EA makes most of its FIFA money from the game’s Ultimate Team mode, where fans spend real money in attempts to unlock elite players. Today, it’s being alleged that these lucrative items are being sold privately to users by employees within EA Sports.
Using the hashtag #EAGATE, complaints have been made that someone within EA has been selling FIFA’s Prime Icon Moment players for huge sums of cash, like €1000 (USD$1190) for two players.
That’s a lot of money, but there are people out there who both take FIFA very seriously and spend thousands on Ultimate Team packs just trying to unlock elite players, so to be able to cut out the random factor and get the best players directly isn’t as terrible a deal as it may sound to you.
When the complaints first surfaced, it was hard to parse which were legitimate and which were just...the same white noise the FIFA community is always capable of producing when it comes to its uneasy relationship with developer EA Sports.
Yet some of the screencaps appeared damning:
Damning enough that later in the day, EA acknowledged the allegations, issuing a statement saying, “A thorough investigation is underway, and if we identify improper conduct, we will take swift action.”
“We want to be clear—this type of behaviour is unacceptable, and we in no way condone what is alleged to have happened here. We understand how this creates concern about unfair balance in the game and competition.”
Update, 3/15/21, 9:20am—In a blog on March 12, EA wrote that “It appears that one or more EA accounts, which were either compromised or being used inappropriately by someone within EA, directly entitled items to these individual accounts.” The blog goes on to say that “When our investigation is completed, we will take action against any employee found to have been engaging in this activity. Any items granted through this illicit activity will be removed from the FUT ecosystem and EA will permanently ban any player known to have acquired content through these means.”