EA says “Giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair”

The company will keep the controversial reward mechanism in its titles for the foreseeable future.
FIFA Ultimate Team's player pack opening podium

The American video game giant Electronic Arts defended the loot box system that’s present in FIFA, Madden, and other titles alike; adding that it’s fair to let the players decide if they want to spend extra cash on a game they own.

Back in 2020, a report published by UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport suggested “gambling-like” systems in games can cause “mental health and financial problems” for “vulnerable” players, and in July 2022, a group of UK government authorities pushed for a working group to supervise in-game monetization systems to reduce the risk of harm.

The UK government recently decided not to legislate loot boxes and other similar in-game monetization systems and following this decision, Eurogamer reached EA for comments. The press company pointed out the fact that EA enables pay-to-win in the game’s competitive modes. EA has been criticized heavily by children’s groups, anti-gambling organizations, and even by its own fan base.

EA Games replied to Eurogamer’s queries, defending the loot box system and adding that FIFA 23 will continue to have FUT packs (FIFA’s version of loot boxes), of course, to no one’s surprise. EA’s full statement about the loot boxes is as follows:

“We wholeheartedly believe that Ultimate Team and FUT Packs, which have been part of the game for more than a decade, are a part of FIFA that players love – fans love that the game reflects the real-world excitement and strategy of building and managing a squad. Giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair.

“It’s worth saying that spending is entirely optional in our game, and we do not encourage spending over earning rewards through game play. FUT Packs work in just the same way whether they are paid for or earned, and most players don’t spend in-game at all. For example, nine out of 10 FUT Packs opened in FIFA 22 were earned.”

EA released Q1 FY 2023 earnings report last week and the company hit its financial targets for the quarter, mainly thanks to in-game spending in FIFA 22. EA CEO Andrew Wilson added that FIFA Ultimate Team grew nearly 40% year-over-year and the game will continue to grow, despite EA and FIFA brand partnership coming to an end after nearly three decades.

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