EA Investigating EA Gate FUT Trade Scandal
Video game giant EA has confirmed that it is officially investigating one or more employees accused of having been involved in selling high-value FIFA Ultimate Team cards on the black market. EA Gate went viral on Twitter after users started tweeting evidence of unregulated card sales by employees of the company.
Rumours of a possible black-market scandal first started doing the rounds on Wednesday when several screenshots posted to the social media platform appeared to show proof of EA employees selling “Icon Moment” cards. Notable is the fact that Icon Moment cards are apparently untradable, which makes the likelihood of a single FUT account being in possession of all three cards nearly impossible without the involvement of black-market dealings.
While some users posted screenshots of the FUT account holding all three Icon Moment cards, others provided screenshots of supposed messages exchanged with EA employees requesting exorbitant fees in return for high-value cards.
Too Good To Be Legal
Speculation first started circulating on social media after a “professional” FIFA player aliased “HekTic JukeZ” posted a video to Twitter of his having matched an FUT player in possession of all three Icon Moment cards. HekTic Zuke on Wednesday posted a video to Twitter, describing his opponent as the luckiest player in the history of FUT packs for having “acquired” all three of the coveted cards from loot boxes.
Since Icon Moment cards can only be scored via loot boxes, meaning they aren’t available for trade or sale, they’re notoriously difficult to acquire. The fact that there are currently only 3 in circulation makes the facts of the matter all the more suspicious.
One of the supposed message screenshots, “proof” tweeted by Twitter user FutArcade, shows an alleged EA employee confirming that acquiring any one of the three Icon Moment cards would set the buyer back by between $897 and $1,196.
This Isn’t “New” News
Yet another user alleged that the black-market EA Ultimate Team card movement among Electronic Arts stuff is nothing new. User denisfut_trade tweeted a month-old message in which someone claims that a friend had purchased several high-value cards from an EA employee.
Loot boxes have of course been a controversial issue for quite some time, with many comparing it to a form of gambling – and in many cases, underage gambling. So controversial has the issue become, that it has led several gambling regulatory authorities to take legal action against EA.
Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit, for one, in October 2019 slapped EA with fines to the tune of $11.6 million for selling loot boxes in the Netherlands.