Madden streamers go on ‘strike’ against in-play odds

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Screenshot: EA Sports

Some of the biggest streamers in the mad community announced they were going on a “pack strike”, creating a hashtag and refusing to spend money on Madden 23 Ultimate Team mode until publisher Electronic Arts makes some changes.

What is Ultimate Team?

Both Madden and FIFA have very popular multiplayer game modes called Ultimate Team, which allow users to create their own squads of all-time greats. The catch is that you have to get your players through cards, and those cards are sold blind in sealed virtual packs, and those packs are paid for with real money.

As Polygon reportstreamers – who for sports games like this are a huge part of the online community – created the hashtag #packstrike and urge everything players, not just their content creator peers, to refuse to spend a dime on Ultimate Team until EA addresses their concerns.

Zirksee, speaking for both himself and “other creators in the community,” shared the group’s demands earlier today, saying they were asking, among other things, “best raises” and “best overall pack odds” when opening the most expensive player packs:

Like I said only this weekthere’s no amount of tweets, reviews, or comments that can set publishers back as far as they’ve monetized major sports game series in 2022. The only thing that moves the needle with these businesses is money, and so the only way for disgruntled players to get their message across is to withhold that money.

So seeing content creators mobilizing as a means of protest is gratifying! While it’s also crazy to consider that a decade of turning sports games into shakedowns has normalized things in that people are “going on strike” not to have modes removed, or made entirely free given that you’ve already spent $60 on the game. No, they just want the odds of their favorite game mode – a mode that’s basically gambling, something that many governments are now investigating legally – to be a bit more in their favor.

It’s like asking your prison guard for softer pillows. It remains to be seen of course how successful this ‘strike’ will be, but if it has any impact with EA Sports, hopefully it will at least set a precedent for fans of sports games – if they really are as fed up with this constant nickel-and-diming as much as they say – to start taking more drastic measures.