EA responds FIFA 21 loot box allegations following ‘leaked document’

EA Sports have responded after a ‘leaked document’ claimed that they “drive players” into spending money on loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team.

Canadian Sports Broadcasting (CBC) reported that they were contacted by a ‘gaming insider’ about the alleged leaked document.

It is claimed that the document was a presentation about the release of FIFA 21 and was shared internally.

The key point is where the document refers to FUT as a “cornerstone”, as well as making references to “content teasers” and “targeted Aruba messaging” that would “funnel” players towards playing FUT.

The game mode features player packs, which can be bought either via FIFA’s in-game currency or by FIFA Points, which can only be purchased using real money.

It is one of EA’s most profitable streams of income, and has reportedly earned them over $1 billion in net revenue each of the past three years.

Loot boxes have always been a controversial topic when it comes to Ultimate Team.

In 2019, Belgium announced a ban on loot boxes, declaring them “in violation of gambling legislation“. Those bought using real money were removed from games.

An EA vice-president stated in the same year that their in-game packs are ‘surprise mechanics‘, rather than loot boxes.

Now, EA have released a statement in relation to the allegations made in the leaked document.

EA’s response

EA responded in a lengthy statement published to their official website titled ‘Comments on Recent FIFA Ultimate Team Media Reporting‘.

Represented as a series of bullet points, they said: “We always look for opportunities to introduce more players to modes in our games. Our FIFA players are expecting fresh content that makes the service exciting, so that’s a constant focus for us.

“We do not ‘push’ people to spend in our games. Where we provide that choice, we are very careful not to promote spending over earning in the game, and the majority of FIFA players never spend money on in-game items.

“Summer is a very active time in our FUT community, and we ensure more of our new content and community events in the game are centered there. The new content that we introduce throughout the year includes extensive non-monetized rewards. Decisions to spend are always optional.

“Nothing in the leaked document contradicts this in any way – it shows how we are supporting engagement in our game during the summer period, not spending.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to provide players a safe and fun experience.

“We don’t encourage young players to spend in our games, and we strongly recommend use of family controls to manage the content that children are allowed to access, their ability to spend in games, and how much time they can play.”

They concluded the statement by adding: “We hope to see these facts more accurately represented in the future.”

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