Over the course of two years, one man from the UK spent $10,000 on FIFA 17 and FIFA 18, only to realize that it was not worth it. At all.
A 32-year-old FIFA player named Michael told Eurogamerthat, thanks to the new General Data Protection Regulation in the UK, he was able to go back and take a look at a whole bunch of data EA collected about his play sessions — including the amount of money he spent in the game. He was shocked to find he spent more than $10,000 on the popular soccer game.
Thanks to what Michael describes as his and his wife’s “healthy disposable income,” spending over $10,000 on a single game in two years didn’t really have a noticeable effect on his finances, but looking over the numbers he still wasn’t exactly comfortable with what he saw.
“I took the time to talk to my other half about this,” Michael told Eurogamer. “We have a healthy disposable income but you can imagine my shock that over the past two years, I had given EA just over $10,000 … If anything, the data EA has provided me has made me realize that FIFA Points are just not worth it and $10,000 will be better spent over the next two years.”
According to Eurogamer, it’s possible that Michael spent as much as $16,000 on FIFA 17 and 18, but the figures that he showed them were not exactly clear.
How did he spend that much on FIFA? It’s actually pretty easy to do. FIFA 17 and 18 both allow players to purchase FIFA Ultimate Team Packs, which are kind of like loot boxes that give players random player cards in order to build up their teams.
With these packs, there’s a chance you can get a really good player to add to your team, which means recent FIFA games have a pay-to-win problem that rewards the people who spend the most money. This is not unique to this one EA game (though Battlefront 2 has dropped pay-to-win features in the time since its release), and it encourages people to spend more and more money in order to have a better chance at winning.
This, of course, is a toxic way to construct a competitive multiplayer game that should be based on players’ skills, not the size of their wallets.
Michael’s wanton spending wasn’t the only thing the GDPR allowed him to see — he got a look at all of the data EA was keeping on him, including every time he logged in and out of the games, who was on his friends list, how many goals he scored, and a bunch of other stuff that he uploaded in an Imgur gallery.
But the big lesson here is that you should really keep track of your spending, folks. Little purchases add up, and some game companies try hard to take advantage of their players.