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EA Disables FIFA Content Granting As It Investigates Black Market Sales

EA has temporarily disabled content granting–the ability for items to be directly given to a player’s account–as it continues an investigation into potential misuse of the feature in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team by an employee for personal profit.

The news comes a short time after the company started an investigation to see if one of its own employees had been granting access to rare cards in FIFA 21 to buyers online for hundreds of even thousands of dollars. The community has dubbed the scandal “EAGate,” and leaked messages appear to show someone–possibly an EA employee–explaining to a buyer how they can send these items to their account for the right price.

Because EA isn’t sure who is behind the black market sales yet, and isn’t even sure if it’s actually an employee or someone who compromised an employee’s account, content granting has been disabled for now.

Content granting is used to give out free items during testing and quality assurance phases, as well as for employees, partners, and athletes at certain periods. You likely don’t fall into those groups, but it’s also used in cases where someone accidentally deletes something or has it removed because of some other issue. Because the feature is completely disabled right now, that means these people will also be left waiting before their problems can be solved.

“We know that the trust of our communities is hard-earned, and is based on principles of Fair Play,” EA said in a blog post. “This illicit activity shakes that trust. We’ve also been clear since the creation of Ultimate Team that items cannot be exchanged outside our game, and that’s key to how we keep our game safe from manipulation and bad actors. This is a breach of that principle, as well–and we won’t let it stand.”

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