EA "unintentionally released" FIFA 22 OTW pre-order player packs before OTW player items were in the game, it's said.
This Ultimate Team-focused pre-order bonus relates to coveted Ones to Watch cards - special versions of players who made high-profile summer transfers. Examples this year include Lionel Messi, who moved from Barcelona to PSG, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Juventus for Manchester United.
These OTW cards see in-game players upgraded based on real-life performances. Each Wednesday, EA releases a Team of the Week squad that contains players who stood out in their leagues the previous weekend. If an OTW player appears in that squad, their card is upgraded to match the Team of the Week version's upgraded stats.
EA released the OTW pre-order player packs with a warning not to open them until today, 1st October - FIFA 22's global release date - but of course many players did open the pack, and received a regular gold card instead of the expected OTW card. This sparked something of a panic within the FIFA community, with some worrying they had missed out on their OTW card for good.
Now, EA has come out and said this was a mistake, and has prevented OTW pre-order packs from being opened while it investigates. And here's the crucial news: those who opened their pack prior to OTW release will get a new OTW pack "in the coming days".
"OTW pre-Order player packs were unintentionally released prior to OTW player items being in FIFA 22," EA said.
OTW pre-order packs currently can't be opened while we investigate the issue. Players who opened their pack prior to OTW release will receive a new OTW pack in the coming days."
FUT is now in the odd situation of having dished out a "free" gold card to players who opened their OTW pack early, a card those who waited will not receive. But it's hardly the end of the world. EA has yet to say when exactly those who opened their OTW pack early will get their replacement.