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Former EA President Says That FIFA Ultimate Team Card Packs Are Far From Gambling

Microtransactions that have been around since FIFA 09.

by Dean James

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FIFA is one of the best selling annual game franchises year in and year out, with the popularity only increasing over the years due to game modes like FIFA Ultimate Team. There has been a lot of controversy about this mode over the years and the Ultimate Team card packs that you can buy that are essentially lootboxes, which many have said are forms of gambling, but the former president of EA is speaking out now saying he disagrees with that assessment.

Ultimate Team has players collecting cards based on players that they can then put on their squad for limited amounts of time, with you starting off with a very weak team and needing to grind or spend money to upgrade your team. The card packs have been said to be gambling by some, including countries that have banned it.

Former EA President Peter Moore spoke with GamesIndustry.biz about this situation, where he likened the card packs to the cigarette cards in the ’20s and ’30s, as well as the Lucky Bags in the UK. He went on further to specifically say he did not believe them to be gambling, largely because you’re getting something out of the deal.

“You’re always getting something. 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.

There are many people that will disagree with this statement, but countries like Belgium have made it clear where they stand on the matter. For the time being though, it doesn’t appear much is going to change, as the various Ultimate Team modes for EA are so profitable and one of the biggest parts of their annual sports titles.

- This article was updated on:January 8th, 2021

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