Take-Two President Karl Slatoff is supporting EA and the ESA's decision and insists that the controversial Loot Boxes in games are not gambling. Details and quote below.
Slatoff spoke at Credit Suisse's 21st Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, the same conference where EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen told a blatant lie about cosmetics in Star Wars Battlefront 2, and had this to say:
"The whole gambling regulator thing, we don't view that thing as gambling. Our view is the same as the ESA statement, for the most part. So that's going to play its course."
The statement from the Entertainment Software Agency Slatoff is referring to came in this issue of Rolling Stone, which was:
"Loot boxes are a voluntary feature in certain video games that provide players with another way to obtain virtual items that can be used to enhance their in-game experiences. They are not gambling."
Gambling as a whole is voluntary, but if it's spending real money to get randomized prizes then it's gambling. That's our view, anyway. It's obviously not Take-Two's, or EA's.
EA's Blake Jorgensen put his foot in it at the conference when he said, as the reason EA didn't go with the less-offensive cosmetic items in Lootboxes, "the one thing we're very focused on and they're extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars" which is nonsense on so many levels since Battlefront 1 had the ability to customize characters, plus Battlefront 2 isn't exactly canon.
In our review of Battlefront 2 we noted how the Loot Crate-based economy actually ruins the game, whether or not microtransactions are involved. Hopefully Take-Two aren't planned anything like it for Red Dead Redemption 2...