That the main professional football leagues and competitions have been brought to a halt in the world following the COVID-19 pandemic has generated all kinds of cancellations, improvised measures, millionaire losses and, in general, a series of staggered consequences which touched all that more or less concerned the sport of the king. Including FIFA 20 Star Mode.
The key title of the Electronic Arts sports division was the refuge and relief of football fans for football fans in quarantine, but also at the epicenter of long-distance meetings between friends through voice chats between games. Many have benefited from the extra time home to get the game and others to catch up with the Ultimate Team. Of course, for the sake of logic, it was more chaotic than usual.
Starting, because the star system surrounding mode FUT20 (FIFA Ultimate Team 20), along with the parallelism it maintains with major domestic leagues and international events, were ruined when real-world events were postponed or suspended. Including the big competitions that have remained in the middle, like CONMEBOL or the Champions League, leaving in the air what will happen with the plans for the 2020 European Cup.
Overall the way FUT20including weekly news in the form of themed squads, seasonal events or the celebration of the transfer market closure, EA Sports has had to continue to grow despite the cessation of football worldwide. Sometimes with more success and others simply, exit.
FIFA 20 and facing a season that has already started badly
EA Sports a dû deceive FIFA 19 coverage almost at the last minute: Cristiano Ronaldo, his flag bearer, left Real Madrid to travel to Juventus. And it was a chore for the EA Sports game: beyond the finishing touches to the story mode which was maintained for three episodes, the entire promotional image of the game and several of its modes was redesigned and, in the middle of the year, directly replaced. This year has been worse.
FIFA 20 started directly without the license of Juve (replaced by a generic team called Piemonte Calcio), since PES 2020, its biggest rival, was made with the exclusive rights of the club, as well as that of other titans of European and Latin American football. And it was in the FUT20 Where the blow sounded the most: All kits, badges, stadiums and other items were directly out of EA Sports game range.
And not only that: the thematic challenges typical of these national and international leagues and the major competitions involved must be adapted to the reality of the circumstances. If they weren’t directly thrown away.
It’s not that you can’t play with Dybala or Douglas Costa: the real names and faces of Piemonte Calcio players are FIFA 20 and FIFA 20 Ultimate TeamThey have the same chemistry as players from the same country, league, and club and their rank is based on how they perform in real life. Or, at least, until the pandemic breaks out.
A fatal blow? Not at all: In terms of sales, FIFA 20 and EA have continued to build up strength. This did not prevent the challenges, goals or events that these renowned clubs had to face, although they were largely ignored. Too much for the most intense fans.
Thankfully, a last-minute signing by EA Sports rekindled interest among Latin American football fans who thought they would end up without Boca Juniors or le Colo-Colo: Thanks to the CONMEBOL modes, all the kits and badges of the exclusive PES clubs have returned – to a lesser extent – to FIFA.
What happened to CONMEBOL?
The association with the South American Football Confederation (better known as CONMEBOL) has been one of the surprises EA Sports has taken from the top hat with their particular football season already underway. An announcement that led to a deployment in FIFA20 as powerful as it is attractive. And at the same time, ephemeral in FUT20 because of the scourge of the pandemic.
Although the CONMEBOL competition was suspended in the middle of the celebration, FIFA 20 He integrated it into Tournament and Quick Match modes and, incidentally, added two new stadiums. In fact, EA Sports also added things like the authentic presentation of the matches and a whole host of details.
And not only: CONMEBOL Libertadores, CONMEBOL Sudamericana and CONMEBOL Recopa have been in Career mode since FIFA 20. He even took the opportunity to honor the Red Chapulín! Electronic Arts put all the meat on the grill. The bad news: the fever and passion for the event hung in the air.
However, and resuming the conversation towards FUT20, the suspension of the celebration of CONMEBOL Libertadores left all the deployment for the way Ultimate team Midway: Several teams, goals and events have been released, but the original schedule has been completely broken.
The reality is that channeling everything to the resumption of competition will be a small challenge.
