Seahawks.NET AMAZON STOREFRONT

EA under criminal investigation by Belgium.

The Lounge is for non-sport-related topics other than politics, war and religion. Order up your favorite beverage, kick back and enjoy the conversation! LANGUAGE RATING: PG-13
  • For refusal to comply with a lootbox ban after they were classified as illegal gambling and viewed as targeting children. Both Activision Blizzard and Take Two Interactive (begrudgingly) complied and removed them from their games in Belgium.

    https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/09/11/ea-reportedly-under-criminal-investigation-in-belgium-for-refusal-to-modify-fifa-loot-boxes

    God, EA sucks. So do AB and Take Two, and Konami for good measure, but EA always seems to find a way to be the douchiest of them.
    RIP Paul Allen, 1953-2018

    The greatest owner in Seattle sports history.

    189-152-1
    User avatar
    Maulbert
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4355
    Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:44 pm
    Location: In the basement of Reynholm Industries


  • EA are definitely micro-transaction and subscription whores, but this seems kinda silly to me.

    You're criminally charging a game company for coding into their games a micro transaction that the gamer can decide or not decide to purchase.........which btw, would require EA and other game companies that do the same things to develop, code and distribute two different games in countries like Belgium.

    EA sucks, but this seems ridiculous to me.
    If there is no Seahawk football in heaven, then we will never die.
    User avatar
    Sgt. Largent
    NET Pro Bowler
     
    Posts: 13609
    Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:10 am


  • Sgt. Largent wrote:EA are definitely micro-transaction and subscription whores, but this seems kinda silly to me.

    You're criminally charging a game company for coding into their games a micro transaction that the gamer can decide or not decide to purchase.........which btw, would require EA and other game companies that do the same things to develop, code and distribute two different games in countries like Belgium.

    EA sucks, but this seems ridiculous to me.


    It's predatory gambling.
    RIP Paul Allen, 1953-2018

    The greatest owner in Seattle sports history.

    189-152-1
    User avatar
    Maulbert
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4355
    Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:44 pm
    Location: In the basement of Reynholm Industries


  • EA sucks, but then again so does Belgium.
    User avatar
    fenderbender123
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4482
    Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:47 pm


  • I'm kind of torn on this. What I see is definitely predatory gambling like Maulbert said, but they get around it on the technicality that "being guaranteed an item makes it so it's not gambling." It's pretty bogus IMO. Just because you're guaranteed something that is worth $.04, which is virtually zero or nothing, doesn't mean that you're not gambling. Games that have loot boxes that can be purchased/opened using real currency should be considered gambling 100%. The same thing is happening to people's brains and the same addiction is being catered to and/or formed. I don't mean to be someone that screams "THINK OF THE KIDS!," but I have to think most kids, even late teenagers, can't make the necessary types of distinctions and understand the effects that can come with gambling addictions and blowing money on microtransactions.

    EA and other AAA studios/publishers have gone too far, basically taking the "freemium" business model (free game and then spending money in-game to advance or speed-up progress) and decided they're not only going to nickle and dime their customers like this, they're also going to charge a fat $60 premium just to get in the door. After that, they just rely on the whales (small % of people who produce the vast majority of microtransaction revenue) and don't really care how the rest of the playerbase feels, as long as it looks like they're still supporting the game.

    While I feel like labeling this stuff gambling could and would be beneficial, it's also taking the ball out of parents' and gamers' court in regards to responsibility. No one is forcing people to purchase loot boxes and spend money on microtransactions, so I understand how people and companies rally against this.

