EA’s advertisement of FIFA lockboxes in a children’s toy catalogue draws mounting criticism

    
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EA’s advertisement of FIFA lockboxes in a children’s toy catalogue draws mounting criticism

It would appear that Electronic Arts didn’t learn from the last time it pulled this kind of nonsense, but apparently there was still fuel for the dumpster fire. The company is catching flak for an advertisement in a UK children’s toy catalogue that touted FIFA 21’s FUT lockbox scheme, explaining a four step process where the second step directly invited players to “use FIFA points to open packs.”

This same kind of advertisement is not unique behavior as one person noted on Twitter, where a similar sort of wall display for the previous year’s FIFA game had similar instructions. That said, the arrival of the ad in a children’s toy catalogue appears to be the biggest sticking point for angry Redditors, who are referring to the tactic as “scummy” and “repulsive” and directing people to submit responses to a UK loot box questionnaire or file a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

This episode once more rears the ugly specter of lockbox monetization ethics, which came to a head with EA’s infamous 2017 claim that its monetization provided “a sense of pride and accomplishment” and last year’s argument before a UK parliament committee that lockboxes are akin to Kinder Eggs. The entire fiasco brought lootbox monetization to the attention of governments all around the globe, causing the ESRB and PEGI to start including lockbox warning labels and the UK to try to tighten up legislation of the scheme.

As for this latest episode from EA, the company has thus far not responded to calls for comment.

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Vincent Clark

Did I seriously just read…”I open loot boxes all the time and I’m not addicted to it” as an actual justification for this bullshit?

Yeah…!£$% off.

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Arktouros

No you saw that as the preamble sentence to a plausible alternative explanation for that bullshit but that itself was not a justification.

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Vincent Clark

comment image?quality=90&strip=all&zoom=1&resize=540%2C350&ssl=1

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Arktouros

Yes that’s also my reaction to people who read the first sentence then fly off the handle :)

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Vincent Clark

Allow me to be even more blunt. Your argument is disingenuous and has been from the start. Looking over everything you’ve “contributed” to this thread, it’s pretty clear you are being contrarian just for the sake of it.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I kinda agree with some of his points. People have such a cancel culture attitude towards lockboxes right now, that some of their reasoning border on the rediculous.

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Vincent Clark

I don’t care about some wingnut going on a anti-lockbox melt down nor am I going to use that poor example as a reason to possibly justify their existence in video games. As a free thinking person I don’t need some mob mentality to tell me that lockboxes are, by their very nature, predatory and just overall a shitty way to make money from people who would probably just give you their hard earned cash if a particular item was available directly.

It doesn’t change the fact that the majority of Ark’s arguments are way off the mark and imo just disingenuous.

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Utakata

“I kinda agree with some of his points. People have such a cancel culture attitude towards lockboxes right now, that some of their reasoning border on the rediculous.”

(Emphasis is mine.)

Using that “cancel culture” drivel does not help Arktouros’ position at all. In fact, he (or she) claims this about making bad arguments for the sake of being anti-corporate or something. Which is entirely different for dropping something because one disagrees the position of whatever given entity is making. Which in of itself is never a bad thing, but made so by alt-facts types who want limit speech of those they disagree with while crying a “free speech” foul. So please, don’t bring that crap up here. Especially when it has nothing to do with this at all. Thnkx!

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I use it in terms of the irrational vitriol which seems to be spouted at the very mention of lockboxes nowadays. The subject may be different, but I haven’t seen much difference in the application. Quite frankly, there are a lot better examples of predatory business models out there in the gaming industry than lockboxes.

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Utakata

It’s not like lockboxes have feelings, so you can call ’em all sorts of things, lol. They won’t mind at all. o.O

That said, with your admittance of “lots better examples”, lockbox mechanics is still predatory. And thus needs regulation, regardless of the degree. So thank you for least agreeing upon what is so bothersome about this.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I never said I thought they were predatory or that they need regulation. I just said that there are much better examples of predatory business models out there. I don’t find them any more predatory than Magic the Gathering cardpacks, or Sports Card packs, or Pokemon packs. In fact I would say that Pokemon packs are more predatory because they do actually target children.

