It’s been a lot of days since Price Ranges hit the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team transfer market, and although we were aware of this change is very great, which perhaps results in surpassing EA’s theories around what might happen to FIFA 15 Ultimate Team.
EA could get rid of minimum Price Ranges, even at the time of writing it’s only been 72 hours since Price Ranges went live so it’s still very early days for something of this magnitude to settle. There are no doubt lots of people holding on to players right now too, watching and waiting to see where this lands. That’s understandable, (they don’t want to make a loss) but it isn’t helping overall. When an economy is slow, the best way to drive growth is for the people to spend, and they’re not, which is why the market seems so barren.
Of course, we need minimum Price Ranges, because the autobuyers which used to hoover up incorrectly listed players for ridiculously low prices. You’d think no one would ever list Messi for 40K buy now, but trust us, we’ve seen it. The scripts the autobuyers run are faster than any human could react meaning they’ll always grab their man rather than you getting lucky. Minimum prices stop that quick profiteering, which ultimately swells the coin sellers stock.
The issue seems to be minimum ranges which are simply set too high. Daniel Sturridge for example has a range of 20-30K. Now I don’t know anyone in their right mind, who at this stage of the FUT season is going to do 20K down Sturridge. No way. So EA need to extract the data around non-selling items quickly and drop the minimum price bands. If Sturridge was say 10-30K I probably wouldn’t be writing this. Some of the ranges are just too small, it’s that simple.
But as you can see minimum prices do have the potential to work, but there needs to be more variance in them for them to work properly. We discussed this in our last piece describing the 150-5000 lowest tier as “ok on paper”. Which it is, because there’s loads of room for manoeuvre there, especially when compared to our example Sturridge range. That variance in the lower range is potentially the recipe for success globally for Price Ranges, so hopefully EA can take those learnings and apply elsewhere. It’s important to remember too, that higher min ranges were only put in to protect our existing investments, the perhaps unforeseen knock on effect, is that now we can’t sell them at all.
EA have internally decided rightly or wrongly that Price Ranges are the way to fix the market, and now they have to stick to their guns because backing it out now wouldn’t achieve anything. That doesn’t mean Price Ranges will stay in their current format forever, but 72 hours in is certainly not the time to hit the panic button. EA must continue to adjust ranges where needed (perhaps faster) and slowly market confidence should start to rebuild as a result and coins should free-up for everyone. This is all an assumption at this stage I’d like to add, but it’s probably a fair one to make.
Where the problems will start however, is if nothing has changed over the next few weeks. EA have no doubt put Price Ranges in with the best intentions, but it’s also their responsibility to keep the service they run, available, fun and interesting for their paying community.
Although it isn’t easy right now for people who’ve maybe lost coins, players, time and effort, the impact coin selling has had on FUT has more than likely inflated player prices by up to 20 times the value that even EA think they’re worth. So, it must be tackled, and it may just be the pre-dawn darkness.