According to reports by Gamesindustry.biz and Eurogamer, EA is currently conducting an internal investigation on whether one of their employees has been selling FIFA Ultimate Team cards directly to players for a colossal amount of money. According to both posts, the employee has allegedly sold these loot cards for up to $1200 depending on the value. The company has apparently issued a probe, as well as a statement saying that they are “aware of the allegations” and that “a thorough investigation is underway.” The situation has become known to the gaming world as “EAGate.”
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) March 10, 2021
In Eurogamer’s post, they show captured messages from WhatsApp, showing the alleged employee dealing the loot cards for approximately 750-1000 Euros, which equates to about $840-$1200. In the message, one particular loot package called the Prime Icon Moments cards was offered for 1700 Euros, or $2000. The Prime Icon Moments are essentially the highest-value packs you can obtain in FIFA 21, as a lot of players have spent thousands of their real-life money just to try and get a random chance of this dropping for them. As we already mentioned, EA is investigating these allegations, reiterating that “type of behavior is unacceptable, and we in no way condone what is alleged to have happened here.”
This situation, along with the fact that the game’s Ultimate Team mode has already been the subject of controversy, isn’t helping EA’s continuing practice of essentially making the game about loot cards and microtransactions. It also doesn’t help that the employee appears to be selling to players mainly in Europe, where the continent has taken a strong stance against in-game gambling practices. This was most evident when French lawyers sued EA over the randomized card packs in the Ultimate Team Mode for the previous entry of the FIFA series. On top of that, EA is also facing class-action lawsuits for the very same thing in both Canada and the United States.