Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, former EA Sports president Peter Moore has commented on the perception of FIFA Ultimate Team as a serious form of gambling.
Electronic Arts has come under fire for its use of loot boxes and blind packs a number of times in the past, with many governments stepping in to regulate their usage due to their impact on children as a form of gambling.
Now, one of the former presidents of the company has stepped in to offer some insight on the situation. “You’re always getting something,” Moore says. “It’s not like you opened it and there’s no players in there.
“This is a personal view, but the concept of surprise and delight vs gambling… on a continuum, they’re a long way from each other. You buy or grind your way up to getting a gold pack, you open it up, and you’re either happy or you think it’s a crappy pack. I don’t see that as gambling, per se — but again, this is my personal view as an outsider right now.
“I get the scrutiny, I understand outside of sports that loot boxes — again, another EA title in particular — get a lot of scrutiny and criticism. EA pulled back on that. One thing they’re always good at is getting feedback and realising ‘You know what, probably shouldn’t have done that’ or ‘That was the wrong decision, it wasn’t gamer-first,’ and then pulling back and making a different decision.”
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Moore believes the profits speak for themselves, with Ultimate Team pulling in billions of dollars on an annual basis across all platforms. “The numbers speak for themselves,” says Moore. “And if you play it, you love it. One of the only complaints we got about Ultimate Team while I was at EA was if the servers went down and they couldn’t play or open their packs.”
FIFA 21 is the latest entry in the football simulation series, and continues to include FIFA Ultimate Team. It remains immensely popular, with the act of opening packs proving both satisfying and addictive. Here’s what Max Parker had to say in his 4/5 review: “FIFA 21 is an often great football game packed with content and modes. The few gameplay tweaks that are here make for a better overall experience and keeping Volta around adds some variety. Sadly, the redesign of career mode focuses on the wrong features and feels like a wannabe Football Manager without any of the depth.”
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