Nintendo Refunds parents regarding FIFA 19 Microtransaction, EA remains quiet

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FireEmblem_Man

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#1  Edited By FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts

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Four children spent nearly £550 in three weeks buying player packs to play the Fifa football video game online on the family's Nintendo Switch console.

In Fifa, special players can be bought in packs, but the contents are only revealed after payment is completed.

The children's father, Thomas Carter, had bought them a single pack for around £8, and had not realised they had seen how he made the purchase.

The Switch has now been confiscated "indefinitely", Mr Carter said.

Nintendo has agreed to a full refund and has removed the purchased players.

While Fifa is published and sold by Electronic Arts, the payments had been made via the family's Nintendo account.

Nintendo did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr Carter, from Hampshire, admits that he did not take full precautions to limit access to his Nintendo account: he did not use a unique Pin number and the emailed receipts were sent to an old email address with a full inbox.

"I just never thought [the children] would do it," he said.

He and his wife only realised what had happened when their card was declined elsewhere because their bank account was empty.

Fifa 19 has been certified as suitable for players from the age of three.

Mr Carter said his children, who are all under the age of 10, felt very remorseful and had not understood the impact of what they were doing.

However, he also said he felt that the in-game concept of buying player packs without knowing what was inside them was unethical.

"You pay £40 for the game, which is a lot of money in itself, but then the only way to get a great team is essentially by gambling," he said, referring to online play.

"They spent £550 and they still never got their favourite player, Lionel Messi."

Video games publisher EA, which owns Fifa, declined to comment but provided a link to its guidelines on controlling in-game purchases - this varies depending on the platform or console being used.

How to activate spending controls

Some devices are more complicated than others, here's a quick (and not exhaustive) guide:

  • On the Xbox One: select the Xbox symbol button on the controller. Go to the Systems menu, then follow the pathway settings/account/sign-in, security and passkey. Select "change my sign-in", scroll right to "customise" then "ask for my passkey to make purchases".
  • On the Nintendo Switch: log-in using the parental account, click "family group" and select each family member's log-in that you wish to restrict. Click "restrict spending in Nintendo e-shop" to disable purchasing and hit save.
  • On an iPhone or iPad: activate Screen Time on the device. You will need to set up a separate parent passcode. Then go to Content and Privacy Restrictions, activate "content and privacy", go to iTunes and App Store Purchases and set to "don't allow".
  • On the PS4: you must set up a separate account for your child. The monthly spending limit is automatically set at zero. Sony says it will not refund purchases made from adult accounts.

In 2018 the games news website Eurogamer published an interview with an adult Fifa player who discovered he had spent $10,000 (£8,000) in two years,after he issued EA with a Freedom of Information request.

He told the site it was "just not worth it".

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Archangel3371

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#2 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 28741 Posts

Good on Nintendo for refunding the money.

The sooner these lootboxes where you pay real world money to open are done away with, the better. These things are terrible and don’t belong in video games let alone ones that are rated for kids or teens to play.

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FireEmblem_Man

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#3 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts
@Archangel3371 said:

Good on Nintendo for refunding the money.

The sooner these lootboxes where you pay real world money to open are done away with, the better. These things are terrible and don’t belong in video games let alone ones that are rated for kids or teens to play.

From what I got on the article, it's clearly what EA's target audience is! They want clueless 10 year olds.

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Juub1990

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#4 Juub1990
Member since 2013 • 8763 Posts
@Archangel3371 said:

Good on Nintendo for refunding the money.

The sooner these lootboxes where you pay real world money to open are done away with, the better. These things are terrible and don’t belong in video games let alone ones that are rated for kids or teens to play.

Honestly they should just give the options to buy what you want. If they had gotten Messi after spending the first 8$, none of this would have happened but lootboxes are designed to make you spend and spend.

I really hope they get outlawed.

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Archangel3371

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#5 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 28741 Posts

@FireEmblem_Man: I also blame the ESA and ESRB. They’ve failed gamers and consumers in general by not adequately rating these gambling mechanics. They’ve simply become a mouthpiece to try and defend these shady practices from the greediest of the greedy.

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Archangel3371

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#6 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 28741 Posts

@Juub1990: Yeah, they should just have the option to buy what you want without all this greedy RNG bs. These lootboxes also just end up ruining what could and should be good games.

