Ultimate Team’s latest update is it’s biggest mid-season change, well, EVER! In North Korean fashion EASPORTS is restricting the FUT transfer market by putting limits on the prices players and other items can be sold for.
“All FUT items (players, in-forms, consumables, and club items) in FIFA Ultimate Team will have a Price Range that sets the highest and lowest Coin prices that each item can be sold on the Transfer Market.” – EASPORTS.com
The official reasons behind the limits are to help people understand the value of the players and items in their clubs and to make the high rated Messi’s and Ronaldo’s more affordable to the average gamer. Oh, and to banish coin selling to the darkest depths of hell!
- The price limits will be unified across all platforms. PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
- You’ll now have to list every player with a Buy It Now Price. No more open auctions.
- New In Form players will have their prices limits set when they’re released.
- The price ranges may change in the future.
What does this actually mean?
Well it’s certainly a drastic move by EA but some are calling it an act of desperation. EA are sugar coating it by suggesting that top rated players are going to be available to more people. Yes they’ll be available to more people… as long as you buy more FIFA Points. And I think that in reality this is what it all boils down to. That and the fact that the market’s been screwed for pretty much the whole of FIFA 15.
It’s no secret that Ultimate Team has been hit hard by coins sellers this year. There’s been a battle going on for ages. First of all EA started banning accounts using bots, auto-buyers and auto-bidders that trade on autopilot and make coins on tap. The problem was the bots became more and more sophisticated using delays and trading patterns that mimic human interaction which made them harder and harder to detect.
This led to the first drastic step that EA took which was to disable trading through the web app. This cut off the supply and stopped the bots in their tracks.
Although it curbed the amount of coins in supply it still didn’t solve the problem of coin selling so EA shot straight for distribution. Putting fixed ranges on prices stops the transfer of coins by preventing cheap players being listed for millions of coins. Will it stop coin sellers…? It will for now, but it won’t stop them from trying.
People have thrown around the notion that instead of buying coins people will turn to buying coin loaded accounts. It’s a possibility but the odds are against it firstly because the supply won’t be there, don’t forget the bots aren’t farming coins any more, and secondly the risks are inherently greater. Think console bans!
How did it go down with the community?
Unsurprisingly badly! People don’t like change! I went to take a screenshot of the replies to EASPORTSFIFA’s tweets but they’re far too messed up. (you can check them out below)
New IFs will receive a Price Range upon release. Ranges for certain players may be adjusted in the future. http://t.co/eyayG6ABTt
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) March 9, 2015
Admittedly a lot of the responses are probably from people that had a vested interest in coin buying and selling but even in most of the Strawpoll’s I saw (and there was a lot of them!) the consensus was that around 75% of people were against it. In EA’s defence it’s still really early days and in all walks of life community hoards react negatively to any sort of change.
There’s going to be some winners and a whole lot more losers from this. People that invested heavily in players that have now seen a drop in value aren’t going to be happy. I believe Legend Roberto Carlos went from 9 million coins to less than 3 million over night. And silver inform teams look to have been hit hard.
Then there’s the YouTubers that rightly or wrongly have been getting paid to promote coins. We’ve seen a few high profile bans recently but to some of the up and coming YouTubers this sponsorship meant the difference between YouTubing full time or part time. It’s a harsh lesson in making sure you diversify your income streams. Are we going to see some casualty’s from this. Probably, we’ll have to see.
Ok so we know the curb coin selling and sell more FIFA Points part of the plan but another interesting take from all of this is EA’s incessant need to dumb down of FIFA.
The price ranges are to “help people understand the value of the players and items in their clubs”. In a free market knowledge is key. Yes I know it’s just a game but genuine traders put an awful lot of effort into learning the nuances of the market and that’s what gives them the advantage over people that don’t bother. Now EA are taking that away and reducing the skill cap of trading to go along with reducing the skill cap of the gameplay that they’ve been doing for the last couple of years. That’s a whole new post that I’ll come onto another time but again in my opinion it all boils down to money. The need to make the game accessible to the most amount of people and one way to do that is to make it easier).
It’s going to be really interesting to see how it pans out but for me trading was a chore anyway and with even less profit to be had I’ll probably just jack it in altogether and buy FIFA points. (You win EA, you win). Unless of course you introduce other ways to get coins.
So there’s my initial two cents on the subject. Let me know if you think this is a good or a bad idea in the comments and I’ll follow this up in more detail once we see how it actually effects the market.