FIFA is currently embroiled in one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the game after an EA employee was alleged to have sold coveted Ultimate Team cards for thousands of pounds.
Unconfirmed direct messages appear to show a company employee selling Icon cards in packages priced 750-1000 euros. In one WhatsApp message, three Prime Icon Moments cards are offered for 1700 euros.
Icon cards are among the most sought after in FIFA Ultimate Team. They include legendary players such as Brazilian Ronaldo, Pele, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane and Ruud Gullit, and are near impossible to obtain through the mode’s controversial loot boxes.
Even rarer are Prime Icon Moments – special versions of Icon cards that mark one game or tournament that was special for the players.
Players are known to have spent thousands of pounds on packs in a bid to obtain these super rare Icon cards. EA has been criticised for not revealing the exact probability when the chance to obtain a card of a certain quality is below one per cent, as is the case with Icon cards.
FIFA Ultimate Team has always had a black market for the buying and selling of FUT Coins, which can then be used to buy Icons from the in-game auction house when they are available. But this is the first time we’ve seen an allegation that players have been able to buy cards directly with cash.
With “EAGate” now trending on Twitter, FUT players are saying that if true, the ability to buy powerful cards directly and use them in the mode devalues the effort and money spent by legitimate fans in the pursuit of an Ultimate Team, and ruins the balance of the game and its economy.
EA has responded to the allegations to say it has launched an investigation.
“We understand how this creates concern about unfair balance in the game and competition,” EA said.