A Closer Look at Player Pricing and the Events that Effect their Value
FIFA Market Trends
Players are expensive at the start of the game. Players are cheap at the end of the game. For those of us that have played Ultimate Team for the nearly 10 years it has been a game mode, that much is clear. And FIFA 18 was no exception.
FIFA 18 Xbox Market
FIFA 18 PS4 Market
The reason? A quick economics lesson on the principles of supply and demand will tell you. When FIFA releases in September, there are few cards on the market (low supply) compared to the high volume of players that want to play the game (high demand). Therefore, player prices are through the roof.
Now May comes, along with it TOTS. The supply of cards on the market is at a peak, and demand for playing Ultimate Team is dwindling with the approaching summer and conclusion of any major FIFA events. Many FIFA players stop playing, and with that prices plummet to even further lows. Where we began on the left side of the graph, now we fall on the right.
While this is how the FIFA market looks over the long-term, Ultimate Team events cause short-term deviations that present opportunities for investing. Knowing the events of the Ultimate Team calendar will help you to predict and take advantage of these changes in the FIFA market.
Events (some dates tentative)
*check the FIFA Calendar for a full list of events*
September 19th – Web App Release
Rejoice! A new season of FIFA begins. One of the first ways you can access the game is through the web app. Through this, you will be able to buy/sell players, purchase packs, and receive daily rewards for logging in. NOTE: you will only be able to do use the web app if you have already set up an account in some previous FIFA.
In addition to the web app, a 10 hour access period grants Xbox players the option to experience FIFA 19 in its entirety. For traders, the entirety of this trial should be devoted to Ultimate Team. There are a few ways that you can approach this.
First and foremost, sell all of the items in your catalog. Coins are in short supply at the beginning of FUT, and this is one of the easiest ways to stockpile them.
In addition, make sure to activate your coin boosts as these can earn you an extra 250-1000 coins per completed game. How you choose to play these games depends on your abilities as a FIFA player.
For more skilled players, draft is a great option. Yes, you have to spend 15,000 coins or FIFA points to play. However, the potential packs for winning a few games will more than cover your costs. In reality, if you win the draft mode you are looking at getting at least 50k and possibly much, much more. Offline draft mode is alternative if you would rather play AI instead.
September 25th – Early Access Release
For those who purchase the Ultimate or Champions version of FIFA 19, you will have a 3 day jump on everyone else to play the game. These early stages of the game are huge for establishing a coin base, so the sooner you can jump in the better.
September 28th – Full Release
When the game is fully released, the demand for players begins to increase dramatically. Therefore, prices increase as well. Be sure to invest your coins gained through the early access period in players – particularly OTW base cards – before the full release to make profits. If FIFA 18 is any representation, the players reach their peak about 2 weeks after the release. For FIFA 19, this would mean the weekend of October 12th-14th.
October 19th – Halloween Scream
EA releases scream cards that are boosted over Halloween weekend. In FIFA 18, these cards were also upgraded during “spooky” times – or anytime there was a full moon.
For the first time in the FIFA season, players have the opportunity to buy expensive packs valued at 50k, 100k, and 200k. For an investor, this weekend is Christmas come early.
All of these packs mean one thing: a drastic increase in supply, and consequently excellent opportunities for players to be bought for great prices.
In FIFA 18, the best looks for investment were high rated TOTW players that came from good nations and leagues (useful for SBCs). Personally, I went all in on IF Zieler, and I was pleased to nearly double my investment in the week that followed.
In FIFA 19, anticipate on investing in something similar – a high rated inform from and good league and nation that is near discard.
December 7th – Team of the Group Stage
An event that often catches players by surprise, be sure to prepare yourself for the Team of the Group Stage. This is the first time that an abundance of quality players are in packs, and as a result many packs are opened. Again, packs mean supply, and supply means the market takes a hit.
December 14th – FUTmas
Starting on the 16th, there were daily SBC’s to get 3 different players. Each day had players that wore the number of the date. For example, on the 23rd we saw…
January 14th – TOTY Release
The best players from the previous year are released in four phases: defenders, midfielders, attacks, and then the full squad. These players are unmatched statistically until Team of the Season is released in May. Many players splurge on their packs for this promotion, resulting in another market crash.
February 1st – OTW Winter Edition
Along with the OTW winter squad, EA often releases SBCs that require OTW players. For this reason, it is a good idea to invest in Summer OTW players in anticipation of this event.
February 5th – Lunar New Year
Special pack offerings flood the FIFA market for the Chinese holiday. This caused a major crash from 61.67 points on February 15th to 47.38 points on February 18th.
As Lunar New Year is a rotating holiday, it will occur on February 5th in 2019. Make sure to sell off your expensive players before then.
February 22nd – Ratings Refresh
Upgrades of players can affect their respective special cards if the player rating goes up enough. For example, Mertens upgrade from 83 to 85 caused an increase for each of his informs. This presents a good investing opportunity as the informs become more valuable.
March 15th – FUT Birthday
EA released throwback ghosts of FIFA Ultimate Team past, including players with position changes (notably LB Bale).
FIFA 19 marks the 10th Birthday for FUT, so expect big things for this event.
While there was no TOTKS in FIFA 18 due to the World Cup mode, expect it to make a triumphant return for FIFA 19. Here is what the squad looked like from FIFA 17.
- May 17th – Community TOTS
- May 22nd – RoW TOTS (50-41)
- May 24th – BPL TOTS
- May 29th – RoW TOTS (40-31)
- May 31 – La Liga TOTS
- June 5th – RoW TOTS (30-21)
- June 7th – Bundesliga TOTS
- June 12th – RoW TOTS (20-11)
- June 14th – Ligue 1/Serie A TOTS
- June 19th – Row TOTS (10-1)
July 12th – FUTTIES
During this event, members of the FIFA community vote for their favorite players of the season by position. Alessandrini, Lozano, and Begovic were among the winners in 2018. An SBC could be completed for an upgraded version of those players.