TOTW moments: or how to keep passion (and market values) in memory
Every week, Ultimate Team mode gets a little more interesting: the team of scouts and football experts that EA Sports has deployed around the world selects the best players of the day and awards them a player card. In shape whose characteristics are improved and which only appear for seven days.
To illustrate it one way or another, collectible cards, would be much rarer and better than their usual counterpoint.
These cards have upgrades based on their achievements during the day, so players like van Dijk can receive several letters In shape Team of the Week (TOTW) and each is unique. In addition, challenges and objectives are created to add extra color to the whole. And not only that, there are special cards that higher level because they receive new letters from TOTW.
What happens when they disappear? It’s time to bid Transfer market. A specific place to buy and sell FUT20 cards (both for players and for any item) in which the market values of each card fluctuate based on challenges, objectives and values of new cards that appear . An almost perfect ecosystem except for one detail: the side effects of the football break.
EA Sports had to find out after the hiatus from competition yes or yes, not only to maintain interest in the Ultimate Team, but to keep the challenges and transfer market consistent by launching TOTW Moments. I mean, a selection of players In shape from previous FIFA seasons.
And yet, an almost arbitrary way of selecting which players get an extra spotlight each week.
The team of the season So far, an (almost) solomonic solution
Another big side effect of this break was the celebration of the best cards in the game. I mean, the Team of the season. A deck of cards for FUT20 in which, in retrospect, the main protagonists parade with stockings and spectacular attributes.
With the Team of the Year cards, the most valuable and valuable items in the game. You can even see how a very select group of players are rewarded with their portrait with an average of 99. The right price to be the best… Without the fact that the competitions were suspended.
Logically, EA Sports could not repeat the movement of the Moment TOTY bring back the best of past editions, with which he opted for a more or less fair start: crowning the best players in each league according to your records until they are suspended.
So, the Team of the Season So Far (TOTSSF) continues to give movement, diversity and a huge interest in FUT20, but at the same time they are fair and aware in assimilating that the season is not finished. The side effect, this year there will be no team of the season.
An alternative passion: promoting the eSports League
This isn’t all bad news, of course. As professional stadium football is in the midst of a global crisis that turns off its celebration, EA Sports has found a new focus to keep fans from FIFA20 beyond their own games: online events and competitions.
Not only have solidarity and independence initiatives been carried out, but the time has come to present the eSports proposal for the game itself. And Electronic Arts was keenly aware of this, promoting that those who are passionate about real football and their football saga converge on their own digital events.
Logically, the players of FIFA20 and of FUT20 They also took their extra incentive as envelopes for player cards just to attend their events. Everyone wins.
The FIFA 20 Seasons system, a hot air balloon for the Ultimate Team experience
Although it is not possible to characterize the state of FUT20 in FIFA20The truth is, the new ration of innovations introduced in this tranche has served to cushion many of the problems resulting from the crises triggered by the coronavirus.
On the one hand, the integration of VOLTA mode, the return of street football from FIFA, gave it that point of variety and experience around the single player that many lacked. Because playing against AI with your favorite teams is great, but having both options is much better.
On the flip side, the seasons goal system, something similar to the Fornite season passes, means there are always things to unlock, things to do, and pretend to start playing a game. other game.
Promote all of the Ultimate TEAM experiences and sub-game modes and, at the same time, that powerful engagement needed on days when you spend more time than necessary at home.
What side effects can we expect from FIFA 21?
While all of the above solutions have been solutions, the real challenge will come FIFA21: The economic situation of the clubs themselves is delicate and to this day we do not know how the competitions of national leagues and international events will be closed.
Logically, we have the fact that the next FIFA and its innovations have already been in development for several years. But we are also aware that the production and launch of the game itself will also be affected by forced isolation and more than justified breaks in the gears of the football world.
Hopefully, the return to normality will take place as soon as possible. Especially when we assume that in 2020 we will see something very exceptional: the appearance of a FIFA designed for Xbox Series X and PS5, the next generation consoles.