Last week, Ukrainian authorities busted a massive illegal Sony PlayStation 4 farm for what they believed was a crypto mining operation. As it turns out, the warehouse was actually grinding for FIFA Ultimate Team coins and cards.
According to the Ukrainian business journal Delo, which undertook an investigation itself following skepticism from initial findings by the authorities, the 3,800 PS4s discovered weren’t actually being used to mine cryptocurrency, which makes sense given how their hardware and graphics cards aren’t ideal. It also pointed out that in many photos you can see game discs actually sticking out of the consoles. The Security Service of Ukraine has refused to comment on Delo‘s findings, explaining that the ongoing investigation must be kept a secret.
For those unfamiliar, the Ultimate Team game mode within FIFA allows gamers to build their own custom teams with various player cards. To get better players, you’ll have to play and win more matches, giving you in-game currency to buy packs. Alternatively, you can also pay with real currency to buy coins to unlock these packs. On the flip side, the in-game currency earned or cards you obtain can be sold back in black markets for actual money. To give you a sense of just how big this market is, official FIFA Ultimate Team transactions brought in $1.6 billion USD for EA in just the past year.
Elsewhere in gaming, eBay is already flooding with listings from Steam Deck scalpers.