Patch notes today for FIFA 21, spotted by Eurogamer, revealed that FIFA is imminently launching a new tool to help players manage their in-games spending and time played in the football game.
The new tool was previously unannounced, so it was something of a surprise to see it pop up in patch notes: “FIFA Playtime is a new suite of tools that enable players to have more control and visibility over how they play, and can be accessed through the main menu, FUT, and VOLTA FOOTBALL.”
Eurogamer further revealed that the tool was intended for both players and parents to help control aspects including “time spent playing, spending, social communication, and access to games by rating,” said the site. That last makes it sound as though Playtime may work eventually across multiple titles, as why would you need an age rating feature if it was only for FIFA?
The tool will apparently let players know how many FIFA points they’ve spent to date and how long they’ve spent playing. With players or parents able to put limits on these. It will track both points bought in the game and out of the game, handy for parents who don’t want all their child’s pocket money being spent on points via cards.
“Play should always be fun, so we’re amping up the information and tools to help you play on your terms,” EA said in a statement. “Back in June, we rolled out the Positive Play Charter – an updated set of community guidelines designed to make our games and services more inclusive, safe, balanced and fair. This is another step we’re taking to make play more positive.”
FIFA has come under criticism from many on its incredibly successful FIFA Ultimate Team mode and card packs purchases, certainly the biggest example of traditional loot box mechanics still operating in the mainstream console space.