Preview packs in FIFA 22 allow players to see what they're going to buy before spending real money on loot boxes
Electronic Arts has confirmed that FIFA 22 Ultimate Team will continue to offer game content for sale via the loot box, but has said it will keep the "preview packages" introduced earlier this year in FUT 21 that allow players to view what they are buying before they deposit their money.
The FUT packages attract a lot of negative attention from lootbox critics and lawmakers – the Netherlands hit the EA the hardest, with a fine of €10 million (about 61 million reais) for refusing to comply with a 2018 ruling that the packages violated the country's gambling laws – but they also gave EA a lot of money: the company said in its third quarter report for fiscal year 21, that the gaming-as-a-service portion of FIFA recorded a compound annual growth rate of nearly 50% over the past ten fiscal years;
Net income from “extra content sales” for Ultimate Team games (including NFL and NHL, but primarily FIFA) was nearly $1,5 billion in EA's fiscal year 2020. With that in mind, you can imagine that because of this, EA would not jeopardize their "money factory."
EA's efforts to appease critics and evade regulations include revealing buyout rates and making it easier to track how much time and money players spend on the game. But in June 2021, it took it a step further by releasing “Preview Packs” which players can open before purchasing. The items inside are still randomized, but because they're visible at first, people aren't forced to spend their money on things they might not want.
Preview packs in FIFA 22 are nothing new
The preview packages were initially released as a test, but ironically they were a success: in August, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that the release of the pre-release packages actually boosted FIFA's loot box sales.
"What we've seen with the preview packs is a higher incidence of new players joining Ultimate Team, and we've seen a higher conversion of these new players in and around pack purchases and participation in the digital ecosystem.” Wilson said during an interview with investors calling. "Our teams will continue to look for interesting, new, innovative and creative ways to allow people to engage more deeply, and visualization packages are one such example.. "
On the face of it, it's not too surprising that EA is keeping them for FIFA 22. At launch, two types of preview packs will be available, Premium Gold and Premium Silver, each with a 24-hour update timer – if you look inside a package and decide you don't want to pay for it, you have to wait 24 hours to look inside a new package.
Take the field alongside the greatest players in history with FIFA 21
It's a much better system than conventional loot boxes, although it's important to note that non-preview packs will also be available for sale, which undermines the commitment to avoid predatory behavior: players tempted to make repeated purchases of FUT packs in search of a specific player or item is as free to do so as ever. It also means that the debate over loot boxes and possible regulation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Now, leave in the comments what did you think of EA's decision? Are you in favor of Preview Packs? Have you bought one before? Contact us and enjoy to read more News on our website.