906 5.1
Power Supply Seasonic X-1050W 80+ Gold
Mouse G502 Proteus Spectrum
Keyboard G19s
Software Win 10 Pro x64
Money exchanged for game of chance=gambling, calling it Loot box or anything else you want doesn’t change what it is.
 

FreedomEclipse

~Technological Technocrat~
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
21,281 (4.20/day)
Location
London,UK
System Name Codename: Icarus Mk.V
Processor Intel 8600k@4.8Ghz
Motherboard Asus ROG Strixx Z370-F
Cooling CPU: BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 {1xCorsair ML120 Pro|5xML140 Pro}
Memory 16 Corsair Vengeance White LED DDR4 3200Mhz {2x8GB}
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080Ti Gaming OC|Accelero Xtreme IV
Storage Samsung 970Evo 512GB SSD (Boot)|WD Blue 1TB SSD|2x 3TB Toshiba DT01ACA300
Display(s) Asus PB278Q 27"
Case Corsair 760T (White)
Audio Device(s) Yamaha RX-V573|Speakers: JBL Control One|Auna 300-CN|Wharfedale Diamond SW150
Power Supply Corsair AX760
Mouse Logitech G900/G502
Keyboard Duckyshine Dead LED(s) III
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is good or even ethical, I just question if it’s illegal. There is a reason a congressman drew up a bill about it—the concept is just not well covered by current law. And it tells you all you need to know that a lawyer has to tell the side of the story for the game publisher.

Its ethical if youre the CEO of EA. more money to fill his swimming pool made out of money built on his super yacht made out of even more money.... this is if you like your steak chased through fields, run over multiple times and tenderised with a monster truck before its meat is harvested from its broken body while it was still alive.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
12,255 (4.38/day)
Location
USA
System Name GPD-Q9
Processor Rockchip RK-3288 1.8ghz quad core
Motherboard GPD Q9_V6_150528
Cooling Passive
Memory 2GB DDR3
Video Card(s) Mali T764
Storage 16GB Samsung NAND
Display(s) IPS 1024x600
There is a reason a congressman drew up a bill about it—the concept is just not well covered by current law.
This is both correct and not. There are laws that clearly define what constitutes gambling IRL & online and there is case law that clarifies those definitions further. The new part of this is the involvement of it in games and deliberate exposure to children. Children and adults alike use real money to buy in-game currency which is then used to buy "boxes" which contain unknown items for use in game. The aspect of this that is in question is the fact that MOST boxes render a useless or worthless item that effectively has little to no value in-game or IRL. Such effectively becomes a "gamble" that has very low chances of reward. The desire to get "that big prize" easily becomes addictive.

Loot-boxes by shear definition of function are a clear example of gambling. The part of this that is effectively unlawful is that a large portion of the target user base are minors who are not known for high degrees of self-control and are easily swayed. This makes loot-box promotion wildly predatory. Parents and government alike need to be VERY concerned about this kind of thing and regulate such strictly.

For example, my children are not allowed to use money without explanation of what they're buying. These rules applies IRL as well as online.

Kids ruin everything for adults.
I love being a parent and I love my children. Never have had the thought you just expressed.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
162 (0.06/day)
Just one quick thought here.

Doesn't Surprise imply that it is for free, or a surprise gift from someone else?

Shouldn't that prohibit any buying of those boxes for oneself?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
14,541 (6.17/day)
Location
The Washing Machine
Processor i7 8700k 4.7Ghz @ 1.26v
Motherboard AsRock Fatal1ty K6 Z370
Cooling beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200/C16
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X @ 2100/5500
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB + Samsung 830 256GB + Crucial BX100 250GB + Toshiba 1TB HDD
Display(s) Gigabyte G34QWC (34'' 3440x1440x)
Case Fractal Design Define C TG
Power Supply EVGA G2 750w
Mouse Logitech G502 Protheus Spectrum
Keyboard Sharkoon MK80 (Brown)
Software W10 x64
Just one quick thought here.

Doesn't Surprise imply that it is for free, or a surprise gift from someone else?

Shouldn't that prohibit any buying of those boxes for oneself?

Hehe don't give them ideas now. I can already see it 'The Buddha Box'.

...and every 10 year old swinging two accounts that are 'close friends'
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
162 (0.06/day)
Sadly have to agree Vayra86.

I think it is ok to sell boxes where you know what will be inside.

The loot boxes are gambling in my opinion. So the game should be only for people for the age at what gambling is allowed. As soon as there are such laws, the loot boxes will disappear, because the companies want to sell their games to persons at 16 or lower :)
 

FreedomEclipse

~Technological Technocrat~
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
21,281 (4.20/day)
Location
London,UK
System Name Codename: Icarus Mk.V
Processor Intel 8600k@4.8Ghz
Motherboard Asus ROG Strixx Z370-F
Cooling CPU: BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 {1xCorsair ML120 Pro|5xML140 Pro}
Memory 16 Corsair Vengeance White LED DDR4 3200Mhz {2x8GB}
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080Ti Gaming OC|Accelero Xtreme IV
Storage Samsung 970Evo 512GB SSD (Boot)|WD Blue 1TB SSD|2x 3TB Toshiba DT01ACA300
Display(s) Asus PB278Q 27"
Case Corsair 760T (White)
Audio Device(s) Yamaha RX-V573|Speakers: JBL Control One|Auna 300-CN|Wharfedale Diamond SW150
Power Supply Corsair AX760
Mouse Logitech G900/G502
Keyboard Duckyshine Dead LED(s) III
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
The funny thing is when the questioning begins and the guy from the UK asks if she/EA finds loot boxes ethical, she quick to rebuke the speaker and says "oh we dont call it that - we call it surprise mechanics..." - But later on she goes on a tirade about its implementation, about how its fun, enjoyable and ethical then she calls it lootboxes then corrects herself and says 'surprise mechanics'

 
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
4,487 (1.76/day)
Processor i7 7700k
Motherboard MSI Z270 SLI Plus
Cooling CM Hyper 212 EVO
Memory 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2070 Super
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB and WD Black 4TB
Display(s) Dell 27 inch 1440p 144 Hz
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova 850 W Gold
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Logitech G105
Software Windows 10
If it did become illegal to sell loot boxes to minors here in the USA then how could it possibly be enforced? Neither the Publisher nor the online store have any foolproof means of knowing how old the buyer is. A 13 year old could lie and say they are 18. They could start a new account using their parent's ID info and credit card info or setup a new account and use PayPal for purchases.

The only way to be sure that such a law would have any meaning at all is to outlaw loot boxes for everyone. Children and adults. I doubt that Congress is willing to go that far but we'll see.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
12,255 (4.38/day)
Location
USA
System Name GPD-Q9
Processor Rockchip RK-3288 1.8ghz quad core
Motherboard GPD Q9_V6_150528
Cooling Passive
Memory 2GB DDR3
Video Card(s) Mali T764
Storage 16GB Samsung NAND
Display(s) IPS 1024x600
A 13 year old could lie and say they are 18.
They could be required to state their real names to have an account and provide a credit or debit card with a matching name. By law, all card holders have to identify themselves to get one.
 
Top