EA is looking into allegations within its community that some employees are selling rare FIFA 21 Ultimate Team cards for cash. The gaming giant generated $1.49 billion in net revenue from Ultimate Team mode, which allows fans to create their own teams, for fiscal year 2020. It's a major moneymaker for the company, thanks to people spending serious cash in an effort to unlock rare players from randomized packs. According to accusations that surfaced online, employees have been selling the most coveted cards directly to players from $900 to as much as $2,500, so they don't have to drop money on random packs anymore.
So we grind/trade/open packs and can’t touch these PIM players but EA employees sell them to people secretly for $1,700?!?! LOL I respect the grind but my god... pic.twitter.com/CCnhjZbcgH— Nick 🇨🇦 (@Nick28T) March 10, 2021
Video proof?!? I mean this could just be an EA Dev though or an actual employee? Who knows anymore. It’s all allegations, let’s just hope EA makes a statement on this and stays honest with us. #FUT21 #FIFA21 pic.twitter.com/lzqGMDE5S3— Nick 🇨🇦 (@Nick28T) March 10, 2021
As Kotaku and Eurogamer note, some of the offers are selling coveted Icon cards, which include legends such as Ronaldo, Pele and Zinedine Zidane. They're selling Prime Icon Moments, special versions of Icon cards, as well. As you can guess, it's not easy obtaining those cards from randomized packs, and people have been trading for them or buying them from auctions.
It's still unclear who's selling the cards exactly, but in a statement posted on Twitter, EA said it's aware of the allegations circulating around and a "thorough investigation is underway." The company added that it's aware how illegal sales "create concern about unfair balance in the game and the competition" and promised to take swift action if it identifies improper conduct.