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Random_Matt

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#7  Edited By Random_Matt
Member since 2013 • 4382 Posts

Guess the kids are grounded. Shitty EA disappearing I see.

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adsparky

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#8 adsparky
Member since 2006 • 1460 Posts

This is funny because a few days ago an EA executive said that they didn't want to be seen as the bad guys.

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FireEmblem_Man

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#9 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts
@adsparky said:

This is funny because a few days ago an EA executive said that they didn't want to be seen as the bad guys.

Yep! Glad Nintendo gave them their money back. Besides, EA's support for the Switch is shit anyways.

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#10 foxhound_fox
Member since 2005 • 98079 Posts

@FireEmblem_Man said:

"You pay £40 for the game, which is a lot of money in itself, but then the only way to get a great team is essentially by gambling," he said, referring to online play.

I already know why it hasn't already been outlawed in the US, and that's because the big companies like EA likely have political representatives that they "sponsor".

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Litchie

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#11  Edited By Litchie
Member since 2003 • 24516 Posts

Lame that he got refunded. He was an idiot and should learn his lesson. He bought a pack himself, and then later say that selling packs is unethical. How about not supporting it then, you freaking moron.

"Mr Carter, from Hampshire, admits that he did not take full precautions to limit access to his Nintendo account: he did not use a unique Pin number and the emailed receipts were sent to an old email address with a full inbox.

"I just never thought [the children] would do it," he said.

Again - Thomas Carter is an idiot. Nintendo didn't have to do shit and are very good sports for helping him anyway.

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R4gn4r0k

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#12 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 31729 Posts
@FireEmblem_Man said:

Link

Four children spent nearly £550 in three weeks buying player packs to play the Fifa football video game online on the family's Nintendo Switch console.

[...]

In 2018 the games news website Eurogamer published an interview with an adult Fifa player who discovered he had spent $10,000 (£8,000) in two years,after he issued EA with a Freedom of Information request.

He told the site it was "just not worth it".

Still a better deal than paying for Switch online.

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WitIsWisdom

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#13 WitIsWisdom
Member since 2007 • 5430 Posts

I seriously doubt the packs are going anywhere in sports game for a long long time... Honestly I feel they should not have been refunded. If you as a parent are dumb enough to leave your credit card info on your children's game console and they are all under 10, and you haven't stressed the importance of not buying things... well, too damn bad. It was awesome of Nintendo to refund it.. I mean, don't get me wrong. It was a hell of a thing for them to do... I'm just not so sure they should have.

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HalcyonScarlet

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#14  Edited By HalcyonScarlet
Member since 2011 • 8472 Posts

Kerry Hopkins, the vice president of EA games, told British MPs that the [loot] boxes were "quite ethical and fun". XD

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#15 DaVillain-  Moderator  Online
Member since 2014 • 38659 Posts

@Litchie said:

Lame that he got refunded. He was an idiot and should learn his lesson. He bought a pack himself, and then later say that selling packs is unethical. How about not supporting it then, you freaking moron.

"Mr Carter, from Hampshire, admits that he did not take full precautions to limit access to his Nintendo account: he did not use a unique Pin number and the emailed receipts were sent to an old email address with a full inbox.

"I just never thought [the children] would do it," he said.

Again - Thomas Carter is an idiot. Nintendo didn't have to do shit and are very good sports for helping him anyway.

You took the words right out of my mouth. The Parents are responsible for their children's action and no damn way I'm letting my own child making purchase online without my counseling. Just play the game it is and don't buy anything using real money.

The Dad is a damn fool.

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phbz

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#16  Edited By phbz
Member since 2009 • 4721 Posts

Just slap a +21 age sticker in it and make impossible to sell the game outside of betting houses.

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#17 djoffer
Member since 2007 • 1510 Posts

If you don’t like loot boxes don’t buy games that support them. I personally don’t mind them, and yeah the case in the OP is 100% the parents fault, not Nintendo or EA... but truly nice of Nintendo to refund the money!

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uninspiredcup

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#18 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 35597 Posts

Margot James defends this.

Can't wait for Labour to get back in power, finally get rid of those shits.

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Xabiss

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#19  Edited By Xabiss
Member since 2012 • 2946 Posts

2 words..... Parent Responsibility. Nothing more, nothing less. I am hating this blame everyone else generation we are living currently.

His fault entirely:

Mr Carter, from Hampshire, admits that he did not take full precautions to limit access to his Nintendo account: he did not use a unique Pin number and the emailed receipts were sent to an old email address with a full inbox.