Personally, I am ambivalent about lockboxes. I care about them as much as I care about those other things I just mentioned. I don’t think it’s any individual business’ job to help with someone’s perceived disorder. If lockboxes is how they want to make money, then so be it. If they are to be legislated, then I would rather it be done in such a way that doesn’t open a can of worms in terms of real world value. That will cause more problems than the lockboxes actually do, despite what anyone else believes.

I scoff at any politician or government agency who takes up the righteous mantle of lockbox regulation in relation to gambling. I find it rather hypocritical to do so when they consistently have their hand out for money from legalized gambling and state run lottery systems.

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Bryan Correll

the arrival of the ad in a children’s toy catalogue appears to be the biggest sticking point for angry Redditors,

A toy catalogue is nothing but an attempt to get cash out of kids (or make them plead with their parents) already.

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Kanbe

So that’s who really runs EA! We should have known.

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rafael12104

It all makes sense now!

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Arktouros

This article highlights why I’m so rigorous on this topic.

EA never said that loot boxes provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. What they said was that unlocking things in games through lots of work and time provides a sense of pride and accomplishment (the original complaint being the amount of effort to unlock Vader). Which saying that is not inherently wrong as any games with achievements and unlocks via achievements will show.

What was inherently wrong with that statement is it entirely ignored the point that you could bypass the unlocking process by buying loot boxes. This in turn made it feel like a scheme where they purposely made the unlock process longer and harder to push loot boxes to have a chance at unlocking it faster.

As for the advertisement here, the simple fact of the matter is loot boxes and the like are not illegal. Nothing in the actual ad is really all that outrageous. They didn’t do some sort of super subversive or misleading method. They simply stated how their system works and how to engage with their game system. People are reacting like they’re pulling up on children in a white van and offering them digital codes to FIFA boxes to get them hooked. Hooked so they spend all that money they all have. Won’t anyone think of all those rich kids with all that money they magically have access to?

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Wilhelm Arcturus

There is rigor and there is being deliberately obtuse.

In an environment where politicians in many jurisdictions have cast an eye on lockboxes, embracing the claims that they are effectively gambling, if not strictly so under current statutes, and that they target children, if seems like a monumentally bad idea to advertise your lockboxes in a toy catalog aimed at children. Technically, they did nothing unlawful. But their behavior helps further the cause of those who seek to change the law to make it so.

Meanwhile, they can now never make the claim that they do not market lockboxes at children. They are a very stupid organization.

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Arktouros

The argument regarding being obtuse cuts both ways as I pointed out people are really quick to change slight details to better fit the narrative they want to see play out. They never said lock boxes bring a sense of pride and accomplishment, but it’s really easy to say they did because lock boxes are involved. It’s the same issue with people saying lock boxes are gambling. They aren’t. Arguing that they’re so alike to gambling that it’s okay to call them gambling feeds right into the playbook where they can point out all the differences between actual gambling and what they are offering.

As to the advertisement, the issue that is brought up when they say that lockboxes are marketed to children is that they often times are being accused of specifically tailoring their marketing to take advantage of children. For example in Hawley’s legislation on the matter using cartoon like figures to appeal to children and to lure children in. Stuff of that nature. In this specific instance you have a portion of what looks like an over all advertisement for FIFA 21 of which part includes the process for creating an online team via the Ultimate Team Mode. The ad itself looks like any kind of full page advertisement you’d see for any other video game magazine and the like.

Obviously people are going to make as much of the scenario as they can to further their own agendas. EA has argued there’s nothing wrong with lock boxes and is akin to every other “surprise mechanics” (bleh) style game like gaming cards or kinder etc. It’s consistent with their narrative they don’t change anything even in the face of a children’s ad or they would acknowledge that there’s something dangerous there. On the opposite side you get absurdities like”Why did EA take out a full page ad featuring only exclusive lock box content to hook our poor children on gambling?” when it’s only a tiny 6 word sentence mentioning them. People won’t ever win the argument if they’re unwilling to look at the situation honestly and objectively.

