After multiple FIFA 21 players started to come forward with allegations of buying elite-level players in FIFA Ultimate Team on the side from EA employees, the company began an investigation on the matter. In an update just days later, EA has now outlined its plan of action for the investigation of EA Gate and beyond.
The company has say that a full investigation is underway, and initial results show that a small number of accounts and items have been involved in “questionable activity”. Because of this investigation, EA is indefinitely suspending any and all discretionary content granting.
What is FIFA 21 Discretionary Content Granting?
To put it simply, discretionary content granting is when in-game content is distributed to a specific player account. This can be from a company-held giveaway on Twitch or YouTube, a reissuing of cards due to them being lost after a hack, or even through a partnership with a player, apparel company, or others.
On top of that, items granted that way are given a “non-tradeable” tag to make sure the player can’t turn a profit off the giveaway. Gathering items through any other way outside of the game itself strictly violates EA’s rules regarding competitive advantages.
Dubbed “EA Gate” by the community, FIFA 21 players were spending thousands of dollars to get access to rare players like Pele, Ronaldinho, and more. These were players going for upwards of 14-15 million FUT Coins on the marketplace, and had become nearly impossible for anyone to get them by normal means.
“Regardless of these actions, we appreciate how concerning this is to all of our players, and we apologize for the impact of these improper grants within the community,” EA said. “We also appreciate how extremely annoying and frustrating it is that this practice might have come from within EA.
“We’re angry too. We know that the trust of our communities is hard-earned, and is based on principles of Fair Play. This illicit activity shakes that trust.”
EA Prepares the Ban Hammer
Once the investigation is complete and EA completes its findings, the company said it will take action against any employee found to have taken part in the scandal. On top of that, players who acquired the items outside of the game will be banned.
“Any items granted through this illicit activity will be removed from the FUT ecosystem and EA will permanently ban any player known to have acquired content through these means,” the company said.
What it doesn’t mention is what’ll happen if you were one of the FIFA 21 players who gained a card or item through EA Gate, but then came forward. While EA did say “any player” will be banned, there could be the opportunity for some to avoid the ban if they help with the investigation by providing contact information and communications that occurred. Obviously, that’s something to wait and see on.
The updated ended with: “Once again, we highly value and appreciate the commitment and support of the FIFA community in helping identify this issue and will continue to provide updates as the investigation progresses towards conclusion.”
For now, those not involved in EA Gate can continue to enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team in the same ways they have. For those who paid for these cards, not only are you likely to be out the money you spent, but you may be out of FIFA 21 entirely.