In the latest FIFA Ultimate Team-related controversy, a document leaked to CBC News suggests that microtransactions are the “cornerstone” of EA Sports’ soccer series. The 54-page document was reportedly leaked by a member of EA Vancouver. It appears to be a part of the internal presentation leading up to FIFA 21.
“Players will be actively messaged + incentivized to convert throughout the summer,” the first page of the document reads. “FUT [FIFA Ultimate Team] is the cornerstone and we are doing everything we can to drive players there.” Another headline later in the document put it more simply, “All roads lead to FUT.”
According to the CBC, the EA insider felt obligated to leak the document as a form of protest. They and others dislike working on video games that involve card packs and gambling-type modes. After initially declining to comment, an Electronic Arts representative stated that the document was “viewed without context.”
Official response from EA Sports on FIFA Ultimate Team
EA then released a statement to refute the damning leak. Saying, “we do not ‘push’ people to spend in our games.” Adding, “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.” The company then went on to state that it recommends the use of family controls. It also reaffirmed its stance that no EA titles involve gambling.
The content of this leak likely doesn’t come as a surprise to many gamers. It’s been clear for quite some time that Ultimate Team is a highly profitable mode for EA. Not only in FIFA, but the Madden franchise as well. Since its debut, many players attribute a lack of quality and depth in their favorite modes to EA’s focus on the Ultimate Team model.
That said, on the whole this is incredibly damaging for EA. Despite the hot water it continuously lands them in, the publisher seems perfectly fine to keep the mode central to its culture. You have to wonder how much longer that will last.
What are your thoughts on the leaked document? Do you consider Ultimate Team-type modes gambling? Where does EA go from here? Leave a comment and let us know. As always, stay tuned to Sports Gamers Online for all the latest as we follow the situation.