Earlier this month, officials in Ukraine uncovered what appeared to be a cryptocurrency operation that used thousands of PS4 consoles to undermine cryptography. That doesn’t seem to be the case. According to a new report, the consoles (and the allegedly stolen electricity) were actually used to grow and sell digital coins and accounts for EA’s FIFA games.
Ukrainian news Delo reported that PCs were running bots on consoles to play FIFA and automatically earn a coin in the game. Players can use FIFA coins in Ultimate Team (FUT) mode to collect sought-after players in an open market or open controversial FUT packages in hopes of unlocking killer additions for their squads. FUT packages can also be opened with real money.
Even buying or selling FIFA coins with real money is against EA policies, which has not planted a thriving black market for digital currency. People sell coins or game accounts loaded with currency to players who are desperate to build a dream FUT role. One site I checked out listed a PS4 FIFA 21 account with 5.1 million coins for $ 300 – enough to buy
The Ultimate Team modes in EA sports games are hugely important to the developer’s bottom line. Last year, EA made $ 1.62 billion from Ultimate Team, which accounted for 29 percent of its net revenues for the fiscal year. “A substantial part” of this revenue comes from the FIFA games.
Meanwhile, FUT packages and other bottlenecks have been scrutinized by regulators in recent years. Since gamers can’t see which players will unlock when they buy a package, some authorities have described the packages as a form of play. Belgium banned that type of game mechanic in 2018. This summer, perhaps in an attempt to stifle criticism, EA began testing a type of FUT package that allows players to preview content.
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