(Pocket-lint) - A leaked document has revealed EA's intentions to drive players towards the loot box-containing FIFA Ultimate Team and away from other modes.
Obtained by Canadian outlet CBC News, the in-house information - which appears as a two-slide presentation here - shows the company plans to do "everything we can to drive players" towards its "cornerstone" FUT game mode.
In another section of the presentation, under the headline "All roads lead to FUT", it's said that teasers and targeted messaging will "drive excitement and funnel players towards FUT from other modes".
The leaked documents, which appear to have been created prior to the release of FIFA 21 last September, were shared by an anonymous 'gaming insider', according to CBC News.
"For years... they've been able to act with a layer of plausible deniability. Yet, in their internal documents, they're saying, 'This is our goal. We want people driven to the card pack mode'," the insider said in the report.
Naturally, this isn't the first time EA has come under fire regarding its use of loot boxes, which are a type of video game microtransaction in which real-world money is exchanged for varying in-game rewards.
The practice has drawn links to gambling since its introduction in video games over the last decade. Loot boxes were banned in Belgium back in 2018, with regulation present in the Netherlands, Japan and China. NHS England's mental health director has also previously stated the microtransactions are "setting kids up for addiction" and called for them to be banned.
However, akin to previous episodes - such as #EAGate and the 'true cost' of Ultimate Team - EA has responded to this latest leak by defending the game mode and its practices in a statement on its website.
"We do not ‘push’ people to spend in our games,” the company said.
"Where we provide that choice, we are very careful not to promote spending over earning in the game, and the majority of FIFA players never spend money on in-game items."
EA also disagreed that FIFA or any of its games involved gambling.
"Regulators in multiple countries around the world have stated publicly that where there is no cashout method, loot boxes do not constitute gambling," the statement continued.
As ever, it's not clear where this latest episode leaves the controversy surrounding loot boxes. Where legal, EA appears to be content with its plans for Ultimate Team and attitudes towards loot boxes.
However, we suspect this topic won't be going away any time soon.