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‘We’re angry too’ says EA as FIFA 21 investigation proves #EAGate is real


Possibly more than one EA account has been involved with illicit activities (Pic: EA)

After an employee was accused of selling in-game FIFA 21 items, EA’s own investigation has narrowed down those involved with the scandal.

It was impossible for EA to ignore the furore surrounding FIFA 21 last week. The new scandal involved one or more of the company’s own employees selling rare FIFA Ultimate Team Icon cards, which can normally only be acquired randomly from loot boxes.

EA acknowledged the accusations and stated that it has already begun conducting an internal investigation. Said investigation has, according to EA, already made some progress, as at least one EA account has either been compromised or inappropriately used by an employee, with there possibly being more.

The company notes that while the number of possible accounts involved with the scandal is very small, it doesn’t condone what has happened and says that it will remove any illicitly acquired items from the FIFA 21 ecosystem and any players who obtained these items will be banned.

‘The alleged behaviour is unacceptable and in no way do we condone granting or purchasing player items in exchange for money,’ reads an update on the game’s official website.

‘This practice runs counter to the game’s competitive integrity, is a violation of EA’s User Agreement, and is not something we tolerate. We do not allow the trade or sale of items outside our game for many reasons, including that it would create an unequal playing field for our community.’

EA also apologised to players, ‘We appreciate how concerning this is to all of our players, and we apologize for the impact of these improper grants within the community. We also appreciate how extremely annoying and frustrating it is that this practice might have come from within EA. We’re angry too.

‘We know that the trust of our communities is hard-earned and is based on principles of Fair Play. This illicit activity shakes that trust. We’ve also been clear since the creation of Ultimate Team that items cannot be exchanged outside our game, and that’s key to how we keep our game safe from manipulation and bad actors. This is a breach of that principle, as well – and we won’t let it stand.’

With the investigation ongoing, EA has already suspended content granting indefinitely. Content granting is whenever specific in-game items are granted to a player account, be it to replace content that has gone missing due to a technical error or for testing.

While it’s too early to tell, this scandal could only bolster the argument that loot boxes should be banned altogether. The UK government has been seriously considering it, with even the House of Lords stating that they should be classified as gambling. This could potentially lead to a situation similar to Belgium, where in-game currency FIFA Points is removed from the game entirely.

FIFA 21 is available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It will release for Stadia on March 17.

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