EA responds to recent ‘FIFA Ultimate Team’ controversies

“Decisions to spend are always entirely optional”

Electronic Arts (EA) has responded to the recent FIFA 21 and Ultimate Team controversies related to loot boxes.

Yesterday, April 26, reports surfaced of a gaming insider claiming that EA has been steering players towards the purchase of loot boxes in FIFA 21 and Ultimate Team. The source’s claims were supported by a leaked 54-page document presentation which mentions that “all roads lead to FUT” and that “we are doing everything we can to drive players there”.

“We seek every day to provide players with content choices that fuel their excitement and connection to the sport and their friends,” said EA on its website.

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The developer and publisher continued: “Which is why we’re so disappointed in a recent media report about FUT which ignored important information and context, the result being a sensationalized story with a misrepresentation of the facts.”

EA went on to list a number of “facts” about the company’s approach to FIFA 21 and FUT. “We do not “push” people to spend in our games,” said the company before noting that Summer is a typically busy time in the FUT community, and that new content and community events are introduced through FUT, with “extensive non-monetized rewards”. “Decisions to spend are always entirely optional,” said EA.

EA also claimed that the content in the leaked document supports their claims by showing “how we are supporting engagement in our game during the summer period, not spending.”

In recent months, loot boxing in video games has been criticised and has been likened to gambling. In January this year, former EA Sports president Peter Moore said that he did not view loot boxes as a form of gambling.

Moore, who had been president of EA Sports when the company introduced Ultimate Team to the FIFA franchise in 2008, pointed out that players always receive something in return for their purchase.

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