Today marks a special day for FIFA 21 fans. For the first time, players will be able to see what's inside a Fifa Ultimate Team pack without having to pay for it first. This comes as the controversial game mode endures increasing scrutiny over its loot box-style mechanics.

Normally, Fifa Ultimate Team packs can be obtained by either spending FUT Coins (gameplay earned currency) or FIFA Points (in-game currency purchased using real money), or through gameplay. FUT Packs earned through gameplay remain unchanged, but packs purchased from the FUT Store are now called "Preview Packs."

via EA

These Preview Packs allow players to look inside and see the pack's contents, letting players decide whether or not they want to spend FUT Coins or FIFA Points on purchasing them.

After playing the usual pack opening animation, the player is prompted on whether or not they wish to purchase the pack. If the pack is purchased, then they receive the contents as normal. If the player decides not to purchase the pack, then the pack remains on the FUT Store, fully visible to the player until it refreshes.

via EA

Preview packs seem to refresh on a 24-hour timer, except for two exceptions. Some packs are time-limited Preview Packs, which will have a separate expiration timer from the global refresh. Other packs have a limited quantity, and once those packs are all snapped up, a new Preview Pack replaces it.

Related: EA’s Ultimate Team Earnings Paint A Bleak Picture

Preview Packs are the only type of packs available on the FUT Store over the course of FIFA 21's "Festival of FUTball." According to Eurogamer, other pack types will return to the FUT Store once the event is over.

via EA

EA has long endured criticism for FUT's loot box system but has come under increased scrutiny following leaked documents accusing the company of funneling FIFA 21 players to the highly lucrative game mode. And by lucrative, Fifa Ultimate Team purchases alone earned EA $1.62 billion in its previous financial year.

Governments around the world are either restricting or outright banning loot box mechanics due to growing evidence that they're essentially the same as gambling. EA has never admitted FUT Packs are the same as gambling, instead preferring to describe them as “surprise mechanics.”

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