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Mother blames EA for son’s $6,700 FIFA 14 spend
It is being reported this week that a mother in the UK opened her credit card statement to find £4,000 (US$6,700) of transactions she hadn’t made. The culprit was soon tracked down to her son, who had spent the money playing his favorite game of the moment: soccer title FIFA 14.
It’s not completely clear how this 13-year-old kid managed to spend so much money in the game so quickly. What we do know is he kept purchasing FIFA 14 Player Packs, and managed to spend $1,700 on them in just one day. According to his mother, it was easy as just tapping a button to instantaneously spend the money over and over again. She said he had no understanding of what he was doing.
From the little I know about these Player Packs, the players they contain are random, so you are encouraged to keep buying them until you unlock the players you desire. On the EA forums gamers have admitted to easily spending upwards of $800 unlocking players.
While it can be easy to spend a lot of money on DLC and in-game purchases, I don’t think the blame in this case can be put on EA, at least not all of it. First of all, why did this kid have free access to his mother’s credit card? Allowing access to a credit card should also be accompanied by some education as to how to use, or in this case, not use the card.
Game Politics also makes a very good point: if you spend $1,700 in 24 hours on a credit card that’s not typically used for such high levels of spending, the credit card company will flag it. They will typically call the card holder to confirm the transactions are legitimate, or place a temporary hold on the card while they investigate. As far as we know, neither of those things happened, or if they did they haven’t been mentioned.
If you are going to give a child access to a credit card they need to be educated in its use. In this instance it doesn’t look like that happened. But at the same time, it seems wrong that EA has setup FIFA 14 to allow for such high levels of content purchasing to occur. No game should ever cost that much, especially over the course of a few days.