Electronic Arts wants to push FIFA players to FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) mode, which allows people to spend real money and in-game currency to purchase loot boxes with virtual athletes, according to documents obtained by CBC News. Loot boxes, which typically offer random collections of virtual goods with the tempting (and often very small) chance of winning something that could give you an advantage in a game, can make stacks of money for studios, but are criticized for being linked gambling .
You can read two of the documents CBC News had access to here, which appear to have been taken from an internal EA presentation. In one, EA says, “FUT is the cornerstone and we’re doing everything we can to get players there.” In another section, headed “All roads lead to FUT,” a section says that teasers and targeted messages “will boost excitement and drive players from other modes to FUT.”
A separate document apparently referred to FIFA’s in-game currency as “ grind currency, ” it said CBC News. The publication says the information was shared by a ‘game insider’.
To this was EA’s response CBC News on the 54-page document – the studio says the documents are viewed without context:
An EA spokesperson declined an interview request and declined to comment on the document, which he said was “privileged and confidential,” except that it is “viewed without context” and interpretations of what it says “have been misinformed.” asked for clarification, he did not respond.
“All EA games can be played without spending in-game items, and the majority of players don’t spend,” Charlie Fortescue said in a statement.
And with regard to the term “grind currency,” an EA spokesperson said CBC News that “grind currency” is not a term we usually use. ”
Loot boxes have been researched for their links to gambling for years, and many publishers have changed the way they sell in-game items in response to criticism. Epic Games has removed blind draw loot boxes Fortnite’s “Save the World” mode in 2019 and now allows players to see what’s inside before buying. Bungie has removed paid loot boxes from Destiny 2 in 2020. And EA has removed in-game purchases from Star Wars Battlefront 2 hours before the game came out in 2017, allowing people to buy a special currency with which to buy loot boxes.
Months after the Battlefront 2 controversy, Patrick Söderlund, former EA Chief Design Officer, promised EA would learn from mistakes and “get better.” But it seems that FIFAThe loot boxes in FUT have been valuable enough to EA that the studio will continue to push players into the mode.
EA did not respond to a request for comment. If you know more about EA’s or other company’s plans for loot boxes you want to share with us, drop us a tip.