EA’s FIFA series has been in the spotlight recently over its controversial FIFA Ultimate Team mode and the potential impact that this has on its younger audience, with government and lobby groups comparing it to a form of gambling. In a big change for the annual soccer franchise, an upcoming patch will allow parents to control several aspects of FIFA 21.
As reported by Eurogamer, you’ll be able to limit how many matches can be played in the game, monitor playing time, and limit how many FIFA Points can be purchased and spent. EA won’t be able to tell you how much you’ve spent in terms of real-world money, as the details of these transactions from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo aren’t shared with the publisher.
FIFA Points are the in-game currency that is acquired from the relevant platform provider in exchange for real-world cash and are used to buy FIFA Ultimate Team packs. Each FUT pack contains random soccer players with varying degrees of rarity and skill.
The higher the rarity, the more sought-after these athletes are by players who seek to create the ultimate team for online play. This has led to concern over the years that FIFA games were grooming younger players with pay-to-win mechanics that encouraged gambling for better FUT packs.
“Play should always be fun, so we’re amping up the information and tools to help you play on your terms,” EA said in a blog post. “Back in June, we rolled out the Positive Play Charter – an updated set of community guidelines designed to make our games and services more inclusive, safe, balanced and fair. This is another step we’re taking to make play more positive.”
EA has made a number of changes to FUT over the years, such as actually showing how shockingly low your chances are at scoring a rare player in FIFA 19, and still insists that FIFA loot boxes do not violate gambling laws.
Several countries haven’t agreed with EA though, with the Netherlands fining the company €10 million in October and ordering EA to change the way that FIFA 19, FIFA 20, and FIFA 21 work within that country.
Belgium also took EA to task in 2019, eventually forcing the company to stop selling FIFA points within its borders.
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