    Pretty interesting that Belgium is looking into this via a criminal investigation. Not sure what EA is thinking, though, if a country they're doing business in bans one of their main revenue sources and they just keep plodding along like it's no big deal.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • JGfromtheNW wrote:I'm kind of torn on this. What I see is definitely predatory gambling like Maulbert said, but they get around it on the technicality that "being guaranteed an item makes it so it's not gambling." It's pretty bogus IMO. Just because you're guaranteed something that is worth $.04, which is virtually zero or nothing, doesn't mean that you're not gambling. Games that have loot boxes that can be purchased/opened using real currency should be considered gambling 100%. The same thing is happening to people's brains and the same addiction is being catered to and/or formed. I don't mean to be someone that screams "THINK OF THE KIDS!," but I have to think most kids, even late teenagers, can't make the necessary types of distinctions and understand the effects that can come with gambling addictions and blowing money on microtransactions.

    EA and other AAA studios/publishers have gone too far, basically taking the "freemium" business model (free game and then spending money in-game to advance or speed-up progress) and decided they're not only going to nickle and dime their customers like this, they're also going to charge a fat $60 premium just to get in the door. After that, they just rely on the whales (small % of people who produce the vast majority of microtransaction revenue) and don't really care how the rest of the playerbase feels, as long as it looks like they're still supporting the game.

    While I feel like labeling this stuff gambling could and would be beneficial, it's also taking the ball out of parents' and gamers' court in regards to responsibility. No one is forcing people to purchase loot boxes and spend money on microtransactions, so I understand how people and companies rally against this.

    Pretty interesting that Belgium is looking into this via a criminal investigation. Not sure what EA is thinking, though, if a country they're doing business in bans one of their main revenue sources and they just keep plodding along like it's no big deal.


    Honestly, I wanted to avoid the 'PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!' narrative as that is the go-to defense for so many idiots in situations where it is used as nothing but a way to shut up someone who disagrees with you, and there's a place in hell reserved for people who use it, right alongside people who use Hitler comparisons. However, this is one of the few cases where I believe concern for kids genuinely comes into play. A kid can't just walk into a casino and lose $500 dollars, but you can't tell me you've never heard of a parent who discovered a massive charge on a credit card for some gacha game.

    I do play a gacha game, and as a 35 year old man who has never had a gambling addiction, it is sorely tempting to drop a little extra cash for a few more rolls. I only avoid it by reminding myself that I will be far more dissapointed if I do spend money and still don't get what I want, but most children don't have that logic switch in their heads. I remember reading an article a few years ago about a 19 year old who spent $10,000+ dollars on lootboxes dating back to when he was 14, and he said he could not even play games with microtransactions anymore because it was too tempting for him. (https://mashable.com/2017/12/01/19-gaming-gambling-addict/#G_3ONs8BKkqQ)

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents, but whatever.
    RIP Paul Allen, 1953-2018

    The greatest owner in Seattle sports history.

    189-152-1
    User avatar
    Maulbert
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4355
    Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:44 pm
    Location: In the basement of Reynholm Industries


  • Yeah, when CSGO was seemingly hitting its peak back in 2013-15 and the gambling and trading was out of control, it was weird to watch from the outside. I didn't have any real disposable income so I didn't go in hard on the whole thing. I had a decent inventory by the end of my time playing the game regularly, skins just kind of accumulated between some trades, donations from friends/viewers, opening a few cases here and there, etc. I ended up liquidating the last of my inventory during the winter and sold somewhere around $300 worth of skins IIRC. Could have made more if I wouldn't have just sold everything on steam and letting them take a cut and putting the funds into my steam wallet too.

    I had a couple buddies who blew thousands on items. What's crazy is some of them turned a profit because they would buck up the cash for really nice/rare items that would actually increase in value or they'd make smart trades and trade up.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • Maulbert wrote:It's predatory gambling.

    Then so are random prize-grab games that little kids play in school carnivals all around the country. Get real; and no, I'm not defending EA. They turned BioWare into a lesser studio, which I'll forever hold against them. I pray that this will change with Anthem and the next Mass Effect and/or Dragon Age game, but I'm not holding my breath.
    Image
    "VICTORYYYYYYY!" -Johnny Drama
    User avatar
    RolandDeschain
    * Spelling High Lord *
     
    Posts: 30023
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 am
    Location: Phoenix, AZ


  • I get what you're saying, Roland, but some games can offer ridiculously valuable items. I don't know any kids in school carnivals that are getting prizes worth literally thousands and trying to sell them on the playground.

