It’s time for the annual “My kids have spent all my money on video game bobbins and I didn’t know!” story, we get one every year like clockwork but this is one is a little different.
It’s the usual tale, the father, Thomas Carter, bought a single pack of FIFA Ultimate Team for his children on their Switch but the eagle-eyed little darlings were watching closely and copied their dad’s actions, spending £550 before their parents noticed as the card was declined.
The difference here is that, just for once, the parents admit they did not take precautions to stop the children from making further purchases. They did not set up a pin number and the email address the receipts were sent to was old and had a full inbox. The kids, all aged under ten, are sad to be “very remorseful” and “had not understood the impact of what they were doing.”
Mr. Carter took the opportunity to highlight the fact that the contents of the packs is not disclosed until after purchase, saying the practice was “unethical”.
“You pay £40 for the game, which is a lot of money in itself, but then the only way to get a great team is essentially by gambling,” he said, “They spent £550 and they still never got their favourite player, Lionel Messi.”
Nintendo have agreed to refund all the money and remove the players purchased from the account.
A vice president of EA games, Kerry Hopkins, recently spoke to the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee and explained that the FIFA packs, commonly known as loot boxes, are actually “surprise mechanics” much like those found in Kinder Eggs and Hatchimals.
“We do think that the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics – and FIFA of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs – is actually quite ethical and quite fun, enjoyable to people,” she explained.