EA have detailed how FIFA Ultimate Team is changing for FIFA 22 when it launches on September 26th. Chief among the new features is the adoption of Preview Packs, which let you see the contents of one of Ultimate Team's lucrative loot boxes before you decide whether to buy it.
Preview packs were introduced recently to FIFA 21, and a post on the FIFA 22 site says that they're being added from launch this time "following a positive reception from fans."
In reality, FIFA Ultimate Team has at the centre of several government's efforts to crack down on gambling among children in online games. In 2018, sixteen gambling regulators united to issue a warning about loot boxes and digital football cards. EA also had to stop selling Ultimate Team cards in Belgium in 2019 after the country's gambling commission ruled that loot boxes in some games constituted illegal gambling.
Preview Packs work by allowing you to peek inside previously opaque card packs, before you decide whether to buy them with FIFA Points (which cost real money) or FUT Coins (which are earned through play). If players decide not to buy the pack, a refresh timer starts until players are able to peek inside another pack of the same type. According to EA, both the Premium Gold and Premium Silver packs will be available for preview with a 24 hour refresh timer.
Last year, some players filed a lawsuit against EA, claiming that FIFA used "dynamic difficulty adjustment" in order to make teams underperform in Ultimate Team matches and incentivise more sales of loot boxes. The lawsuit was then dropped back in March after the plaintiffs were allowed to speak to EA's engineers.
The PC version of FIFA 22 will be based on the last-gen console version when it launches next week.