Nintendo Refunds parents regarding FIFA 19 Microtransaction, EA remains quiet

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#1 Edited by FireEmblem_Man (19742 posts) -

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 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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Avatar image for Archangel3371
#2 Posted by Archangel3371 (28158 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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#3 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 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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#4 Posted by Juub1990 (8639 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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#5 Posted by Archangel3371 (28158 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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#6 Posted by Archangel3371 (28158 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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#7 Edited by Random_Matt (4251 posts) -

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

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#8 Posted by adsparky (1412 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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#9 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 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 Posted by foxhound_fox (97973 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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#11 Edited by Litchie (24040 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.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k
#12 Posted by R4gn4r0k (31215 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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#13 Posted by WitIsWisdom (5248 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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#14 Edited by HalcyonScarlet (8413 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 Posted by DaVillain- (36951 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.

Avatar image for phbz
#16 Edited by phbz (4507 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 Posted by djoffer (1377 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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#18 Posted by uninspiredcup (33714 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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#19 Edited by Xabiss (2717 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.

Avatar image for FireEmblem_Man
#20 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 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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#21 Posted by Wiiboxstation (1387 posts) -

Extremely classy move from Nintendo.

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#22 Edited by Pedro (34958 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 Posted by AJStyles (920 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 Posted by Calvincfb (0 posts) -

Loot boxes need to be gone.

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#26 Posted by XVision84 (16252 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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#27 Posted by XVision84 (16252 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 (15263 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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#29 Posted by Techhog89 (3747 posts) -

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

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#30 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (13658 posts) -

Damn those wonderful surprise mechanics.

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#31 Posted by sakaiXx (5712 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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#32 Posted by Ant_17 (12559 posts) -

Meanwhile they are getting shit for Dr Mario on mobile.

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#33 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (18992 posts) -

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

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#34 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 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 Posted by Ant_17 (12559 posts) -

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

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#36 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 posts) -

@Ant_17: How's Fate/Grand Order?

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#37 Posted by Solaryellow (4957 posts) -

@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.

Avatar image for Ant_17
#38 Posted by Ant_17 (12559 posts) -

@FireEmblem_Man:

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

Avatar image for FireEmblem_Man
#39 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (19742 posts) -

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

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#40 Edited by Zidaneski (8830 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.