FIFA Ultimate Team May Be Removed in Countries With Gambling Laws
The trouble that EA has had with FIFA never seems to end. Many people, this writer included view the FIFA Ultimate Team mode as gambling and predatory. At least one FIFA org has vowed to not invest money into the mode and will simply use what the game offers instead of making it a pay-to-win affair. With lawsuits, complaints, and struggles abound, EA dropped a new patch on the game. What’s this latest patch do to help alleviate some of the problem?
Will it actually fix anything about the game? Of course not! It just adds the ability for EA to lock a region out of the FIFA Ultimate Team mode if the country has strict gambling laws. It seems like this discourse on what the right thing to do about lootboxes never ends. When a company has a chance to do the right thing, and make these systems fair for everyone, this is the move that gets made.
Lock and Key
According to FUT Watch, a pop-up message was found in this patch. It reads:
“FIFA Ultimate Team is currently not accessible due to a demand from the authorities of your region.”
This doesn’t actually fix any of the problems people have with gambling as it pertains to the FIFA Ultimate Team mode. It’s still incredibly pay-to-win. But now, if there’s a region with strict gambling laws, EA can simply disable FUT mode for that country. Perhaps EA feels that by doing this, they can absolve themselves of a variety of lawsuits that could crop up as a result of how they run the game.
Instead of making the lootboxes less ridiculous, they just shut entire countries out of the game mode. That as a solution doesn’t seem to make sense to us. They could just make it fairer, and still make Scrooge McDuckian amounts of money. Instead, the solution is to just disable the mode in a country that considers the lootboxes FIFA offers to be predatory gambling.
We’re so confused by this move. Nobody is saying “Don’t make money off of FIFA”, not at all. We just want the game to not feel like a disgusting cash-grab. Don’t make the competitive mode of the game pay-to-win. There are so many options, but instead, this is the move EA makes. The example Gamespot uses is that players in Belgium cannot buy FIFA Points. Instead, they have to purchase content through in-game coins. They can still play FIFA Ultimate Mode, but cannot spend real money, as it’s considered gambling.
With this latest patch for FIFA, EA can just remove Belgium’s access to the game. If EA can’t make money in Belgium, nobody in Belgium can play, we suppose. If they think this will get courts off of their case, so to speak, it probably will. But it will instead, alienate fans who love FIFA. We also do wonder if a console VPN could get players around this ban, to spend money, if that’s what they want to do. Leave it to EA to make such a fascinating decision.