Last weekend, for the first time ever, EA added packs into the store that only included cosmetics. That meant that players could only spend their FIFA points on things like stadium designs and celebrations, rather than usable players. Could this be one of many FIFA 22 leaks? Showing the creators of the world’s most famous football simulator are about to do away with the traditional loot box system and end pay to win in FIFA 22?
The History of the Loot Box
Loot boxes are consumable, virtual items which can be redeemed to receive randomised items that can be used to customise an avatar or improve your chances of winning in-game. They first appeared in 2004 and have grown in popularity since, featuring in both free to play games and also full priced game editions.
In almost all cases, loot boxes are a form of monetisation and they are used by developers to generate ongoing revenue for games as well as keep player interest within games by offering new content and cosmetics through loot-box reward systems.
In FIFA, the loot box system comes in the form of FIFA packs, which have existed since the release of FUT in FIFA 09. There are many variations, with the standard being gold packs and premium gold packs. However, throughout the year there are multiple promo packs released in which you are more likely to receive rarer players.
The Controversy Surrounding Loot Boxes
For a long time, there has been a dispute over whether or not loot boxes should be considered a form of gambling; there have been many stories of people spending hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, in hard earned cash and receiving no notable players in return. It has become part and parcel of the game and almost every FIFA player will have given into the temptation to buy a FIFA pack at least once. What’s worse is that many children spend their money on FIFA points and packs, meaning many governments are much more likely to act and nip gaming loot in the bud should they see any wrongdoing.
However, EA Sports’ loot box system has not gone totally unchecked. In fact in 2018, the FIFA developers received a €10 million fine in the Netherlands after the Dutch gambling authorities concluded that FIFA’s loot boxes were in violation of the country’s gambling laws. Moreover, Belgium has gone as far banning the purchase of FIFA packs with real money – meaning that players can still play Ultimate Team, but they must use the in-game coins to purchase player packs.
The pressure is also mounting in the UK; the department for digital, culture, media and sport stated that they would be looking into FIFA loot boxes at their next review of the ‘2005 Gambling Act’, in which it has promised to examine and revise all laws affecting underage children.
EA’s recent trialling of cosmetic-only packs in FIFA 21 shows that they’re exploring their options and are possibly considering a change of game plan. They’re likely trialling this to see if their current business is sustainable should gaming loot boxes be banned; if the DCMS were to reconsider their stance on in-game consumables, then FIFA 22’s Ultimate Team would need an overhaul. Therefore, this early trial could mean change is afoot for our favourite franchise.
A Non Pay-to-Win FIFA 22
So what could an Ultimate Team with a level playing field look like? Well, for one, it would most likely mean that everyone would be in with a fair shot of getting the top players in the game without forking out tens, hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Gone would be the days of coming up against that megateam bought by a 15 year old’s birthday money. Instead, your countless hours of grind would be rewarded with top quality players.
Play FIFA 22 for Money and Prizes
After the release date, you’ll be able to play FIFA 22 for money and prizes; you can use the Stakester app to play against real people to win real money and prizes! Challenge anyone, or play a private game with your friends – either way, you’ll be raising the intensity and taking FIFA to the next level.
And remember – you’ll never leave a game empty handed! Every time you play, win or lose, you take home Gems that you can redeem for amazing prizes from our in-app store.