    At the end of a competitive game of CSGO, there's a possibility that you get a "random drop" called a Dragon Lore AWP, which on average is worth about $1,500. What you're faaaaaar more likely to get of course is a $.04 Sandstorm P250. You can also receive cases from these games where you have to pay $2.50 for a key to open. You can open an item that's worth over $800 like a Medusa AWP, or get a StatTrack Bayonet Crimson with an asking price of $30,000. That's not a typo. The most expensive skin sold to date that I know of went for about $61,000. Back in the prime of CSGO gambling/trading, a rare knife would go for $1,000+.

    There is a fat carrot being held out in front of people and the majority of them only ever feel the stick when they run out of money and can no longer gamble.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • I'm just not a fan of relying on the government to save me from myself. I'm a big boy. If I make poor choices, that's on me.

    The fact that we apparently need the government to pass laws making it illegal to spend money on video games because otherwise we just can't control ourselves and will ruing our lives spending all our money on video game micro transactions is pretty disturbing yet sadly not very surprising.
    User avatar
    Chapow
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2670
    Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:38 pm


  • I mean, this is happening in Belgium not the US. And it's not as black and white as "making it illegal to spend money on video games because people can't control themselves". Gaming companies have researched and understood the effects of video games on people's brains for years. They know how to manipulate the experience to get that little drip of dopamine at every turn, how to keep players coming back for their fix and how to space it out so that players aren't being rewarded "too much" or "too little" at a time.

    Now think about this and how it would relate to kids, and in reality, the vast majority of people that are dumbasses and literally can't control themselves - whether it's a byproduct of addiction or not. Addiction is a serious matter. Gambling addictions are serious matters. Companies knowing that they can replicate these outcomes and effects on people's brains and then both cater and help form gambling addictions is a serious matter, IMO.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • We could also pass laws against car salesmen and the tactics dealerships use to get people to spend just a little more, just a little more, etc...as they tease us with the vehicle we want but originally thought was outside of our price range and probably still is.
    User avatar
    fenderbender123
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4482
    Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:47 pm


  • About the only thing similar in the two situations is that there's a transaction occurring, fender.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • Part of the problem is the cost of assisting those that go overboard and lose everything. Taxpayer money does a lot of crap people don't often think about. I don't like the way that most forms of assistance are offered to people in the United States, that's for sure.

    However, as JG pointed out; this happened in Belgium, but let's not pretend the same thing couldn't happen here.
    Image
    "VICTORYYYYYYY!" -Johnny Drama
    User avatar
    RolandDeschain
    * Spelling High Lord *
     
    Posts: 30023
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 am
    Location: Phoenix, AZ


  • This is sooooooooo stupid. Leave it to the Europeans to make a mountain out of a molehill. While I'm not a fan of EA, I just don't see the harm in the "lootbox" business model. The business model incentivizes developers to foster a cycle of new content development and release by maintaining revenue streams for a product that would dry up considerably within months of launch. If the developer opts for a "pay to win" strategy, that tends to have a corrosive effect on the game's community, and people will inevitably begin to walk away. It's almost like the free market regulates itself on this sort of thing.

    I game a lot these days, in the evening, after my kid goes to bed. My games of choices are EvE Online, where between a friend and myself we maintain roughly a dozen accounts, and Overwatch, where I routinely make noobs cry with nearly any character in the game. The latter of which has a lootbox reward system and contained within those lootboxes are character customization options like skins, voice lines, emotes, etc, none of which have an impact on gameplay. Not once have I opted to use real money to buy these lootboxes, though I wouldn't fault anyone for doing so. If you enjoy a game enough to buy lootboxes then have at it. I just don't see the harm. Buyer beware, goddamnit.
    Feel free to contact me if you need legal assistance. I have a great lawyer that helped me with an ex who violated my privacy and kept harassing me on MySpace and Facebook. He's very good. And there is legal precedent. - linuxpro

    He is hold back the legion of boom - skater18000
    User avatar
    SmokinHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:29 am
    Location: Back in Seattle


  • JGfromtheNW wrote:About the only thing similar in the two situations is that there's a transaction occurring, fender.


