EA suspends all discretionary FIFA Ultimate Team content granting indefinitely amid “EA Gate” scandal • Eurogamer.net

EA suspends all discretionary FIFA Ultimate Team content granting indefinitely amid

EA has suspended all discretionary content granted indefinitely amid the ongoing “EA Gate” scandal that has rocked the FIFA series.

Earlier this week Eurogamer reported how the FIFA community unearthed direct messages that appeared to show an EA employee selling coveted Ultimate Team cards for thousands of pounds on the black market.

These direct messages mentioned the FUT Icon cards in packages priced at 750 to 1000 euros. In a WhatsApp message, three Prime Icon Moments cards were offered for 1,700 euros.

So we grind / swap / open packs and can’t touch those PIM players, but EA employees are secretly selling them to people for 700?!?! LOL I respect the grind but my god … pic.twitter.com/CCnhjZbcgH

– Nickname ?? (@ Nick28T) March 10, 2021

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Special thanks to @RiberaRibell for the photo, he did an amazing job ??
(continue in the comments)#fut #fifa pic.twitter.com/bJIg2rpWtI

– Arcade-Fut (@FutArcade) March 10, 2021

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– Arcade-Fut (@FutArcade) March 10, 2021

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Icon Cards are among the most sought after in FIFA Ultimate Team. They include legendary players such as Brazilian Ronaldo, Pelé, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane and Ruud Gullit, and are nearly impossible to obtain thanks to the mode’s controversial loot boxes.

Even rarer are Prime Icon Moments – special versions of Icon cards that mark a special match or tournament for players.

EA launched an investigation in response, and overnight update:

“Earlier this week, we were made aware of suspicious activity related to highly rated content in FIFA Ultimate Team,” EA said.

“We learned that FUT items are awarded to individual accounts that do not earn them through gameplay – that is, by opening a pack, buying on the transfer market, completing a reward challenge ( eg an SBC completion) or any other engagement (eg watching a Twitch broadcast).

“It appears that one or more EA Accounts, which have been compromised or inappropriately used by someone within EA, are directly entitled to material on those individual accounts.

“The alleged behavior is unacceptable and we do not condone the granting or purchasing of player items in exchange for money. This practice is against the competitive integrity of the game, is a violation of the EA User Agreement and it is not something we condone. We do. do not allow trade or sale of items outside of our game for many reasons, not least because doing so would create a uneven playing field for our community. “

Of course, EA grants the purchase of player items in exchange for money – via loot boxes.

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EA insisted that its initial investigation showed questionable activity involving “a very small number of accounts and items”, but despite this, called the alleged activity “unacceptable”.

EA then promised to take action against any employee engaging in this activity, remove any granted items from the FUT ecosystem, and permanently ban any players known to have purchased them.

EA then apologized to the FIFA community: “Regardless of these actions, we appreciate how worrying this is for all of our players, and we apologize for the impact of these inappropriate grants on the community.

“We also appreciate how extremely annoying and frustrating it is that this practice can come from EA. We are also angry. We know that the trust of our communities is hard earned and is based on the principles of fair play. illicit activities undermine that trust. Since the inception of Ultimate Team, we have also made it clear that items cannot be traded outside of our game, and this is essential to protect our game from manipulation and bad actors. This is a violation of that principle., As well – and we will not let it stand. “

EA goes on to discuss the granting of content – which it rarely does. This is when EA donates Ultimate Team content to player accounts. EA has stated that unless these items are issued to replace lost content, they are generally non-tradable items, meaning they have no in-game trade-in value, cannot be sold. in the transfer market and cannot be shared with other players. Examples include items used in testing and quality verification, and granting discretionary content to athletes, partners and EA employees.

Every now and then the community will find out about a famous footballer’s Ultimate Team because he has faced them online, and sometimes you will see footballers using a special version of themselves in the game. ‘granting discretionary content to athletes.

“Items granted on a discretionary basis to these partners or employees are always non-negotiable and can only be used by the account to which they were originally granted,” EA insisted. “We do not use this discretionary process to award content to professional video game influencers.”

Of course, this content can be used in Ultimate Team’s competitive and pay-to-win multiplayer against other players online – a balance issue that EA does not address in its statement.

EA has stated that the sum of the items awarded under these three scenarios (customer experience, testing and partners) combined is less than 0.0006% of the total player items in the FIFA 21 ecosystem. EA insisted on the fact that these subsidies have no impact on the chances of a player in the ecosystem acquiring these players, that they have no impact on the overall volume of content available and that all content granted is non-tradable, without associated coin value.

“Obviously, the alleged actions in this case fall well outside of these legitimate content granting scenarios,” EA said.

EA’s investigation is ongoing, but the company said it had narrowed down how this happened and identified which accounts received the content. In the meantime, EA has suspended all discretionary content grants indefinitely.

“Once again, we appreciate and appreciate the engagement and support of the FIFA community to help identify this issue and we will continue to provide updates as the investigation progresses towards a conclusion. “said EA.

One of the many issues with Ultimate Team that the “EA Gate” scandal highlights is the artificial scarcity of these highly coveted items. Some of the most powerful and sought after cards in the game – Prime Icon Moments versions of Ronaldo, Pele, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, and Ruud Gullit, for example – have a less than 1% chance of dropping from a loot box. The exact probability of getting an icon from a pack is unknown, as EA does not disclose the exact percentage chance below one percent – a lack of transparency that has been criticized for some time.

EA is already facing two other Ultimate Team-related lawsuits, one in the United States alleging that the mode violates California state gambling laws, and the other in Canada accusing EA of managing ” an illegal and unlicensed gaming system via its loot boxes ”.

Loot boxes have also come under more scrutiny from government authorities in recent years, especially with regard to their impact on young people. In January 2019, EA stopped selling FIFA Points in Belgium following government pressure on loot boxes. The Dutch Gambling Authority has also declared the loot boxes illegal as they are considered a game of chance and therefore violate the country’s gambling law. Dutch authorities ended up fining EA up to 10 million euros for loot boxes in FIFA.

FIFA coffers are not currently considered a form of gambling in the UK, although the government is looking closely at them in this context. In July, the House of Lords gambling committee urged the government to “act immediately” to regulate them. The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports launched a loot box consultation in September and a review of the 2005 gambling law in December last year. He is expected to publish a white paper before the end of this year.

FIFA made the headlines last weekend with a Sunday Times investigation titled “FIFA’s Ugly Game Attracts Teens to Play”.

EA Called FIFA’s Loot Boxes ‘Surprise Mechanisms’, and in a statement given to the Sunday Times, compared them to Kinder Eggs. A spokesperson told the newspaper that there was “no benefit to buying Ultimate Team packs rather than earning them,” and the majority of player packs were awarded through in-game achievements. said users could track or limit their spending through FIFA Playtime, a new in-game tool, and online gaming access could be restricted using parental controls on consoles.

Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-03-13-ea-suspends-all-discretionary-fifa-ultimate-team-content-granting-indefinitely-amid-ea-gate-scandal


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