EA has tem­porar­i­ly dis­abled con­tent grant­i­ng–allow­ing items to be direct­ly giv­en to a play­er’s account–as they con­tin­ue to inves­ti­gate whether an employ­ee is respon­si­ble for sell­ing high-val­ue items on the black mar­ket in order to profit.

This news comes days after the com­pa­ny ini­tial­ly start­ed the inves­ti­ga­tion. It’s alleged that one of the employ­ees had been grant­i­ng access to rare cards in FIFA 21 to buy­ers online for hun­dreds or even thou­sands of dol­lars. The com­mu­ni­ty has been refer­ring to this as “EAGate”–which con­sists of leaked mes­sages from a pos­si­ble EA employee. 

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

Con­tent grant­i­ng is typ­i­cal­ly used to give out free items dur­ing test­ing and qual­i­ty assur­ance, as well as for employ­ees, part­ners, and ath­letes at cer­tain points. It’s like­ly you don’t fall into any of these cat­e­gories, but it’s also used when some­one acci­den­tal­ly deletes some­thing or has it removed because of some oth­er issue. This is not lim­it­ed to FIFA, as oth­er online games use this fea­ture. Because con­tent grant­i­ng is com­plete­ly dis­abled right now, any­one with an issue result­ing from a delet­ed item will also be left blow­ing in the breeze until their prob­lem can be resolved.

We know that the trust of our com­mu­ni­ties is hard-earned, and is based on prin­ci­ples of Fair Play. 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.”