The FIFA gaming series became one of the strongest selling virtual football gaming series in the world and is developed and published by EA Sports. Its strong appeal due to many different features within the game, primarily through the online feature FIFA Ultimate Team or FUT has no real competitors as the YouTuber Nepenthez put it in one of his videos. However, the community starts to get more and more frustrated due to a number of reasons, including the gameplay and its problems with the servers. Even the hashtag #eaids became viral after a series of problems and glitches existing in the game, leading to divergent opinions and controversial discussions.
Nine years ago, the FIFA gaming series introduced the online feature “FIFA Ultimate Team”. Its aim is to build your own team using football players available in the FIFA database. This can be done via buying these players either on the transfer market or obtaining them in packs, which can be bought today through either paying with the in-game currency or with real money. According to the website gamesindustry.biz, FIFA 18 has sold three out of five copies available for the PlayStation 4 and selling more than a third of their copies available on Xbox one.
Although its high popularity amongst the community, more and more players tend to walk away from the game today.
Pay to Win?
A major aspect of FIFA Ultimate Team is the obtaining of packs, which is needed to get new players and consumables such as contracts and fitness cards, which are vital to improve the player’s team. Nevertheless, it is not easy to obtain those packs in the old-fashioned way through playing the game. Micro transactions, which acquire real money to be spend into the game are vital for most players. This is due to the fact that it becomes harder from year to year, to obtain valuable packs for the average player to potentially improver their team.
Promotions within the game, such as the weekly team of the week which depends on the live performances on the professional footballers and others like FUT Birthday, bring in improved versions of the football players available in the database. These are most of the time only available within packs, forcing many players around the world to spend even more money through micro transactions into the game. The chance however to pack those players are fairly little, as there is not guarantee to obtain a good player.
Since last year’s edition (FIFA 17), the aspect of FUT-Champions came into the game, in which only a fraction of the community has access to due to its high entry requirements, causing until today controversial views upon the tournament.
FUT-Champions and the Cost It Bears
After its introduction into FUT, FUT-Champions became a very important tournament in terms of the prices it bears. The structure meanwhile leads to a lot of criticism until today. The work-load of 40 games with each game taking up to over 15 minutes within a weekend ends up with high stress levels not only amongst the “normal” community, but also for professional gamers and YouTubers who make their living upon FIFA Ultimate Team. Popular YouTubers, such as Bateson87 and Nepenthez are constantly complaining about the tournament structure. Due to the high workload needed in FUT-Champions, Bateson87 even stopped his “Road to Glory” series after being burned out. This is not the only example of a player being burned out. Currently many professional players turn their back away from FIFA 18 in non-qualifying months, as the workload and stress levels increase to an extent where the game is not fun to play anymore.
Problems regarding the connection of the servers, are becoming more frequent. Often no suitable connection can be established leading to an automatic loss when losing the connection in-game. Another problem, which results in uncertainty among the community is the way players are connected to each other in FUT-Champions as most of the time players with lower capabilities are paired up with players with higher capabilities, leading to an unfair advantage in most cases.
Lastly the prices which can be obtained through playing FUT-Champions are widely referred to as a “joke”, as the packs which can be obtained are often lacking in good players, which can be used to be sold or to improve the player´s team. The stress most players had to go through throughout a whole weekend often becomes a waste of time.
#eaids, YouTubers and Professionals – the Voice of the Community
As already mentioned YouTubers such as Bateson87 and also professional FIFA players are brought to their knees, due to the high intensity FIFA Ultimate Team bears and the problems resulting out of the gameplay and servers. This is fairly common within the community as more and more average players seek to stop playing the game. As a result, the Hashtag “#eaids” came into live, which helps to address the issues on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. The user “TravellingMack”, used this hashtag in order to blow off steam: “No compensation? And still s*** gameplay? Same old #eaids”. Due to a wave of complaints, users attempted to seek compensation and changes after a series of glitches which made it nearly impossible to properly enjoy the game bringing this hashtag to live. Most of the glitches are repaired now, but still, other glitches are raising awareness and dissatisfaction within the FIFA 18 community up to today.
What Users Can Expect
Whether EA Sports will change certain aspects of the online-feature FIFA Ultimate Team, is highly doubtable. As up to today most players within the community are still actively playing the game and investing high amounts of money, despite their unhappiness with the game. The lack of competition within this sort of feature, is also another reason for why the FIFA players will have to continue to bear with the many problems the game comes with. Rivals on the other hand, such as Pro Evolution Soccer are incapable of establishing a major competition to FIFA´s Ultimate Team feature.