FIFA 151

Electronic Arts has confirmed that it'll be weilding a hefty-looking hammer to crack down on cheaters and phishers in FIFA 15's Ultimate Team mode when the game launches at the end of the month.

First off, they're disabling the ability to put Trade Offers into place. These used to allow players to get around the game's auction system, allowing them to all but offer whatever they wanted in exchange for players. So, friends could trade with friends, but the upshot was that coin sellers and hackers used the system to move currency around. You'd buy an amount of coins from a trader for real money, and they'd deliver it by offering the amount you had paid for on a player of practically no value. While it was nice to see Exeter City legends like Jordan Moore-Taylor and Liam Sercombe changing hands for 1,000,000 coins apiece, it wasn't necessarily fair.

EA admits that this will affect some honest users who are just looking to do deals in the manner of swapping Panini stickers on the playground. The publisher said:

"Although some honest players used this feature to trade with friends, it became one of the methods used by coin sellers to sell and move coins. Account phishers also abused Trade Offers by moving stolen players and coins after wrongfully gaining access to unsuspecting FUT player accounts. This will also address 'bid bumping', where people would try and trick others into bidding far more than they wanted for a player item."

Coin selling isn't necessarily an issue in itself, but the means in which coin sellers go about finding their wares is the real target. When you buy a bundle of 3,000,000 coins, where do you think those coins have come from? Sure, some will obtain their in-game currency via shrewd trading and skill in the markets, but a lot of the time, the funds come from hacking and phishing. To this end, this year, players found to be selling coins will be banned, and players found to be buying coins will be subject to a "three strikes" system. The worst offenders will find their accounts banned from the online game modes of ALL EA games, not just FIFA.

On top of that, users will be limited to bidding on 50 items at once (and can only reach that level once they've unlocked some extra slots with the EA Sports Football Club level) and the FIFA Ultimate Team web app that's set to be relaunched this week will require Origin login authentication, so as to defend against bots and scrapers.

FIFA 15 launches on Xbox 360 and Xbox One on September 26th.