It has been over a week that the first controversy over micro-transactions flared up and things are not looking any better for EA. All this initially stirred up when EA decided to implement certain inhibitory measures over its new game, Star Wars: Battlefront II. As a result, players were not able to purchase the in-game items via. in-game currency. The credits earned through playing online matches was also limited to a certain amount, thereby, rendering the ‘grind and unlock’ meta useless. The only alternative left, as you might have guessed, was their credit cards. A dubious practice as it was, immediately met with a backlash from the community compelling Disney to urge EA to shut down all in-game micro transactions then and there. This controversy has since then, spread like a wild fire and inundated the front pages of several successful news outlets.
Today, the Democratic US Minister Chris Lee called in for a press conference and addressed his concerns over the rising tensions of micro-transactions calling them a form of gambling saying that it can have ‘significant financial consequences’ on many families.
“This game is a Star Wars themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money. It’s a trap. And this is something that we need to address to ensure that, particularly, kids who are underage, who are not psychologically and emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble, which is why gambling is prohibited under 21, are protected from being trapped into these cycles which have compelled many folks to spend thousands of dollars and gaming fees online. We are looking at legislations coming here which could prohibit access or prohibit the sales of this games to folks who are under-aged in order to protect their families as well as prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games. We’ve been talking with several other states as well. Legislators there, who are looking at the same thing. I think this is an appropriate time to make sure that these issues are addressed before this becomes the new norm for every game.” —Quoted the US minister with authority, severely bashing EA and their business malpractices.
The US State of Hawaii is also looking into EA and the new Star Wars game as it launches an investigation against it for ‘predatory practices’.