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Schmidt.Capela

Arguing that they’re so alike to gambling that it’s okay to call them gambling feeds right into the playbook where they can point out all the differences between actual gambling and what they are offering.

The only difference between lootboxes and gambling is that you can’t (usually) cash out on your “prize”, and even that technical difference depends on how you define “thing of value” for the purpose of defining gambling. It’s why right now lootboxes are legally classified as gambling in Belgium (their definition for “thing of value” seems to include anything desirable even if it has no monetary value), and why that lawsuit in California whose success depends on getting lootboxes defined as gambling actually has a chance to succeed (California’s definition of “thing of value” seem to not require monetary value either).

BTW, I sincerely thing lootboxes to be currently worse than gambling, because at least gambling is regulated; thanks to that gambling outfits are outright banned from using many of the known psychological tricks that could be used to hook people — tricks that are often used without restraint by publishers trying to maximize lootbox profits, including EA.

(And no, I don’t make an exception for collectible figurines, games like Magic, etc; it’s trickier to tackle those things because they have been accepted for a long time, but I do think anything where you purchase a sealed box or package whose contents are random should be classified as gambling and, thus, something you can’t legally sell to children. Going for lootboxes first is just a tactical choice because right now they are the easier target.)

As to the advertisement, the issue that is brought up when they say that lockboxes are marketed to children is that they often times are being accused of specifically tailoring their marketing to take advantage of children.

The issue here isn’t exactly the format of the advertisement, but the media; when you advertise something in a magazine whose main audience are children, you are aiming the advertisement at children, regardless of what the advertisement looks like. If EA wanted to be able to claim they aren’t advertising lootboxes to children then they should have removed any and all mention of them from this specific advertisement; failure to do so means either they are grossly incompetent (something I find highly unlikely) or else they are intentionally advertising lootboxes for children (something I find just as abject as trying to get them hooked into gambling).

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Utakata

Curious, are you a lockbox designer for some gaming outfit or something?

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Arktouros

Nope I am software developer for a non-gaming company :)

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Utakata

So your involvement here more lines up on a macro level then. Interesting…

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Arktouros

Not really? I would never ever want to work in a gaming related field. I have a few coworkers who came from gaming related companies and it all sounds atrocious for working conditions. Same goes with a lot of other things, like I could make way more money working in another related dev field but the work life balance would be horrible. I’m all about that comfy work life balance.

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Arktouros

I’m not really invested in corporate interests but rather more opposed to the bad arguments people make against corporations.

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Arktouros

I don’t see acceptance as a valuable metric upon which to base my opinions or self worth on. If I really cared about likes or thumbs ups I’d take a generally populist view of each matter. My opinions are only as valuable as the criticism in which they can withstand which so far none have really offered a compelling fact based criticism against my viewpoints to change my mind on lock boxes. Most arguments are merely moral platitudes (think of the children! protect the addicts! corporations are evil! so on and so forth) that I find generally unmoving.

I’m very careful, as Bree will attest, to not personally attack anyone. I find attacking the person behind an idea as an admission that I have no good argument to be made and so must attack the person making it. Instead I attack the ideas and views presented as being false or wrong. However I do not blindly attack all ideas. For example your initial post I did not disagree with and thus did not reply so suggesting otherwise is wrong.

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Bruno Brito

Most arguments are merely moral platitudes (think of the children! protect the addicts! corporations are evil! so on and so forth) that I find generally unmoving.

Why?

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Arktouros

Why?

Because they’re bad arguments designed to use moral ideas that they see as unassailable. You can see it here where by rejecting these arguments I’m just a “corporate lap dog” and the like equally thrown in with the big bad evil corporations preying upon children.

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Bruno Brito

Because they’re bad arguments designed to use moral ideas that they see as unassailable.

That’s stretching. You have the tendency of always trying too hard to give us the impression that you only have opinions based in complete cold logic. Not only it’s not true, but it isn’t as beautiful as you think it is. The concept of marketing for children isn’t something you can decide with mathematics or complete rational, emotionless thought.

ou can see it here where by rejecting these arguments I’m just a “corporate lap dog” and the like equally thrown in with the big bad evil corporations preying upon children.

