A perceived lack of value in Madden NFL 23 loot boxes has caused streamers to stage a "walkout". Popular Madden NFL 23 streamers and influencers are posting with the hashtag #packstrike on Twitter and refusing to buy loot boxes until EA improves their value.
Why are streamers complaining about Madden NFL 23 loot boxes?
As reported by Polygon, Madden NFL 23 Ultimate Team streamers and players are declaring what they're calling a "pack strike" on platforms like Twitter. The Pack Strike refers to not buying any Ultimate Team loot box packs until EA makes positive changes to the way in which loot boxes in the game work.
Right now, popular streamers like Zirksee are saying that the "pack strike" is intended to wake EA up to what those streamers say is a lack of value in Ultimate Team packs. EA's attitude towards loot boxes is well-documented, with the company describing implementing loot boxes in FIFA as "fair" and reportedly pushing players towards them with its game design practices.
Zirksee and other streamers, as well as players who aren't content creators, say this attitude from EA regarding loot boxes is not good enough. Content creator Gutfoxx says #packstrike is intended to "get a better game" and that players should refrain from being an "edgelord" and fighting on EA's side.
What are those participating in Madden 23 #packstrike asking for?
Per Zirksee's tweet, streamers are asking for better reroll value for loot boxes, referring to when you receive cards you don't want in an Ultimate Team loot box and want to reroll for better ones. They're also asking for better overall pack odds, especially at the higher payment tiers, as well as other boosts to loot box values. Amusingly enough, they don't seem to be calling for the outright removal of loot boxes, instead just calling for loot boxes to offer better value.
So, how likely is it that EA will listen to these streamers? Well, there are two sides to that coin. On the one hand, of course, companies want to keep influencers happy for fear of garnering a negative reputation. On the other, EA's Madden NFL franchise represents an effective monopoly; after all, how many other developers do you know who are making football games right now?
There are, of course, other non-sim football products out there with licenses from the NFL. Back in 2020, the NFL opened up the license to non-simulation type experiences, first by partnering up with 2K to create "fun, approachable and social" football games. The NFL also teamed up with StatusPRO for an immersive NFL VR game earlier this year. Still, these aren't Madden rivals and they're not supposed to compete in the same space as Madden (and neither is the baffling and depressing NFL Rivals NFT game, thankfully).
Right now, Madden NFL 23 is sitting at a "Mostly Negative" user review score on Steam, with users citing a lack of features in the PC version compared to the console versions (a complaint that was also leveled at last year's Madden NFL 22). As usual, many users are expressing frustrations with Madden NFL 23, but with EA the only studio consistently putting out AAA-level football games right now, there isn't really anywhere else for them to turn. We've reached out to EA for comment on this story.