The Belgian government, which declared loot boxes to be a form of gambling earlier this year, has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into EA after the publisher refused to modify FIFA's randomised card pack loot boxes in order to comply with the country's gambling laws.
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A FIFA player used GDPR to find out everything publisher EA had on him - and realised he'd spent an incredible $10,000 on the game in just two years.
When EA Sports released the free World Cup update for FIFA 18, some players thought it played differently compared to the main game. Actually, it was more than some - there were loads of players who thought it played differently.
These players, who suspected EA Sports had tinkered with the gameplay of FIFA 18 for the World Cup update on the quiet, claimed it felt slower, with nerfed dribbling and passing. I've also seen plenty of people say the World Cup mode plays more "arcadey" than the main FIFA 18 game, with overpowered shooting from distance. I've also seen people say lofted through balls are more effective, and even spotted the suggestion the World Cup update reverts to gameplay before FIFA 18 was patched.
The truth is, the gameplay in the World Cup update is exactly the same as the gameplay in the main FIFA 18 game, Andrei Lazarescu, producer of the Switch version of FIFA and the World Cup update confirmed to me at E3. So, why do players think there's a difference?
Remember when Iceland knocked England out of Euro 2016, and the players did that awesome Viking thunderclap celebration in front of their fans? EA's put that in FIFA.
Here's an odd one: Aston Villa, the once great English football club now struggling to get out of the Championship, has launched an esports league.
The appropriately-named AVFC Gaming starts in June with a series of FIFA 18 tournaments that may or may not cheer up Villa fans still mourning the Championship playoff final defeat to Fulham that saw Chelsea legend John Terry exit the club.
Aston Villa said AVFC Gaming, which is working with the European Gaming League, will encourage gamers to compete against each other to win Pro Points, which in turn score exclusive prizes including match tickets, signed photos, signed FIFA player cards and AVFC Gaming branded consoles.
If you're a Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland fan, you'll need to pick a second team to root for at this summer's World Cup.
FIFA 19 has the official licence for the Champions League and the Europa League - according to a leak from an unlikely source.
FIFA 18 gets a free World Cup mode on 29th May, so you can win the tournament with England in the game to make up for England getting knocked out at the group stage in real life.
Hot on the heels of the Netherlands declaring loot boxes are gambling and therefore illegal, Belgium has had its say.
The Netherlands has determined some loot boxes are gambling - and warned video game publishers to modify their loot boxes to remove "addiction-sensitive" elements before mid-June.
Late Fiorentina captain and Italian international Davide Astori will remain in FIFA 18, EA has confirmed.
A message displayed to players upon logging into the game reveals EA took the decision at the request of the club.
However, EA has pulled Astori FIFA Ultimate Team items from packs.
EA Sports is boosting the ratings of hundreds of FIFA Ultimate Team players according to their real life form.
Speak to any Chelsea fan and they'll tell you Tiémoué Bakayoko is the worst player in the team.
PlayStation Network has had a tough time of it in recent days - so much so that it's been offline for extended periods.
EA has issued an update for FIFA 18 that makes some much-needed improvements to the game.
Chief among them is an attempt to rid the game of its problematic kick-off goals glitch. I've reported on this before - essentially, loads of players were scoring straight from kick off because of the way the players set out and react upon the referee getting the game underway. As you can imagine, this caused problems online.
The patch makes the defending team more compact after kickoff. You should notice the defending team's attacking players are less aggressive in pushing up the field, and their defensive players close the space between them and their attacking players to reduce the gap and limit the attacking team's space.
The great Star Wars debacle - and I'm not talking about The Last Jedi's second act here - dominated video game headlines in the last quarter of 2017. But in truth the year was packed with depressing stories about loot boxes, so many in fact that it has at times felt like our beloved hobby was more about the chance to win a rare item than it was about the chance to play.
Last week, independent charity Gamble Aware held its annual two-day conference in London. It focused on what's called Harm Minimisation, in particular, how to protect young people from gambling. The event was a who's who of the UK gambling industry, but there was one topic on everyone's lips: loot boxes.
For years now, FIFA players have wondered whether the all-conquering football game is cheating them. Some are convinced it is.
This past week has been a rough one for the FIFA community, with disturbing allegations of cheating calling into question the legitimacy of FIFA Ultimate Team's most competitive mode.
What were you up to last weekend? Played a video game? Perhaps. Went out for a bit? Maybe. Spent some time with friends and family? Sure, why not?
Last night, EA made one of the most dramatic U-turns in its history: temporarily turning off controversial microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
After EA tackled an "exploit" that involved using terrible players to beat the AI on the hardest difficulty in FIFA Ultimate Team, FIFA 18's next big issue has come to the fore: a kick-off "glitch".