Sure, but you thinking those arguments are bad doesn’t immediately makes them completely invalid. You may not consider the moral platitudes, but they do have a point: Kids are more prone to want to consume stuff that looks cool. That’s why lockboxes get those awesome designs, and companies try their hardest to make them enticing.

And there IS a moral debate to be considered when you talk about marketing for children. I’m not one to be 100% on board with the quasi-authoritarian control that parents have on their kids ( honestly, i think most parents are bad and shouldn’t ever be parents ), but there is a case to be made and a debate to be had.

And honestly, Ark. Your cold-eyed logic is good for some of the stuff, but it gets one-note sometimes. You have a moral side, no matter how much you try to get accross otherwise, and that side is as important to this discussion as the logical side is.

I think you try too hard to be the devil’s advocate sometimes, and you get visibly annoyed when people tell you to go to hell.

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Utakata

Last time I used the word platitudes here, Derek Smart started to jump all over the pigtails…

…with that odd bit of anecdote said, this is fairly an easy one: Corporations are in the business to make money. Which should give us all least an idea where their moral compasses stand. So from there, we can tell they’re not our friends, even if our mutual interests line up. They don’t really care about your health and well being unless it’s lining their pockets. “Virtue signalling” is old as prostitution…so they really don’t care for your values, unless it helps boost their bottom line. So all this stuff that you keep reminding of us of when the arguments suit your narrative. They don’t go away, when we call them out.

I agree though, “evil” is a terrible word here, as it doesn’t really get to the “why’s”. So instead then, it’s reasonable to conclude with corporations’ natural self-interested, profit making perspectives, you can’t really trust them as far as you can throw them. This is why we really need regulation.

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Arktouros

I mean platitudes is just a word and it properly defines the arguments people are making.

I’ve never argued that companies or good, or our friends, nor have I argued that they care about our health, well being or otherwise. In fact if you or anyone actually reads what I write (I know, tall ask) you’ll see I don’t once even defend companies or their business models directly. As you point out I have regularly said the opposite and still believe that.

What you are confusing is my criticism for the bad arguments people are making against corporations as defending them. I’m not afflicted with the mentality that I have to be 100% for or 100% against something.

As mentioned previously I’m generally opposed to most regulation without hearing the specifics. A lot of proposals just don’t think through what they’re asking for. Like whatever his face from Hawaii who wanted to score big political points during the EA Lootbox thing had the most ridiculous proposal. He wanted companies to submit their code for review to check odds/percentages for lock box style purchases were accurate. As a software developer I can’t imagine the manpower required for the thousands of titles out there. No existing department could handle that, meaning a new one would have to be created. Who is going to fund that department? Oh now there’s a video game tax on every video game purchase. So now even when I don’t play games like FIFA or otherwise because of loot boxes I’m now paying extra taxes on the purchases because think of the children!!!11 Oh look, we’ve come back to why I’m against bad arguments :)

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Utakata

That’s funny, I wasn’t really arguing that either. I’m just saying peep’s response to distrusting companies are reasonable, considering what they are about. And that’s why those entities should be under more scrutiny than they are IMO, even though that’s unlikely a popular position to take. Oh well!

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April-Rain

This does not seem like an accident, sorry EA are not that stupid and it seems more of a push to try and normalise loot boxes. God I hate this horrible company, children’s toy catalogue for……………

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McGuffn

You can’t take your eye off this company for a second because they’re always putting their hand on the hot stove.

Forget about your step 2 buy packs crap. FIFA is like Russian Roulette. The only safe and sane choice is to not play at all.

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cursedseishi

You’re are preaching to the (mostly) choir with that that statement here though.

Problem is, Lootboxes/Gacha schemes are designed to target and exploit those who do not have that self control. Hence why its been pushed hard with Gambling laws. And hence why we are literally seeing them target children with this.

If everyone on gaming sites everywhere held true to their boycotts of lootboxes (or for fun, the boycot COD thing a good while back)? You’d still barely see a drop of a difference. But if children and those with addictions stopped? These companies would spiral hard trying to figure it all out.

