FIFA 22 is now available, and the launch of the new installment of the Electronic Arts football saga rekindled the controversy over loot boxes. As we have mentioned on other occasions, EA generates millionaire figures through FIFA Ultimate Team.
This game mode has been under scrutiny for years for supposedly encouraging gambling, especially in minors. And while EA has spoken out against the belief that playing FUT is the same as gambling, the issue cannot be overlooked.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Chris Bruzzo, Experience Director at Electronic Arts, spoke about FIFA 22 and the ongoing loot box controversy in FIFA Ultimate Team. Although the manager asserted that 9 out of 10 player packs are purchased with FUT Coins (which are earned by playing), and not with real money, he left a brilliant phrase regarding children’s access to this game mode.
“Children should not spend money on our game. Children should not spend on FIFA”, he stated. He added: “We see a very low percentage of accounts for people under the age of 18. But more importantly, our default setting is that accounts for people under 18 are not allowed to spend. And we work with Sony and Microsoft to also institute default spending controls for kids. Kids shouldn’t spend on FIFA, period. ”
FIFA 22, Ultimate Team, and the obsession that leads to pay to win
In several sections of the interview with Eurogamer, the topic of “paying to win” arises, a behavior that is seen in FIFA Ultimate Team, and therefore in FIFA 22. Although Bruzzo ensures that most of the player card packs are buy with FUT coins, that does not necessarily mean there is no real money behind.
Recall that last July a farm of 3,800 PS4 Pro was discovered in Ukraine. At first it was said that the consoles were used to mine cryptocurrencies; However, it was later learned that, in reality, were used to automatically play FIFA. In this way they earned FUT coins, and sold the accounts already loaded with virtual money to those interested. Thus, users could later buy better footballers for their teams.
So, it is clear that there are many nuances within a story that is already very big, and FIFA 22 cannot escape. It is also true that Electronic Arts has incorporated the option to preview the packs of footballers in FIFA Ultimate Team. So users can see which cards are included in the packages before you buy them, and it doesn’t feel like a gamble. Although this also comes hand in hand with an important economic benefit for developers.
For now, FIFA 22 has managed to reignite the controversy over loot boxes. We will see how this situation progresses.