Madden 19 isn’t just a $60 video game for many gamers. It’s a money pit that uses gambling mechanics and splashy animations to lure players into spending $1,500 in a month on Madden.
In fact, EA sends a free copy of the new Madden game to these players to entice them back into making a new Ultimate Team.
“At the height of my madden addiction it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend at least two hundred dollars a week.” explains whereegosdare on reddit.
RamseyIsTheGOAT shares, “In 18 I spent $1500 in a single month. It adds up fast boys, protect yo wallets.”
“Spent thousands last year. And at launch I think I’m only going to get 20 dollars worth of points. And that’s for the level packs. No more bundles this year. I had better pack luck out of mutrewards and twitch drops then I did actual bundles.”, mrryanking shares.
In the post on reddit whereegosdare explains the rationalization behind spending $200 a week on Madden writing,
“Now the interesting thing is when I say it in dollar amounts the gravity of what was lost is quantifiable. Saying it as “two big bundles a week, one ToTW, one legend” almost sounds socially acceptable.
And that’s what EA wants.”
Gamers in the thread compare the Ultimate Team chance, animations and payment system to those used in casinos and on slot machines. It’s clearly scratching the same itch for some gamers.
Instead of relying on the game sales, EA rakes in the cash with Ultimate Team in Madden, FIFA and NHL games.
In early 2016 EA CFO Blake Jorgensen told investors that Ultimate Team accounted for $650 million dollars of revenue, almost half of the money EA made from extra game content. In early 2017 EA shared that number jumped to $800 million.
At the time EA Jorgensen told investors the “real opportunity” was bringing this mechanic to other games. He specifically mentioned Battlefield or Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Despite backlash from gamers over in-app purchases for Star Wars: Battlefront II, which required some gamers to spend $80 to unlock Darth Vader, EA’s Ultimate Team revenue jumped 39% to $787 million in sales. The growth came from sports games like Madden 18, which is what these gamers dumped cash into weekly.
While EA is focused on convincing gamers to spend more money, there is a movement to play Madden 19 Ultimate Team No Money Spent (NMS). In a thread discussing this wheregosdare offers advice on cutting EA off from your wallet. The advice;
- Remove saved information from your console so you have to manually input the credit card each time you want to make a purchase. Just having to physically grab your wallet can be enough time to re-evaluate your decision and wonder if you really want to spend the money or not.
- Never buy a bundle the second it comes out. Again waiting will help you make a more informed decision as to wether or not you really wanted to in the first place or if you’re just hyped about a new card. Maybe instead of logging into MUT on a Saturday morning for example you look at a YouTubers stream to see the bulk of cards he pulls being below average and remember that’s most likely your fate as well.
- Check your credit card or bank account balance before you buy anything. This is almost a fool proof way to not buy a bundle for two reasons, first is nobody enjoys seeing their bank account depleted in real time but second is you get perspective before you buy by comparing it to older purchases. A pair of shoes, lunch out for half a month, or your Internet bill are all cheaper than the big bundles. Hell Danny Meyers latest five star restaurant in Manhattan costs 80 dollars for the pre fixe which would save you 20 bucks compared to most bundles and at least provide you sustenance.
This isn’t just a case of a player wanting more. EA designs Madden Ultimate Team and the other Ultimate Team modes to tap into the same areas casinos use to keep people gambling.
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