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Arktouros

I buy lockboxes all the time and it’s not an issue with self control.

The inherent issue I have with these kinds of arguments is it assumes malice where you don’t need to. It has nothing malicious behind it. They aren’t trying to prey on children. They aren’t trying to lure in gambling addicts.

These are inherently bad customer bases to go after. Children rarely have a source of income that isn’t their parents income. In almost every story you find of a child who spent a ridiculous sum of money it’s because they did so without their parent’s knowledge. However this has gone on basically forever in a variety of things. If you’re old enough you’ll remember stories about children calling toll numbers and racking up huge phone bills the same way. It’s not because the loot boxes are specifically designed to prey upon children and a kid can and probably has done the same without loot boxes in games. Also addicts are kinda a terrible market because they aren’t really reliable. If they blow all their money on you then it’s not like you get big repeat business.

The simple reality is that the tactics of loot boxes is mostly rooted in the principle of price sinking. As Bree once recoiled in horror at the idea of a $40 deer mount in ESO so too most people experience sticker shock at the high prices game devs want. In Path of Exile almost every cosmetic set of gear is $40+ for some skins or you can buy a $3 lockbox and get lucky. You simply make more money selling chances at things for $3 a pop than selling items directly for $40+ later on. The price point is low enough at that point that people will buy in, even if it’s just a chance at something, than buy the full thing at a larger price point.

This is why you won’t see any change. It has nothing to do with children or addicts but simply the mentality of “Oh just $3? Okay I’ll give it a shot.”

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Arktouros

You don’t see cigarette ads in there because it’s an addictive substance that has been scientifically vetted and proven to have negative affects on use and thus restricted to adult age (at least in the US) where then you’re free to burn your lungs away to ash.

Lockboxes by comparison have had zero basis what so ever in any scientific study that they’re gambling causing (as in they cause gambling problems) and similar. Even the UK scientists they interviewed on the topic of lock boxes said much the same that they would love to see an actual study done on the topic. This is because while people are pouring gallons of money on topics like video game violence things like lock boxes are regulated to shitty survey research that proves very little to nothing.

Companies have zero incentive then to shy away from the topic, but even then the ad here is literally 6 words mentioning how the mechanic works. Not a full feature page ad showing off loot boxes and glorifying them. Just one step casually mentioning them in the process. Shying away from mentioning that fact to “think of the children” implies that they acknowledge that something is wrong with them in the first place something which they adamantly deny.

I disagree vehemently that we need laws to protect people from themselves and in the process limit what everyone else can do. What we need is better social programs to help those people recognize their issues and provide them avenues to protect themselves. I mean you want to talk about entitlement I’m not the person saying other people shouldn’t be able to enjoy things because a fraction of our population can’t handle it due to various psychological and/or physiological reasons.

Oh the phone lines started requiring credit cards did they? Hrm. I wonder how all these mysteriously children are somehow paying for all these lock boxes they’re hooked on? Must be direct billing their internet line, right? Children are dumb and do dumb things. They steal credit cards or are given access to them by careless parents. Same kid who drops $10k on lootboxes by overcharging their parents card is the same dumb ass kid who’s going to drop $10k on other dumb shit without the loot boxes.

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McGuffn

But Ark, you can stack cigarettes up to make Lincoln Log like houses or use them to keep score when you’re playing games of jacks or marbles.

Not to mention that, like bitcoin, they’re also used as currency, especially in some of our more reputable prisons.

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cursedseishi

Oh please, you know exactly what I and anyone means when talk comes up about Lockboxes targeting vulnerable individuals. You’re twisting it aside for… frankly, I have no clue what reason. You’re also being rather disingenuous altogether.

Minors, in purely legal speak, can be anywhere between 0-17 years old. Yes, an eight year old isn’t likely to have sources of income but that doesn’t mean they don’t have access to money. If they’re playing on their parents phone, something like credit card information is usually saved for parental convenience–and it isn’t terribly difficult to just tap and tap and tap. Even ignoring that, kids aren’t stupid. And as they get older, the easier and quicker they catch onto things and know how to get what is needed to pay for things. I’ve known how to read, handle and use a credit/debit card since I was a kid. It would have been very, very easy for me to use one and put the information in for purchases.

