EA Sports laid down the law Friday on what it considers banning offense in FIFA 15. The announcement comes a month before the official release of the soccer simulation and is primarily aimed at those trying to get around the FIFA Ultimate Team microtransactions.
The FIFA Ultimate Team mode is not only popular, but profitable for EA Sports as well. The mode allows FIFA 15 owners to collect cards that represent players and other in-game items either by buying packs with coins or trading with other players. It’s a way to build a team using real players with ratings dependent on their rarity.
The primary way to earn FIFA Ultimate Team coins is to compete in the mode. However, players can collect cards faster by purchasing coins with money. That’s an invitation for people to attempt to game the system and why EA Sports is threatening bans before the game is even released.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) August 22, 2014
The use of “bots” to automatically buy and sell player cards for coins is one way some individuals attempt to make real world money off the game. These bots stockpile coins on an account and resell them in packs on various coin seller websites.
According to EA Sports, the use of bots not only cheats the system but causes problems with the FIFA Ultimate Team market as well. “[B]ots generate four times as many Transfer Market searches than all human FUT players combined,” the developer says, which leads to lost players, transfers, and coins among other problems.
Those caught coin selling and farming will receive a permanent online ban for not just FIFA Sports, but for all games published by Electronic Arts. Those caught buying coins from web sellers or promoting coin sellers will go through three stages of bans starting with an in-game message, then a reset of their FIFA Ultimate Team and points, and finally an online ban from FIFA.
Those caught “match cheating” on the PC or cheating on Pro Clubs will also receive a permanent FIFA online ban.
Security is another reason why EA Sports is taking this tact with coin sellers and buyers. FIFA Ultimate Team has been a target of phishing scams since it was introduced. This led to some FIFA players finding their Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network accounts hijacked. The unfortunate result was that they would wake up one day to find huge charges rung up on whatever payment method they had associated.
As mentioned previously, FIFA Ultimate Team is not only a popular game mode because of its collectible nature, but also profitable for Electronic Arts. The company’s fiscal year 2014 financial report revealed that it made $380 million off of the Ultimate Team services for its FIFA, Madden NFL and NHL games. It’s still growing too. The publisher’s 2015 fiscal year first quarter results revealed that NHL Hockey Ultimate Team grew 50 percent over the previous year, FIFA Ultimate Team grew 80 percent and Madden Ultimate Team grew 350 percent.
FIFA 15 will be released on September 23 worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
What do you think of think of EA Sports laying out what will get people banned in FIFA 15 before the game is released? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via EA Sports]