4 years after Star Wars: Battlefront II’s disastrous launch galvanized the world against loot boxes, EA continues to be defending the exploitative microtransaction in its crown jewel: FIFA. In-game card packs don’t simply make the writer billions, EA swears that gamers love them too.
“We wholeheartedly consider that Final Crew and FUT Packs, which have been a part of the sport for greater than a decade, are part of FIFA that gamers love,” EA told Eurogamer in a press release yesterday. “Followers love that the sport displays the real-world pleasure and technique of constructing and managing a squad. Giving gamers the selection to spend in the event that they wish to is honest.”
The writer’s newest endorsement of loot containers comes because it prepares to launch FIFA 23, the final recreation within the collection with the FIFA license before it’s rebranded as EA Sports FC. EA confirmed to Eurogamer that FUT Packs will return within the new recreation this fall, an announcement that comes a month after the UK government revealed it might not regulate loot containers as playing regardless of individuals who use them being more likely to experience “playing, psychological well being, monetary and downside gaming-related harms.”
For individuals who aren’t conscious, Final Crew is FIFA’s hottest on-line mode. It revolves round making a dream crew consisting of gamers acquired from opening card packs. Larger-rated stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and previous icon Pelé carry out higher in matches, and are additionally extraordinarily laborious to get. The corporate calls it an harmless, enjoyable “surprise mechanic,” and has maintained up to now that it’s positively not playing.
EA says it encourages gamers to earn packs by taking part in the sport, but it surely nonetheless offers them the choice to purchase them outright for actual cash. Given the aggressive nature of the mode, and the truth that there may be a complete market round YouTubers and influencers glorifying pack opening searching for the rarest soccer stars, it’s not laborious to see why that may be a nasty concept.
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Whereas some massive recreation corporations have seen dips of their enterprise this yr, EA has continued flying excessive, largely due to the ongoing success of its loot box-based Final Crew modes. EA advised Eurogamer that just one in 10 gamers buys FUT Packs with actual cash, however the income speaks for itself. In 2020, the mode, featured in Madden and NHL as effectively, earned the corporate $1.62 billion. We don’t know the way a lot it earned final yr, nevertheless, as a result of EA determined to omit the figure in its report for 2021. It’s no surprise, then, that EA continues to run interference for the controversial mechanic years after many different main video games have dropped it.
As Eurogamer factors out, there stays regulatory strain in Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, and different European international locations, the place FIFA is hottest, to crack down on playing mechanics in video games. In Belgium, the place loot containers have been outright banned, EA eliminated them from the sport.