EA is investigating currently unconfirmed reports that an employee of the publisher has been selling rare FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) cards to FIFA 21 players for their own profit. The individual is alleged to have been selling these cards to players in various packages for over €1,000 ($1,191). EA commented to VGC that it “in no way condoned” these sales and understand the unfair balance that it creates within the game.
The allegations from from screenshots from Twitter user @FutArcade, who shows what is purported to be a conversation with the EA employee in question.
— Arcade-Fut (@FutArcade) March 10, 2021
The messages discuss going rates for Icon Moments and Team of the Year cards, which are extremely rare and difficult to get. FIFA Ultimate Team packs are like purchasing a blind-pack of random collectible cards in digital form (they can be bought with premium currencies and earned as in-game rewards). The rare Icon Moments and Team of the Year cards all have boosted stats, which impact gameplay.
In the alleged scheme, it appears that the EA employee uses the players PSN ID or gamertag to add the cards directly to their account somehow. It’s unknown if these cards are being generated as extras, or if them being pulled is taking them away from dropping elsewhere in other packs. Either way this would be like if someone at the place that manufactures Pokemon cards were either snagging off the line or artificially manufacturing their own rare cards to sell to people directly to make a personal profit.
Here’s the full quote from EA to VGC regarding the allegations:
We are aware of the allegations currently circulating within our community related to FIFA21 Ultimate Team items.
A thorough investigation is underway, and if we identify improper conduct, we will take swift action.
We want to be clear – this type of behavior 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. We will update the community as we get more clarity on the situation.
FIFA 21 has had a particularly enormous year, debuting in the top position on the NPD and continuing to have high download numbers far after it first released. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more regarding the situation.