FIFA 21 Microtransactions in Kids’ Magazine EA Angers Gamers After Advertising
A controversial new EA advertisement for children promotes FIFA 21’s microtransactions as an essential part of playing the game. In particular, the ad promotes a loot box system where spending money doesn’t lead to a bonded award, angering loot box critics.
EA isn’t a stranger to criticism concerning its aggressive approach to microtransactions. The company famously defended in-game purchases in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as promoting”a sense of pride and accomplishment.” This led to an unprecedented backlash from EA from Star Wars fans; however, the problem pervades far more matches the company release. For example, purchasing all available DLC for The Sims 4 would cost well over 500 dollars.
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As shared by Twitter user @AllFifaMistakes, the ad appears in the journal of United Kingdom merchant Smyths Toys. The full-page advertisement compels children to immerse themselves in FIFA 21’s variant of the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) mode. Though popular, FUT was struck by a California lawsuit in August 2020 for boosting gambling-like practices. The ad frames microtransactions as the next of four measures required to enjoy the game. It’s essential to be aware that players may nevertheless access FUT with no microtransactions, so it is disingenuous to imply they’re necessary.
Microtransactions are a pervasive issue across the video game industry, not merely EA. For example, Marvel’s Avengers lately raised eyebrows for its expensive in-game purchases. All purchasable content in Marvel’s Avengers is cosmetic so that players won’t be at a disadvantage without it. This differs from FIFA 21’s FUT mode, where the ability to utilize specific actors is secured behind a loot box system.
For all, the context of this sector doesn’t exonerate EA. Even if players can get FUT style without microtransactions, the advertisement implies that those purchases are necessary. This means kids will think those purchases are essential. As a new console generation arrives and kids purchase game consoles for the First Time, many expect the industry does not normalize in-app purchases in forthcoming games. Soon-to-be-released games marketed to children, like Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, will not have microtransactions, but it remains to be seen whether that will become standard industry practice.
Some might argue that EA functions as a scapegoat for the industry as a whole. However, EA is a significant and influential company – for example, EA nearly bought Bethesda before Microsoft’s recent purchase, Many argue that EA has the tools needed to change the gaming industry in massive manners, and normalizing deceptive promotion for kids is unacceptable, no matter the circumstance.