EA Sports was once again the target of criticism on March 15 when players received free FIFA 21 Ultimate Team packs after EA Sports stated that all discretionary Content Granting was suspended indefinitely following allegations that employees were selling items for real cash on a black market.
The hashtag EA Gate trended on Twitter when allegations arose that EA Sports employees were selling FUT items for cash to players. EA Sports released two statements discussing an internal investigation following the allegations.
"Our initial investigation shows questionable activity involving a very small number of accounts and items. Although it is not a large number, if these allegations prove out, this activity is unacceptable," EA Sports said in a Pitch Notes post.
EA Sports Incorrectly Awards Free Packs to Players Sparking More Debate Around FIFA 21 Ultimate Team Content Granting
Amid the investigation, players and content creators posted on social media on March 15 that Ultimate Team accounts were randomly receiving packs in their stores. The packs apparently ranged from high end packs to even guaranteed Icon packs.
Fans were confused as to why some players received packs and others did not. EA Sports broke its silence on the matter at 8:19 p.m. ET the same day.
"The community alerted us to an issue where a small number of players did not receive group rewards from SBCs. When providing those players with the missing rewards, we also incorrectly provided some non-impacted players with additional content. Those players will be able to keep that content," EA Sports said on the FIFA Direct Communication Twitter account.
The community was angered at EA Sports' response considering the company just stated that all discretionary Content Granting was indefinitely suspended during its investigation. It's unknown if this falls under the "discretionary" bit, but it appears to be Content Granting nonetheless.
Also, a major issue fans had with EA Sports' latest slipup was that it once again called into question the company's commitment to fair play. What went wrong on EA Sports' end where these non-impacted players received the content? How many non-impacted players did EA Sports grant content to? Questions the community had that haven't been answered yet by the developer.