Loot Boxes Will Continue in FIFA 23 According to EA

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They're still sticking with it.

Image of Lionel Messi being opened from a pack in FIFA 22

Now it’s time for the least surprising news story of the day. EA has announced that it will continue to use loot boxes in the upcoming FIFA 23, even though several European countries consider the loot box practice a form of gambling. This may not come as a surprise to anyone that knows the FIFA series–it’s a concept that has been active for a long time, and when it comes to money, EA will want every penny you own. You know it, we know it, and they know it.

EA announced the news when speaking to Eurogamer, telling them that the reason they have decided to keep the controversial system in place is that the FUT Packs that feature in the game have become a mainstay now – for over a decade in fact – and it is a part of the game that “FIFA players love.” EA added to that by saying “players should be given the choice to spend real-life money on packs.”

Part of EA’s statement (you can read the full statement here) said, “We wholeheartedly believe that Ultimate Team and FUT Packs are part of the game. Fans love that the game reflects the strategy of building and managing a squad.” EA added that “spending is entirely optional in our game, we don’t encourage it, and most players don’t spend in-game at all.” EA seems to believe that most people only access the prizes from loot boxes in the game through rewards and challenges, although this seems slightly naïve to be honest.

The loot box system has become a heavily talked about subject in recent times, just this week it was confirmed that Blizzard would be discontinuing the feature in Overwatch by the end of the month, and the sequel would only have free loot boxes too. It comes after several countries around the world have decided that this system is a form of gambling because you don’t know what you’re going to get, and with many of the games that feature loot boxes being aimed at children, that also comes with a whole host of issues.

Belgium and the Netherlands are just a couple of countries that have declared loot boxes as a form of gambling, with Belgium even banning them completely. The UK made headlines too, they were one of the countries that didn’t take direct action but warned publishers that it will introduce legislation should they fail to protect younger people from going on dangerous spending sprees without parental consent.

As we said, certain countries have actually banned loot boxes from their country’s version of the game. Belgium did so back in 2018 but a recent study has shown that loot boxes are still appearing in 82 percent of the top game – now that is an alarming figure, for sure. The law is not enforced as first thought, which means consumers will always find a way around it. Good news for EA then.