Monthly archives "March 2015"

EA defends Ultimate Team market changes from FIFA 15

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Conversely, there are players that were purchased for a great deal before the cap was introduced that now cannot be sold even at their minimum, because the minimum is a stark amount of coins – fifa coins that players don’t have, because they can no longer ship their players without the ease of open-bid auctions.

Sometimes developers make changes that fans think, “Thank God, I’ve been waiting months for that.” And then there are times when a developer makes a change that causes you to have an aneurysm, with a bleeding nose not unlike a classic Japanese anime.

EA’s currently stuck between both extremes, with users delighted – but mostly angered – by their recent change to alter the transfer market within FIFA 15‘s Ultimate Team mode.

“We want to keep the game fair and secure for everyone, and ensure a level playing field for all [FIFA Ultimate Team] fans,” EA wrote in a blog post explaining the changes. “To accomplish this we have to root out the activities of coin farmers and cheaters who are harming your experience with the game.”

“These exploiters generate coins illegitimately in the FUT economy through the use of bots and phishing scams, creating a flood of fraudulent in-game currency and driving up the cost of players on the Transfer Market,” the developer added.

Sounds all well and good in theory, but as is often the case, things are trickier than they seem. For instance, gold cards featuring Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge were available for a mere 16,000 coins, while the minimum Sturridge sells for now is 150,000 coins.

The Guardian has gone to the trouble of asking a few YouTubers, dedicated to the FUT cause, their opinion. It’s well worth the longer read, although it should be noted that the intricacies of FUT, and the market in particular, are not as simple as some of you might be imagining.

EA did make a few promises to fans to brighten the mood

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EA did make a few promises to fans to brighten the mood: they are pledging better coin rewards in tournaments alongside more special content before the end of the season. EA representative Chu Morah a.k.a. ChuBoi also did a brief Q&A on the FIFA subreddit yesterday where he hinted at the use of a Pink In Form card in the future.

The FIFA community can be a real feisty bunch when it comes to EA “meddling” with the game and the introduction of Price Ranges caused the fanbase to implode. Last night, EA took the opportunity to deny they had broken Ultimate Team by making major changes.

In a blog post on its site, EA addressed the criticism that has been thrown at them, saying:

What are we trying to achieve with these changes? It’s simple – we want to keep the game fair and secure for everyone, and ensure a level playing field for all FUT fans. To accomplish this we have to root out the activities of coin farmers and cheaters who are harming your experience with the game.

The spokesperson argued there had been “positive signs” since the changes were made, pointing to a more stable Transfer Market with fewer coin sellers and bots being allowed to operate.

However, there’s bad news for those people who like to use the Ultimate Team Web and Companion Apps: it’s not coming back yet. Fans who enjoyed tinkering with their team or opening packs while at work or uni will have to keep waiting because EA say they’re not ready to bring the apps back. They were taken down in February because they were providing an entry point for the majority of the coin sellers, but as EA explained:

We want to do this as quickly as possible, and we are working as hard as we can to bring them back for everyone to use…but we can’t do that until we’ve made them secure and more stable.

It’s fair to say there was a mixed reaction to EA’s statement across the internet; the company has always received a lot of abuse, but if you take a look at any post on the FIFA Twitter account, you’ll get a sense of the animosity that exists between them and a section of the cheap fifa coins. It’s possible that the majority are just trolls, but there are genuine questions being asked of the developers.

Has EA ruined your enjoyment of FIFA 15 by introducing Price Ranges? Are you having more fun? Let us know in the comments!

15 year old Daniel Butenko dominates in Cologne

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In a performance reminiscent of Germany against Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, Daniel Butenko slotted six goals past Mirza Jahic to win the Final match of the Germany Live Qualification Event for FIWC 2015.

“I was really nervous, because I am very young,” the winner told FIFA.com shortly after winning the final, “they all know each other and are really experienced. I was definitely the underdog today.”

As the host nation live event winner, 15-year-old Butenko has received a seat at the FIWC 2015 Grand Final in Munich, which will take place from 17 to 19 May. At the Grand Final, 20 players will compete for the interactive world title, USD 20,000 and a trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015.