Last week we reported on an "exploit" FIFA 18 players were using to beat the FIFA Ultimate Team AI on the hardest difficulty for the maximum FIFA Coins reward possible.
While the "exploit" was hardly a 'press a button to win' situation, it was effective. It involved shielding with terrible (bronze) players with low physical stats to bait the AI into fouling and getting sent off. With enough players sent off, the computer controlled team could be consistently defeated even on the normally rock hard ultimate difficulty.
The "exploit" got traction within the FIFA community after the top-ranked FUT Squad Battles player on PlayStation 4 was accused of using the technique.
A new FIFA Ultimate Team "exploit" has emerged that some players reckon can't be fixed.
For years now the FIFA community has wondered whether EA would stop selling a new game in the huge football series each year.
With Star Wars Battlefront 2 looming over the horizon, EA's cross-promotion work is fully operational. First up, we have a Star Wars kit for use in FIFA 18.
FIFA 18 has a new patch - and it's a hefty one.
Title Update 3, which brings FIFA 18 up to version 1.04, nerfs ground passes and ground through balls.
Most FIFA 18 players agree the passing in FIFA 18 is particularly effective. I've found the game favours fast one-touch passing, with even mediocre players able to drill accurate passes into the feet of teammates from seemingly impossible angles. (More on this in my FIFA 18 review.)
A month after launch, FIFA 18 is in an interesting spot.
When EA's gargantuan football sequel came out I, and from what I can tell most people, enjoyed the game. Gameplay changes made for a fun, fast-passing and high-scoring game of virtual football, and some cool new modes meant FIFA 18 felt fully-featured. (For more, check out our FIFA 18 review.)
A month later, and with a couple of patches under its belt, FIFA 18 now has a mixed reputation among its rabid community. I've stuck with the game, pumping tens of hours into this year's FIFA Ultimate Team mode, and I've played what feels like hundreds of online and offline matches so far. So, I thought it would be useful to run through the good, bad and ugly of FIFA 18 one month in - and to offer my thoughts on what happens next.
The UK government has finally responded to a petition calling for gambling laws to be adapted to include video games with gambling mechanics that target children - and the answer isn't as bad as you might have thought.
In FIFA, as so many fans of EA's all-conquering football series know, you can buy FIFA Coins with real world money. And with those FIFA Coins you can buy packs of cards for use in FIFA Ultimate Team, the series' most popular mode and the one that makes EA so many millions of dollars each financial quarter. Pay your money, buy a pack and roll the dice. Will I pack Ronaldo? Or Messi? Or an in-form? There's only one way to find out.
Sin City is the global capital of gambling. Casinos with colourful chips, well-postured croupiers and automaton pensioners plugged into slot machines. At first glance it might not seem sinister, but strip back the glamour and Las Vegas paints a sad picture - its denizens cogs in a billion-dollar machine fuelled by potentially addictive gaming. The novelty of the place can hide its true intentions.
EA has added guest play to FIFA 18 after a sustained player campaign that put pressure on the developers to reverse its controversial decision to omit the popular feature from the game.
Last night Hull City midfielder David Meyler captained the Republic of Ireland in their 0-1 victory over Wales. He is on the brink of taking Ireland to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He is already a national hero.
Multi-platform development sits at the heart of the way games are made today, with code and assets shared across multiple platforms - and this puts Nintendo Switch in a difficult position. It's highly capable bearing in mind its mobile chipset, but it's not quite potent enough to power cutting-edge triple-A titles, explaining why FIFA 18 is somewhat different to its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts. EA has promised a custom-built experience but to what extent is this really a bespoke edition of the game? Is it indeed built from the ground up with Nintendo's hardware in mind, or is it more like a custom variant of the last-gen versions? Yes, remarkably, PS3 and Xbox 360 still get annual FIFA updates.
It's a distinction we've been looking to hammer down for some time, especially in light of Peter Moore's reaction to a tweet from Eurogamer's Tom Phillips. Our news editor suggested that the Switch game was indeed built on last-gen foundations, while Moore doubled down on the 'custom-built' marketing. But what if we were to say that to a certain extent, both of them are correct? We laid down £54.99 (!) of our own money for the Xbox 360 game and can report that the Switch version does indeed use the last-gen assets as a base, and it also plays a lot more like the Xbox 360 game than the current-gen versions. However, describing it as a straight port would be unfair: the customisations are extensive and more is being made of the Nintendo hardware so to that extent at least, aspects of the title are indeed 'custom' built.
And happily, first impression suggest that the Switch release appears to mostly deliver the full-fat FIFA experience. Aside from missing The Journey, all other key modes are present, with Ultimate Team finally appearing on a Nintendo platform, along with the latest changes expected from a yearly FIFA update. There's also online play too, though this is limited to matchmaking with random people due to Nintendo's convoluted network set-up. Regardless, it's a promising start, and it's probably the most feature-complete FIFA we've seen on a Nintendo console in years.
