EA Games recently faced some major backlash because of their questionable promotional strategies. Parents criticized EA heavily for putting up advertisements promoting microtransactions on a kid’s magazine. The advertisement had appeared in the latest in-shop magazine of Smyths Toys. The advertisement was for the Ultimate Team mode in FIFA 21.
Further reading: FIFA Microtransactions Advertised in Kids Magazine
As many of the fans might know, the Ultimate Team mode has an essence of gambling to it; or that is how most of the FIFA community views it. Therefore, it is no wonder that putting the advertisement on a kid’s mag received such criticism.
A top comment on a Reddit post regarding this issue says, “Yeah I find this extremely wrong as not only is it in a kid’s magazine, but they are actually saying that you should go about the game by buying points and opening packs. Normalising in-game purchases for kids since an early age is so f—ing unethical.”
EA Games apologizes for the FIFA 21 advertisement
EA Games, however, was quick to issue an apology regarding the entire issue, in a statement to Eurogamer. The gaming giant agreed that the advertisement should not have appeared in the toy magazine. They also vowed to make sure such incidents do not occur in the future.
“We take very seriously the responsibilities we have when marketing EA games and experiences in channels seen by children… 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 to ensure this advertisement is not distributed in any remaining copies of their 2020 catalog. We have also undertaken an immediate review of all future media placements and are working to ensure each of our marketing efforts better reflects the responsibility we take for the experience of our younger players.”
This is not the first time EA has done this, though. In fact, EA has had multiple lawsuits against them because of this. However, it is good to see them issue an apology swiftly. Now it remains to be seen whether they stand by their promise to not issue such advertisements in inappropriate places.