Another day and another controversy for EA. We had just reported a few days earlier that EA seems to have settled a match-scripting lawsuit after the complainants decided to drop the case. However, EA is caught in some fresh controversy and this time, unlike the match-scripting lawsuit, the issue has been caused by their own employees, and it all started with a few employees selling Icon cards of Gullit and Ronaldo for thousands of Euros!
EA Gate Storms Social Media
Social media has been buzzing today after EA employees have been allegedly caught selling Prime Icon Moment (PIM) cards to FIFA players for personal gain for absurd prices. Tens of players have shared screenshots of messages between them and supposed employees of EA discussing the purchase of such rare FUT cards. From a costly price of 600 Euros for 2 decent cards to as much as 1,700 USD for 3 PIM cards, it seems that the employees are creating a black market for the entirety of the FUT economy. Users have started using the hashtag #EAGate in their tweets to bring this issue to notice.
So we grind/trade/open packs and can’t touch these PIM players but EA employees sell them to people secretly for $1,700?!?! LOL I respect the grind but my god… pic.twitter.com/CCnhjZbcgH— Nick 🇨🇦 (@Nick28T) March 10, 2021
After having FUT Packs banned in numerous countries, EA continued defending their loot box system and their packs, insisting that they have nothing to do with gambling and these items can only be bought using virtual currency (FIFA Coins and FIFA Points). Now that such shady deals have been exposed to the general public, the scenario is much different. It is not just one or two members at play here as the EA employees seem to be running a legit black market with inner dealings reaching advanced stages. One user even shared their messages wherein the employee mentioned giving them a friend’s discount since they came through a recommendation:
It’s not just that EA employees are selling PIM cards directly to FIFA players, but doing it ‘under the table’ adds a whole new level of dodgy business. Questioning the risks of this whole operation, one employee told a user not to worry as the items will be directly deposited into their FUT account after providing their platform ID for whichever console they play on. Players have gotten banned for trading items with each other in the past, but so far, this operation seems to run on a large scale and without any repercussions, at least for now. So much so, that the official EA Help Twitter handle actually tweeted out asking someone to contact them for PIM cards:
The FIFA Community is enraged at these revelations, and rightly so. Amongst the most vocal FIFA Content Creators are Nick28T and NepentheZ. NepentheZ ended up having a field day with the fiasco calling out EA on their numerous loopholes and malpractices while calling for strict actions and solutions for such issues. All this is based on image evidence of multiple users but the validity of these pictures is yet to be verified.
This now makes WAYYYYY more sense 😂😂😂😂😂💀💀 pic.twitter.com/LmY7WFKmGE— NepentheZ (@NepentheZ) March 10, 2021
EA is yet to comment on the findings but they cannot remain silent for long. EA has always maintained that there is no monetary value to any of their FUT Packs and the cards itself so the fact that their own employees are putting a price on these items is detrimental to their reputation and an open invitation to numerous lawsuits. It is surprising that this hasn’t been uncovered until now as one Twitter user, FUT Donkey, even mentioned hearing about this all the way back during the FIFA 19 game cycle:
I heard fifa 19, others told me its been going on even longer than that— FUT Donkey (@FUTDonkey) March 10, 2021
It will be interesting to see how things turn out from today onward. EA surely has a lot on their plate, legally speaking, and this does not bode well for the FUT franchise as well. The entire game mode can end up in danger as more countries continue to crack down on FUT Packs and loot boxes. In the meantime, all you can do is enjoy the memes that came out of #EAGate!
EA Sports Responds
Following the allegations presented above, EA reached out with the following statement:
The statement reads as follows: “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.”
We will keep you updated as soon as EA will release another statement.