EA seemingly stick to their guns.
In late August, roughly one month before the release of FIFA 15, EA promised to crack down on coin sellers, promoters and buyers in an effort to level the playing field for FUT 15 and increase market stability. Our post on the topic was met with skepticism, with many people assuming it was PR guff or just talk from EA, it now looks like that’s not the case so we thought we’d follow it up with this post.
So to recap, EA laid out their attack plan for anyone engaging in “shady” coin activity which had 2 layers. Firstly for anyone buying or promoting there is a 3 strike system:
Strike one: A warning email and in game message.
Strike two: Your club is reset, but you retain access to it and any FIFA points spent on the account are returned.
Strike three – Permanent ban from FIFA online.
For coin sellers and farmers there was to be no messing around, the account would immediately receive a “straight red”, an online ban from all EA games.
So that’s all great in theory, but for a long time it looked like nothing had changed. Then EA updated their announcement to include the following statement:
Since the launch of FIFA 15, we’ve been able to identify and ban thousands of coinselling accounts. We’ve also issued warnings to coin buyers and promoters that were in violation of the EA Terms of Service (TOS). After sending initial warning emails to coin buyers and promoters, we have identified those that remain in violation of the TOS and since issued FUT Club wipes (with FIFA Points returned) – the most recent wave of FUT Club wipes happened earlier this week.
We’d like to thank community members that made reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. Using the information you provided we were able to investigate and identify many in-game accounts promoting coin selling.
The FIFA Team
That is to be expected, it’s not like EA are going to publish huge lists of accounts that they’ve taken action against, obviously, so how do they show the community that they’re in control? There are 3 things:
Market prices. People often point to the player prices in FIFA 12 when discussing this topic, citing the considerably lower player prices whilst pointing out that bots and farming and all that shit didn’t exist in FIFA 12. So if we were to see a shift in market prices, that would offer some evidence that whatever action EA was taking was working. But what will happen if price up like a rocket? How long will you get cards to build a strong team?
A dip in coin selling sites. Currently, despite EA saying that they’re going after coin selling sites, they still exist. Obviously anything that operates outside of FIFA, i.e a website, is outside of EA’s direct jurisdiction so trying to take down websites would not be a good use of their time. Take a site down and another will appear, as proved by punching “FIFA 15 coins” into google or ebay. So EA’s attention needs to be focused on stopping sites from obtaining coins, giving them nothing to sell and causing them to die out slowly. But how and when?
Hit someone big with a ban. When EA first announced their plans, there was an element of “well they’ll never actually do anything anyway” from some YouTubers. Whether they genuinely believed that or whether it was a brave front through a fear of potentially lost income we’ll never know, but if EA wanted to show people that they mean business then one of the most visible ways of doing this is to smack a big YouTuber with a ban or reset.
Now, that’s not bulletproof obviously, if a YouTuber was to get hit with a ban it’s probably in their best interests to keep it quiet. What do you think is worth more, a single “OMG I GOT BANNED M8, FUCK YOU EA” video that draws a few hundred thousand views, or their investments from coin sellers?
They can keep quiet and have a new gamertag stocked with coins without too much trouble, so it’s unlikely they’ll draw attention to the fact that buying coins is bad for the game (and your account…) because doing so directly conflicts with their sponsors interests and it seems that these sponsors are worth a lot to them. If any well known coin promoters have been hit with a ban and been open about it, I’d be interested to hear what they had to say.
Where will EA get money to stuff its pocket, if no coins trade? How long will you take to build a real team?