FIFA player spends over $16,000 on microtransactions

Companies mentioned: Electronic Arts
Games mentioned: FIFA 20

Eurogamer have published an article about a FIFA player who used the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to find out everything publisher EA had on him – and realised he’d spent an incredible $10,000 on the game in just two years.

Michael, 32, from the UK told Eurogamer that he made the request of EA on 25th May – the day GDPR came into effect in Europe – and was motivated by a belief in “momentum” in the FIFA games, as well as the ongoing controversy surrounding loot boxes.

Eurogamer says that “momentum” is the belief among some FIFA players that the game cheats. The idea is that under the hood, FIFA creates “dramatic moments” by giving the losing team a helping hand or making life harder for the winning team. Although EA has always denied this to be the case.

Michael submitted the GDPR request through EA’s customer service telephone number. Sure enough, 30 days later, Michael was sent a data dump by EA via two PDF files each over 100 pages long. This amounted to a huge number of files, which include engagement data, FIFA 18 stats, device information and more than 10 audio files (these are recordings of his calls to EA support). It also included details of every player Michael bought and sold over the past two years in FUT.

“I would play Ultimate Team more or less everyday,” Michael said. “I used it as my downtime and my hobby. Depending on the time I have free, I can spend anything from 30 minutes to six hours playing.

EA also provided data relating to how much real world money (in dollars) Michael had spent on FIFA Points, and he told Eurogamer he was “gobsmacked” to discover he’d spent over $10,000 in just two years.

“Upon reflection, the figure EA stated would be correct,” he told Eurogamer. “Special events such as Black Friday, TOTY, FUT Birthday, TOTS, Futties, etc, I would have thrown in thousands upon thousands of FIFA Points without even a second thought.

“Myself and my fiancee are fortunate to have a healthy disposable income, so this kind of amount wouldn’t have caused a strain on us financially. I do however, have the utmost sympathy for those in a position of low income who may also be or become addicted to buying loot boxes.”

The data revealed that Michael spent the majority of the money over two years on just two games: FIFA 17 and FIFA 18. One figure is $6144 spent between 2nd November 2016 and 29th August 2017, the other $10,010, spent between 25th September 2017 and 21st May 2018. In total, this would mean Michael has spent $16,154 over two years, not just over $10,010 as Michael first thought.

You can read the original article here.

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