Electronic Arts will be removing all microtransaction-related advertisements for FIFA 21 that were recently spotted in a toys magazine for children.
“We take very seriously the responsibilities we have when marketing EA games and experiences in channels seen by children,” reads a press release. “In spite of this, we’re aware that advertising for FIFA Points has appeared in environments it shouldn’t have. We have been working diligently with Smyths to ensure this advertisement is not distributed in any remaining copies of their 2020 catalogue.”
The publishing giant has further stated that “an immediate review of all future media placements” will ensure such mistakes, either for FIFA 21 or other games, are not repeated. “[We] are working to ensure each of our marketing efforts better reflects the responsibility we take for the experience of our younger players.”
The said advertisements were spotted last week and were basically encouraging children to purchase FIFA Points for the FIFA Ultimate Team mode in FIFA 21. The marketing tactic, which EA claims was an accident, was immediately criticized for its obvious predatory nature.
FIFA Ultimate Team has always been the most popular mode in recent FIFA installments. The mode features a controversial business model where players are forced less encouraged to purchase FIFA Points to unlock their favorite football stars. Having the best characters helps build a strong squad to compete against other players in online matches. Hence, the reason that many players end up spending thousands in real-world currency just for a chance to unlock that gold-tier all-star football star.
A couple of days ago, esports professional Tim “Tim Latka” Schwartmann took a stance against microtransactions by stating that he will not be purchasing any FIFA Points in FIFA 21 for the upcoming competitive season. He pointed out that “your wallet should not define your gaming skills,” which is something the franchise has been criticized about for years. Unless other esports professionals join in, competing without FIFA Points makes for an unbalanced playing field when your opponents have likely spent their wallets for a monstrous squad.
FIFA 21 releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 6, 2020. The game will also be available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X once the next-generation consoles roll out.