THE CASH GRAB THAT IS NCAA ULTIMATE TEAM
As I woke up this morning from what had been a rough night, I decided to jump onto my Xbox 360 to play something that I loved; NCAA Football 14. But then I realized something that had been bothering me about the game’s most popular, brand-new mode; NCAA Ultimate Team is a cash grab. An absolute cash grab.
Many people were excited when EA Sports announced this ‘new mode.’ Heck, even I was excited. I thought because of the way EA had designed the mode on paper, that it would mean the end of the stacked teams that plagued Madden Ultimate Team and Fifa Ultimate Team. Now, both of those modes were complete cash grabs, as the game almost made you spend money to get better. For example, a new team building themselves up with coins on MUT would most likely be paired up with a 99 Overall guy who bought 50 Packs 10 minutes before. Of course, you know how fun that would be. I was put into that situation a few times, making me lose interest in MUT. But now, it’s happening again.
First, EA announced that they had struck a deal with one of the best, in fact THE BEST Athlete in Video Game History. The 6’-1”, 230 lbs. monster from Auburn that soon became a star for the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Raiders, Bo Jackson had signed on to become the biggest name in NCAAUT. Everyone that was old enough to know who Bo Jackson was freaked out, remembering the days of Techno Bowl, where you could literally run in circles. But, EA created a tragic flaw when they announced his entry; every player would get a free Freshman Bo Jackson card.
Sure, that gave everyone a highly rated player out of the package among the freshman cards that got in the starter packs. But that also meant anyone under Bo Jackson’s 85 Overall rating would be considered useless. That meant cards like the Barry Sanders Freshman Card and the Silver Pierre Thomas would be both tossed. This decision took away the separation of every team in NCAAUT from launch.
When the first early copy streams started to pop up on YouTube, many people (including me) were given a sneak peek into this ‘great mode.’ I myself watched the SGU Stream, which saw at least 500 people watch. Now, SGU, or nadasfan as he’s called by his followers, got his copy from Machinima to write the company’s review. This meant he got all the access to the game a week early.
Over the next couple days, he would run streams while he was on his vacation, showing us the new stuff that opened in NCAAUT. But it opened the looking glass to see what flaws they had. First, only the Ranked Matches and Collections worked from the Embargo date. This meant we couldn’t see how this system would work in total for the time being. The next few days though, the store and auction house would open up. And that opened something major for all gamers; you couldn’t buy bundle packs of the All-American cards without paying REAL money.
That started the chain of BS, as they had bundles ranging from 5 Packs, to 50. You could still buy a solo pack for only 7500 Coins, but the way they promoted the bundles, those meant nothing. From the 10 Pack Bundle and up you could get a GURANTEED 93 Overall or better player. By the time you got to 50, you had at least 5. The only other packs that came out were two garbage packs and a fixed Gold Pack that cost 75000 coins for guys you could get cheap on the Auction Block later. This sounded the alarm for the tone of what EA wanted this mode to be; a Cash Grab.
NCAAUT was all set by the time July 9th came around, and for the first day, it seemed fun. The teams weren’t stacked, the games were competitive, no one had crazy rated players, and there was no exploits, like it was actually fun to play an Online Mode for once. But by the evening, the bombs started going off on YouTube. The big YouTubers like WyzaNow, MrGoldenSports, and Bruce Ree got to work posting bundle pack openings, having saved at least $100 each for this day. Wyza alone dropped 5000 Microsoft Points in 8 different videos. 5000. And people loved it. He was getting every card possible to stack his team with the All-American Packs, with at least 30 90 overalls on his team at the end. He even picked up a couple Heisman cards. This again set the tone for the mode for the next day.
On the 10th, the mode turned into full cheese mode. The second matchup I had with my team (rated 70 overall at the time) was a guy with highly rated players all over. You could tell he spent money on the bundles when I saw Larry Fitzgerald, Vernon Davis, and Von Miller on his team. And he was bringing on the cheese, and throwing it hard. For the past 12 Matchups in Season Mode, I’ve ran into players who have used their highly rated players, and abused them. They found the exploits like running the Read Option with Cam Newton, throwing up lobs deep to Fitzy every time, and going no huddle to the point where you couldn’t change your defense. And this was on both the PS3 AND the 360.
By this time I was getting more and more mad, as I kept running into stacked players who tried to glitch my starters, used exploits, and glitched the systems. I was even in the middle of a rant when WyzaNow dropped $100 – ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS – on All-American Pack Bundles. And he streamed it live too. People were eating up the demand for his bundle pack openings, with Bruce Ree putting up 15 Pack Bundle videos every week, and others trying to catch up on what Wyza took advantage of.
It’s now July 23rd, and EA has made it clear; you either pay money, or you lose. They WANT you to spend your cash on them, and they don’t want you to use coins. EA wants to take your money and use it to create the future crop of NCAAUT Mega Cards that people will eat up again. There’s only 2 99’s in the mode, but I can say this; by the end of the game, there will be at least 100. The company is making it a battle of the riches versus the rags, and they are just sitting down in their thrones, leading the show.
That’s all,Gamer360Sports/Justin Prince YouTuber