May 22, 2022

Own Goal For EA As It Advertises FIFA Loot Box Currency to Kids

EA has quite literally hit an own goal as it once again advertises its FIFA loot box currency to children. As spotted by Twitter users, adverts have appeared for the upcoming FIFA 21 blatantly on-show in a UK toy store

https://realsport101.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/kylian-mbappe-fifa-21.jpg

EA has quite literally hit an own goal as it once again advertises its FIFA loot box currency to children. As spotted by Twitter users, adverts have appeared for the upcoming FIFA 21 in the Smyth’s Toy Catalogue – a UK based toy store chain.

FIFA loot box currency

So how does this work? Well FIFA is famed for FIFA Ultimate Team which is a competitive online mode. You earn a small amount of FIFA points in game. These can then be used to buy FIFA Ultimate Team packs which give you a random assortment of players. A loot box system, if you will. The catch is that you can earn them in-game but not really. To get a good team you need the best players but the chances of those are low so… you need to spend more to try to increase your odds of getting top players.

This has been the way of FIFA (and other franchises) for some time. Indeed this advertising has been going on each year. So why is it such an own goal now for EA and loot box currency? Paid loot boxes are very controversial in gaming. The real world cost on the promise of a random reward is often compared to gambling, an industry that is heavily regulated. This comparison to gambling has seen global investigations into the practice.

Big Brass Ones

Right now, in the UK, the British Government is investigating links between loot boxes and gambling in games such as FIFA. If found to be a form of gambling, it would mean more regulation. Crucially, any such regulation would make the games unsuitable for children. EA and other major publishers have repeatedly argued against this claim but it could be said that the industry is losing the battle. In Belgium, loot boxes have been ruled illegal – a ruling that EA ignored before having to step down.

So it seems an odd decision to continue to advertise the practice to children at a time when there is regulatory pressure to remove them. If we are honest we can’t help but admire EA’s cojones. That said, if we were earning an estimated $1.49 billion from Ultimate team, maybe we would have a big pair of brass ones.

Source: Eurogamer


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