Although FIFA has always been a fan favorite, its most recent edition has angered some devoted players because of its contentious loot box mechanics. After the Elite Season opening pack was added and priced at $30 during the game’s “early access” period, players’ criticisms about the game’s pay-to-win system have only become worse.
It seems that video game developer Electronic Arts (EA) is not alone in their use of gambling tactics to boost revenue. FanDuel, a leading fantasy sports and online betting website, has a similar concept with its Fanduel online jackpot games that allow users to gamble on popular sports events.
With more and more companies turning to these tactics, it raises the question of whether it’s ethical to use gambling elements in video games and online sports platforms.
EA Sports FC 24 was published on September 22 only for users of EA Play Pro or those who paid $100 for the Ultimate Edition. According to IGN, the Elite Season Opener Pack (which offered 285,000 FUT coins or 3,000 FC points) was made available for sale, even before the game was accessible to the public starting on September 29.
This pack contained non-tradable 45 Rare Gold players with ratings of 80 or higher, but it’s vital to remember that these cards also contain “loan” cards. Many fans who chose to treat themselves to the pack, however, have discovered that they frequently receive players with ratings below 90 or duplicates of players they already possess.
“FIFA content creator Swarmzy pulled no punches in his recent TikTok video, urging his viewers to steer clear of this pack. Frustration evident in his voice, he struggled to find the right words to describe its disappointing contents. ‘I mean, just look at it, guys. It’s absolutely awful… I can’t even believe it,’ he exclaimed, in disbelief.”
The most played mode on FIFA is unquestionably Ultimate Team. Players are drawn in when they work hard or spend money to earn packs of pro-player cards. These cards are then used to build a powerful all-star roster for competitive online multiplayer. The game’s economy is fueled by gambling mechanics, enticing players to return each year for the latest annual release. This not only keeps the FIFA community thriving but also fills the pockets of publisher Electronic Arts with revenue from microtransactions.
EA Sports FC 24 is no exception. However, the timing and price of the Elite Season Opener Pack have left some players feeling that the company is ramping up the pressure more aggressively than usual.
Opting not to spend money on the pack could potentially put players at a significant disadvantage as they embark on their latest Ultimate Team campaign. On the other hand, those who do decide to invest may find themselves regretting it due to the unfavorable odds stacked against them. With a mere 5.6 percent chance of unlocking a Gold 90+ player, some fans have already spent $30 on the pack without receiving anything.
The pack’s outrageousness has become a humorous intelligence test for fans, separating those who genuinely buy it from the rest. While some content creators open it for the thrill and prestige, others argue that the player cards’ average value hardly matches half the cost of the required FUT coins earned in-game.
Furthermore, the pack’s price of 3,000 FC points exceeds the 2,800 points available for $25, compelling players to make an extra $5 purchase to meet the requirement. It’s a contentious situation that adds an extra layer of intrigue to the whole experience.
While absurdities like this may not have necessarily impacted FIFA’s popularity in the past, it’s worth noting that the review score of EA Sports FC 24 from both critics and users alike, are practically identical to the previous game’s.
Nevertheless, it’s always a valuable reminder that the most enjoyable way to experience this sensational soccer game is by grinding for players you genuinely admire, rather than overly fixating on assembling a dominating team for the leaderboards.