Ultimate team money making

The EA Sports franchise has been highly successful. Their most successful project related to this franchise is arguably Ultimate team.

Ultimate team is a platform where users can collect player cards, create their own customized team and compete against others in online matches with their team.

The Ultimate team platform is perhaps the best business model in the world. The combination of NBA, Madden, Fifa and NHL has been reported to make $1 billion per year from their Ultimate team modes.

This is like EA releasing double the amount of games they’re currently releasing every year.

So why is Ultimate team so successful, how do they get us to spend and what can you learn for your own success?

 

The Breakdown Of Ultimate Team

 

Firstly it must be said that the players you use in Ultimate team can be used on other game modes for free. Yet when playing Ultimate team people will spend hundreds and in rare occasions thousands trying to get these same players.

In order to convince people to do this, you need to be highly persuasive. It works very much like marriage. We convince people every year that changing your name and having a ring put on your finger is worth $20,000+. Yet you could make this happen for $500 and you still get all of the same benefits of marriage.

We achieve this through framing, and framing is exactly what Ultimate team uses in order to increase sales. Here’s how they do it.

 

Leaderboards

The leaderboards add competition, more specifically competition with friends. This makes you want to spend in order to see your name at the top.

 

Pack Reveals

The pack reveals has evolved over the last few years. Knowing that you can use a certain player immediately, is nowhere near as exciting as seeing that same player walkout with flairs, fireworks, flags dropping down and then knowing that you’ve earned this player.

 

Scarcity Bias

The best players are rare which makes them less attainable. If a Ferrari cost $100 no one would want one eventually because it would become meaningless and lose it’s appeal. By having a scale where some players are harder to get than others, it makes people want what they can’t have. This creates the perfect system when linked with our next point.

 

Reward System Shortcut

We love instant gratification, and EA enables us to achieve this with points we can purchase. Packs, that contain players, can be bought for in game coins, or with real money. This option gives you the opportunity to bypass months of gameplay and shortcut your way to success. This is why scarcity and the reward system work so well with one another. It gives you two options. 1. Play for months work hard to build your team using in game coins. 2. Pay around $100 and shortcut that entire process in a matter of hours.

 

Promotional Packs

In order to keep things fresh, EA releases promotional packs with epic timing. They release packs in tangent with real-time events. For example, playoff packs during the NBA playoffs. These packs could contain more players, more items, more chance of receiving top level players, etc. The strategy is smart because people feel like they’re getting a great deal. EA then puts a time limit on these packs in order to create urgency and the money they generate is ridiculous.

 

YouTube Influencers

EA also give coins to YouTubers who are well known gamers with large channels. By doing this they give people inspiration to go and do it themselves. If you see a YouTuber get one of your favourite players combined with an emotional reaction and uptempo music, it’s extremely motivating to repeat this in your own life.

 

Points Vs Pack Gap

The points that you can purchase for your chosen console always give you some points leftover after using them, but never enough to buy another pack. This is smart because it gives you a head-start towards your next purchase.

This is very much like a strategy used in physical business. A car wash company created a stamp system where each time you got a car wash, you got a stamp on a card. After 8 stamps you got a free car wash.

This didn’t really catch on when it was first used because people saw the task as too big. Once they adapted the scheme and gave people cards with 2 stamps already filled in, people were highly likely to continue the cycle and aim for 8 because they already had a head-start and something to build from.

EA sports do this with their points. If a pack costs 150 points and after buying 10 packs you have 100 points remaining, it’s very encouraging to make another purchase because you’re almost there.

It’s similar to how people spend their spare change on things they don’t really want. If you’ve spent money on points, you want to use those points, not have them sat around like spare change in your pocket. Therefore people buy another load of points until the math is kind enough to put them back on 0 or close to.

 

Conclusion

Considering that Ultimate team isn’t EA’s main project or what they’re known for, the money it generates is unrivalled. Think of any other company that makes billions from their up-sells/secondary products? Perhaps Microsoft and Apple have an argument in this, but it’s the sheer addiction that people have to EA’s Ultimate team game mode that could possibly make it the greatest business model the world has ever seen.

