FIFA 21 Players Can Now Preview What's Inside A Loot Box Before Buying It

In a huge change for one of EA's biggest money-makers, players can now see exactly what is inside a FIFA 21 Ultimate Team pack before choosing to spend money.

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FIFA 21 players can now see what is inside loot boxes before choosing to purchase them, in a new feature added as part of the game's ongoing "Festival of FUTball" event.

Called "Ultimate Team Preview Packs", these packs can be previewed in the game's FUT Store. As detailed by Eurogamer, players can choose to preview the contents via a pack opening animation. Players can then decide to purchase that specific pack. These packs can either be bought with FUT Coins, which are earned through gameplay, or with FIFA Points, which are acquired with real-world money.

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If a player opts not to buy the pack, the preview pack's contents will remain in the store for viewing, now on a timer. Once the timer expires, players can then choose to preview another pack. Ultimate Team Preview Packs are the only type of pack available for purchase during the duration of the event, though EA says other types of packs will return in the future. It's currently unclear if all packs going forward will support the new preview feature.

It's a huge change to one of EA's biggest sources of revenue. FIFA's Ultimate Team mode saw more than 6 million daily active players in December 2020. In an EA earnings report from February, the company disclosed it had earned close $4 billion from microtransactions across its portfolio of games in the previous 12 months, with FIFA Ultimate Team in particular seeing growth year-over-year of 177%.

The change comes at a time when there is increased government scrutiny surrounding loot boxes, with some arguing they're a form of gambling. In some regions, particularly in Europe, many game companies have dropped loot boxes altogether, or, at the very least, provide estimated probabilities of scoring rare items. A patch for FIFA 21 in December 2020 made it so EA could disable the game's Ultimate Team mode in specific countries or regions with strict gambling laws. In other countries, like Belgium, EA has simply disabled the ability to purchase FIFA Points for real money. FIFA 21 also added the ability to put limits on FIFA Point spending late last year.

It remains to be seen how many of these changes regarding Ultimate Team will carry over into FIFA 22.

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