In FIFA 22, there are several events in Ultimate Team that bring the game to life by closely linking upgrades with performance on the ground – a concept with a future.
“Fantasy” cards are upgraded based on real-life achievements and results.
EA Sports – A Brand of Electronic Arts
Once again this year, players in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) have several special cards at their disposal to raise their team to the best possible level. While most event maps get random upgrades compared to their standard versions, recent promotions have focused on a close association with real-world sports.
Because not only is the current “Captain” promotion, which focuses on captains selected because of their leadership role, is based on football. Even before that, Showdown and Fantasy featured cards in two consecutive events that could receive stat boosts through performance on the real field.
For the best selected games, there are improvements to the “showdown” elements that depend on the outcome of the game. Fantasy cards go deeper: During a five-game period in the league, a card can receive up to three upgrades for both team wins and individual performance such as goals and assists.
An idea known with a decisive final touch
Of course, the idea of performance-based private cards isn’t new. Finally, EA SPORTS introduces a New Team of the Week (TOTW) every week, which rewards the best soccer pros of the previous game day with a booster card.
FUT players also know about the so-called dynamic items that can receive potential upgrades: for example in the form of “star players” and “main star” cards. After a certain number of wins for your own club and with each TOTW player nomination, there is an upgrade.
However, the Showdown and Fantasy maps have a distinct advantage over the Star Players and Headline versions: EA SPORTS has no way to influence the improvements.
No influence from EA
While the TOTW publisher identifies associated players itself, the only thing that matters in current events is performance in the real world – similar to “Road to the Final” elements. There is no effect on additional boosts, as is possible with Headlines, for example.
A welcome change to society. Because the assumption can be read over and over in relevant forums that EA SPORTS ignore cards whose special editions will receive an upgrade when selecting TOTW players.
The latest example of this theory is Kylian Mbappe, who, after scoring five points in the 5-1 win over Lorient at TOTW, was left by teammate Neymar behind – and thus missed another promotion to his ‘master’ version for the time being.
The developer is freed from these assumptions by closely linking sport and play and can at the same time take advantage of another advantage: clearly defined upgrades over a given period of time allow gradual and precise control of the force curve.
And the sport can win, too, with players rooting for clubs and players who usually fly under their radar. Finally, players benefit from the statistical boosts of their cards, even if they’re not playing for their heart’s team. Dortmund fans keep their fingers crossed for FC Augsburg or Olympique Lyonnais, while Chelsea supporters hope for Monaco and Atletico Madrid at the same time – a concept that offers potential on many levels and could have a future.