EA Rolls Out Spending Limits For FIFA 21

By Ben Hamill - November 19 2020

EA Rolls Out Spending Limits For FIFA 21

Video games maker EA recently rolled out new measures it believes will offer protection to players of its FIFA games that typically feature FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs, which are essentially loot boxes. FIFA Playtime, EA’s version of a tool to be used by parents and other responsible adults for setting money and time limits, was officially rolled out on Nov. 12 and Nov. 17 across FIFA 21 on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One. FIFA Playtime will become available for download for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles on Dec. 4, EA has said.

The tool not only allows for the setting of spend and playing time limits, but also in terms of the number of card packs that can be opened over a specific period of time. The hope is obviously that a tool allowing for the setting of limits will help the games maker build a proper case for why FUT packs should not be regarded a form of gambling. The Ultimate Team feature has emerged a frequent target of criticism from lawmakers as well as players and parents of younger players because of the perceived influence of microtransactions on the actual game environment.

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About Positive Play Charter

FIFA Playtime forms part of EA’s Positive Play Charter, which the games maker launched in June. According to a recent blog post by EA on its website, by rolling out Playtime, the video games giant wants to make its games safer, fair, balanced, and positive for everyone.

Limits available for setting via Playtime are:

  • Spending
  • Playing time
  • Social chat and communication with others
  • Restricting access to certain games according to “rating”

Playtime must be turned on (activated) in order for the tool to be utilised. Enabling the tool is as easy as turning it via the “Online Settings” tab which can be found on the main in-game FIFA menu. EA says its decision to roll out FIFA Playtime is based on actual research showing easy access to information being conducive to an environment in which players feel “comfortable” with how they play games and interact with games.

The Actual Loot Box Issue

EA in 2019 completely stopped selling FIFA points in Belgium, the in-game currency used to purchase FUT packs. Since the quality of the players found inside each team-pack varies, and players have no way of knowing beforehand which players they’ll get to unlock, Belgium declared FUT packs considered in the same category as loot boxes, which the country considers to be illegal games of chance.

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