EA investigating claims that staff are selling FIFA 21 Ultimate Team cards for cash

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In recent years EA Sports has claimed that Ultimate Team, the online multiplayer portion of the football games, have always proved its most popular and most important. That is likely due to the fact that there is a microtransaction element to the FIFA titles, and whatever side of the fence you fall on when it comes to those mechanics in games, EA Sports has been able to keep it transparent for the most part.

That was the case at least, as now EA Sports has confirmed that it has been made aware of allegations related to the selling of Ultimate Team cards by staff to players for cash.

According to reports, staff have been selling rare player cards for between $900 to $2 500 in some cases. Outside of the practice by staff members being highly unethical, it goes against the randomised mechanic with which card pack purchases and openings happen in Ultimate Team.

EA Sports is now conducting an investigation into the matter.

Given that Ultimate Team netted EA an estimated $1.49 billion in revenue last year, it will likely want to root out and remove those staff members involved, especially as this would dent the already damaged reputation of a company well versed in the divisive nature of microtransactions.

As for the cards being sold for cash, it is the Prime Icon Moment cards in particular that have been identified, with players such as Ronaldo (R9), Pele and Zinedine Zidane garnering the most interest.

With a myriad financial implications riding on this latest development for EA Sports, it will be interesting to see what they uncover about illegal Ultimate Team card selling, and how or indeed if, it can stop it in future. As will be the precise amount of money that exchanged hands during these deals, although we’re not sure EA would ever disclose that.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.