As football games go, EA’s FIFA has dominated the world of gaming for some time now. That said, just because it has always been popular, that doesn’t mean that it always will be – certainly football game pundits have plenty to say about what the game offers & what it could offer to give its players even more.
The History and Growth of Fifa
Fifa has been around for a good number of years and as such, has certainly grown with its fans to match their wants and needs. Although fans have differing opinions, many of them will tell you that the best Fifa games were between 2006 and 2012; where the game comes into its own.
There are many different game modes within Fifa, but one of the most popular is Fifa Ultimate Team. The idea behind Fifa Ultimate Teams is that players can build their dream team, using players from different teams. This means that they could have players from different leagues and even different countries that make up the players own team. Once you have a team, you can then play online or offline to win coins; which allow you to buy other players or even player packs. The idea behind the game is that you play a range of games and work your way through the leagues to be crowned the winner.
There are many different theories as to why Fifa continue to allow the game to be played in this way, but the income it generates from users being able to purchase player packs and other upgrades is likely to be one of the reasons. People tend to strive towards being able to get the player they want on their team, but this can be costly to do so – especially if the player doesn’t come up in the first couple of player packs that they upgrade to.
Of course, there are some users that just want to have fun and see what happens but the users that take things more seriously are often tempted into purchasing upgrades. That said, just because users feel that they must purchase upgrades, that doesn’t mean that they are happy to do so. There has been long ongoing friction between EA and FIFA players, who often feel that being successful in the game comes at a high cost. For many, Ultimate Team is seen as too much of a pay to win mode, with users on message boards complaining of unobtainable players and poor compensation for time spent in-game, with many demanding better rewards with faster (or instant) payouts.
What about Pro Clubs?
Pro Clubs was first introduced in 2012, and has always felt like a popular yet under-valued aspect of the game whilst Ultimate Team stole most of the limelight and player base. To recap, Pro Clubs allows you to create a pro player online, and play on the pitch as though you were playing a real online football match alongside a team of at least one other online pro player in your club. Much like real football, you get match ratings for games that you have played, this also allows you to collect skill points which you can use to trade in for traits that you would like your player to have. You can play a range of matches, including working your way through the divisions right up to Division 1.
Feedback from fans on this game mode has been positive; with users liking the fact that you can review the stats from your club. Stats that are available include total goals, season played and your overall record. You can even look at what your friends are doing and scout over clubs.
This version of the game has been neglected by EA a little in the past, even though there is a cult following that have called for this mode to be expanded for some time. EA are likely to want to know how they can benefit financially from such a mode. However, it is possible as games like NBA 2K are a testament to.
Much of pro clubs popularity is down to the fact you can play with friends – whilst this compatibility is available in other game modes like Ultimate Team, it still feels like less of a communal activity. Much of the FIFA esports scene is individual players playing games, even when representing clubs or teams – it lacks much of the in-game comradery, teamwork and coordination required that you may see in other esports like League of Legends or CoD.
What Does The Future for EA Fifa Look Like?
It is hard to say exactly what the future for the game looks like because lots of it is driven by user demand and what Fifa players tell EA that they want. That said, Pro Clubs is definitely a mode that fans are saying they like, and as such it could well be something that they choose to expand on – depending on what fans tell them that they would like. There are some bugs and server glitches as you may expand from a brand new game mode, but these are likely to be quickly ironed out.
Pro Clubs could be a really exciting mode, which if approached the right way could add a new depth to the game. However, in order for it to be really successful, EA are going to need to invest in this mode including adding some new features.
One thing that users have called out for is more motivation to work your way through the divisions. Currently, if you win Division 1 in the game you get a trophy and that is all. Users would like the ability to have better players or better upgrades as they progress through the divisions, to make it much more worthwhile on doing so. EA could also do with investing in player abilities, allowing things like training and even injuries to be taken into account throughout the game.
The general feeling is that if they were to invest in these features and make Pro Clubs a viable version of the game, then the game would really market itself. From the cult following this mode has, we know that there are already people that are fans of the game – so why not expand on this? Users are likely to be keen on a version of the game that doesn’t involve them having to spend money for new players or extra abilities.
The best thing EA can do is speak to the users of the game and get their feedback on Pro Clubs and what they would like to see. This is likely to be a popular version of the game in the future and by speaking to the people who play it EA will be in the perfect position to adapt what the game offers in order to cater perfectly to their needs – which is exactly what it takes for any game to be successful.