FIFA’s use of loot boxes has consistently earned loud criticism for the soccer franchise. However, publisher EA is obviously still not aware of any guilt and tries to defend the feature with weird excuses. A column by Gregor Elsholz.
FIFA is a game where over 25 million players chase a ball – and in the end EA always wins. The franchise is incredibly successful and for the publisher extremely lucrative, not least because of the income from loot boxes from the FIFA Ultimate Team mode.
While the microtransactions of the soccer franchise have been causing completely justified criticism for years, it is trying To pull EA out of its responsibility again and again with questionable rhetorical tricks – and essentially acts like Sergio Ramos in his duel. EA’s Chief Experience Officer Chris Bruzzo has now made some particularly absurd arguments in an interview that are guaranteed not to win a trophy.
FIFA 22: Lootboxes have long legs
In the interview with Eurogamer, Bruzzo is asked explicitly about the lootbox mechanics in FIFA games. His attitude towards it is extremely acrobatic, like a spectacular overhead kick: According to Bruzzo, he would Loot boxes like the soccer business work in real life and thus contribute to the realism of the series.
Bruzzo, on the other hand, unceremoniously interprets the pay-to-win accusation, which comes up again and again in discussions about the FUT mode, into a player authorization: Gamers have the choice of spending money on (the chance for) better players – and this choice is something positive.
To round off his line of argument, Bruzzo also emphasizes several times that 9 out of 10 loot boxes are acquired with in-game coins and at all only 22 percent of all FIFA players have real money output in FUT mode. (Source: Eurogamer).
No surprise: EA defends microtransactions
Of course, even with a lot of imagination, the transfer business in professional football does not work in such a way that Manager knocking money for surprise packages on the head and then get annoyed about having drawn the same, at best acceptable, center-forward for the fifth time – even though they actually wanted a left full-back.
The loot boxes in FUT mode have absolutely nothing to do with the mechanisms of the real transfer market. The only realistically modeled commonality is the blatant and ruthless greed for money, the basis of both systems – a parallel that EA would rather be reluctant to admit.
FIFA: Lootboxes are not player-friendly
Bruzzo, however, portrayed lootboxing as a positive feature of the player in the interview benefit from greater freedom of choice and realism could – statements that sound like mockery in view of the sometimes financially ruinous consequences for gamers in real life.
Loot boxes are and will remain Gambling mechanics targeting vulnerable players. The fact that the majority of FIFA players do not spend any money on FUT does not change that. As an exploitative system, it does not necessarily have to take a little bit from all gamers, but rather a lot from a few. The only really player-friendly alternative for EA would be to do without loot boxes.
Here is the trailer for FIFA 22 in the video:
Loot boxes have been a real problem in FIFA for years. EA still doesn’t seem to recognize this – in a new interview the publisher tries in vain to defend the feature with which it earns huge sums of money every year.
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