Several days ago the hashtag #EAGate began trending on Twitter as multiple people shared evidence suggesting an employee of EA had been profiting from FIFA Ultimate Team by selling icons—in-game star players—for hundreds, even thousands of dollars. EA announced that an investigation was underway, and now has provided an update on its progress, confirming, "It appears that one or more EA accounts, which were either compromised or being used inappropriately by someone within EA, directly entitled items to these individual accounts."
The update explains that certain EA accounts have the ability to gift icons directly, whether to rectify a technical issue for a customer, for quality evaluation on dedicated test accounts, and for "discretionary content granting" to "certain Pro Footballers, celebrity partners, or even our own employees", though not to influencers, the update is careful to note. This discretionary content has been suspended indefinitely while the investigation continues.
"When our investigation is completed, we will take action against any employee found to have been engaging in this activity", the update says. "Any items granted through this illicit activity will be removed from the FUT ecosystem and EA will permanently ban any player known to have acquired content through these means."
EA says it will "continue to provide updates as the investigation progresses towards conclusion."