EA has pulled an advertisement that marketed FIFA 21’s FIFA Points microtransactions to children from the magazine the ad originally appeared in.
A picture going around Twitter earlier this week showed a FIFA 21 advertisement in a children’s toy magazine. Sounds innocent enough but that advertisement was specifically marketing the game’s FIFA Points, which are in-game points purchased with real money to buy FUT packs that give players random virtual players to add to their dream team.
— FIFA21Mistakes (@AllFifaMistakes) September 26, 2020
In other words, you’re spending real money on the chance to get a random virtual player in-game. That ad will be pulled from the magazine, according to EA in a report from Eurogamer.
“We take vey seriously the responsibilities we have when marketing EA games and experiences in channels seen by children,” EA told Eurogamer. “In spite of this, we’re aware that advertising for FIFA Points has appeared in environments it shouldn’t have. We have been working diligently with Smyths (toy magazine) to ensure this advertisement is not distributed in any remaining copies of their 2020 catalogue.”
EA said it has undertaken an immediate review of all future media placements to ensure each of its future marketing efforts better reflects the “responsibility we take for the experience of our younger players.”
It’s unclear if the now-pulled advertisement was placed in the Smyths toy magazine on purpose or if it was a mixup of some kind. Regardless, it’s expected to be removed from the rest of the 2020 catalog for the magazine.
This isn’t the first time EA has found itself in hot water over microtransactions. Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2, which was an EA game, caused enough controversy that then-Disney CEO Bob Iger got involved and the company even found itself defending loot boxes, which are a form of microtransactions, to the UK’s parliament.