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Star Wars Battlefront 2 prompts state of Hawaii to address EA's predatory practices

The State of Hawaii held a press conference addressing the loot box gambling issue today targetting EA and Star Wars Battlefront 2.

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-Foxtrot24d ago ShowReplies(6)
UCForce24d ago

Now that what we are talking about.

Mr Pumblechook24d ago

Wow! US politicians getting involved - this issue has become much bigger than the usual gamer outrage.

Certainly Activision will also be thinking about how to stay on the right side of the public and regulators. I do think this will not only lead to EA reexamining how they do business, but shake up the entire industry.

morganfell24d ago

Its called grandstanding. Its what US politicians, and most politicians in any country do when they aren't throwing their constituents under a bus.

If they really wanted to make a difference they would pass legislation to make parents responsible for the games their kids buy in the first place. I am in no way on EA's side in this but this is another case of pushing the babysitting off on the state.

Magnes23d ago

@Morgan up vote for laser accurate statement. Assuming the laser has been properly calibrated with signed calibration documents from a licensed professional.

TheRandomOne23d ago

Now can these same people look into Shadow Of War & that bullshit ?

TheRandomOne23d ago

If the Government ends up outlawing lootboxes, microtransactions & stuff like Shadow Of War is doing thats a win

fiveby923d ago

@morganfell I agree parenting should not be left out. My kids are older and don't play such games. However, I did inform my sister not to buy this game for her two boys. Hold off till specific changes are articulated and implemented. With the original MT system, the game was a blatant cash grab masquerading as part of the Star Wars universe.

But what are these games rated? Are they 'M' for mature if certain randomized lootbox systems are considered gambling? SW BF2 is rated 'T' by the ESRB. The ESRB was not about to hamstring EA by classifying their MT system as gambling as that would mean an 'M' rating which would hamper sales.

Clearly, Belgium and potentially the EU would consider their system gambling and then necessitate a higher PEGI rating. Political pressure works and in some cases for the better. Do you think EA would have made any changes otherwise? Grandstanding politician? Sure but that's just what they do. The content is still on point.

morganfell23d ago

@fiveby9,

It doesn't make what is being said less valid. But the motivations behind it are not what they appear. As I have oft stated on this site, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Because it knows the time? No.

Politicians want something done. Because they are genuinely concerned? Magic 8 ball says no. Like the clock it is coincidence. In this case their grandstanding benefits the public by coinciding with their wishes. But it also fails to force parents to do their job.

This situation reminds me of what occurred 15 to 20 years ago with Napster, Pirate Bay, and a host of other file sharing programs and sites. The RIAA had a monumental chance to do something that would have had positive long term effects for the industry and the artists. Instead they just attacked Napster and similar programs with a host of lawyers. In effect they forced file sharing underground where it spread like a virus, far more volatile than before and completely unstoppable. They actually made matters worse and today artists lose far more money to illegal sharing than they ever did in the past. The RIAA had the opportunity to coop programs like Napster and use them. They chose poorly and the artists paid the price. File sharing was unpreventable but they could not see the handwriting on the wall and how best to direct it the inevitable.

Loot boxes or some other form of extra game revenue are also inevitable.

Production costs for games are rising even if brain dead fans do not want to admit it. They think it is just fat cat publishers getting greedy. How narrow-minded.

So now we have a chance to coop this issue but instead people are deciding to invite the government super regulation controllers into their house to squash it completely. A ridiculous idea. And to those that think they have won? Well, you have already lost. They will regret inviting politicians. For once in you will never get rid of them.

Companies like EA will just eventually raise the price of all games. All of them and the industry will unite and follow suit. They will begin to use methods where they remove the gambling aspect from loot boxes and simply show you what you will get and it will also spread far faster than before. It will no longer be isolated and people will have only themselves to blame.

The Chinese water principle is one of realizing you cannot prevent the flood so you go with the direction of the water and then quietly redirect it from the inside. Westerners are incapable of grasping this concept and in their failing they will create the monster which they will eventually be forced to serve. Go ahead and say you will quit gaming. Good luck with that. Its like saying people should just not buy COD.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 23d ago
rainslacker23d ago (Edited 23d ago )

While I agree that is what we are talking about, I hate it when politicians, or corporate people, pull the "think of the children" routine.

Why can't they just talk about how EA has predatory practices against consumers as a whole. I realize anything aimed at kids which is considered bad is more inciteful, but everyone is a consumer, and I'd rather see things kept in perspective. These "kids" don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on this stuff. It's the adults which are spending it. Kids which have that much money are either privileged, or have their own job....in which case, they are now consumers like the rest of us.

EA isn't just targeting kids, they're targeting consumers.

Anyhow, glad to see MT finally getting more mainstream attention. They've been on mobile for a while now, and I think a lot of people don't even consider just how bad they can be because their frame of reference is purely from things like Candy Crush or Angry Birds.

I hope this brings serious change in how MT are implemented in games. While a complete removal would be great, I don't expect that. I just prefer P2W scenarios not infect the hardcore AAA market the way they have in the past decade or so.

TheRandomOne24d ago

Take a note greedy game developers

UltraNova23d ago

They wont as long as we keep buying their shitty products.

ifrit_caress23d ago

You mean greedy game publishers.

