EA Continue to Implement Pay-to-Win In Full Retail Games
EA’s approach to DLC has been something that detracts from their games for the most part. After destroying the concept of a balanced playing field in Fifa Ultimate Team, EA has now already destroyed the same concept in their new UFC game. Day-one DLC is nearly always annoying; it almost always feels like it’s cheapening the product. So what’s the issue in EA Sports UFC? Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee is locked behind DLC, only unlocked via beating career on hard (a tough ask) or pre-order. Why is this a big issue? Simply put, Bruce Lee is arguably the best fighter in the whole game. His speed and power make him the go-to character to earn quick knockouts both offline and on. His DLC existence in the game causes an almost pay-to-win feeling when it comes to the multiplayer. His speed and power is unmatched in the core roster. Bruce Lee is truly overpowered, giving an instant advantage to anyone who owns him. The awkward thing about this issue is EA seems proud of the fact.
The following is an image that details a number of stats from the first forty-eight hours after the game’s release. It’s not clear if the stats are online or offline, but one would assume it’s both. But it’s clear to see Bruce Lee is a game-changer.
Bruce Lee’s stats are some of the highest in the game. Add to that the fact he’s playable in FOUR different weight classes and it’s clear to see just how much of advantage owning this DLC is. EA has already created a pay-to-win notion, an unbalanced multiplayer, from day one of their potential new mega-franchise. It’s disheartening to see EA so willing to destroy their game’s multiplayer at the expense of a quick buck. EA’s Fifa franchise has developed its own third-party market via sites that sell Ultimate Team coins to people at a cost. EA sponsor/support popular Youtubers who promote these sites, feeding into the theory that EA is well aware, and happy to entertain, the pay-to-win model in their full price retail games.
Further examples of pay-to-win sneaking into EA games can be found in Battlefield. The weapons found in the DLC are far superior than the core weapons. Given these weapons can be used in non-DLC maps, those without the content come in at a distinct disadvantage. While this issue is less of problem in Battlefield 4 compared to 3, it’s still an existing example.
This is an unfortunate concept–one that seems to be sneaking its way into more and more games. EA isn’t even being subtle about it anymore, and that’s the biggest worry. Where will it end? Will it ever end? Why does EA think this is acceptable? Why do the masses think this is acceptable? Which ever way you look at it, it’s a shady business practice that detracts from the quality of the game, not to mention the experience on offer.