Nobody asked for this.
FIFA 23 FUT Packs

Electronic Arts confirms that FIFA 23 will keep the tradition of loot boxes alive and well. These randomized bundles will again appear in the form of FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) Packs. These packs can either be earned by playing the game normally or by purchasing with, you guessed it, real world money.

FUT Packs often contain a selection of content such as players and club items that can be used almost exclusively in the Ultimate Team game mode. For FIFA 21 EA at least changed things up a little bit by offering players Preview Packs. This was a feature that allowed players to see the content of packs prior to purchasing them.

This news just happens to come in the same week that Blizzard announced they are removing their own loot boxes for Overwatch at the end of August. It would have been nice for EA to have followed suit with FIFA, especially if they wanted to drum up some goodwill support ahead of the launch of their EA Sports FC once the FIFA license expires, but alas.

FUT Packs do earn EA what can be called "a metric boatload of money." Though specifics are not provided by EA on how much sales of FUT Packs and other loot box items earn them, EA has said in financial reports that player engagement was up 40% compared to the previous year. Over the past ten fiscal years, annual growth has gone up at a rate of about 50%. In 2020 alone, EA saw $1.5 billion (USD) in sales, which may give you some rough idea of just how much these loot boxes pull in for the studio.

EA, by way of a statement issued to Eurogamer, says that these FUT Packs "are a part of FIFA that players love."

"We wholeheartedly believe that Ultimate Team and FUT Packs, which have been part of the game for more than a decade, are a part of FIFA that players love - fans love that the game reflects the real-world excitement and strategy of building and managing a squad. Giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair," EA's statement reads.

"It's worth saying that spending is entirely optional in our game, and we do not encourage spending over earning rewards through game play. FUT Packs work in just the same way whether they are paid for or earned, and most players don't spend in game at all. For example, nine out of 10 FUT Packs opened in FIFA 22 were earned."
Just this past month, the UK government decided against taking action on loot boxes. The government says that they do not consider loot boxes to be the same as gambling and will thus not make any changes to the Gambling Act to include them. This is the same government that also noted how those that purchased loot boxes were "more likely to experience gambling, mental health, financial, and problem gaming-related harms."

Earlier today, EA also released a new trailer showing off the Ultimate Team mode included with FIFA 23. Included in the video is a brief look at some of the FUT Packs.