EA Sports is trying something new with FIFA Ultimate Team, or FUT, packs during their Festival of FUTball event. Starting today, June 18, the FUT store is swapping out all of the packs with new preview-able versions. None of the potential cards from the packs are changing, but now you can take a peek at the actual contents of a pack in the store before committing to making a purchase.
Here’s how it works according to a post on EA’s FIFA site: “In the FUT Store, you can select a Preview Pack to preview its contents. It’s important to remember that by previewing a pack, you are not yet making a decision to use FUT Coins or FIFA Points to buy the pack. Note the highlighted sections below, which signal that the pack you are selecting is a Preview Pack.”
Looking at a FUT pack’s contents will give the option to buy it or leave it sitting in the shop. Luckily there isn't a cost to preview a pack, though if you decide not to buy one that’s already been scoped out, you’ll have to wait for a timer to expire. Once the time runs up for that pack, it refreshes to a new set of contents. The pack will show some of its cards in the store window to signify it has been previewed. We should also mention that a previewed pack does not display whether its contents are duplicate items the owner may have in their collection, though when you do purchase a pack with duplicates, they can be handled like extras from any other pack.
EA plans for Preview packs to be an ongoing staple in the FUT store during the remainder of the Festival of FUTball, which runs until July 16.
This is certainly an interesting way to eliminate the wholly blind aspects of purchasing digital randomized goods. EA has been in the crosshairs of investigations and lawsuits regarding this specific practice in the past, some compare the practice to gambling, and EA has even gone to the lengths of limiting microtransactions in the latest FIFA game. Giving players a little more agency in how they spend money on loot boxes is helpful, but there’s more work yet to be done to make loot boxes fair. Regardless, this is certainly a step in a more consumer-friendly direction.