Some of the biggest streamers in the Madden community has announced that they are going on “package strike”, creating a hashtag and refusing to spend money on Madden 23’s Ultimate Team mode until publisher Electronic Arts makes some changes.
What is Ultimate Team?
Both Madden and FIFA have wildly popular multiplayer game modes called Ultimate Team, which let users create their own teams of all-time greats. The catch is that you have to acquire your players via cards and these cards are blindly sold in sealed virtual packs and these packs are paid for with real money.
As Polygon reportthe streamers – there for sports games like this one huge part of the online community – has created the hashtag #packstrike and is calling for all players, not just their content-creating peers, to refuse to spend a cent on Ultimate Team until EA addresses their concerns.
Zirksee, who speaks for both himself and “other creators in the community,” shared the group’s demands earlier today, saying they’re asking, among other things, for “better rerolls” and “better pack odds in general” when opening the more expensive player packs , as well as restoring rewards that used to be offered for games (including some that were originally offered during the first week of Madden 23’s release), which has since been removed:
As I have said only this weekthere’s no amount of tweets, reviews, or comments that can make publishers go back to the amount they’ve been making money from major sports game franchises in 2022. The only thing that moves the needle at these companies is money, and the only way for disgruntled players to get their point across is to withhold that money.
So it’s heartening to see content creators mobilizing as a means of protest! Although it’s also crazy to consider that a decade of turning sports games into shakedowns has normalized things to the point where people “beat” not to have mods thrown out or made completely free considering you’ve already used $60 on the game. Instead, they want some of the game’s most exploitative systems tweaked a bit less exploitative.
It’s like asking your prison guard for softer pillows. Of course, it remains to be seen how successful this “strike” will be, but if it has any kind of impact with EA Sports, I hope this at least sets a precedent for fans of sports games – if they really are that sick of this constant nickel-and-diming, as much as they say they are – to start taking some more drastic action.