EA has decided to stop cheaters from ruining FIFA Ultimate Team, and in an open letter published today, they are introducing a new ban system to root out the culprits:
"Hello FIFA fans.
With FIFA 15 on the horizon, we’d like to take some time to remind everyone about the rules of the game and introduce you to some actions we’ll be taking to address cheating in EA SPORTS™ FIFA titles.
Although they are a minority amongst FIFA fans, cheaters disrupt the gameplay experience and enjoyment for honest FIFA fans in a number of ways. These include things like overloading servers, phishing and compromising other player accounts, and participating in the unauthorised exchange of virtual currency. It’s time for us to draw a clear and strong line against cheaters who negatively impact the FIFA experience for our millions of players online.
FIFA Ultimate Team™ (FUT)"
They intend to stop bots from selling coins, farming in-game currency and auto-buy item from the transfer market. These bots are a huge problem because they make an insane amount of market searches, causing transfers to get stuck, coins to go missing, searches giving no results and players to go lost. EA has now got a team going to deal with cheaters, and you better watch out. If you get caught, consequences will be severe.
If you are caught buying coins, or promoting such activity, you will get a warning. This will be sent to you via E-mail, and you will also receive it in-game. Get caught again, and you will get a Yellow Card. This will reset your FUT Club, and return your FIFA Points. Be dumb enough to get caught a third time, and you will get a Red Card, earning you a permanent ban from FIFA Online. If you are caught selling or farming coins, you will get a Red Card too, but this one is more severe. It will ban you from playing all EA games online. That's right. ALL EA games. So no more Battlefield Multiplayer for you.
As for more organized selling, operated from websites outside the game itself, EA has a problem as they have no jurisdiction there. They are looking into it, but their hands are tied, there is not much they can do but inform players about the effects, and try to stop the bots that are farming the currency. YouTubers advertizing for such sites are also violating the ToS, EA is encouraging players to report any video that promotes coin-selling by sending their GT/Ign in an e-mail to them for investigation. If you feel like reporting, the e-mail address can be found in the source below. Anyone sponsored by such a site, should take action before it is too late, as they will be punished in the same way as a buyer would.
EA hopes that by counteracting bots and resolving in-game exploits used to farm coins in FIFA 14, they will make the game experience better for everyone. It is not just the bots and coin sellers that are being targeted. Match cheating, boosting stats of in-game avatars and falsifying match results to move up the FIWC leaderboards are also being dealt with. Cheating and boosting will now potentially get you a permanent Online ban, and they are cleaning the leaderboards every 2 weeks to make sure no cheaters are present. This will not end when FIFA 15 launches in September. They state in their letter that FIFA 14 will be monitored closely even after the new game is out.
EA is aiming for a more secure transfer market for the new game starting from launch day, as they now have a dedicated team. The team will be working hard from now on to keep anyone breaking the Terms of Service out of the online experience with a more proactive approach, banning accounts and members. The ban hammer is officially out.
Showing cheaters the Red Card
Do you think it will help at all? What do you think of the effort EA is making to fix this? Too little, too late?