A day to remember

Butenko employed Real Madrid to devastating effect, scoring six and conceding none on his way to the German final. First to fall against Butenko was 33-year old Sebastian Huber from Salzgitter. The youngster scored four goals past his older opponent to win and progress to the semi-finals. Riding the adrenaline from an impressive quarter-final win, Savas Destan Oglu attacked Butenko from the very start of their semi-final. Savas rattled the bar after just eight minutes of virtual time and seemed the favourite to secure victory. Butenko had other plans, scoring after 19 minutes to take the lead and then again shortly before the final whistle to secure a place in the day’s Final.

Jahic’s journey

In both his matches en route to the final, Mirza Jahic would first concede and then climb back to win. The 24-year-old self-defence instructor and reigning Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) champion started his day with a quarterfinal against 2013 VBL champion Kevin Assia. Jahic would concede in the first half, but draw level in the second. The game was settled late into extra-time, when Jahic sent an impeccable cross into the net with a powerful header. Jahic sighed heavily in relief as the final whistle blew and match commentator Leigh Smith summed up the game: “very close defensive work, great attacking work and clearly a tense, tense match between these two players,” he said. Jahic would win his second match of the day more comfortably to position himself one victory away from his first ever Grand Final appearance.

The final

The 24-year-old reigning Virtual Bundesliga champion against a 15-year old from Neumarkt-Sankt Veit, this was to be the unexpected finale to the Germany Live Event. A goal after just 10 minutes confirmed Jahic’s status as the favourite. However, Butenko shook off some early nerves and levelled the game after 30-minutes. Five minutes later, Butenko scored again. Jahic countered almost instantly, scoring three minutes later to bring the match level at 2-2. Three minutes later, another goal! This time from Butenko after a back heel pass from Luka Modric set up Cristiano Ronaldo to score. Moments before the half-time whistle, Butenko struck again to take a 4-2 lead into the break. Jahic’s initial energy dissipated and the young underdog scored a fifth (52’) and finally a sixth goal (77‘) to mark the biggest upset of the day and win himself a seat at the Grand Final of the world’s largest gaming tournament.

Quarter-finals

Savas Destan Oglu (Chelsea) 2–0 Demis Durante (Real Madrid)

Daniel Butenko (Real Madrid) 4-0 Sebastian Huber (Real Madrid)

Erhan Kayman (Real Madrid) 3-1 Jan Zimmermann (Real Madrid)

Mirza Jahic (Real Madrid) 2-1 Kevin Assia (Real Madrid)

Semi-finals 

Savas Destan Oglu (Chelsea) 0-2 Daniel Butenko (Real Madrid)

Erhan Kayman (Real Madrid) 1-3 Mirza Jahic (Real Madrid)

Final

Daniel Butenko (Real Madrid) 6-2 Mirza Jahic (Real Madrid)

FIFA 15: The Week 28 – You can see the new TOTW

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This article has been updated with further details on Team of the Week 28, the players, and also what looks like a fix for earlier server problems.

Original article: The FIFA 15 servers just went down today right at the moment EA Sports delivered the TOTW for March 25. Players are reporting EA server problems right now with the most popular football game on PS4, Xbox One, and older consoles, even though no official statement has been released at the time of writing.

If you checked to see if EA’s servers are down today, then you would notice the Ultimate Team server status isn’t looking too good. Reports have arrived on the likes of website DownToday.co.uk, as well as Twitter with hundreds complaining about connection issues every few minutes.

One Product Reviews reader mentions, “I can’t get on my FIFA game, there was a problem with online squad”. Another states, “There must be FIFA 15 maintenance again, but after looking on official channels nothing is listed for 25th of March”. We have taken a look at the official Twitter accounts for EA and FIFA 15, although there isn’t any planned EA server maintenance, so it looks like the servers went down without any pre-planning. Chances are they will return pretty quickly, as long as this isn’t any type of DDoS.

Are you seeing EA servers down right now and if so, what games are you playing? We just tried to connect with FIFA 15, but cannot access FUT at this time. This article will be updated if EA leave a status update, so for now leave your comments and location problems are being experienced in below.

FIFA 15: EA are set to give out the free cards and host a special

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EA are celebrating FIFA Ultimate Team’s sixth birthday by giving away free packs to fans. The games giant is giving away free packs to all FUT 15 players between March 23 (Monday) and March 29 (Sunday).

Fans will receive untradeable Gold Rare packs in their account, one for each day. To get the new rare gold packs fans just need to open their FUT store on their PC or console. The new packs will be posted in the ‘My Packs’ section, with each pack including 12 rare cards that you cannot sell.

“As a thank you for your support, we’ll be giving every FUT fan one free pack every day,” an EA statement reads.

