EA SPORTS has axed provocative goal celebrations from Fifa 21 as part of its efforts to clean up "toxic behaviour" in online games.
The US gaming giant said the "Shush" and "A-OK" celebrations had been pulled from the upcoming game, with more changes to come.
The celebrations are often used to infuriate opponents after scoring last-minute winners or other goals.
EA Sports confirmed it was removing the moves from Fifa 21 to Eurogamer on Wednesday,
Once the ball hits the back of the net, a player triggers a "Shush" celebration to place a finger to the scorer's lips in a "quiet down" motion.
Players have complained about the rage-inducing goal celebration in the past, suggesting the move encourages bullying.
"Why do people like to provoke others when they’ve scored a goal?" one user wrote on a Fifa forum last December.
"I simply don’t get why this celebration is even put in the game by EA.
It’s almost like EA encourage kids to bully each other."
Also banned from Fifa 21 is the "A-Okay" or "Challenge" celebration made famous by Tottenham star Delli Ali in 2018.
The move involves placing your thumb and fingers in an "o" shape around one eye to form an "Ok" gesture.
It's not known for being particularly provocative on Fifa, and is rarely used, so it's not enirely clear why the celebration has been removed.
In July Infinity Ward removed a similar gesture from Call of Duty Warzone, likely due to its links to right-wing hate groups.
EA Sports told Eurogamer it was making more changes "in this area", so expect other goal celebrations to be axed in future.
One potentially up for ban is the "calm down" celebration used by Christiano Ronaldo. It's often used to antagonise opponents.
How much will the PS5 and Xbox Series X cost?
Here's what you need to know…
Respected Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks we'll see a major price war.
"From what I've seen, Sony's gonna have to charge $500 for the PS5," he explained.
"Microsoft has a big balance sheet. If they wanna cut the price by $100 – just price below [PS5] and subsidise the first 10million [units] – they will.
"So I think that they're waiting to have Sony blink first, and then they'll reveal the price. Very likely $400."
Fellow gaming industry insider Peter Moore agreed with Pachter's predictions.
Moore was formerly an EA and Microsoft exec, and was speaking on the Bonus Round podcast.
He said: "Michael's right. What both companies are going through right now is: 'How much can we afford to lose in the first 12 to 18 months?'
"'What is our attach rate of software to hardware? What are we willing to do in year one, two and three to hit 10million [units]?'"
Sadly, neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed pricing for either of their consoles – or even hinted at a range.
As part of its efforts to curb toxic behaviour, EA Sports is also reducing the amount of time players can time-waste at setpieces.
Currently, a player can wait 30 seconds before taking freekick or kickoff, a tactic often used to run down the clock.
EA said it's also cutting the length of goal celebrations.
Fifa 21 will be released on October 9, 2020, on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The game will also be out for Sony and Microsoft's new consoles, the Xbox Series X and PS5, when they hit shelves later this year.
In other news, Sony finally unveiled the design of the PS5 in June ahead of the console's launch later this year.
Here are some great Warzone tips and tricks.
And check out this crazy £450 "gaming bed".
Will you grab a copy of Fifa 21 when it hits shelves this year?
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