EA Sports FC 24, the latest soccer game in the series previously known as FIFA, has only been out for a little over a week and its loot box antics are already causing some fans to lose it in frustration. The Elite Season Opener Pack costs $30 and went live during the game’s paid “early access” period, jumpstarting the franchise’s annual pay-to-win race earlier than usual.
EA Sports FC 24 came out on September 22 for players subscribed to EA Play Pro or who purchased the $100 Ultimate Edition. As IGN reports, the Elite Season Opener Pack (285,000 FUT coins or 3,000 FC points) went up for sale shortly after, even before the game became available to everyone else starting on September 29. The pack promised 45 Rare Gold non-tradable players rated 80 or higher, but that includes “loan” cards, and many fans who decided to splurge on it have mostly gotten sub-90 players or duplicates of ones they already owned.
“I’m going to be honest right now to you boys please miss this pack,” FIFA content creator Swarmzy said in a video posted on TikTok. “I don’t even know what to say about this pack boys, just like, look at it man, it’s just awful man…Jesus Christ man I can’t believe it.”
FIFA’s most popular mode by far is Ultimate Team. It sees players grind or pay to unlock packs of pro player cards they can then use to create an all-star roster with which to compete against one another in competitive online multiplayer. It’s an economy driven by gambling mechanics that keeps players coming back each year to buy the newest annual release in the series and also lines publisher Electronic Arts’ pockets with revenue from microtransactions.
EA Sports FC 24 is no different, though the timing and price of the Elite Season Opener Pack has some players feeling like the company is turning the screws even more aggressively than normal. Players who don’t opt to spend the money will potentially be at a big disadvantage as they embark on their latest Ultimate Team campaign, while those who do may end up regretting it as well, given how stacked against them the odds are. The probability of unlocking a Gold 90+ player is just 5.6 percent, and some fans have spent $30 on the pack and not received any.
Some fans are joking that the pack is so outrageous it’s an intelligence test to see who actually buys it. While content creators with money to burn can be seen opening them just for the adrenaline rush and clout, some are arguing that the average value of the cards players are getting is barely half the cost of the FUT coins (earned by playing the game) that are required to buy the pack in the first place. The 3,000 paid FC point cost of the pack is also 200 more than the 2,800 points players can buy for $25, forcing them to dip into another $5 purchase to meet the required amount.
Nonsense like this hasn’t necessarily hurt FIFA’s popularity in the past, and EA Sports FC 24’s review scores, both from critics and users, are basically the same as the last game’s. But it’s always a good reminder that the best way to play the hit soccer game is just to grind for players you like and not worry too much about actually fielding a team that can dominate the leaderboards.
Buy EA Sports FC 24: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop