EA has issued a statement in response to recent reports regarding EA’s attempts to drive monetization.
EA’s focus on monetizing its games has been well-known across the industry for a long time now, and the company has often been accused (for very good reason, most of the time) of making that monetization more central to most of its operations than they should be, often at the cost of quality. Of course, the biggest revenue generator for EA is the loot boxes it sells in FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode year in year out, and a recent report arising from a leaked internal EA document alleged that the company is pushing players to spend more in the mode in several ways.
EA has now issued a statement in response to the reports, with the basic gist of it being that spending in FIFA is optional, and that the interpretations of the aforementioned leaked document are lacking in context, and that the contents of the document have been misrepresented.
“We seek every day to provide players with content choices that fuel their excitement and connection to the sport and their friends,” the company says. “Which is why we’re so disappointed in a recent media report about FUT which ignored important information and context, the result being a sensationalized story with a misrepresentation of the facts.”
“We do not ‘push’ people to spend in our games,” EA adds. “Where we provide that choice, we are very careful not to promote spending over earning in the game, and the majority of FIFA players never spend money on in-game items.”
In the statement, the company also writes that since Summer is often the most active time for FIFA Ultimate Team every year, EA often takes measures to increase player engagement, but not player spending, and that “nothing in the leaked document contradicts this in any way.”
Finally, EA has also stated that it doesn’t believe any aspect of FIFA Ultimate Team, including its loot boxes, amount to gambling, stating that many regulatory bodies in many countries agree with that assessment (although some, of course, disagree).
“We also firmly disagree that FIFA or any of our games involve gambling,” EA’s statement reads. “Regulators in multiple countries around the world have stated publicly that where there is no cashout method, loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We take great care to ensure that our games are played as designed, including by taking action against those who violate our rules against trading outside the game. We do not believe there is merit in any of the recent litigation filed in the U.S. or Canada and are confident the courts will agree. Recently, a U.S. Federal Court judge dismissed a related case noting that “the lack of any real-world transferable value to items takes them outside” of the gambling laws. So again, supported by all of these perspectives from authorities, we do not believe any aspect of EA’s games constitutes gambling.”