EA is once again saying something controversial and this time, it's claiming FIFA players love FUT Packs, the game's loot boxes. For many years, loot boxes have been a bit of a plague on the gaming industry. Some of them are harmless, but a lot of them can create problems. They became such a problem that it created major backlash in a number of games like Call of Duty, leading to major franchises embracing other monetization strategies like battle passes which have been received in a much better way. With that said, sports franchises still have loot boxes because they make tons of money and are a major part of how these titles function. There's no better example of this than FIFA, which allows you to buy and earn card packs that give you random players and other goodies.
EA is defending FUT Packs and claiming players love them in a new statement to Eurogamer. The statement comes after the UK ruled that it would not regulate loot boxes, something that is being considered in other European countries and has even been banned in Belgium, noting that it was a form of gambling. Nevertheless, EA is doubling down on FUT Packs in countries where it is permitted, but noted that it doesn't "encourage spending over earning rewards" and the choice to buy them is optional.
"We wholeheartedly believe that Ultimate Team and FUT Packs, which have been part of the game for more than a decade, are a part of FIFA that players love – fans love that the game reflects the real-world excitement and strategy of building and managing a squad," said EA. "Giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair. It's worth saying that spending is entirely optional in our game, and we do not encourage spending over earning rewards through game play. FUT Packs work in just the same way whether they are paid for or earned, and most players don't spend in game at all. For example, nine out of 10 FUT Packs opened in FIFA 22 were earned."
Given there is an entire genre of videos of people opening FUT Packs on YouTube, there probably are people that do love them. Nevertheless, it is an interesting statement given how controversial loot boxes have been for gaming. The fact that governments are considering regulating them shows there's definitely a stigma about them.
Do you like loot boxes or FUT Packs? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.