“The FUT Birthday Cup – play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup for a chance to win rare tradable In-Forms from previous Team of Weeks! (Winners will be chosen at later date).

“New pack offers will be available every day, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest offers.

The untradeable Mega Pack available for all FUT fans lasts 24-hours and must be claimed within that time as they don’t carry over.

To celebrate the sixth FUT anniversary, EA have also released a tournament, named The FUT Birthday Cup. It starts today and ends March 29 and requires players to use five star rated teams with full chemistry.

winning the online tournament gets you 15.000 fifa coins, with the first victory also providing a 50k Rare Players pack.

IncGamers readers feel EA has “ruined” the FUT transfer market from FIFA 15

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The IncGamers Poll asking for your views on the recent changes to FIFA 15’s Ultimate Team (FUT) transfer market received an overwhelming response.

Last week, EA added transfer price bands to all players and items in FUT. We asked the following question: “What do you think of EA’s changes to the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team transfer system?”

A little over 2,600 people responded to this poll, and a massive 75% of them said “EA have basically ruined FUT’s transfer market.” Another 12% opted for “FIX UR SERVERS EA” – a comedy option, but one which has more than a little basis in reality. EA’s FUT servers are not known for their stability.

8% of those who replied felt the new FUT transfer price system needed a little more time to develop before they were ready to form a strong opinion either way. 6% thought the system was fine, and that other players are over-reacting.

EA has shown a willingness to tinker with its new policy over the past few days. Initially, the price ranges for players were identical across platforms, but that is now no longer the case. However, the company shows no signs of reversing the decision and returning to a completely open market.

Meet the creative director of EA Sports’ games from FIFA 15

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The real Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero (left) and as he appears in EA Sports’ FIFA15 game (right) What does it take to be the creative director of one of the world’s most popular computer games? We spoke to Matt Prior of EA Sports’ FIFA series

Creative Review: Creative director of EA Sports’ FIFA games would sound like a dream job to many – can you tell us how long you have been doing this, how you got into it and how you define your current role?

Matt Prior: I have been with EA for about 13 years and started at the most grass roots of levels, as a QA [Quality Assurance] tester. I actually started on [car racing game] Need For Speed but my love of football soon got me onto FIFA QA and then into production and then up to the creative director role. That’s one of the great things about EA, it doesn’t really matter how you got here, as long as you can prove you are great at what you do and have a passion for it, which I think is as it should be within the creative industry. Essentially I started in the trenches and many other producers did likewise.

I ended up in Vancouver [where the FIFA team is based] purely by chance. Prior to joining EA I was actually an expedition leader running overland trips around the world. One of those trips was driving from London to Beijing and back and on the Syria to Pakistan portion of that trip I met my future wife who happened to be from Vancouver. After that trip I worked in Africa for a year, decided I had had enough of sleeping in a tent and ended up moving to Vancouver and getting married. In a local paper I saw an advert for QA testers so I applied and it all went from there. I actually had no idea at that time FIFA was even made in Canada. My friends often joke that it was fate as my three main passions are football, gaming and travel and they all contributed to me ending up where I am.

I am a lifelong gamer and the loft back at my parents’ house is a museum of gaming. From the early Binatone pong stuff through the ZX Spectrum, Megadrive, PlayStation etc: I had them all so an absolute passion for gaming was also in my DNA and is important to have as making games takes a lot of time and effort.

The role of a creative director is pretty complex and multi-faceted but it is essentially to drive the complete game design for the product and franchise. It’s to come up with the ideas that help keep FIFA at the top of its game. It takes a whole lot of very talented people to actually deliver them but essentially as a creative director you help lead and direct those features and the vision.

Liverpool’s Anfield stadium as it appears in EA Sports’ FIFA 15 game. The design team create the stadia using a mixture of architectural drawings and plans and photography: EA Sports sends photographers to the grounds to capture every last detail in order to build the most accurate models possible

CR: How many people work on the game and what are their roles/skills?

MP: We have around 80 core team members and the roles are wide and varied. From the producers/designers who come up with the ideas to the software engineers who write the code to the artists, renderers and sound engineers who make things look and sound great, there is a vast array of roles within the team. There are also a number of central teams who support the making of the games so all told it’s in the hundreds in terms of people who help contribute to making FIFA.

Games have become so big and complex with the expansion of technology that the level and variety of expertise required has grown with it. Gone are the days when a few guys in their garage could knock out an entire console game between them.

