Has the controversial implementation of the FUT Price Range update ruined FIFA forever? Possibly the biggest change in FUT in recent times, the Price Range update rolled out in early March this year. The update placed min and max caps on every FUT card in the transfer market. EA incorporated this change to address illegal coin selling and price inflation in the market, but it has received mixed reviews.
As stated earlier, the price ranges affect every consumable, players, etc. Gone are the days of listing an in-form for a 150 coin start price, as even with new Team of the Week players there is an allocated price range. They have certainly had a big impact, although it certainly hasn’t been a seamless transition. Whilst Xbox users are enjoying lowering prices for the top players, Playstation and PC users are facing a number of problems of their own, some of which are arguably breaking the game.
There is still work needed to perfect the Price Range update. Inside this slideshow we take a look at four areas that the Price Range update are affecting FUT: Prices, Coin Sellers, Extinction of Players and Team of the Season release. There is still work needed to perfect.
Prices Fall for Cards
The net effect of price ranges seems to be a positive one when it comes to player prices. Legend cards on the Xbox have fallen to become much more affordable. A legend like Michael Owen was going for over 1 million coins a month ago, but is now going for 400,000 coins.
Price ranges have made these higher tier players more attainable for the average player, who would previously find it very difficult to build up the millions of coins needed to try out a legend card or over a high rated regular card like Suarez or Ibrahimovic.
EA MUST CONTINUE TO BE PROACTIVE WITH UPDATING PRICE RANGES
EA are also updating price ranges, meaning that if a player isn’t selling for their lower value then the range will be adjusted down slightly so that people can sell their cards. They must continue to me proactive with these changes if price ranges are to be a success for a number of reasons.
Firstly it is a terrible situation for the casual FUT player to have to wait days for their star player to sell on the transfer market, with all their coins tied up in this one card. A system could well be implemented where if your card fails to sell at it’s minimum five times then EA could just buy the card.
The second aspect of continually updating the price ranges is to prevent a card from becoming extinct. There is nothing worse than seeing an in-form in the Team of the Week that you can afford but can’t find on the market.
Coin Sellers Lost their Job?
One of the main aims of price ranges was to make coil selling more difficult. Alongside this EA also removed club names from the transfer market and are clearly clamping down on coin farming in general. They see it as necessary for their own profits, but also they claim their want to make the game fairer.
Price ranges have made buying coins more difficult, as the process of buying an amount of coins in bulk is much more difficult. This can only be a positive thing for the future of FUT, as if it is implemented properly in Fifa 16 then player prices will be relatively normal.
THE DECISION TO BRING IN SUCH A DRASTIC CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIFE CYCLE OF A GAME REMAINS A QUESTIONABLE ONE
The decision to bring in such a drastic change in the middle of the life cycle of a game remains a questionable one, as people already on the game and therefore cannot do anything about the changes, even if they oppose them. However, it was necessary to do so in order to learn the lessons for future Fifa iterations.
Whilst I can understand the reason for people wanting to buy Fifa coins as they don’t have time to trade and build the coins legitimately, the result is inflation in the market which does ruin the game for the rest of the players and that can’t continue.
Extinct Players after Price Range Update
This is a big, big issue when it comes to price ranges that doesn’t look close to being fixed. Players become extinct when demand exceeds supply and demand it often at it’s highest if a player is made to be very affordable relative to how good they are.
For example, the third in-form Yannick Bolasie was released a week ago. With 88 pace, 5 star skills and a central position change allowing him to be moved to a striker role, it was a card that many people wanted to try out. Add in the fact that he is in the EPL and his price could have settled around 200,000 coins before price ranges.
However EA undervalued his card and set price ranges of 40,000 to 60,000 coins. It meant that whenever anyone got him in a pack, they would most often keep him knowing that he would only fetch 60,000 coins on the market at most.
THE LIKES OF REGULAR COURTOIS AND NEUER ARE NOT ON THE PS MARKET
Holding onto him therefore decreases supply in the market, whilst demand stays the same. As a result the cards that do get listed at the maximum of 60,000 coins for third in-form Bolasie are bought instantly. If you wanted to try him you would need to patiently search until one appeared and buy now as quickly as possible.
Essentially his card was extinct for the whole week that he was in packs, so many people waited until EA updated his price range. However, their most recent update only moved his maximum price to 65,000 coins, which means he is still extinct on the market.
This is one specific example, but it can be seen happening a number of times with the popular in-forms and man of the match cards that have been released in recent weeks. The issue has gotten so bad on the Playstation market that even regular cards are extinct.
The likes of regular Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer are not on the market, at all. In this case it has gotten to a point where the game is actually being ruined for the average player. Many would like to include Courtois in their EPL squad, but can’t, which is a poor show.
Crunch Time for TOTS
Team of the season is such a big time for EA and will define whether price ranges have been a success or a failure. They will have to set the price range for every blue TOTS card that is released and will be under intense scrutiny when it comes to choosing the best ranges.
Ultimate Team TOTS will begin to be released on the 29th April. The special blue cards represent big upgrades from the regular cards and therefore will likely demand a high price. It will be important for EA to avoid any of the TOTS players to be extinct.
I hope they release the importance of the TOTS release, as the Fifa community seem to be reserving judgement on price ranges until they have seen who is pans out. If the TOTS cards are affordable and more importantly available on the market, we could well be onto a winner.
Whilst users already owning Fifa 15 haven’t truly been able to express their opinions on price ranges in any meaningful way, come Fifa 16 they will have the biggest say of all. When the new game is released in the fall, the purchasing power of the consumers will be telling.
If the issues with price ranges aren’t ironed out in the coming weeks then EA can expect to lose a lot of their fan base to the ever improving Pro Evolution Soccer series that is enjoying a rise in popularity. The issues with FUT are no means an easy fix, but those paying for the game are entitled to expect better than what has happened this year.