So CBC’s Go Public recently published two pages from an internal FIFA 21 document. This document discusses the company’s approach to Ultimate Team. The document reads “FUT is the cornerstone and we are doing everything we can to drive players there,”
The CBC Go Public reported that the leaker gave this information and leaked the document because “he and others he knows who work on video games don’t feel good about projects that include loot boxes”. It also reports that the insider told “We can’t really do anything about it because at the end of the day, [the] company is trying to make money and satisfy investors,”
“For years… they’ve been able to act with a layer of plausible deniability. Yet in their internal documents, they’re saying, ‘This is our goal. We want people driven to the card pack mode.’ “
And of course, EA rejected these allegations, explaining “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.”
And they insisted “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.”
And there is a line in the internal document that says “players will be actively messaged and incentivized to convert throughout the summer”. EA defended it by saying the summer is a very active time within the 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 entirely 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 the 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. Our EA platform for PC games also includes dedicated Child and Teen accounts, so that all of our players and their parents can make informed choices about how they play. And tools like FIFA Playtime help players take control of how they play, including the ability to set limits to manage their engagement and purchasing.”
“We also firmly disagree that FIFA or any of our games involve gambling. Regulators in multiple countries around the world have stated publicly that where there is no cashout method, loot boxes do not constitute gambling.
“We take great care to ensure that our games are played as designed, including by taking action against those who violate our rules against trading outside the game. We do not believe there is merit in any of the recent litigation filed in the US or Canada and are confident the courts will agree.
“Recently, a US Federal Court judge dismissed a related case noting that ‘the lack of any real-world transferable value to items takes them outside of the gambling laws. So again, supported by all of these perspectives from authorities, we do not believe any aspect of EA’s games constitutes gambling.”
“We hope to see these facts more accurately represented in the future. In the meantime, we continue to work every day to ensure our FIFA Ultimate Team players have the best possible experience playing the game they love.”