What should gambling industry learn from the recent EA Fiasco?
There was quite an outcry recently about a scandal surrounding the controversial yet more than just successful company EA. This is a huge developer and distributor of video games. Their recent heavily advertised video game Starwars: Battlefront 2 has been under fire after several consequent events that forced multiple governments and independent organizations to call loot boxes and crates that give you in-game content a form of online gambling.
Modern online casinos usually market themselves towards only adults. This has been true for the most part, but recently we noticed another trend that can be very worrying. We believe that casino games should be a conscious choice of an adult and that they are a very important form of entertainment for appropriate audiences. However, we are wholeheartedly against the very idea of marketing this industry to children. There are several reasons why we should never do it:
- Youngsters are easily manipulated and do not have enough life experience to make informed decisions;
- Adolescents and children are more likely to develop a strong addiction;
- Children believe promises in advertisements and will readily spend money of their parents if they can get an access to them.
We have discussed this issue in another article and tried to cover some problems that Western Europe faces right now. Many online casinos try to advertise to younger audiences and we must try to prevent this from happening. How is this related to the EA scandal?
Gambling is fair so far…
EA Games is a huge company with outstanding revenues and an incredible history of success despite nearly universal hatred from fans of different studios and franchises. This is a perfect example of corporate overlords who do not care about anything but profits and will gladly throw their customer under the bus in order to get profits. This was adamant when the problem with loot crates was discussed openly. In-game content that gamers usually get for free was heavily gated and hidden behind paywalls and necessities to invest time and efforts to unlock content.
A lost game is a much fairer thing for the vast majority of customers. You know your rates and chances, payout percentage is announced, and all games have an openly stated amount of money that it takes from players on average. You can make an informed decision and you know that you are paying for that thrill of chance and nothing more.
There is an interesting thing that is developing right now in our industry. We have affiliate networks with hundreds of smaller companies offering different entertainment services to their clients. We have a handful of huge brands with operations on a bigger scale. So far, the vast majority of them are playing on an even field and compete against each other openly. This is why over time we start noticing that some companies get more credit and trust than others. We think that this situation makes things a bit more transparent for many users and this the exact opposite of what is happening in the world of video games right now where corporations have such an upper hand that competing against them is too hard.
Both industries have their scammers. Video games fans know the bitter taste of disappointment from early access titles, companies that sell you unfinished low quality games, and greedy corporations that ruin your fan and gate your experience. People who regularly visit websites with online slots definitely met fraudulent enterprises who stole their money or straight up lied about chances and rates.
In fact, every single industry has their own black sheep. However, we gamblers are blessed to live in a unique period of time where communities of gamers start to make reviews for each other and promote trustworthy companies that give you good experience. At the same time, we don’t have several huge companies that define our industry. We have hundreds of great developers and thousands of responsible business owners who proved themselves as efficient entrepreneurs and Decent human beings.
We must not follow the trend
This is definitely something that we must try to preserve. The market has a very distinct shape with so many companies that compete against each other while supporting each other. We have companies that enter affiliate networks and promote fluidity of the clientele allowing their customers to switch between brands and websites seamlessly when they search for something specific.
If all those smaller businesses start merging into huge corporate entities instead of pursuing their own agendas, our industry will slowly evolve into a corrupt monstrosity that does not respect its clients and makes the experience horrible for everyone involved. Modern online casinos are greedy but not to the same extent as corporations like EA Games. Let us hope that we will never catch up to the video game domain.