Gacha systems as a whole operate like conventional gambling. People with gambling issues have gone on to admit that these systems can hit them the exact same way. And being exposed to gambling early on as a child repeatedly can cause such addictions to crop up for children–which is exactly why there are gambling laws forbidding it.

But that doesn’t matter. And bringing up proof that has been brought up before won’t matter either. Because it is evident you actually don’t want to handle this in a sincere matter because, as you said, “you do it all the time and it isn’t an issue”.

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Arktouros

I have no clue what reason

My motives, as stated in the past, is mostly to show there’s a more reasonable motive behind such decisions than the malicious ones that people often times go to. I do this on a variety of topics but lock boxes always brings out the most wild accusations that have little factual based evidence behind them.

Having access to money is a lot different than having access to large volumes of debt, especially the level of debt that many lootbox outrage examples show kids entering into. However pretending that they have some sort of persistent level of income coming in is entirely disingenuous as most kids are entirely dependent on their parents for sources of income. In almost every single case it’s because the child stole from their parents or they simply weren’t supervised in their time spent. There’s very few avenues for children to “get what they need” like you’re implying without some variation on those two scenarios.

The problem with arguing that gambling or doing “gambling like” activities is gambling addiction causing is that there’s literally zero science to back that up. Again as mentioned when the UK did a report on this and consulted scientists they said this topic should be studied and see if there is a link between lock boxes and gambling causing behavior. You also seem to be mostly under the misconception that gambling laws are there to protect children, when in fact they’re there to help regulating money from gambling (IE: You can’t say your winnings are your kids to evade taxation for example).

I’m all for handling things in a sincere matter but the starting position to me is never “Well these guys are just evil and want to eat babies and dance naked on the corpses of the mothers in the moonlight.” That level of malice is almost always unwarranted what can be attributed to more simpler avarice or greed. The entire premise that income less children and unreliable addicts are a desirable business model that a multi billion dollar corporation would consider shows virtually zero experience with anything business model related. It is honestly absurd but yes, yes I’m the insincere one. You saw through my plot to hide the true nature of my shadow cabal masters. Hissss and all that. Well done.

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cursedseishi

However pretending that they have some sort of persistent level of income coming in is entirely disingenuous as most kids are entirely dependent on their parents for sources of income.

Funny, it is disingenuous because I never said they had income for it. I even specifically stated they may not have income, but can still access money. Kind of like how a kid might try and slip a dollar out of their parents purse for candy. But again, you blatantly twist and deflect.

Just like how you misconstrue the rest of my statement, unsurprisingly. You speak in literal absolutes, while I specifically said adolescent gambling can lead to gambling issues as they develop. And yes, there are studies about adolescent gambling even if you’re too lazy to look for them. But as many of them state, it is not an easy thing to gather data for for multiple reasons.

But even those studies that say it is inconclusive also state that children are more vulnerable because they have yet to finish developing and maturing.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10899-020-09948-z
https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-019-2293-2

I’m all for handling things in a sincere matter but the starting position to me is never “Well these guys are just evil and want to eat babies and dance naked on the corpses of the mothers in the moonlight.” That level of malice is almost always unwarranted what can be attributed to more simpler avarice or greed.

Again with the hyperbole. Whales are the main market for Gacha systems, as even the publishers/developers have admitted to it in the past. A large swathe of most any freemium game’s base spends little if any cash on them. It is why you see ‘premium’ currencies and FOMO mechanics tied into it as a way to maximize even minimal spending. These systems are designed specifically to encourage its users to spend as much as they can get while ‘guaranteeing’ rewards if you spend more or just enough.
And again, like I already said, people with gambling addictions or have dealt with them have come out and said these mechanisms are painfully familiar. I know people, and follow others, who have such an issue and likewise attest to it. Just like there are literally stories out there wherein those who’ve been addicted to gambling or are susceptible to addictions easily lose thousands into these mechanisms BECAUSE it’s “just a game”. Because they obfuscate the actual cost at a glance and encourage repeated purchases and spending.

