EA Sports using Ultimate Team packs as FIFA pre-order bait once again

by: Nathaniel -
Now that the European football* season is pretty much over with only the UEFA Champion's League Final left to be contested on Saturday, fans will have to find their footie fix somewhere else until next August.  I can't speak for others, but FIFA Soccer is where I'll turn when Beautiful Game withdrawal becomes too much to bear.
 
Now despite FIFA 13 itself being pretty good, there's still a ton of room to improve and the improvements being bandied about now (enhanced shooting, smarter AI, more options when you're on the ball) are definitely areas that can stand improvement in FIFA Soccer 14.  

However, not everything is changing because just like last year EA Sports is using the promise of 24 weekly free Ultimate Team gold packs as a pre-order incentive.  If you're not familiar with FIFA Ultimate Team, it basically turns its particular brand of football in to a collectible card game where you assemble your squad from players you get in virtual packs you can spend in-game points and/or real money on.  Along with players, you get all sorts of other cards from buffs, balls, kits, and even stadiums.  

Your Ultimate Team is a true Frankenstein's monster built from the disparate parts you get in card packs.  Gold packs are top shelf card packs with a higher rate of rare players and items than the other standard card packs.  If you pre-order the "Ultimate Pass" pre-order package, you'll receive 24 weekly gold packs for free which is more than enough to build a solid starting squad.  This Ultimate Pass is only available until September 23, with the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions of FIFA 14 set to release the next day on September 24.  

The EA Sports Ignite-powered Xbox One and PS4 versions of FIFA 14 will be out "in the next 12 months" and will be available for pre-order "soon."  If you want to see what Ignite-powered next-gen games will look like, you can check out this video from a few days ago.

To learn more, follow the jump.

*Yeah, I'm calling it football.  So what?  There's more than one kind of football.  The whole soccer/football argument is little more than an outdated tribal rivalry anyway.
EA SPORTS OFFERS FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM GOLD PACKS INCENTIVE TO PRE-ORDER FIFA 14 ON XBOX 360, PS3 AND PC
 
FIFA 14 Releases September 24 In North America
 
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – May 23, 2013 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) announced today that EA SPORTS™ is offering FIFA 14 Ultimate Team gold packs to fans who pre-order* FIFA 14 on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC. The release date for FIFA 14 is September 24, 2013 throughout North America.
 
FIFA Ultimate Team is the popular game mode within EA SPORTS FIFA that reflects the best recent real-world performances of the world’s best players. Over 3.4 million games of FIFA Ultimate Team are played daily, and over 17 million players are transferred through the transfer market on a daily basis, as millions of fans re-shape their squads based on the real-world performances of their favorite players.
 
Fans who pre-order the “Ultimate Pass” pre-order package will receive 24 FIFA Ultimate Team gold packs—one per week for 24 weeks—to help build their ultimate team. Each gold pack is a mix of 12 items, including players, contracts, stadiums, managers, staff, fitness, healing, balls, kits, and badges. Gold packs consist mostly of players rated 75+ in-game, and include one rare item, such as enhanced player attributes, longer contracts, and the most coveted players. The “Ultimate Pass” is available until midnight on September 23.
 
Experience the emotion of scoring great goals in FIFA 14. Innovations to the franchise’s award-winning** gameplay will make FIFA 14 the complete matchday experience, introducing features that inspire fans to build play through midfield, dictate the tempo of a match and create rewarding opportunities. Great matches are achieved through measured build up and incredible finishing. A new feature in FIFA 14 called Pure Shot and a brand-new ball physics system will transform shooting, making every shot attempt feel real, and when players connect with the perfect strike, feel exhilarating. FIFA 14 will deliver engaging online*** features and live services that connect fans to the heartbeat of the sport—and to each other—through EA SPORTS Football Club, making FIFA 14 football's social network, where fans connect, compete and share with millions of others around the world.
 
Fueled by EA SPORTS™ IGNITE, FIFA 14 will also release worldwide within the next 12 months on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®4, and will be available for pre-order soon. A video showcasing how EA SPORTS games will look and play on Xbox One can be viewed here.
 
Join the EA SPORTS soccer community at http://www.facebook.com/easportsfifa or follow us on Twitter @easportsfifa and use the hash tag #FIFA14. For more information visit the FIFA 14 website at www.easportsfootball.com. FIFA 14 is in development at EA Canada. The game has not yet been rated.

EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs and cross-platform digital experiences. EA SPORTS creates connected experiences that ignite the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, SSX™, and Fight Night boxing. For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com.
 
*Conditions and restrictions apply. Please see www.easportsfootball.com for details.

** The FIFA franchise has won over 250 videogame awards since 2010 on HD consoles
*** Internet connection and Origin account required.  Must be 13+ to create an account.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 285 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.
 
In fiscal year 2013, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.8 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™ and Mass Effect™.
 
EA SPORTS, SSX, The Sims, Mass Effect, Battlefield and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. and its subsidiaries.    Official FIFA licensed product. © The FIFA name and OLP Logo are copyright or trademark protected by FIFA. All rights reserved. Manufactured under license by Electronic Arts Inc.  John Madden, NFL, NBA, NCAA, NHL, Tiger Woods, and PGA TOUR  and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.  Xbox 360is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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