The game is not actually dead but the general excitement is just much lower then previous years. I think the gameplay is fantastic(much better pre patch though) but the gameplay content is much worse then previous years.
You're done with rivals pretty fast, its a matter of how much you play but when you reach elite, you're done.
The entire rivals system is just stupid. Win 7 weekly wins and enjoy your ❤️❤️❤️❤️ rewards, there's still that initial grind towards elite division if can be bother but everyone will reach it eventually. So you get 7 wins and you're done with rivals. Now what?
There's WL, which EA probably designed while being high.
First, a large part of the community cant enter because they're not good enough so if you cant enter, what's there to play past rivals? Absolutely nothing. This design choice was done because the rewards are too good. Well then revert it back. Everyone can enter and has a shot at those rewards and your skill level determines what you get.
If you manage to enter WL, then congrats. You dont actually have to play. Win maybe 4 games, leave the rest, get some gifted wins along the way and enjoy your top tier rewards. Zero excitement, zero thrill, its just ❤️❤️❤️❤️ boring. Its the free handout league.
I 100% believe that the rivals and WL system is too blame for this 'boring' feeling. There's just actually barely anything to play for. The grind for elite and beyond kept me playing all year. I'll quit before December at this rate.
And oh yeah EA, bring back knockout tournaments. You win the tournament, sometimes you'll get a draft token, a 50k pack or a special promo themed card but nope, they instead want us to actually not play the game.