It took several years for governments and institutions to take seriously the problem that loot boxes in video games. This week, together with the bill presented in Spain, before 15 institutions protecting the rights of children united the purpose of which is to have the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States, initiate an investigation into the actions of the game, widely known for its loot boxes. We refer to FIFAfrom Electronic Arts.
It is well known that FIFA Ultimate Team, the most popular form of sports title, is also the most profitable for Electronic Arts in terms of revenue. And that’s what football allows players to buy decks of cards without knowing their contents. There are adults who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on this mechanism, but the case becomes even more troubling when minors open the wallet. His parents’ wallet, obviously.
Thus, the coalition is led by the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). The group in their petition to the FTC, was supported by an extensive report from the Norwegian Consumer Councilwhich already offers compelling information about the problems associated with loot boxes In children. Based on this data, they want the US body to take action on the matter.
“The CDD has highlighted the problems with virtual currencies, loot boxes and other manipulation design techniques in previous comments submitted to the Dark Patterns Commission. These exploit vulnerabilities in the development of children and adolescentsincluding their fear of missing out, their need for respect and their sense of social pressure,” says VGK.
“Dark” patterns loot boxes
An important point that the alliance brings up for discussion, and which is not always talked about, is that in loot boxes try to hide additional costs in the game through virtual currency. When FIFA Ultimate Team, these virtual coins can be obtained by playing match after match and also checking to save time. Therefore, children’s rights organizations believe that The Federal Trade Commission should keep a close eye on the work football.
“We call on the Commission to investigate the use of dark patterns in FUT. The Group also expresses concern that loot boxes, including FIFA loot boxes, are introducing children and teenagers to gambling.”
In many other cases were compared to loot boxes with rates, and the comparison is very apt. After all, you spend money without knowing what you will get in return. On this occasion, the coalition mentions: “Packages [de FUT] they are like slot machines. They require the player to wager something of value (an in-game currency) for a chance at a random, unknown reward in the future, and come with vibrant colors and animations.”
“Research shows that there is a link between spending money on loot boxes and gambling problems in teenagers. In some cases, young people who have already developed problematic gaming behavior seek out games with loot boxes; gamble.”
His petition ends by pointing out that Electronic Arts, despite being able to urge players not to spend money on FIFA Ultimate Teamit’s not because the income generated from these practices is significant. Will the FTC resolve this issue? This would be a key step since the United States is the largest video game market in the world.
Source: Hiper Textual