FIFA 21’s Preview Pack feature – which allows players to see what type of content is in a loot box before making a purchase – will return in FIFA 22.
EA’s annual soccer simulator, FIFA 22, will once again include the Preview Packs feature in its Ultimate Team mode. The mechanic, which provides players a glimpse into a purchasable pack of player cards prior to buying, was introduced in FIFA 21 this past June.
FIFA‘s Ultimate Team mode has been around for almost a decade, and experienced controversy following an April leak related to FIFA’s loot box system. The leak, which were documents supposedly for an insider presentation prior to FIFA 21’s launch, exposed EA’s plans to actively message and incentivize players to spend money in Ultimate Team mode. The efforts appeared to include targeted messages, advertisements and discounted bundles – all of which would help explicitly “funnel players towards FUT from other modes.” When the Preview Pack feature was introduced for FIFA 21 in June (as a temporary feature), the change indicated EA’s shift away from randomized, gambling-like microtransactions.
In an extensive launch update on the official EA website, the publisher detailed information on the upcoming features for FIFA 22‘s Ultimate Team mode, including the return of Preview Packs. The decision behind the inclusion of this mechanic is due to “a positive reception from fans.” This feature is, however, limited to only one preview every 24-hour refresh timer. However, EA’s launch update explained that, upon FIFA 22’s release, both Premium Gold and Premium Silver Packs will be available for preview.
According to previous information released by EA, FIFA 22 will include improved gameplay and features, such as its Create A Club mechanic, which allows players to build a team entirely from scratch. Furthermore, the FIFA 22’s development included HyperMotion Gameplay and machine learning – two forms of technology used to capture players’ movements even more accurately than before. The approach included mocapping 22 professional soccer players as they competed at a high intensity in order to best evoke their performances in-game.
While microtransactions are still an issue in EA titles, players now have a better way to see where their cash or hard-earned FIFA Ultimate Team points will be going. Moreover, perhaps the Preview Pack feature marks the beginning of greater transparency with respect to in-game purchase and other microtransactions. Monetization will likely continue, but having a clearer idea of what a player’s money can get them is a step in the right direction.
FIFA 22 will be available on October 1, 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.
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