Electronic Arts says the recent addition of Price Ranges to FIFA Ultimate Team, which assign minimum and maximum values to players on the Transfer Market, was necessary to keep the game "fair and secure" for everyone. And while some fans aren't happy about it—as the startling response to anything that EA's FIFA account tweets attests—the changes do seem to be working.
EA Sports warned last summer that it would be "more proactive" in its efforts against coin sellers, and it turns out that it wasn't messing around. In September it eliminated trade offers, then in February it removed access to the Transfer Market from the web and companion apps—temporarily—and earlier this month came the price ranges.
"What are we trying to achieve with these changes? It’s simple—we want to keep the game fair and secure for everyone, and ensure a level playing field for all FUT fans," EA explained. "To accomplish this we have to root out the activities of coin farmers and cheaters who are harming your experience with the game. These exploiters generate coins illegitimately in the FUT economy through the use of bots and phishing scams, creating a flood of fraudulent in-game currency and driving up the cost of players on the Transfer Market. This inflation fundamentally damages the economy, making top players unattainable for the vast majority of FUT fans who are not exploiting the system and who simply want to play the right way."
More than 650 adjustments have been made to player prices since they were implemented, which EA said has helped cut back on illegitimate coin transfers, but it also acknowledged that it will take some time yet to really nail things down. Last week it updated the system to include different price ranges for each platform, to "bring minimum and maximum prices better in line with the perceived value within those economies." Messi, for instance, with an OVR of 99, is 5.9/8.8 million on Xbox and PC, but 11.7/15 million on the PlayStation.
"Since implementing these changes, we’re seeing positive signs of restoring balance to the FUT economy and mitigating some of the negative effects of exploitation within the game. We’re also delivering on our responsibility to provide you with a safe place to play," EA wrote. "We continue to invest in security tools, and promise to continue to find the right ways to fend off coin sellers and farmers who are hurting the game. We imposed a daily limit on matches, which has also had a positive effect in stopping coin farmers from generating illegitimate coins. But we have more work to do."
The post also noted that EA Sports is still working on bringing the Transfer Market back to the web and companion apps, but doesn't have a time frame for when it will happen.