FUTfacts has become widely known for our refutations to the scripting, momentum and handicapping conspiracy theories. I have more than once been called gullible, naive or an EA shill because I don’t buy into these ideas.
We challenge these beliefs because we want the truth to prevail. The community doesn’t become better place by spreading unfounded rumors. But at the same, there is a weightier concern: Namely the fact that these discussions about non-existent problems tend to remove the attention from real problems with FIFA as a game and with EA’s business model that many of us are entangled with.
Gambling with EA
As an example of a real life problem, take the fact that the addiction to FIFA is a gambling addiction by all relevant measures. As illustrated by this recent Reddit-post, a lot of people display the same signs that constitute a gambling addiction. Still, we aren’t discussing this. The fact that Craig Douglas aka Nepenthez was charged over promoting illegal gambling – to children did become subject to some debate in the community, but the fact that this is part of a bigger problem driven by FIFA’s core business model received little to no attention.
Money for nothing but no chicks for free
An equally weighty problem is that EA openly incentivizes people — including adolescents — to spend thousands on something as worthless as packs. This may not be humbug in a legal sense, but from an outside perspective it comes damned close. People are literally paying for nothing.
This brings me on to the concept of FIFA-points, which much to my surprise isn’t discussed very often, even though it is a very real and very valid problem. FIFA points were introduced around FIFA 13/14, which could seem a bit odd when considering that FIFA already had a fully working payment system before that. But here is the trick: FIFA points are sold in bundles of various sizes, which coincidentally don’t match the numbers required to buy packs.
If you want to buy a so-called 50K pack, you will need 1000 points. But since FIFA points are sold in bundles of 1050 and 1575 points, you will end up buying 1050 points minimum in order to get a 50K pack. And as for the additional 50 points, EA are banking on the fact that a lot of people won’t have the discipline to save them for later. Instead, most of us throw them after a silver pack that we don’t really need.
But, alas, we aren’t discussing this clever little trick either.