An esports industry insider recently told CBC Television that Electronic Arts is trying to drive gamers into a type of gameplay that requires them to spend more money. This comes following the leak of a 54-page document that was shared at the company internally discussing the profitability of the popular soccer game FIFA 21.
“It discusses a mode of play that lets players buy ‘loot boxes’ within the game to improve play or increase their chances of winning, such as by adding a better player to their team,” write CBC TV‘s Erica Johnson and Kimberly Ivany. “It says the mode that allows loot box purchases, called FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), is the ‘cornerstone’ of the game. ‘We are doing everything we can to drive players there,’ a bullet point close to the top of the document says.”
In a new study from Juniper Research, reports indicate that revenue from loot boxes used in online video games is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2025. This figure represents a $5 billion increase from the revenue that was reportedly generated in 2020.
Electronic Arts Inc. is one of the world’s most famous video game developers. It is the second-largest gaming company by revenue and market capitalization behind only Activision-Blizzard.
The Profit‘s Take:
EA is one of the worst offenders when it comes to loot boxes. They have received significant backlash in the past, but these reports seem to indicate that EA has not learned its lesson. Pay-to-win mechanics are especially egregious and will surely hurt EA’s sales in the long run.