A leaked EA presentation says the company is doing 'everything it can' to get players into FIFA's loot boxes

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Source: EA

DOCUMENTS DETAIL EFFORTS TO “CHANNEL” PLAYERS TO ULTIMATE TEAM MODE



Leaked documents from Electronic Arts suggest that the company is doing “everything” in its power to get players from FIFA in the way Ultimate Team game to buy loot boxes.

Ultimate Team, which allows users to buy packs from random players in an attempt to assemble a world-class squad, is controversial because some argue that its pay-to-win mechanic equates to the game.

In a 54-page document from the EA Sports leaked to the CBC News , which appears to be a presentation of FIFA 21, FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is labeled as the “cornerstone” of the game. “We're doing everything we can to get players there,” he says.

In its last fiscal year, the EA earned $1,5 billion, or 27%, of its net income, with the Ultimate Team in FIFA, Madden and NHL games, the third year in a row the mode has generated more than $1 billion.

“All roads lead to FUT,” reads a point in the leaked presentation, explaining how the game includes “content teasers” and “targeted” messages designed to “drive enthusiasm and direct players toward FUT in other ways.”



Source: A leaked slide from the EA Sports FIFA 21 presentation

"I don't know why anyone would post this at the company," said an anonymous CBC source. “It is getting harder and harder to defend what is obviously an unregulated game.”

They added: “For years… they were able to act with a layer of plausible deniability. Yet in their internal documents they say, 'This is our goal. We want people to be directed towards card pack mode. '”

Source: EA
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The CBC insider also leaked a slightly shorter internal EA document that labeled the in-game currency FIFA players can earn as “grind currency”

The leaker said, “'Grinding' in video games is slang for doing the same monotonous task over and over to the point where it's no longer fun. It seems that [EA games] are designed to be boring, boring and to encourage people of all ages to spend money on card packs. ”

An EA spokesperson told the CBC that the "confidential" documents were being "seen without context" and misinterpreted.

"All EA games can be played without spending on in-game items, and most players don't," they stated.

“Modes like Ultimate Team, which have been a part of our FIFA games for over a decade, are some of the most popular gaming experiences in the world.”

The spokesperson added: "'Grind currency' is not a term we normally use."

EA has found itself at the center of the loot box debate amid increased governmental and legal scrutiny of the gaming industry in recent years, with the company facing multiple lawsuits alleging that the use of pay-to-win mechanics violates gambling laws.

Kerry Hopkins, EA’s vice president of legal and government affairs, championed the company’s “very ethical” use of loot boxes during a selected Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee at the UK House of Commons in 2019.



“Well, first, we don't call them loot boxes,” she said. “So what do we consider surprise mechanics… If you go to one, I don't know what your version of Target is but a store that sells a lot of toys and you do a search for surprise toys, what you find is that this is something that people like, like surprises. And so it's something that's been a part of toys for years, whether it's Kinder Eggs or Hatchimals or LOL Surprise.

“We think the way we implement these kind of mechanics, and FIFA, of course, is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packages, is actually quite ethical and fun, and people-friendly.”

In November 2020, EA released an in-game tracking tool that allows FIFA 21 players to track and limit the amount they play and spend on FIFA Points.

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