- Electronic Arts commented on the #EAGate scandal that broke out on Wednesday;
- The company acknowledged that the reported trading of cards by company employees did occur and the matter will be investigated.
Electronic Arts spoken out on the #EAGate scandal that rocked social media a few days ago. On Wednesday, screenshots were published showing offers selling top FUT cards by an alleged EA employee. People involved in the trade have made quite a profitable business out of it for themselves.
The price list of started from 750 euros for three Icon cards, up to 1700 euros for three Icon cards at the peak and two TOTY. According to posts published on Twitter, the practice had been going on for a long time and many players of the FIFA series took advantage of it, praising the speed of processing "orders".
Electronic Arts commented on the whole matter after a few days, admitting that indeed such a practice took place and the situation will be explained in the near future. An internal investigation is to check the exact scale of the fraud. Initially it is said that several accounts were used for such operations.
"Earlier this week, we were made aware of suspicious activity relating to highly rated content in FIFA Ultimate Team. We learned that FUT items were granted to individual accounts that did not earn them through gameplay - i.e. by opening a pack, purchasing through the transfer market, completing a reward challenge. 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 same message condemns the behavior and apologizes to the community that may have been affected by this situation.
"The alleged behaviour is unacceptable and in no way do we condone granting or purchasing player items in exchange for money. 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.
Regardless of these actions, we appreciate how concerning this is to all of our players, and we apologise for the impact of these improper grants within the community."
Interestingly, further down in the announcement, EA admitted that they give out special cards when a user reports a bug that caused them to lose one of their cards. The system also rewards Electronic Arts employees, partners, and players who cooperate with EA Sports with special cards.
"The items granted on a discretionary basis to these partners or employees are always non-tradeable and can be used only by the account to which they were originally granted. We do not use this discretionary process to grant content to professional video game influencers."
This whole situation could have far more ramifications than just a bunch of angry FIFA players. EA has been facing more and more lawsuits every now and then regarding lootboxes in the form of packs of cards. The company has so far claimed that it is impossible to acquire cards in any other way than through in-game packs. The #EAGate affair could therefore serve as evidence against Electronic Arts should anyone wish to litigate the matter once again.
What will be the actual consequences suffered by the company, we will find out in the near future.
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