Should not have been given a refund for his own stupidity.

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FireEmblem_Man

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#20 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts
@Xabiss said:

2 words..... Parent Responsibility. Nothing more, nothing less. I am hating this blame everyone else generation we are living currently.

His fault entirely:

Mr Carter, from Hampshire, admits that he did not take full precautions to limit access to his Nintendo account: he did not use a unique Pin number and the emailed receipts were sent to an old email address with a full inbox.

Should not have been given a refund for his own stupidity.

This I agree, but hey, at least Nintendo is more "For the gamers!" than Sony for paying back the dad ;)

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Wiiboxstation

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#21 Wiiboxstation
Member since 2014 • 1416 Posts

Extremely classy move from Nintendo.

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Pedro

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#22  Edited By Pedro
Member since 2002 • 35725 Posts

We are in 2019 and people are still acting as if technology is something spanking new confusing? WTF is wrong with these parents?

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#23 AJStyles
Member since 2018 • 1164 Posts

Parents fault for not monitoring their children properly and being stupid enough to put their credit card information on the console without a password.

Seriously, the parents should NOT have got a refund. This should have been a hard lesson for them.

I hate Nintendo for being so soft.

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#24 Calvincfb
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Loot boxes need to be gone.

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deactivated-5d78760d7d740

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#26 deactivated-5d78760d7d740
Member since 2009 • 16386 Posts

I don't see the problem here. It's just surprise mechanics. Kids love them just like they love kinder eggs.

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deactivated-5d78760d7d740

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#27 deactivated-5d78760d7d740
Member since 2009 • 16386 Posts

@Xabiss: The parents are partially to blame, but we should not exempt EA. They knew exactly what they were doing with these gambling mechanics, especially by marketing it for kids 3 and up. I'm very glad to see governing bodies finally pushing back on this.

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#28  Edited By Maroxad
Member since 2007 • 15305 Posts

@ajstyles said:

Parents fault for not monitoring their children properly and being stupid enough to put their credit card information on the console without a password.

Seriously, the parents should NOT have got a refund. This should have been a hard lesson for them.

I hate Nintendo for being so soft.

They still probably learnt their lesson. Despite Nintendo "being so soft". Warnings, can be extremely useful for teaching lessons.

Needless punishment isnt necessary. Especially endanging the fiscial security of a household.

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Techhog89

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#29 Techhog89
Member since 2015 • 3804 Posts

Nintendo, why you gotta put fair and ethical surprise mechanics down?

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#30 speedfreak48t5p
Member since 2009 • 13714 Posts

Damn those wonderful surprise mechanics.

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#31 sakaiXx
Member since 2013 • 6246 Posts

Its nintendo refunding the parent right? So EA got away scott free? Not like ea will take action on this

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Ant_17

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#32 Ant_17
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts

Meanwhile they are getting shit for Dr Mario on mobile.

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#33  Edited By hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19368 Posts

Well done Nintendo (even though they didn't really have to).

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#34 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts
@Ant_17 said:

Meanwhile they are getting shit for Dr Mario on mobile.

Yet Fire Emblem Heroes still the big money maker

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#35 Ant_17
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts

@FireEmblem_Man: Fucking weeabs and their stupid waifu emblem game.

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FireEmblem_Man

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#36 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts

@Ant_17: How's Fate/Grand Order?

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#37 Solaryellow
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@foxhound_fox said:
@FireEmblem_Man said:

"You pay £40 for the game, which is a lot of money in itself, but then the only way to get a great team is essentially by gambling," he said, referring to online play.

I already know why it hasn't already been outlawed in the US, and that's because the big companies like EA likely have political representatives that they "sponsor".

Does acquiring a "great" team guarantee victory? Dad just sounds salty.

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Ant_17

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#38 Ant_17
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts

@FireEmblem_Man:

Never played it, but seems Sony is making bank on it.

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#39 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19854 Posts

@Ant_17: well then stop bitching and marry your husbando, Astolfo

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#40  Edited By Zidaneski
Member since 2003 • 8854 Posts

The father could have taken better precautions but what if the kids still managed to do it anyways? What if it was your own family and your younger brothers did this to your parents? Kids younger than 10 are far from capable of knowing the full weight of their actions.

Of course appropriate discipline should still be meted out.