Electronic Arts created a massive storm of outrage and discussions involving all sorts of legalese regarding gambling, and of course, brand new bans on loot boxes being featured in premium games within Belgium and the Netherlands. Some regions felt that if publishers were going to include the digital equivalent of gambling in their games, then those same publishers should also have licenses if they’re going to include loot boxes in the games. Some other regions dictated that if publishers are going to include loot boxes in premium titles, they would need to include the percentages for the win-rates, and oh boy are some of those numbers fascinating. FIFA 19 was one of the games where the win percentages were unveiled and you probably won’t be too surprised at the results.
Eurogamer did a short article on the percentages of certain cards players would be able to acquire from the FUT packs in FIFA 19. The most startling stat was for a super-rare player card under the category of “Ones to Watch”. These cards represent players with breakout stats, usually recent transfers like Cristiano Ronaldo who moved from Real Madrid to Juvuntus, or Nainggolan, or Goretzka. These “Ones to Watch” cards are ranked higher than the standard gold cards, and there are only 23 exclusive OTW cards available across the FUT packs. So, what are your odds of getting your hands on one of these 23 ultra-rare cards? Less than 1%.
As pointed out by Eurogamer, this means that you could technically have a 0.001% chance of getting your hands on the card, or as high as a 0.9% chance of getting your hands on the card. Either way, it’s less than 1%.
You could technically spend inordinate amounts of cash on the FUT packs (which are the equivalent to loot boxes) and after opening a hundred or so packs, you still may not get your hands on the OTW version of Cristiano Ronaldo. Even more than that, the percentage rate is for the OTW cards in general, not the player in particular. Meaning you have less than a 1% chance of getting your hands on an OTW card, and an even smaller chance of getting your hands on the player you actually want.
This figure isn’t a guesstimate or some sort of analytical representation from a separate firm. The figure comes directly from Electronic Art’s own computational simulation. According to the publisher, the contents of the packs are “dynamically generated” and the probabilities are verified by EA’s own in-house figures. That means, first hand, you know that you have less than a 1% chance of getting an OTW player card for FIFA 19.
The ratings change drastically depending on the stats of the player as well, where those with an 85+ rating have a 4.3% chance of being unlocked, and those with a rating of 82+ have a 41% chance of being opened, while there’s a 100% chance you’ll get a gold 75+ player in a card pack.
In simple terms, you’ll have to spend a lot of money on the card packs to get your hands on FIFA 19’s OTW version of Cristiano Ronaldo.
I don’t know if that’s actually going to change the amount of time and effort players spend on card packs, given that when China made publishers disclose the percentage rates of loot boxes in games like Overwatch, it didn’t slow down or stop players from putting money into the loot box system. Now that loot boxes have become national topics in certain regions, one must wonder if this sort of revelation will have an impact on the way some gambling commissions view loot boxes in general.