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How Ultimate Team and the World of Betting Bounced Off Each Other All the Way to the Top

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Source: Unsplash

The gaming world has been taken by storm in recent weeks following the release of the inaugural EA Sports FC 24. The game is a rebrand of the beloved FIFA franchise, which reached its untimely end with FIFA 23 as the games’ Canadian producer and world football’s governing body were unable to come to terms on a rights deal, leaving FIFA high and dry.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was seeking $1 billion for a four-year deal, a figure which EA Sports clearly deemed as too much and the pair have ultimately gone their separate ways after a three-decade-long partnership. 

Ultimate Team’s Introduction 

Since the Ultimate Team mode was introduced back in FIFA 09, it has been a revelation and has become a significant breadwinner for EA Sports and their shareholders. Its gameplay allows gamers to build and manage their dream teams with cards that represent real-life football players. However, there’s more to this game than just its exciting gameplay. 

FUT – or EAFCUT now? Admittedly that doesn’t have the same ring to it – is also connected to the latest gambling technology, which has sparked a lot of interest and debates. The game mode has become somewhat similar to the world of gambling, owing to the continuous influx of loot boxes and microtransactions. The Sportingtech website shows how the latest data suggests an increase in interest in specific betting markets such as assists and shots on target, and this is something that EA Sports has utilised also by integrating in-form players available in certain loot boxes, depending on the said player’s real-life performances. 

Source: Unsplash

Packs

The beloved game mode is always evolving, and one of the most notable changes that took place was the introduction of loot boxes. The game’s loot boxes are known as “Packs,” which are randomly generated, almost like online casinos which are determined by a random number generator. These packs contain cards that can be sold and traded for other cards or in-game currency. This randomization and the possibility of getting rare cards have led many to argue that loot boxes are similar to gambling.

Accessibility 

FUT also has a companion app that allows players to manage their teams and buy packs on their smartphones. The app is free, but players can purchase virtual currency that they use to buy packs or trade players in the transfer market. It’s become a vital feature for gamers, and it shows how EA Sports keeps its finger on the pulse of exactly what its users desire, just like the betting industry. 

They too provide mobile apps that have made it easier for gamers to access online sportsbooks and place wagers on matches or games. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of people betting on football and gaming events, using mobile betting apps. 

The Result

Millions of players worldwide have taken their love for soccer to the digital arena in their droves, generating enormous revenue for EA Sports. In 2020, FIFA 21 sold 14 million units, and that’s not even mentioning in-game purchases, which will have sent the company’s revenue into a different stratosphere.

The game sold four million units more than its predecessor and the growth in sales, combined with the increasing popularity of video games and the rise of esports, has positioned EA Sports as a heavyweight in the gaming industry. The fact that they are no longer linked to the official FIFA name will be of no significance if they can continue posting similar numbers in the years to come. 

TXH
TXH
TXH loves nothing more than kicking back at the end of the day, controller in hand, shooting the hell out of strangers via Xbox Live.

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