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The EA Sports franchise has been highly successful. Their most successful project related to this franchise is arguably Ultimate team.

Ultimate team is a platform where users can collect player cards, create their own customized team and compete against others in online matches with their team.

The Ultimate team platform is perhaps the best business model in the world. The combination of NBA, Madden, Fifa and NHL has been reported to make $1 billion per year from their Ultimate team modes.

This is like EA releasing double the amount of games they’re currently releasing every year.

So why is Ultimate team so successful, how do they get us to spend and what can you learn for your own success?

 

The Breakdown Of Ultimate Team

 

Firstly it must be said that the players you use in Ultimate team can be used on other game modes for free. Yet when playing Ultimate team people will spend hundreds and in rare occasions thousands trying to get these same players.

In order to convince people to do this, you need to be highly persuasive. It works very much like marriage. We convince people every year that changing your name and having a ring put on your finger is worth $20,000+. Yet you could make this happen for $500 and you still get all of the same benefits of marriage.

We achieve this through framing, and framing is exactly what Ultimate team uses in order to increase sales. Here’s how they do it.

 

Leaderboards

The leaderboards add competition, more specifically competition with friends. This makes you want to spend in order to see your name at the top.

 

Pack Reveals

The pack reveals has evolved over the last few years. Knowing that you can use a certain player immediately, is nowhere near as exciting as seeing that same player walkout with flairs, fireworks, flags dropping down and then knowing that you’ve earned this player.

 

Scarcity Bias

The best players are rare which makes them less attainable. If a Ferrari cost $100 no one would want one eventually because it would become meaningless and lose it’s appeal. By having a scale where some players are harder to get than others, it makes people want what they can’t have. This creates the perfect system when linked with our next point.

 

Reward System Shortcut

We love instant gratification, and EA enables us to achieve this with points we can purchase. Packs, that contain players, can be bought for in game coins, or with real money. This option gives you the opportunity to bypass months of gameplay and shortcut your way to success. This is why scarcity and the reward system work so well with one another. It gives you two options. 1. Play for months work hard to build your team using in game coins. 2. Pay around $100 and shortcut that entire process in a matter of hours.

 

Promotional Packs

In order to keep things fresh, EA releases promotional packs with epic timing. They release packs in tangent with real-time events. For example, playoff packs during the NBA playoffs. These packs could contain more players, more items, more chance of receiving top level players, etc. The strategy is smart because people feel like they’re getting a great deal. EA then puts a time limit on these packs in order to create urgency and the money they generate is ridiculous.

 

YouTube Influencers

EA also give coins to YouTubers who are well known gamers with large channels. By doing this they give people inspiration to go and do it themselves. If you see a YouTuber get one of your favourite players combined with an emotional reaction and uptempo music, it’s extremely motivating to repeat this in your own life.

 

Points Vs Pack Gap

The points that you can purchase for your chosen console always give you some points leftover after using them, but never enough to buy another pack. This is smart because it gives you a head-start towards your next purchase.

This is very much like a strategy used in physical business. A car wash company created a stamp system where each time you got a car wash, you got a stamp on a card. After 8 stamps you got a free car wash.

This didn’t really catch on when it was first used because people saw the task as too big. Once they adapted the scheme and gave people cards with 2 stamps already filled in, people were highly likely to continue the cycle and aim for 8 because they already had a head-start and something to build from.

EA sports do this with their points. If a pack costs 150 points and after buying 10 packs you have 100 points remaining, it’s very encouraging to make another purchase because you’re almost there.

It’s similar to how people spend their spare change on things they don’t really want. If you’ve spent money on points, you want to use those points, not have them sat around like spare change in your pocket. Therefore people buy another load of points until the math is kind enough to put them back on 0 or close to.

 

Conclusion

Considering that Ultimate team isn’t EA’s main project or what they’re known for, the money it generates is unrivalled. Think of any other company that makes billions from their up-sells/secondary products? Perhaps Microsoft and Apple have an argument in this, but it’s the sheer addiction that people have to EA’s Ultimate team game mode that could possibly make it the greatest business model the world has ever seen.