EA Sports is renowned for their sporting games, in particular FIFA.
While the football simulator provides a range of game modes, including Career Mode where you manage a team, their biggest game mode is Ultimate Team.
Ultimate Team provides players with the chance to build their ‘Ultimate Team’ from a plethora of different player cards.
EA Sports release promo events almost weekly, offering new cards with boosted stats to their player base. You can buy these with coins you earn by playing games, or, if you’re lucky enough, find them in a loot box (pack).
The Canadian-based company makes most of their money through Ultimate Team, so they try to drive their player base to the game mode at every opportunity.
The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) have done a report into in-game loot boxes, with FIFA Ultimate Team being cited as an example.
Although you have the free choice to spend your money on the game, they use clever tactics to push you into spending large amounts of money on the game.
Not only do they make you feel like your team isn’t good enough by constantly bringing out cards that are better and almost unattainable without spending large quantities of money, they push players into impulse purchases.
Continuously throughout the game cycle, at random times, ‘Lightening Rounds’ are released which limits the amount of packs that can be opened.
They set a global limit on the pack, with a live counter going down to make you feel like you’ll miss out and purchase ‘FIFA Points’ to open the packs without thinking.
Belgium have already banned the in-game purchases on FIFA after it is essentially gambling aimed at young, vulnerable children.
The NCC worked out how much it would take to effectively guarantee packing one of the most desirable cards on offer, Team of the Year Kylian Mbappe.
An eye watering £11,478 would need to be spent on FIFA Points to get what is arguably the best card on the game, scandalous!
You’d have to play the game for around 2,500 hours to earn those amount of packs, basically forcing the players into buying packs if they want the best.
In 2020, content creators Bateson87 and Castro1021 spent a combined £13,798.08 on the game during the Team of the Year promo and didn’t pack a single one.