Electronic Arts just doesn't seem to learn its lesson, because it's in trouble again for something that it did around four years ago.
WCCFTech reports that with the release of 'FIFA 21," EA is once again allegedly forcing players to purchase loot boxes. Electronic Arts themselves are already denying these claims, but many sources are corroborating the allegations, which first surfaced in leaked documents.
The documents, according to a report by the Canadian news outlet CBC, reveal a certain play mode that lets gamers buy certain loot boxes to improve the experience or increase their chances of winning games. It is called FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), which the documents claim is the game's "cornerstone."
All of this information purportedly came from an insider at Electronic Arts, who said that they, and others they know who work on games, don't feel good about including loot boxes in projects, reports EuroGamer.
No Stranger To Scummy Practices
Electronic Arts, being one of the biggest developers and publishers in the industry, is just like any other business. Their main goal is to make money to please investors. But it's the way they try to make that money that's put them in a negative light before.
Again, let's go back to four years ago with the release of another big EA game, "Star Wars: Battlefront 2."
"Battlefront 2' was one of the most anticipated titles of last gen due to its inclusion of a handful of beloved "Star Wars" characters. But these characters (and more powerful equipment) were only unlockable in two ways: you could spend an ungodly number of hours playing just to earn enough in-game credits. Or you can just buy the credits with real money.
TLDR: if you paid extra for the loot boxes in "Battlefront 2," you're better equipped than much of your opponents.
The result was a worldwide fiasco, which put video game loot boxes under intense scrutiny. Some national governments even considered this as a form of gambling, and as such caused a massive PR nightmare for Electronic Arts.
Eventually, EA executive Patrick Söderlund apologized, saying that they "got it wrong" and vowing that it will never happen again with subsequent releases, as written on Business Insider.
Solving The Problem Of Loot Boxes
Electronic Arts can likely learn something from Blizzard when it comes to solving the problem of microtransactions and/or loot boxes.
In Blizzard's massively popular online shooter "Overwatch," loot boxes contain items that are purely cosmetic and doesn't affect the gameplay in any way. Players can easily win loot boxes by playing the game and levelling up, which doesn't require too much "grinding." And what's even better is that these boxes don't cost much if you decided to buy them either.
Compare that to "Battlefront 2" and now "FIFA 21," and you see the problem: locking better items and characters behind a pay-to-win scheme isn't just scummy; it's flat out unfair.
Nobody wants a repeat of that time when a teenager spent USD $8000 on "FIFA" microtransactions, because honestly, that's just insane. But if the allegations are proven true, then EA will have broken a promise they made after the scandal that is "Battlefront 2."
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce