A ‘gobsmacked’ gamer demanded to know what information Electronic Arts has on him - and discovered he’d spent £7,540 on Fifa ultimate team cards.
The British player, named only as Michael, used new data legislation to force EA to reveal what information it has saved about his many hours playing the football franchise.
And in the last two years figures showed he’d spent $10,000 on building his online Ultimate Team by buying tons of FUT card packs to boost his squad.
The 32-year-old was astonished at how much he had paid the games firm in just 24 months on top of the base game’s £50-odd disc cost.
Michael said he wanted the details from EA because he believes the firm puts "momentum" in the FIFA games, which is strongly denied by EA.
The idea is that FIFA creates "dramatic moments" by giving the losing team a helping hand during a match or making life harder for the winning team.
As such Michael, and other gamers, believe it fuels a desire in the players to spend more cash trying to improve their teams and keep on top of rivals.
FIFA Ultimate Team card packs are virtual football sticker packs can be bought with real-world money. Like a standard loot box, FUT packs contain a random assortment of cards, which players use to build their FIFA Ultimate Team abilities and players.
"I was intrigued to see if any of the data related to any of these topics," Michael told Eurogamer.
After 30 days, Michael was sent raw data by EA in two PDF files each over 100 pages long.
It involved FIFA 18 stats, device information and more than 10 audio files - recordings of his calls to EA support. It also included details of every player Michael bought and sold over the past two years in FUT.
"I would play Ultimate Team more or less everyday," Michael said.
"I used it as my downtime and my hobby.
“Depending on the time I have free, I can spend anything from 30 minutes to six hours playing.
"I play Weekend League every week and this is obviously time consuming."
EA also provided data relating to how much real world money (in dollars) Michael had spent on FIFA Points, and he said he was "gobsmacked" to discover he'd spent over $10,000 in just two years.
"Upon reflection, the figure EA stated would be correct," he said.
"Special events such as Black Friday, TOTY, FUT Birthday, TOTS, Futties, etc, I would have thrown in thousands upon thousands of FIFA Points without even a second thought.
"Myself and my fiancee are fortunate to have a healthy disposable income, so this kind of amount wouldn't have caused a strain on us financially.
“I do however, have the utmost sympathy for those in a position of low income who may also be or become addicted to buying loot boxes."
Michael was so rocked at seeing the amount he'd spent that he spoke with his partner about his spending - and he he has promised to calm it down for FIFA 19.
"I took the time to talk to my other half about this," Michael said.
"If anything, the data EA has provided me has made me realise that FIFA Points are just not worth it and $10,000 will be better spent over the next two years."
EA said: "We take our responsibility to protect player's data privacy very seriously, and it is absolutely our intent to provide choice and control over their information.
“EA takes great care to respond to data access requests like these in a timely manner and consistent with each players' requests.
Going forward, players requesting info will see a response that is clearer."
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