I’m sure you are all aware of the gargantuan gaming franchise that is EA Sports’ FIFA. The massively popular game runs a near monopoly over the football world when it comes to gaming, with its only competitor being Pro Evolution Soccer. Despite making massive improvements to its game engine over recent years, Pro Evo is still in the shadow of FIFA, and will be for years to come. Through licensing deals and exciting new additions every year, EA Sports’ FIFA has been a household name for years. However, FIFA 17 is not without it’s flaws, and this article is going to focus on a pretty hefty flaw.
What Is This Ultimate Flaw In FIFA 17?
Before I go any further, I’m sure through reading this, some of you may think that I’m sounding pretty butthurt. And I am. With good reason. Possibly the biggest addition to Ultimate Team in the last 5 years, and definitely the most popular addition this year, FUT Champions is a game-changing new mode. The principle of FUT Champions is simple. Upon qualification to FUT Champions, players will play up to a maximum of forty matches the following weekend, reaching higher with enough wins.
The ranks are, in order; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Elite and Top 100. Each rank is broken down into three sub-ranks, if you will (Bronze 3, Bronze 2, Bronze 1, Silver 3, and so on). Three wins is usually enough to progress to the next rank, and with each progression, the rewards get steadily better. The best players in the world (those who regularly reach Top 100 status) get the best prizes.
Should a player not quite make the top 100, they normally still gain a very high ranking of Elite 1 or 2). Upon reaching those ranks, the prizes are simply ludicrous. A finish in the Top 100 will net players 125,000 coins (which is a very substantial amount). They’ll also get a “Champion’s Ultimate Team Of The Week” pack (which contains 11 guaranteed Team Of The Week players) and at least two 100,000 coin packs.
Why This Is Substantial
Now, to someone who is not familiar with Ultimate Team, the end of the previous paragraph may seem like a pile of gobbledegook. To explain, Team of the Week players are special versions of players who have had a standout week in the real world of football. A Team of the Week version of a player is an improved version, with significantly better stats than their regular counterpart. On top of that, the effects of getting multiple Team of the Week cards for a specific player stack. An example of this is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has had a fantastic season, and his TOTW cards show that. His standard rating is 94 overall, making him the best player in the game. However, he has had 3 TOTW cards on top of his regular card.
The ratings for these cards are 95, 96 and 97, respectively. There is a website, www.futbin.com, which shows the latest price that any player on FIFA 17 has sold for. At the time of writing, the standard 94-rated Ronaldo card sells for 925,000 coins. However, his 97-rated TOTW card is selling for 1,790,000 coins. This is not only the case for the mega-famous players, however. The same principle is true for the players who have lower ratings, Ronaldo was simply an example. TOTW players sell for exorbitant amounts of money, and EA are simply handing them out to the top players around the world.
Can’t Players Simply Save Up Their Coins?
In short – no. Whilst it is a fact that players gain coins through playing matches, they simply do not earn enough to get the best players in FIFA 17. After playing a game, which typically lasts around 15 minutes, players get a certain amount of coins. Depending on certain things that happen in the game, this amount ranges between 400 and 600 coins. So let’s do the math.
Let’s assume for these statistics that in every game, the person playing the it does absolutely perfectly. Scores lots of goals, concedes none, and has a fantastic match every time and earns 600 coins. In order for someone to have enough coins to buy the standard version of Crisitano Ronaldo, players must play 1541.666 matches, so let’s round it up to 1542 games. That is an obscene amount. When converted into minutes playing FIFA 17, it equals more than 380 hours straight. And please bear in mind that these figures are how long it would take should a player, not spending ANY of their coins at all (which is impossible).
Here’s Why It’s Impossible Not To Spend Any Coins
Players also need to spend coins on contracts for their players, fitness cards and upgrading players. Upgrading your team is necessary in Ultimate Team because as you play Ultimate Team more and more, you will progress higher up in the Online Seasons, which is another mode. Each season consists of 10 games, and depending on how players do in those 10 games, they go up or down the Divisions, of which there are 10. Starting off in Division 10, players work their way up to Division 1. This is the pinnacle of that particular mode. As you progress through the Divisions, you will be playing against better opponents, with better teams than the Division previously played. So to be able to compete, and earn more coins, players MUST spend their coins. It’s a catch-22.
Is This How EA Has Ruined FIFA 17?
This year, prior to the release of FIFA 17, EA released a lot of information about FUT Champions, and the events that follow FUT Champions. Their focus was on becoming more and more involved with eSports as a whole, and how they attempted to make their game a staple in the eSports world. However, they have gone about it in the wrong way. Using FUT Champions as a ‘qualification’ technique, EA held a number of tournaments this year. One of which had a $1,000,000 prize for the winner.
In order to qualify for this event, during certain months, the top 12 players in each region (Europe, North America, South America, Asia) were chosen to go to these tournaments. However, with the structure that EA put in place for FUT Champions, the players who finished at the highest echelons of FUT Champions during the first few weeks of its’ existence, found it much easier to stay there.
This is due to the fact that every week they were getting 11 of the upgraded players on offer that week. As well as packs that contain large amounts of other players, and massive amounts of coins too. As such, when later players learned of the methods needed to qualify for the eSports tournament, they were already out of the running. It was too insurmountable a task for those players to compete.
This Is What Vexes Me
This also applies to me, too. In EA’s previous game, FIFA 16, I won numerous European Tournaments through GFinity, who are one of the largest eSports companies. I was one of the best in Europe, and have carried that form into FIFA 17 too. However, due to the nature of the qualifications for EA Sports’ tournaments this year I, along with many others, did not receive a fair chance to qualify. We never stood a chance.
Rather, the people who went to these tournaments hosted by EA were the Youtubers. People who already had large reserves of money, who were able to sink that money into FIFA 17 from the outset. Attaining those places in the Top 100 and keeping them through the other players not being able to compete. After all, those Youtubers and their ilk, had all of the best players to start with. Through hosting tournaments for the people with massive follower counts, EA have increased their reputation as a company that cares about it’s customers, showing that the best players of their games can win serious prizes. Except in reality, what they did was freeze the truly best players out, by giving the best toys to the people who had the most money to sink into the game at the start.
In conclusion, EA desperately need to revamp their current system for FUT Champions. It is not working. They give the people who reach Top 100 the best players in FIFA 17 on a weekly basis. With each week that passes those players get stronger. As such, within a month of the game coming out, they have a near-monopoly of Top 100 status every week. Players they then face cannot compete with the class they have on the field.
Regular players physically cannot play the game so much that they can buy those same players for themselves. As such they will never be able to compete. So to be able to have a chance at Top 100, every player is expected to sink hundreds and hundreds of pounds into FIFA 17 to get the best players early on. And the people who are doing that, are the same people responsible for advertising EA as a company for the regular player. And that,in light of such hypocrisy, is not true.