Volta Feels Like a Trap
By: Bryce L. Jackson
FIFA 20 is about a month away as I write this. After taking a few years off from playing a FIFA game, I’m getting the urge to get it and start a new career mode. There’s one thing about FIFA 20 that concerns me: Volta. For those unfamiliar, Volta is FIFA’s version of Futsal or indoor soccer. From initial trailers and gameplay, it looks like an interesting game mode and reminds me of FIFA Street that released in the early ’00s without the violent tackles. With its own single player story mode and multiplayer mode, its a nice addition to the game. Volta allows gamers to play as real-life male or female soccer (football) players or create your own for the story mode, giving players the ability to play how they please.
As much as they have marketed Volta, I can't help but be bugged by the varying options of customization. From clothing to boots to locations, and given the parent company EA, it feels like a new microtransaction (MTX) trap. Volta will have its currency, and with tons of customization options, it already feels like its set up to get those with the disposable income to ball out and show off in multiplayer. Doing the research and watching gameplay from the story mode gameplay from Gamescom, Volta’s customization options won’t have real-world dollars attached to its currency. If that turns out to be true, that’s great and I’ll admit to over exaggerating. But given it’s an EA game, I still have my reservations.
There is also another despicable practice gaming companies have done where they have community influencers play a certain build of the game while hiding the full “features” of the game. Probably after the debacle behind Star Wars: Battlefront II leaving in their loot box mechanics in its finished form in the game’s beta, companies have held back on the MTX features in private or public test betas then release the full version later. Most multiplayer games leave the MTX store in place, but restrict purchases, price them high or opt to disable it for the beta. It is said that Crash Team Racing introduced MTX features that weren’t in the original game. Most recently, NBA 2K20 is getting massive pushback in the community for launching in a horrid, buggy state and missing features, some of which was tested by NBA 2K YouTubers that are left frustrated by the company and targeted by consumers.
Even with the reputation and bad press EA gets now from both gamers and country governments, it wouldn’t be surprising that it will become another revenue stream. Even with all the pressure, businesses will just get more creative, rather than end a controversial practice. With all the attention on FIFA Ultimate Team’s (FUT) pay-to-win borderline gambling practices, I feel that Volta will either bring about a decrease in FUT prices, or they just don’t care and will just get additional revenue out of Volta and add to their already gratuitous company coffers. Either way, FIFA players, beware.