Team of the Year (TOTY) promo will be remembered by many as either ‘the worst’ or ‘the most disappointing promo’ across both FIFA and EAFC Ultimate Team, but why? And what should we expect going forward for EAFC?
Every FIFA or now known as EAFC, Team of the Year has always been the biggest promo of the year. So big that during its yearly duration it influences communities outside of the FIFA/EAFC players, from its social media coverage to the conversations on who deserves to be in the TOTY as a football fan, it’s considered by many as the best period in Ultimate Team.
However, this year has been the opposite. With arguably the biggest buildup yet, people were extremely excited for what was expected to be the best TOTY so far. But now that it is over, and it has been a miserable time for many, with many not packing a blue card or disliking the content during the promo. But is this just the problem?
The Initial Hype
Although it feels like it was a long time ago, the wait for TOTY was an incredibly exciting time. As the TOTY players were leaked, the pack types and SBCs were confirmed, many were led to believe that this year was to have the biggest TOTY ever. The highlights were:
- A plethora of Elite SBCs to craft
- Women TOTY Cards – More TOTY’s in Packs
- New Season – Better Objectives and Upgrades to help pack TOTY’s or collect fodder
- Opportunities for New Evolutions
It cannot be understated how big the hype was, as only the leak of TOTY Icon Sawa by @FUTSheriff nearly amassed 13,000 likes.
Sawa is coming as TOTY ICON SBC soon!
Gonna be cracked
— Fut Sheriff (@FutSheriff) January 17, 2024
That excitement was completely derailed by EA’s decision making as the promo dragged on, not only was the promo executed terribly but when the fanbase you’re promoting it to was expecting really great things, it only stings more when it doesn’t turn out to be anything close to great.
As for SBCs like Sawa, this has been a year of fantastic SBCs released by EA, or more so their decision to make fodder extremely easy to access to complete top-tier cards. So for a promo that promotes crafting fodder to complete these cards, many were very excited to finish these SBCs alongside previous ones that had already been released e.g. Thunderstruck Icon Eusebio.
However, the potential for this has been squandered as SBCs are either extremely overpriced or are impossible to complete with the pack weight being lower than it’s ever been for TOTY. Usually during TOTY, if you can’t pack one then at least you can craft amazing cards through the SBC tab, but not this year with fodder being extremely uncommon across packs such as the 83×10, notorious for handing out the high rated cards needed for SBC’s due to bad Pack Weight.
The Pack Weight Drama
Discussed heavily in an earlier article posted that discusses how EA have lowered pack odds, one of the biggest problems during the promo has been the terrible odds of actually packing a TOTY card. Every year there are thousands of people who save packs for this promo, waiting months for the full release to have a dedicated week spent on attaining some of the best cards in the game. Here’s an example of one player:
– 7M+ coins spend in upgrades
– 100+ Big Saved packs
– MAD MAD hours spend grinding gameplay/objectives/packs
– 86+ glitched TOTY pack (i got 3 x 86 golds)
– Rank 1s/Elite Rewards saved weekly
Totall = 0 TOTYS , NOT EVEN TOTY EARPS
— Rxcky (@rxckydusa) January 30, 2024
There are thousands of people who have suffered a similar fate over the last two weeks. To invest hundreds of hours playing EAFC and to not pack at least one is shocking, and these odds are unlike other years considering the fact that there’s double the amount of TOTY’s in packs this year with the inclusion of women.
Women’s TOTYs, Poor Seasonal Rewards and Evolutions
Despite heavy criticism early into the game, the inclusion of women in EAFC has been a welcome addition to Ultimate Team, and many fans were excited to see EA’s take on the women’s TOTY for some of their favourite players to get some of the best cards in the game, with clubs like Chelsea and Wolfsburg getting TOTY’s thanks to their female players. Popular inclusions such as Aitana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas were hyped significantly as players could not wait to get them into their teams when their base cards were already insane in-game.
