Following Star Wars Battlefront II‘s controversial attempt to introduce what were arguably “pay-to-win” mechanics via its now-canceled loot box system, players have seemingly become way more sensitive to any attempt that publisher EA makes to boost its revenue with microtransactions.
UFC 3 is the latest EA game to come under scrutiny for supposedly introducing “pay-to-win” mechanics with the recent release of its beta, thanks in part to publications like GameRevolution and Astute Gaming (via Eurogamer) claiming that UFC 3‘s Ultimate Team mode heavily favors stat-boosting card packs over player skill.
To be fair, UFC 3‘s Ultimate Team cards do offer more powerful moves and boost attributes, meaning it is possible to have an arguably better five-fighter team than your opponent simply because you spent more money.
But, unlike Battlefront II, whose Star Cards would have affected every multiplayer game mode had EA decided not to postpone them, UFC 3‘s Ultimate Team cards (just like with every current EA Sports game) are expressly restricted to Ultimate Team mode. Standard online multiplayer matches remain untouched by Ultimate Team’s loot box mechanics, as does Career Mode, which is unfortunately absent from the beta.
Honestly, UFC 3‘s Ultimate Team mode doesn’t sound any different than last year’s Ultimate Team mode, or any of EA Sports’ other Ultimate Team modes for that matter. Maybe gamers (and journalists) are still running on the high of literally costing EA billions of dollars in stock valuation, but players who are looking forward to UFC 3 should probably at least play the beta before taking anyone’s word about whether EA is ruining yet another franchise with pay-to-win mechanics.
We’ll find out exactly how pervasive UFC 3‘s supposed pay-to-win mechanics are when the game launches for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on February 2nd.