In recent times we have seen a curious paradox surrounding the annual launch of FIFA. On the one hand, it has transcended the video game . Thanks to its FUT mode, we are seeing players every week photographing themselves with their Team of the Week letter -as Salah in the photo that heads this article-, EA spots in which several of them joke or act on the scores that he grants them the game every year and even converted player cards in a way to present the player outside the context of the game.
On the other hand, a progressive fed up commented on many forums, networks, videos and meeting points of the FIFA community, however, does not translate into a decline in sales, the other way around: FIFA is an unstoppable commercial reef , and The criticisms received on several fronts do not seem to have a commercial effect.
DjMaRiiO is the biggest FIFA Youtuber in Spanish. His reach is huge: he uploaded a video playing football in the garden of Cristiano Ronaldo next to the star Luso, threw a pachanga at the Camp Nou against Puyol and several players have played against him to FIFA. He has even made the leap to television. However, even he does not consider the game that has changed his life to be perfect. The culprits: the servers that allow you to play online.
“The biggest problem of FIFA in the last three years is the servers, in Spain we suffer lag and we play with a disadvantage, it frustrates the experience”. This complaint is not only his: during the last years he is repeated by more Spanish FIFA players in networks and YouTube channels.
The consequence is that competitive matches against German, French or Dutch players start at a disadvantage for Spaniards, even with fiber optic connections of more than 300 Mbps.
JRA Lion , professional FIFA player for Mad Lions , matches this recurring connection problem:
“Since the release of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we have the same servers as for the previous generation.” The growth rate of FIFA’s competitive modes is inversely proportional to the quality of the connection.If you want to make FIFA a sport, what less to leave us? play on equal terms, EA Sports never pronounces on connection problems. “
A common way in recent years to overcome these problems from Spain was playing at dawn on weekdays . By catching the less congested local servers it was played with more normality. JRA says that even this does not work anymore. “Now even doing that to play in FUT Champions [FIFA’s competitive mode], your players do not react to the moment when you ask them something, you do not play at ease and you end up getting angry”.
So I was close to ruining myself by playing FIFA
To the problems of connection are added the complaints for the famous handicap , something never recognized by EA but assumed as true almost unanimously by the community around FIFA: the game is scheduled in such a way that in the final stages of some matches It is impossible to score a goal: balls to the wood, anthological stops made by goalkeepers equivalent to Barca’s Lopetegui, strikers who stumble at the time of taking advantage of a rebound, impossible caroms, referees who whistle the end when the ball is entering the goal. .. Of all this Mario himself made a compilation.
Why was EA going to introduce such a frustrating figure? Often, to mitigate the other’s frustration: if someone with less skill in the game does not do more than lose their first games, they may stop playing. With the handicap, EA supposedly balances the balance and makes it easier for him to tie or win some games when he has too many in a row losing.
In the complaints about FIFA could not miss that feeling that FUT has gradually monopolized the importance of the game , at the same time that FUT has turned FIFA into a pay-to-win . JRA believes that “we already pay a lot of money for the game every year, and we have to add the online … As for having to pay for opening envelopes to win, otherwise it becomes impossible”.
Someone who knows what happens with this pay-to-win is Drunker0 . He has seen perfectly the evolution of the game from its origins until today: he was the first FIFA champion of Spain in 2002 when he was 21 years old and came to compete in Europe when the esports were a fraction of what they are today. EA included him in the FIFA 2003 manual and today he continues to play … but much less. Things to get to ages where work and family life are eaten day to day.
“To be able to play seriously, you need to spend a lot of hours per week, to qualify for FUT Champions … and then to play, if there are 30 games in a weekend, it’s a minimum of 10 hours, FIFA now demands a lot of time.” And it continues with the problem of the money to invest.
He gives as an example a good starting eleven that at this point -December- we could have achieved only advancing in the game. An eleven whose stars are, say, Isco and Iago Aspas in their gold versions (none of the special cards). “What do you do when you play against someone who has Ronaldo Nazario prime , Gullit, Mbappé of the Champions … They will run more than yours, to shoot better …” A couple of examples of the type of onces to the what is it referring to:
Fut 2Type of ounces referred to by Drunker0 due to the imbalance generated by the ‘pay-to-win’. On the left, one impossible to achieve without paying. On the right, a more reasonable one that will almost always lose to the first one.