You’re also ascribing malice with what I’m saying, I’m just stating facts here. But again, you aren’t actually being sincere here. I’ve yet to see an article on this site where you were sincere in your argument regarding lootboxes. Only comment where you deflect or sidestep any proof and even argue against what is clearly stated in it. You can cry and whinge on about how calling it ‘gambling’ is misdirecting, but theses systems in their design and intent are gambling–and have been admitted to as much by those who design and implement them. You can stamp your foot and moan and groan on about how much you don’t want ‘the gov’ment’ to regulate it–but that is what will happen and it’ll be on the Games industry’s arse for not actually acting on it like they had to do with establishing the ESRB.

And you can keep saying “Oh, I do it all the time and I don’t have an issue with it” and treat that like empirical fact, when your meager experiences with it are barely even worth being anecdotal at best.

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Arktouros

No you didn’t say they had income you just said they had access to money. You also said as they get older they have means to “get what they need.” All of this implies they have a persistent source of money that they have access to, which some people might consider calling income but maybe that’s the wrong word for it. Regardless I disagree immensely as generally speaking things like “tap tap tapping” on your parents phone only is going to work maybe once before they find out what you’ve been tapping on. Equally snaking a $20 from your mom’s wallet to go buy some FIFA points at Walmart I would equally argue is not a common occurrence enough to base a business model around it. Which seems to be your main point of “confusion” lets call it where I’m not saying these things don’t exist nor that they don’t happen but the suggestion that a multi-billion dollar company would base their business model around it is absurd.

Oh trust I’m not lazy, I’ve looked it all up and a causal link between lock boxes and gambling causing addiction doesn’t exist. They say it’s inconclusive because it’s the same shitty survey based research papers that prove nothing. The researchers all agree that a proper study should occur so we can put that argument to rest and I 100% agree. Personally I think it will show that they are causing, but I’m unwilling to take my opinion as fact until the science shows it.

Whales are not inherently addicts as my original reply was saying. The fact is people have access to various levels of income. Where someone might see a $40 mount and go “$40! That’s as much as I paid for the whole game!” and another person just goes “Click.” and hops on their shiny new mount. Lock boxes as a business model takes advantage of this concept in every way possible. The low cost of entry means people might buy a few and the whale who was going to buy something for $40 will now end up spending $60 for the same thing and not think twice about it. It monetizes the full spectrum of your customer base.

As for actual addicts who do have problems I did not argue that lock boxes don’t trigger their issues. What I did argue is that these people are not a good basis for a business model. While they might whale out from time to time that’s not sustainable in most cases as people with these kinds of problems typically don’t have access to whale levels of income/resources.

I’m not ascribing malice to what you’re saying. I’m saying your message is assuming malice (preying upon children, preying upon addicts) when there is no malice. They’re a business who wants to make money. This is the best way to make money.

Also I treat me saying I do it all the time not as an empirical fact but more of an anecdotal example that shows there are other scenarios that exist than children and addicts. Kinda like, ya know, bringing up friends who have gambling addiction problems and saying that lock boxes 100% trigger it as an example of that issue. Stuff like that.

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Bruno Brito

They’re a business who wants to make money. This is the best way to make money.

Negligence isn’t malice? Because the way i see it, if you as a company owner, accept a monetization scheme that you know will prey on youngsters and you say “fuck it”, that’s malice to me. It’s clearly giving the ok for a deed that you know is harmful.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

You simply make more money selling chances at things for $3 a pop than selling items directly for $40+ later on.

Yep. Unfortunately being a sleazy scumbag who preys on people without self-control is more profitable than being a responsible publisher who cares about their player base.

Which, mind, is why regulations are needed. Without them companies will use whatever tactics bring them the most revenue, regardless of the damage those tactics can cause to society; thus, in order to prevent that damage, you need to put strict limits on how those tactics can be used, or even outright ban them.

(BTW, the way I see it, being willing to cause undue harm to individuals in the name of profits is evil. Thus, I see many, if not most, examples of corporate greed as evil people exerting their power.)

Reader
Wilhelm Arcturus

Evil and stupid is not an attractive look.