Players continue to question EA’s use of microtransactions, and have turned their focus on the upcoming EA Sports UFC 3, which hits shelves in less than one month. To address concerns, the game’s creative director talked about UFC 3’s use of microtransactions during a few recent interviews.
In recent months, there has been a great amount of controversy surrounding EA’s use of microtransactions, which are essentially small purchases used to buy items or upgrades. The transactions are in addition to the cost of purchasing the game itself, and are made through EA’s online store.
UFC 3’s creative director, Brian Hayes, discussed the ways microtransactions will function in the upcoming game when he said, “There are no microtransactions except in Ultimate Team.”
Many EA Sports Ultimate Team game modes give you the ability to purchase coins or player packs, and these microtransactions dramatically increase a users chances of winning. The various EA Sports titles that feature Ultimate Team modes include Madden NFL, FIFA, and NHL. Many feel it’s a “pay to win” type of system that rewards those who can afford to buy the best in-game items, eliminating “skill based” rewards and true competition.
In a recent interview with thesixthaxis.com, Hayes explained UFC 3’s Ultimate Team matchmaking process, and the way they create a “fair” gaming experience.
“What we take into account when we match people up is we look at what your fighter has and what my fighter has and try to make sure those are as equal as possible,” Hayes said.
Many of the questions that surround the upcoming UFC 3’s use of microtransactions stems from the game’s beta release. The beta left EA Sports having to explain the game’s microtransactions to many fans who were left worried about a “pay to win” system. More than just the creative director, Hayes also loves to play the game himself, and says he prefers a more merit based gaming experience rather than simply purchasing his way to one of the top spots.
Regardless of his own preference, we all know that others are more than happy to “buy” their way to the top when given the chance. To that, Hayes said, “people that spend money and have good items are going to be matched up against other people who spend money and have good items or that grind and get good items themselves.”
Ultimate Team in UFC 3 is the only game mode that includes microtransactions. It seems clear that Hayes and the EA Sports UFC 3 development team worked to minimize the possibility of a “pay to win” type of competitive gaming environment.
In terms of competitive online matches, Ultimate Team isn’t the only mode that features competitive ranked matches. “Ultimate Team has a division-based Ultimate Championship that basically has you fight qualifying matches to get seeded,” Hayes explained.
“That exact same progression system of division exists in online ranked championships, which is completely outside of Ultimate Team, there’s no microtransactions, there’s no fighter progression, there’s no changing attributes,” Hayes later added.
Basically, players have the option to boost their fighters and attributes through microtransactions, but that doesn’t guarantee them the advantage over their opponent. For those who want to avoid the possibility of even being matched up with someone who “bought” their way to that level, the regular ranked championships offer an experience free from the “pay to win” environment.
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