EA Sports cut career mode and add bonus microtransactions to address toxic behaviour in FIFA

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This week EA Sports – developer of the popular video game series FIFA – announced that it is getting tough on toxic behavior in its soccer simulator. With the explosion of multiplayer video games over the past decade one of the industries biggest hurdles remains behavior regulation within the online arenas. One of the biggest gripes within the gaming community is what’s known as ‘toxicity’ – unpunished aggression and abuse through chat features or intentional obstructionism during gameplay. 

EA announced their proposed improvements ahead of the release for the 2021 edition of their ubiquitous soccer franchise. “We were told by the community that there are toxic behaviors in the game and we wanted to make sure we removed them,” said EA. “Therefore we are announcing a raft of changes to make the player experience even better.” Among the proposed alterations to the game will be the removal of player celebrations labelled as toxic, the total removal of the offline career mode, and the addition of bonus micro-transactions. The news shocked fans globally who couldn’t comprehend why career mode – a popular offline feature – was on the chopping block. A consumer advocacy group was quick to pen a letter, published on twitter, an excerpt from which reads, “For EA Sports to remove career mode – a neglected feature which hasn’t undergone serious innovation in over a generation – is unacceptable. It is also reprehensible for EA to remove classic celebrations and only offer a few additional for-purchase micro-transactions as collateral. Shame on them.”

EA, for their part, sought to jump out in front of the backlash and addressed these concerns pragmatically. “We are aware that these moves may cause some consternation but we have a duty to our global fanbase to develop a game that is inclusive of all. What else could be more toxic than getting into your first game and realizing that the Chelsea AI has picked a starting eleven of reserves? Or finding out that you can’t finance a move for Mbappe as League 1 Fleetwood? Or having ten loan offers inexplicably fall through for your star academy prospect? It’s a disgrace that career mode has fallen to such lows and the humane thing to do – in order to remove toxicity from the game – is to put it down once and for all.” Critics have speculated that this is only a ploy to eliminate a game mode which failed to create additional revenue for it’s developers and save money on actually taking the feature to its full heights – a theory which EA rejected in high pitched voices.  

While some fans have rejected this rationale others have been more agreeable. User xxNaughtyDong1997 spoke favorably about the addition of bonus micro-transactions, “I’m really excited that EA Sports are offering more FUT packs in FIFA. That’s the only reason I play FIFA – to spend wads of my hard-earned dollars gambling for player cards, desperately trying to assemble a team that would be simpler to do with an in-game editor. It’s a shame about the career mode but I’m just excited that I get to spend even more money in the game after paying $70 in the first place. What? Toxicity? Yeah I guess this makes things less toxic, sure.”

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