This combined with having 24 TOTY’s in game was collectively recognised as promising but problems such as Pack Weight have killed this inclusion, because somehow EA have decided to give their fans lower chances of packing a TOTY in a year with the most cards ever.
Gameplay rewards were practically non-existent during TOTY this year, it was poor of EA to do this as many players were aware of the fact that the previous season was expiring during the middle of TOTY. This was EA’s chance to come up with something exclusively themed around TOTY or at least hand out some good rewards for obtaining XP that could help you pack a TOTY, but they failed to do so.
Instead, the same old cosmetics and low tier packs were the only rewards that were attainable as the disappointing promo came to a close. It really does paint a picture of how EA view their gameplay themed mechanics, as if investing your time into matches and playing their game is not the same as giving your money to them, which is where the better odds (albeit not much higher) of packing a TOTY are.
Evolutions unsurprisingly suffered a similar fate. With upgrades for nonsensical prices on cards that were not worth evolving, it is clear to see that the new mode is not the priority EA promised it would be.
Can't remember the last evo I actually had interest in doing – was really looking forward to them over TOTY as well.
Haven't been able to evo 95% of the ones I've done months ago to make them better
— GCIIMessi (PixelPrintDesign) (@GCIIMessi) February 6, 2024
Either overpriced, very restrictive so chaining isn’t possible or the upgrades themselves are unimaginatively useless at this stage of the game cycle. They don’t quite sell like the 700k packs, so EA will continue to neglect the best feature in the game for the rest of its duration.
With the nickname being the best thing to come from this fiasco, ‘Messi Gate’ is EA’s grandest mistake of all within this promo but also in any of their games ever and it will be very difficult to upset their player-base this much ever again.
But it isn’t just the error itself that was appalling, the response may have been a hundred times worse:
— EA SPORTS FC Direct Communication (@EASFCDirect) February 2, 2024
EA’s response was to treat their community like their packs: a commodity they can manipulate to their will.
Even if the error was huge, sometimes these occurrences are unavoidable. People are not expecting EA to be perfect but what the company does time and time again is not learn anything and respond poorly. To lie about how damaging the player pick is to the hardcore and active player-base (who would be affected the most by this error) is downright nefarious, because ‘0.7%’ figure is blatantly incorrect.
If they presented a number showing the number of people that packed a TOTY Messi from completing this player pick, then the response ‘no compensation will be handed out to any players after the EA FC 24 Messi SBC error’ would not be possible. EA would’ve been forced to provide genuine compensation like a guaranteed TOTY pack, or putting the SBC back up for anyone to complete.
Instead, they choose to mislead and do what’s best for business, ignoring the thousands of players who weren’t able to pack a TOTY this year looking for some kind of salvation for their efforts.
The 1% who got Messi is the most people who play weekend league
It’s about 40% of commited players who got him, that’s the problem
He will be flooded in weekend league which isn’t fair
— AleksFUT – EAFC Trading (@Aleks_FUT) February 2, 2024
What to Expect Going Forward
Overall, far more negatives than positives have resulted from TOTY. As it’s EAFC’s first, it isn’t looking very promising for future promos. It has been reported that despite the overwhelming feeling of failure, financially the situation has never looked better for EA as they are making more money than ever.
It’s a business model that has worked, so why would EA stop? This promo was very telling for anyone still playing EAFC, that TOTY is good for business and only that. Despite its historic influence on the player-base, forever staining it with this greed-filled demeanour is worth tarnishing the promo for years to come, and that is extremely saddening for everyone that supports EA yearly by investing into their game.
But that may change with the amount of claims that this will be their first, and last EAFC. Quite the reputation to have on the first go.
After looking at my feed today, I think this will be the last Fifa I play.
EA obvs out to shaft us as much as possible and i'm not giving them any more time – and I aint gonna start giving them money.
Don't forget, you paid for the privilege of playing this toxic game that's…
— Horatio – EAFC Trader 💬 (@HoratioFTA) February 1, 2024