A massive 54-page document was leaked out of EA’s sports division in Burnaby, B.C., and arrived into the hands of CBC. According to the document, the company is intentionally trying to drive players towards gameplay that encourages additional spending in the form of FIFA packs.
EA Under Fire for Lootbox Gambling
EA being in the spotlight for its shady business practices is nothing new, but this leak confirms what people have known for years now, that the company is intentionally designing gameplay around a pay-to-win model.
According to the document, Ultimate Team is considered the cornerstone of FIFA gameplay. For anyone that doesn’t play FIFA, this part of the game is dominated by the need to buy packs and players to build a custom team capable of competing with other people.
At the top of the document, a bullet point claims that EA is “doing everything to drive players there.”
Despite the company’s claims that lootbox purchases are optional and not akin to gambling, almost everyone with any practical experience with the game would disagree.
Lootboxes in games like Overwatch can make this claim because the items up for grabs are purely cosmetic.
In the case of FIFA, though, how much you spend directly impacts how well your team performs in-game, incentivizing players to spend more cash, turning what is already a full-priced AAA title into a heavily-monetized Pay2Win system.
While the leak has brought fresh attention to EA’s practices, it’s unlikely that anything is going to come of it in the long term. However, it’s important to remember that developers like this are purposefully designing their games to bleed money from you, rather than being content with the initial $70+ purchase.