The fact that FIFA has become an uncontrolled slot in which even children play with money has already been talked about, the complexity is that it is no longer just a problem for children, but also that adults suffer , who see how the game asks fortísimos annual disbursements to those who can not devote the equivalent to a workday -weekend included- playing.
Playing FIFA already costs between 60 and 70 euros of the game, plus the online Xbox or PlayStation (which will not be accounted for here because it is not something exclusive to FIFA). The added costs of opening envelopes can not be calculated because they depend on chance, what players touch us and how much we can sell them to get the two, three, four million coins that cost to build one of these onces
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An added problem is the shortcomings of the mechanics of the game: FIFA 19 has four major patches in less than three months since its launch, and the biggest problem they want to correct is still missing , something usual lately . We talked about the exaggerated and ridiculously high effectiveness of the shots at the first touch, from outside the area, made by players who have their backs to the goal. Xavi Robles , director of Eurogamer , made a compilation of shots like that with the applied patch.
When a product has been in low hours for years, it is usual for its competitor to take advantage and emerge. The natural competitor of FIFA is the saga PES, of Konami, that takes years to the loss, with some residual sales in comparison to those of FIFA , that has eaten the toast that it had of ephemeral form, when it touched the sky with the mythical one PES 6 , a game that twelve years after its launch continues to have a community of users who update it and organize online tournaments with it. So frame PES 6.
The number of times a FIFA 18 was sold for each PES 2018 sold:
Throughout this autumn they have sold more or less half of units of the editions of this year that the totals of the previous edition. From PC we do not have data, Konami continues without taking PES to the Nintendo Switch and at the same time has stopped launching its title in the consoles of the previous generation. This is how the current race is.
PES, however, has had a somewhat rosy past: 2018 renewed the illusion of many and 2019 maintained a high level … but it is not enough. Not even with a price significantly lower than that of FIFA has been able to eat ground: the lack of licenses and a rather rubbery online have not helped either .
The NBA Live saga, also EA, dominated the basketball video game until a few years ago, when 2K appeared and won by the hand- without forgetting that he has had recent problems . Drunker0 believes that something similar can happen with football:
The PES could have taken advantage to differentiate itself, but in the end it seems that it is going to do the same, to promote the chromos. The difference would mark it if someone appears who does not reward who can dedicate more hours per week, but rewards the ability. While FIFA does not have a real competitor, why should they worry?
At the same time, he believes that even if a competitor does not appear in the soccer simulation, there could be problems in the sales: “You can end up being derived from something else, if you stop having fun, you lose interest. Now I look at other games. “
Whoever reads this to who in his day was a FIFA champion may think that the current FIFA does not give fun alternatives to FUT . As is. “Against the machine is boring to play, competitive online outside of FUT is basic and soon bored, and in FUT … We all turn off to see that we lose because of the cards despite playing at a high level.”
He also adds that he has never seen a game get as angry as FIFA. “I have friends who have already broken two or three controllers playing the FIFA of cabreo … The Call of Duty also have problems with the servers, but I have never seen anything like it there.”
On YouTube it is common to find strong complaints to FIFA for the reasons we have been seeing in the article: lag, handicap, FUT … However sales are still in top form.
The general feeling is that EA has spent several years baiting FIFA like the goose that lays the golden eggs, a reef that could end up exploding . Their sales do not suggest that there will be an end. Nor the direct competition of Konami. But you can see a growing tiredness that is not limited to the interviewees: any fan of the saga who frequent forums and channels in this regard will find that these approaches are not isolated cases.
We also do not know if someone is considering trying to take the throne from EA. A few years ago it was rumored with a ” 2K Soccer ” after leaking that this study was scanning the face of Thierry Henry, a French legend. None of that materialized, and it never became known again. Perhaps such a release would be appropriate for EA, at least, to care more about improving their game, not just to keep their players captive on the farm that is FUT. While it arrives or does not arrive, DjMaRiiO has announced, with more or less seriousness, that it is passed to PES