EA Is In Trouble Again: This Time Over FIFA As Fans Start A Boycott
EA has been in trouble lately with the fallout over Star Wars: Battlefront II loot boxes causing a couple countries and the state of Hawaii to consider restricting games with loot boxes as forms of gambling. While the ESRB has already disagreed with that opinion, the trouble over Battlefront seems to have sparked players of other EA titles to start their own protests. FIFA 18 players upset over how EA handled the game have started a boycott under the tag #FixFIFA.
Reddit user SSROCK posted on the FIFA subreddit, asking for fans to boycott the game's Ultimate Team micro-transactions on Black Friday, tweet at the company with the hashtag #FixFIFA, and sign an online petition. The grievances SSROCK wants EA to fix range from the long length of the competitive Weekend League (which demands gamers play 40 matches in three days), Top 100 competitive players exploiting the matchmaking system, the changed nature of the gameplay since launch, the stagnation of the non-monetized/non-Ultimate Team modes, the belief that the game is scripted, and much more. As of writing, the FIFA subreddit mods have created a megathread for the movement, and it's taken up prime realestate on the page.
The hashtag has also taken launch on Twitter to rack up an alarming number of tweets in a short period of time. Many of the complaints on Twitter focus on the gameplay and stagnation of the non-monetized modes. And a lot of people are throwing around references to FIFA 17 because gamers haven't met a dead horse they won't continue to tea-bag ad infinitum.
Although the FIFA community's complaints are naturally different than those against Battlefront, which is party due to the fact that micro-transactions are an accepted, fundamental part of the Ultimate Team mode, the progress Battlefront fans have made so far gives hope to FIFA fans that they can start their own revolution. Plus, the yearly FIFA releases have led to more of a build-up of problems that need addressing and the subsequent, rolling frustration that continues to follow the series game after game.
Need for Speed Payback has also received criticism for its micro-transactions structure, but its fans have yet to converge into a massive body of protest quite like Star Wars Battlefront and FIFA fans have done.
However, because the conversation over loot boxes started with Destiny 2 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War before migrating to Battlefront II, its likely we start seeing more game communities take action against developers and publishers over unpopular decisions.
This could be great for gamers, or could be forgotten within months. It all depends on the players.