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EA removes two FIFA 21 goal celebrations to help reduce 'toxic behaviors'

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)
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A Eurogamer (opens in new tab) report says that as part of its effort to combat toxicity in its FIFA games, Electronic Arts has decided to cut two goal celebrations—Shush and A-Ok—from the upcoming FIFA 21 (opens in new tab).

Shush has been a problem because, as a running celebration, players could waste time (and annoy opponents) by jogging around the field while using it. The reason for the removal of A-Ok, which was only added last year, is less clear, but it's built around the same "OK" gesture that that Activision recently removed (opens in new tab) from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone because of its recent connection to white supremacy movements.

"We were told by the community that there's toxic behaviors in the game and we wanted to make sure we removed them. So we removed some of the celebrations that people thought were not the best idea to have in the game," lead gameplay producer Sam Rivera said.

"The flow is shorter, which is to try to keep you playing most of the time instead of just waiting. All together the intention there is just to keep you playing instead of doing other things that may not be necessary in the game."

Other changes aimed at reducing bad behavior in FIFA 21 include a reduction in the amount of time players can spend in kickoffs, throw-ins, goal kicks, and other specific events. Some animations will also skip automatically when the ball goes out of play during online matches. EA said that other changes aimed at reducing toxicity in online FIFA matches are also likely to happen.

FIFA 21 is set to come out on October 9, but will be available three days early for anyone who preorders the Ultimate or Champions Edition. Origin Access Premier subscribers can jump into the trial version of the game beginning on October 1.

Update: An Electronic Arts rep said that the A-Ok celebration gesture is being removed because of its potentially racist connotations. It's also considered an obscene gesture in Brazil. 

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.