The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will soon have to investigate prize funds of Electronic Arts games, i FIFA in particular, driven by the joint initiative of associations for the protection of minors, which consider them manipulative towards younger players.
The coalition, led by Fairplay and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), referred to a report compiled by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) as a starting point for verifying whether the prize funds sold by EA “unfairly exploit children and older people. young people to make profits. “
As reported by Axios, the associations wrote a open letter to the FTC in which the problems highlighted by the Norwegian report are explained and which are the most specific and harmful problems for minors.
FUT again under the magnifying glass of the authorities
It is not only the premium funds that are being accused, but also the virtual coins and all design techniques aimed at manipulating the user. In particular, these games would be full of dark patterns, or dark paths, aimed at exploiting the weaknesses of the little ones, between the fear of being excluded, social pressure and the search for gratification.
By obscure paths we mean all those design techniques aimed at encouraging users to perform actions that otherwise they would have ignored and rejected.
Finally, the group points out how the premium coffers of the FUTthe online mode of FIFA, are a way to introduce minors to gambling: “The packs look like slot machines. They require the player to bet the game coin on the possibility of receiving an unknown random reward and are accompanied by bright colors and captivating animations. “
It is then recalled how studies have shown the correlation between the spending of money on premium funds and the development of gambling addictions in adolescents.
“Electronic Arts may insist that most players don’t spend any money on FUT, but the video game industry makes a lot of money by taking advantage of the big spenders or whales.”
The initiative of the US associations follows that of the consumer defense associations of eighteen European countries, which in turn have asked for a survey on premium funds.