    The effect on the brain, though. "just a little more". I don't know.
    User avatar
    fenderbender123
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4482
    Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:47 pm


  • This is why I'm torn on this, I agree with pretty much every opinion and observation made in this thread. I think Overwatch does lootboxes perfectly. You can earn them just by playing, or you can spend real money if you want, but they only provide cosmetics and things that don't effect gameplay.

    EA's situation with Battlefront 2 was about the absolute worst way you could do lootboxes. The situation got so much attention that it seemingly launched this crusade against microtransactions.

    They can be done well and not have a negative effect on the game and the community. There's just more to the situation than "spend money on lootboxes or not spend money on lootboxes." The list of games I play these days is pretty narrow, so I'm not fully aware of how all games handle lootboxes and microtransactions, but plenty of implementations have been nothing more than predatory gambling or holding content that should ship with a game behind ridiculous microtransactions.
    User avatar
    JGfromtheNW
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1822
    Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:37 am
    Location: Wenatchee


  • I think a developer should be allowed to sell lootboxes if they deem it necessary. That said, the free market certainly has a way of settling things on its own and so far the "pay to win" strategy like that which is employed in Battlefront 2 seems to be negatively reflected in a game's sales numbers. It certainly impacted my decision not to purchase this game, after being totally hyped about it prior to release.

    https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/30/16952 ... -returning
    Feel free to contact me if you need legal assistance. I have a great lawyer that helped me with an ex who violated my privacy and kept harassing me on MySpace and Facebook. He's very good. And there is legal precedent. - linuxpro

    He is hold back the legion of boom - skater18000
    User avatar
    SmokinHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:29 am
    Location: Back in Seattle


  • Maulbert wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:EA are definitely micro-transaction and subscription whores, but this seems kinda silly to me.

    You're criminally charging a game company for coding into their games a micro transaction that the gamer can decide or not decide to purchase.........which btw, would require EA and other game companies that do the same things to develop, code and distribute two different games in countries like Belgium.

    EA sucks, but this seems ridiculous to me.


    It's predatory gambling.


    It's neither predatory nor gambling.

    Predatory means there's some sort of exploitation or deceit, and gambling denotes risk. How the hell is opening up a crate inside a video game and being asked if you'd like to purchase the weapon or item inside the crate for $3.99 predatory OR gambling.

    Again, EA sucks balls.........as a gamer I know their penchant to shake you down for as much money as possible with microtransactions and downloadable content. But you're way over the line Maubert if you think this is criminal.
    If there is no Seahawk football in heaven, then we will never die.
    User avatar
    Sgt. Largent
    NET Pro Bowler
     
    Posts: 13609
    Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:10 am


  • The only thing I think they should do is force publicly revealing odds for rewards so you know realistic chances of getting things. If the purple fluffy cannon of doom is a one-in-a-trillion chance from X card/pack/box, people deserve to know that, I think.
    Image
    "VICTORYYYYYYY!" -Johnny Drama
    User avatar
    RolandDeschain
    * Spelling High Lord *
     
    Posts: 30023
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 am
    Location: Phoenix, AZ


  • SmokinHawk wrote:My games of choices are EvE Online, where between a friend and myself we maintain roughly a dozen accounts


    I got into that this year. What corp are you with?
    GO HAWKS!!!

    Visit my Seahawks blog at 17power.blogspot.com!
    User avatar
    MontanaHawk05
    * 17Power Blogger *
     
    Posts: 16055
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 8:46 am




It is currently Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:37 pm

Please REGISTER to become a member

Return to [ THE .NET LOUNGE ]




Information
  • Who is online
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 50 guests