FIFA 18 came out on Nintendo Switch last week - and it didn't take long for fans to discover that you can't play against or with friends online.
Yesterday we reported on FIFA 18's first major patch, which focuses on welcome changes to goalkeepers and shooting. But it didn't take long for fans to react to a couple of changes that initially went under the radar.
EA has released FIFA 18's first big patch - and it makes some important changes to the game.
This update, available now on PC and soon on console, makes improvements to the goalkeepers, which some considered to be poor, and makes shooting slightly harder.
One of the chief criticisms of FIFA 18 is that it's too easy to score (there's more on this in our FIFA 18 review). In short, the keepers aren't great, shooting is pretty easy and quick-passing is incredibly effective. I found this to be a fun and, crucially, improved experience compared to FIFA 17, but some games do balloon out of control with too many goals.
FIFA 18 scored first place in the UK games chart this week, though its physical launch sales were down by a quarter.
Numbers company Chart-Track recorded retail copy sales as being down 25 per cent during FIFA 18's launch week compared to FIFA 17 a year ago. Should EA be worried? Well, probably not...
First off, FIFA 18 launched on a Friday this year. FIFA 17 arrived on a Tuesday, so had three days longer on sale to rack up numbers.
FIFA 18 just came out on Nintendo Switch, which should be reason for cheer. It's a decent port of this year's game, albeit running on an older engine and understandably without all the bells and whistles of its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One counterparts (and missing a few features such as The Journey mode and small details such as quick substitutions).
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time, has a trademark celebration. When he scores he runs off to jump, twirl, plant his feet with his hands by his side. Pretty much all football fans have seen this.
You know how Spurs never made a superstar signing in the summer but are still really good and should really end up in the top four of the Premier League? Well, FIFA is Spurs this year.
Developer: EA Sports
Last night, following Manchester United's 3-0 Champions League group game victory against Basel, manager Jose Mourinho expressed his anger at the way his side had played.
Poor Gareth Bale. Not only does he have to contend with annoying recurring injuries and the nagging sense that Real Madrid's going to sell him sooner rather than later, but he's now found himself relegated from FIFA's top 10 rated players list.
The FIFA 18 demo comes out today on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (it goes live on each platform at various times - we'll update the article throughout the day). You can play Kick Off mode with a raft of clubs and stadiums, as well as preview The Journey story mode.
FIFA's story mode, The Journey, already has Frostbite-powered cutscenes where you make decisions using a conversation wheel. Well, now they're in Career Mode.
Pace, Strength, Finesse Shots, Crosses. Those are the four most contentious points of FIFA's balance that I can think of, and they come up, every year, as predictably as Antonio Valencia's balls into the box. (Antonio Valencia's balls into the box are very predictable, if you didn't get that.)
The Switch version of FIFA 18 is a bit of an oddity. It's certainly the most fully-fledged FIFA we've had outside of the console and PC versions - Ultimate Team on a handheld console is quite something - but it's also, for obvious reasons, still a more limited version next to all their Frostbite-powered glory.
Overnight, EA hosted a livestream in which it revealed new features for FIFA 18. But we also got our best look at FIFA 18 gameplay yet.
There are big changes coming to FIFA Ultimate Team for FIFA 18. Chief among them: three versions Icon players, each with its own unique ratings.
For years some FIFA players have suspected the game of cheating.
FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch is a curious beast: a game not quite last gen, not quite current gen. It's a game that on the face of it looks significantly inferior to the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions, but viewed as a portable game is pretty impressive. It's a game I'm happy to play on a bus, but I wouldn't want to play it on a big telly at home. Indulge me the appropriation of a football cliche: FIFA 18 is a video game of two halves.
FIFA 18 - referred to officially, it seems, as EA Sports FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch - will have almost every mode available in the console and PC versions.
At a recent event in London, I had the chance to go hands-on with FIFA 18 for a few hours. My early impressions are that it looks better, has some useful gameplay improvements that make a lot of sense, and feels a tad weightier to play.
Big news in the world of FIFA: EA Sports has ditched Legends - aka retired footballers for FIFA Ultimate Team - in favour of multiplatform Icons.
Icons will be available on all platforms, EA said today. And the first Icon is Ronaldo. No, not that Ronaldo. Old Ronaldo.
EA has also gone with PS4 for its FIFA 18 marketing, which is a significant switch after a number of years with Xbox.
Ever since EA announced FIFA for the Switch, there have been questions surrounding exactly what kind of game owners of Nintendo's new console can expect.
Being six years old is fantastic.
A new Nintendo Switch trailer from Japan has given us our first glimpse of EA's FIFA game for Switch.