CR: How does the process work for each new release – do you have a long-term plan of new features?

MP: We have a long-term vision but our industry is one of rapid change so we need to be agile enough to adapt. Gamers are playing longer and FIFA has become a 24/7 live service, which is a huge change. It’s also not just about a single console experience now. FIFA is available on a vast array of devices so planning for all of that necessitates a longer vision but an adaptable one at the same time. We certainly have defined visions for specific game modes and map out ideas around specific features and what year they will be introduced.

CR: What were the new features in FIFA 15 that you are most proud of?

MP: It’s not a FIFA 15 specific feature as it’s been around for a while but I would say the feature I am most proud of is Ultimate Team [where players can combine past and present stars] as I came up with the original concept for that many years ago. I know so many people who are completely addicted to that and have been for many years and as a games maker there is no bigger compliment than that.

FIFA 15: Win copies of signed by Cesar Azpilicueta

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To celebrate the FIWC 2015 live qualification events that have been taking place throughout March, the FIFA Interactive World Cup on Facebook is giving away two copies of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15 signed by Spain international and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta!

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To enter our March contest simply follow the FIFA Interactive World Cup on Facebook and keep an eye on our updates. We will be publishing a contest question on the FIWC Facebook page soon. Two lucky FIWC fans that correctly answer the question will receive a prize!

Contest prizes
The two contest winners for our FIWC march Facebook contest will each receive a copy of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15 (ultimate edition) for PlayStation®4 signed by Cesar Azpilicueta. Voted as Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year award for 2014, Cesar has become a key figure in Jose Mourinho’s team. Don’t miss out on this chance to own a copy of FIFA 15 signed by the Chelsea man and Spain international.

Follow the FIFA Interactive World Cup on Facebook now and get ready for our March contest! Visit the FIWC Facebook Contest Terms and Conditions page for more information.

Munich is on the horizon! Season 6 of online qualification for FIWC 2015 is currently underway. Don’t miss out on your chance to qualify for the Grand Final in Munich. You could be just 90 matches away from securing a seat at the 2015 Grand Final, where 20 players will compete for USD 20,000 and a trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015.

FIFA 15 Share Price Ranges For Certain Players Different Per Platform

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EA continues to tinker with their FIFA 15 Ultimate Team price cap experiment, and have now made the price ranges for certain players different per platform. UTfifa15coins provides the cheapest fifa coins.

fifa 15

Previously, the price bands were exactly the same on console and PC. As of today, players on PC will have different minimum and maximum prices in some circumstances. There’s a not especially handy (because it puts PC right at the end so you have to scroll across from the player names) spreadsheet on this page which details the differences.

The 87 rated version of Juventus’ Carlos Tevez, for example, goes for a maximum of 2.1 million on PS4, but ‘just’ 1.5 million on PC. If you can find a buyer, that is.

EA say that market and price adjustments “will continue to occur as the market changes and different items are introduced.”

IncGamers has been running a poll since last Friday about the recent changes to FIFA 15‘s Ultimate Team economy. As things stand, 75% of responding players feel the price caps have “basically ruined FUT’s transfer market.” 6% think they’re fine.

FIFA 15 Share Best Players Compete For Place At Lnteractive World Cup

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Nation’s top Playstation 4 players take part in tournament to reach grand final in Munich.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge has seen its fair share of drama. League titles won, relegations in embryonic play-offs suffered, and most recently, a Champions League exit at the hands of a team that paid £50m for David Luiz. But little can compete with the excitement generated by the UK qualifier for the Fifa Interactive World Cup, a competition to find the best FIFA15 player in the world.

Competitors came to the John Hollins suite in Stamford Bridge’s West Stand from all over the UK as they attempted to seal a place at the competition’s grand final, which will be held in Munich this July. Thom Gibbs travelled to West London to witness the event, and spoke to some of the country’s top FIFA players, including beaten finalist Dave Bytheway and Jack Daniels.

The winner of the qualifier was presented with a ticket to the final by Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, who gave some advice on coping with pressure. “I’ve had the chance to play for one of the biggest club in the world, Chelsea and for Spain, a World Cup winner and two-time European champion,” he said, “and the pressure is there to win every single game. It’s always the same.”

“If you are nervous you cannot play your game and you are not going to be 100 per cent. The most important thing is to try to be as relaxed as possible and to enjoy it. That’s what I do in big games. “Sometimes I am more nervous than others, but always, I try to be as relaxed as I can.”