Twitch recently announced that it will cut back on the amount of gambling content it allows on its streaming platform. Some streamers are taking advantage of the news to push their own call for a ban on loot boxes, highlighting how one person spent $9,000 to buy FIFA 23 cards.
A loot box is a virtual item that can be redeemed to receive items (loot) ranging from customization options for a player’s avatar to virtual weapons and armor. The contents of the box are not revealed before purchase. Some consider them a form of gambling.
Internet personality Pokimane and others campaigned for a gambling ban on Twitch- after a fellow streamer revealed he ripped people off to feed his gambling habit- and Twitch has responded. The streaming platform agreed to remove some types of content but stopped short of implementing a complete ban.
Just before all of that began, the German Twitch scene rose against loot boxes ahead of the imminent arrival of FIFA 23. The debate over whether the video game prize mechanisms constitute gambling continues, and popular German streamer Trymacs is helping to stir the pot.
Red Card for Loot Box Overspending
Supported by the host of a local TV show and using Trymacs, opening a pack of FUT (FIFA 22 Ultimate Team) cards as an example, the anti-loot box community came together.
They say the mechanics behind loot boxes and similar in-game bonuses are addictive and could lead people to lose all their money. Loot boxes offer add-ons in video games, such as avatars and power packs. Gamers can purchase the boxes but rarely know what they will contain.
For FUT cards, the concept is similar. Instead of add-ons, the in-game packs include soccer players that gamers can use in matches.
Trymacs, who has 3.1 million followers on Twitch, participated in the TV broadcast. He admitted that he fully agreed with the criticism, claiming that FIFA is a “kids’ casino” because of the packs.
He also asserted that he never promotes the use of the cards on his channel, nor does he advertise for FIFA’s publisher, EA Games. In addition, he said that he supports a ban on loot boxes in Germany.
Two weeks later, Trymacs admitted to spending €9,300 (US$9,000) on FIFA 23. To him, it was worth it, since he now has one of the top five FUT teams in the world. One of his most recent acquisitions was Mané Garrincha, the late Brazilian soccer phenom and World Cup champion.
The overwhelming logic of the content creator is based on the fact that he doesn’t invite people to spend money on FIFA or profit from it. However, his antics on his channel do the talking for him.
Backlash Over Madden NFL 23 Loot Boxes
Loot boxes in Madden NFL 23 have also come under fire, but for a different reason.
In this case, streamers and influencers are upset because the loot boxes, in their estimation, have little value. They complain that the cards have little “reroll” value (a type of do-over) and that the player card packs have poor odds.
Reroll value refers to the value of a second item after deciding to reject the first and try for another. This is typically seen in items that have little value, to begin with. They claim that the second roll isn’t providing a better outcome, which they say is not how rerolls work.
As a result of their disgust, the online personalities recently held a “pack strike” to get EA Games to implement a change. They banded together to try to get users not to buy packs, hoping to intimidate the game publisher.
It didn’t work. EA Games says its system is fair and doesn’t foresee making any drastic changes.
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