TheRandomOne23d ago

Technically the game developers are the ones actually putting this shit in the game lol

23d ago
Aenea23d ago (Edited 23d ago )

"Technically the game developers are the ones actually putting this shit in the game lol"

Since most of the profit will go to the publisher and because it's usually funded by the publisher, devs add this because a pub says so...

And ehmm, I find it funny that people do not seem to realise that both Belgium and Hawaii are only againt the gambling part, not microtransactions as a whole. You can bet your arse that they will find a way that is not considered gambling but will still get them the same amount of money.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 23d ago
Mikelarry24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

For my american brothers/ sisters that want to do more see Chris reddit post below ( the guy in the suit)

https://www.reddit.com/r/ga...

slate9124d ago (Edited 24d ago )

This is so awesome. I'm all for cosmetics, but it was clearly starting to become a problem. Publishers will see how much they can get away with for the almighty dollar.

Testfire24d ago

This is good, but also bad. We don't want (or shouldn't want) to have our governments policing our video games, that's not a good thing. The ESRB dropped the ball on this one when they had a chance to call out loot boxes for what they were. Unfortunately greedy devs and pubs didn't police themselves either, so now what we have is the government possibly putting it's nose in a hobby we all enjoy.

Mikelarry24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

The government is regulating " lootboxes" that does not affect an individual artistic freedom in games, stop with the paranoia you can get all your gore and whatever else you like thats why age rating on games was introduced. it was either the government or nothing as nothing else was working.

Testfire24d ago

@Mikelarry, well the government is not regulating anything as of yet. But the way I view most things in life is the less government intrusion the better. And like I already said, the ESRB and publishers failed to police themselves, so yes this was the last choice (as it should always have been). Let's just hope it stops there though.

UCForce24d ago

Yes, the government isn’t perfect. But when come to greedy major publishers like EA that pushed boundaries too far, we need authority to teach them a lesson.

Mikelarry24d ago

ok while i understand your point what are your concerns that you think the government may do, I am interested in your theories because I have a sneaky feeling its only violence that why most gamers are like "no government in my gaming"

Jinger24d ago

ESRB views loot boxes like Pokemon card packs or baseball card packs... it ain't gambling. If that's the case every gumball machine is gambling as well. Let's just go further and ban crane machines while we are at it.

CaitSith24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

@Testfire omg the first sane comment in here! As much as I dislike EA's loot boxes, bringing in government into the problem is never the answer!

Edit: if you don't like it, don't buy it! The only answer you can give to the publishers is through your wallet.

agent453224d ago

How is it bad, it was obvious game developers were not going to police themselves. They saw millions of dollars made out of DLC, microtransanctions, and loot boxes. Of course game developers were not going to stop. Gamers did not do shit other than complain and threw tantrums. They still bought the game that came with microtransanctions, loot boxes, and DLC. So when the game creators and publishers fail to police themselves, the gamers failed to do anything about it. The last resort of action is the government stepping in. Is called democracy.

Palitera24d ago

Yeah, I agree with you. Why do we have laws and all these rights?

The invisible hand fixes everything. Only good and respectful companies survive.

smh

zerocarnage24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

Then publishers and devs should of acted responsible enough in an unwatched and very unregulated industry, they will of brought this on them selfs.

Basically gaming is an industry where massive bucks can be made without much taxation or government laws, they all knew that yet they chose to keep taking from gamers and now we're at a point governments are or will look at ways in which they can get a piece of that pie as well while also throwing up some condoms for gamers for protection..

OnionThief24d ago

I'd rather have that. The ESRB is funded by game publishers, this is why when there's questionable business practices they'll always take their side.

At least if governments step in then they may have the guts to call a horse a horse.

Liqu1d24d ago

@Jinger The ESRB's opinion is irrelevant, they don't decide the law. Trading cards are already regulated, loot boxes need to be regulated as well since they use the same exploitative techniques found in slot machines but target them towards kids.

morganfell24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

Mikelarry,

Remember the people that screamed cosmetic loot boxes were a slippery slope? Well you can't have it both ways except its even more true for a government that craves power, control, and oversight. You let the devil in, he will eventually be "all in". Yeah its a gambling joke.

CrimzonRazor23d ago

People are to quick to let the government step in more and more, its a dangerous thing. People are throwing away more and more rights and dont know how it effects their lives in the long run. More government in a already broken system is not the right way to handle these issues.

rainslacker23d ago (Edited 23d ago )

The ESRB is a lobby for the game industry. They do what the game industry wants, not what is right for the consumer. While they do have a lot of consumer facing things, they ultimately are there to lobby the government for things which are beneficial to those that run the industry, and act as mediators for developers and publishers alike. Sometimes that also includes consumers, but in this case, it doesn't.

While they were established to bridge this gap to inform consumers about what was in a game to prevent impending government regulation, and lobbied the government during that time to have any such legislation or regulation to be shut down at the congressional level, they are in no way there to try and keep the consumers happy. It's not their mandate, nor would they work to prevent MT.

I'm personally not for government regulation for something as trivial as MT. I'm especially against them since I believe more in a free market system doing it's thing. that doesn't mean I won't speak out against such practices. The more recent gambling things is a bit of a different issue though, because I can see the corollaries. The outcome benefits us as consumers, and the actual regulation has some meaning, although I'm still on the fence about if it was required in this case.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 23d ago