FIFA 22 is bringing back ‘preview packs,’ but regular loot boxes are staying too

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FIFA 22 is bringing back ‘preview packs,’ but regular loot boxes are staying too

Electronic Arts has confirmed that FIFA 22’s Ultimate Team will continue to offer game content for sale via loot boxes, but said that it’s sticking with the “preview packs” introduced earlier this year in FUT 21 that enable players to see what they’re buying before they lay down their money.

FUT packs draw a lot of negative heat from loot box critics and legislators alike—the Netherlands hit EA with a €10 million ($11.7 million) fine for refusing to comply with a 2018 ruling that the packs were in violation of the country’s gambling laws—but they also make a lot of money for EA: The company said in its Q3 FY21 report that FIFA live services had seen a compound annual growth rate of nearly 50 percent over the past ten fiscal years; net revenues from “extra content sales” for Ultimate Team games (including NFL and NHL, but primarily FIFA) were nearly $1.5 billion in EA’s 2020 fiscal year. You can understand why it wouldn’t want to jeopardize that money-maker.

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EA’s efforts to mollify critics and dodge regulation include revealing drop rates and making it easier to track how much time and money players spend on the game. But in June 2021, it took a more meaningful step by rolling out “preview packs” that players can open before purchasing. The items inside are still randomized, but because they’re visible up-front, people aren’t compelled to spend their money on stuff they may not want. 

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