The “Festival of FUTballs” has been running in FIFA 21 since June 18, 2021 and publisher EA has surprisingly reduced the gambling factor of the Ultimate Team packs. In the official pitch notes (yes, that’s what the patch notes are really called), EA introduces the new preview packs, thanks to which you can see all the items in the pack before you buy them.
That’s the catch: For one, the preview packs are only available as part of the FUT event. You can’t look at all the packs and pick the best, either, because after you look at the pack you have to decide: buy the pack with FUT coins or FIFA points, or wait 24 hours to inspect the next pack.
Look first, then buy: Basically, the thought behind a Lootbox preview is commendable. However, as is so often the case, the devil is in the details: Who wants to wait 24 hours for the next preview pack? If you buy the previously viewed pack, you don’t have to wait a day to inspect the next one.
Preview packs are limited in time
For the time being, the new preview packs are only available as part of the FOF event, which is expected to run until July 16, 2021. The preview function does not apply to other packs, such as rewards from the Division Rivals or other events.
It is currently unknown whether and in what form the preview packs will return. It was not until March 2021 that it became known that the Europe legislature would take tougher action against loot boxes in the future.
So it may also be a test case that will later be used on a larger scale. The fact that content or even opportunities are revealed by such loot boxes is already a reality in some games with similar mechanics.
Maurice already commented on the Pay2Win mechanism for FIFA 19 and asked: How do sports games get away with it?
Pay2Win in Fifa 19 Ultimate Team – How do sports games get away with it?
Does Valve serve as a role model?
Loot boxes have long been criticized. For some years now, more and more countries have been trying to put a stop to gambling. At the end of 2019, France tried to ban loot boxes in CS: GO. Valve responded and gave players the opportunity to see the contents of loot boxes in advance. Players use a scanner that shows the contents of the loot box. The hook? The box does not release the scanner until it is opened. A chargeable key is required for this.
The system met with a lot of criticism because Valve exploited a loophole. It’s similar with the preview packs in FIFA 21. You can see the content of the pack, but you have to wait 24 hours for the next preview if you don’t like the content.
You can find out where the loot boxes come from and why they don’t just go away in our plus report on loot boxes. There you can also find out why more and more AAA games are using loot boxes and why there are not only black sheep in the industry:
more on the subject
Where the loot boxes come from – and why they just won’t go away
What do you think of Preview Packs in FIFA 21? Does EA defuse the gambling for the loot boxes or do preview packs worsen the mechanics? Write us your opinion in the comments.