EA is to allow players to preview the contents of certain loot boxes in FIFA 22. Preview Packs will let you see what's inside before you pick them up, and they'll be available at launch in the new game's FIFA Ultimate Team mode.
What are FIFA 22 Preview Packs?
In a recent Pitch Notes for FIFA 22, EA confirmed that Preview Packs would be a feature available at launch in the game. These packs allow you to preview their contents before you buy them, and once you've seen what's inside, you can then choose to buy the pack using either FUT Coins or FIFA Points. This feature was originally trialled in FIFA 21, but it was only available for a limited time. In FIFA 22, you'll be able to buy Preview Packs right from the get-go, and there's no time limit on them either, so they'll be available for as long as the servers are operational.
Of course, this being EA and these being loot boxes, there are some caveats. There will be Premium Gold and Silver Packs available, and if you preview one and don't buy it, you won't be able to preview another one for 24 hours. If, however, you buy the pack after you preview it, then you can immediately preview another pack. It's also worth remembering that this feature isn't available for every loot box; instead, it'll only work with specific Preview Pack boxes. Still, it's something.
Why has EA introduced Preview Packs to FIFA?
This feature likely comes as a response to criticism leveled at EA for the prevalence of loot boxes in its games, as well as what some perceive to be the aggressive way in which EA funnels players towards said loot boxes. Research has repeatedly drawn links between loot boxes and gambling, leading to concern among governments and regulators as they try to find ways to prevent young players from falling into debt or developing gambling addictions. In particular, EA has come under fire legally around the world for its loot box practices; it was penalized in the Netherlands and sued in Canada over loot boxes last year.
The introduction of Preview Packs is likely EA's attempt to show that its approach to loot boxes doesn't constitute gambling. Whether it works, and whether it restores EA's reputation in some players' eyes, remains to be seen. In the original Pitch Notes announcement for this feature in FIFA 22, EA says the Preview Packs received "a positive reception" from players when they were introduced to FIFA 21. In addition, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz last year, EA's Chris Bruzzo said that most players never spend any money in FIFA and that most Ultimate Team packs aren't purchased, but earned. We'll have to wait and see what effect Preview Packs have on FIFA 22 and on public perception of EA with regards to loot boxes.
How do you feel about Preview Packs in FIFA 22? Do you want to see them in more games? Let us know in the comments below!