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EA reportedly says controversial in-game loot boxes are plain old fun

Critics say they encourage behavior like gambling, but EA's vice president of legal reportedly tells UK's Parliament that they're "quite ethical and quite fun."

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If you didn't like loot boxes in Battlefront II then you didn't like fun, according to EA. 

Josh Miller/CNET

When Star Wars Battlefront II came out in 2017, people weren't happy about the loot boxes, or grab bags of surprise items that players buy with in-game currency and that critics say foster compulsive habits like gambling. Now EA, the game's publisher, has reportedly told a committee of the UK's Parliament that loot boxes are just plain fun.

Testifying before Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Wednesday, EA's vice president of legal, Kerry Hopkins, said loot boxes are "quite ethical and quite fun," according to the BBC. Hopkins and representatives from Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, were reportedly questioned on the subject of gaming addiction.

In regard to loot boxes, Hopkins reportedly said, "This is something people enjoy. They enjoy surprises. It's something that's been part of toys for years, whether it's Kinder Eggs or Hatchimals or LOL Surprise."

A spokesperson from EA declined to comment further. 

In May, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, introduced legislation to the US Senate on banning loot boxes. Both the UK and Australia have called for a review of the practice, and loot boxes have been banned in Belgium.

Originally published June 20, 9:07 a.m. PT.
Update, 9:30 a.m.: Adds comment from EA.