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EA Could Get Into Betting As Company 'Drives Growth' In Future

EA Could Get Into Betting As Company 'Drives Growth' In Future

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently discussed a number of potential areas that the publisher could move towards in the future, and betting could be on the horizon.

GameSpot reports that Wilson held a "fireside chat" with some of the company's top brass. During this meeting, the CEO revealed a number of details about the company's plans - including how they intend to grow and reach new players. However, it's important to note that such plans are tentative, and not indicative of a guaranteed path forward.

FIFA 20 / Credit: EA
FIFA 20 / Credit: EA

"On a slightly longer term time horizon, there are another couple of vectors we think will drive growth," Wilson explained.

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"The skills and capabilities and experience that we have over 40 years in this industry has broad application to a great many industries. You should think about the future of the consumption of sport. You should think about the future of consumption of entertainment. You should think about how we engage players throughout their daily lives with other things that are interesting to them that adjoin their gaming experience--one of those things might be betting."

"These are on a longer-term time horizon but we have a number of projects incubating inside the company right now as we think about that one that five-year-plus time horizon."

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The subject of betting and video games is a particularly thorny one - especially where EA is concerned. The company has come under repeated fire for its approach to loot boxes and microtransactions in many of its video games over the years. As governments and organisations around the world fight to have these practices classed as gambling, it would be pretty bold for EA to... actually expand into betting.

Star Wars Battlefront II / Credit: EA
Star Wars Battlefront II / Credit: EA
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Despite the numerous criticisms, this approach to continues to be incredibly lucrative for EA. The publisher has already made close to $800 million from microtransactions this year alone. This includes the incredibly popular Ultimate Team mode from FIFA, which was hit with multiple lawsuits earlier this year.

Two separate lawsuits filed in France back in February both allege that Ultimate Team is effectively unregulated gambling.

In 2018, loot boxes were outlawed in Belgium for similar reasons after the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled that they were "in violation of gambling legislation". Victor Zagury, one of the lawyers behind the EA suits, made reference to Belgium's outlawing as an example.

"In this game, everyone wants to have a dream team to go as far as possible," Zaguary explained (as translated by GFFN). "My client spent €600 in five months without ever getting a big player. The developers of this game mode have created an illusionary and particularly addictive system."

Featured Image Credit: EA

Topics: Loot boxes, EA, Gambling

Ewan Moore

Journalist at GAMINGbible who still quite hasn’t gotten out of my mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), I went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis.