The “major changes” to the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team transfer market eluded to in the server maintenance message earlier today have turned out to be price range caps on player sales.
In a move that’s absolutely guaranteed to upset a great many people, all players (and, in fact, all items) will now have a minimum and maximum sale price. The system will become active as soon as FIFA 15 Ultimate Team reappears after today’s server maintenance (scheduled to be around 9.30pm UK time.)
That presumably means that anybody playing the Ultimate Team transfer market like the DOW Jones stock exchange may be left with some “assets” that are worth far less than they were previously hoping for. That will all depend on what the price ranges turn out to be like.
EA’s stated aims with this change are as follows: “Help FUT gamers understand the value of the players in their Club,” “Make high-rated players more attainable for all FUT gamers and ensure a level playing field” and “Further restrict illegitimate coin transfers on the Transfer Market.”
That second one could be achieved by increasing the appearance of high-rated players in packs, but then people might spend less real-life money on FIFA 15 Ultimate Team. And EA couldn’t have that, could they?
The latter presumably refers to “money laundering” fifa coins schemes on the transfer market.
According to the post about all of this, price ranges will be universal across all platforms for the game. Open bid transfers will no longer be available; all transfers must have a “buy it now” price set within the designated price range. EA says the price ranges will be looked at periodically, and possibly subject to change. In addition, all new ‘in form’ players will get a price range on release.
If you want to get all “basic economics” about this, the change moves the FIFA 15 transfer market from a laissez-faire system to a centralised one regulated by EA themselves. We’ll see what effect that has in the long run, but right now players do not seem at all happy. The replies to the twitter announcement below make that pretty clear.