EA Advertised 'FIFA 21' Microtransactions In Kid's Magazine, And Made Everyone Mad
Electronic Arts has once again found itself facing criticism over its approach to microtransactions. This past weekend, the video game publisher was swiftly called out when an advert promoting FIFA 21's Ultimate Team feature was spotted in a children's magazine.
Ultimate Team has been a part of EA sports games for a while now, allowing players to build their own dream teams. This is achieved by spending real-world or in-game currency on card packs, which then produce randomly generated players. Whether or not such a feature should be allowed to exist unregulated in a video game is something critics and governments around the world have been debating for the past few years.
In 2018, loot boxes and other similar practices were outlawed in Belgium after the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled that they were "in violation of gambling legislation". The UK government has been a little slower to act, but it recently asked the public for its thoughts on microtransactions in gaming - that's something.
For now, things like Ultimate Team are allowed - however much some argue that shouldn't be the case. That's why many were quick to anger when the recent ad, which appeared in a magazine from UK toy retailer Smyths Toys, depicted FIFA Ultimate Team as an integral part of the FIFA 21 experience. To be clear, you do not need and have never needed to go near Ultimate Team to get the most out of a FIFA game.
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Twitter user AllFifaMistakes was first to point out the poorly judged advert, taking particular issue with including Ultimate Team as a vital step that's necessary to enjoy the game.
Put your two eyes :eyes: on step two.#ThisIsntOK pic.twitter.com/IA6HRv2Elf
- FIFA21Mistakes (@AllFifaMistakes) September 26, 2020
While it's important to stress that EA is far from the only publisher who raises eyebrows with its approach to in-game purchases, it seems to be the most consistently in the firing line.
Last month it emerged that EA faces a class-action lawsuit in California, as over 100 individuals are seeking damages of $5 million. Plaintiff Kevin Ramirez alleges that EA "relies on creating addictive behaviors in consumers to generate huge revenues" and that EA's Ultimate Team Packs "are predatory and designed to entice gamers to gamble."
That's not even the first time this year that legal action has been taken against EA's Ultimate Team. A few months before, the publisher faced two separate lawsuits in France that alleged the mode is basically unregulated gambling. Clearly adverts such as the one above aren't doing EA any favours.
Featured Image Credit: EA