BBC’s Watchdog probes FIFA Ultimate Team problem

EA will be grilled by Anne Robinson and co tonight over FIFA 12’s long-running user disconnect issue.

Investigate TV show Watchdog will take a closer look at gamers affected by the problem, which disconnects certain users after they’ve played a game online, preventing them from earning coins in the Ultimate Team mode.

The show will begin at 8pm on BBC One.

EA said the bug affected less than half a per cent of its Ultimate Team customers, according to a letter sent to the BBC which MCV has seen. Additionally, it said this week’s FIFA 12 security and game feature patch has now fixed the problem.

The publisher also promised to compensate affected users with in-game football player packs, which can be purchased using real money.

Our team is fully aware of the disconnect issue with FIFA Ultimate Team 12,” read an EA statement sent to the BBC.

The issue was associated with certain types of router hardware that resulted in very small but important pieces of data being blocked at the conclusion of a game.

More than 120 hours of programming time in the FIFA studio were invested to narrow down and ultimately resolve the issue. Based on our estimates, 0.4 per cent of our FIFA Ultimate Team 12 customers have been impacted on the PlayStation 3 and PC platforms. Customers on Xbox 360 have not been affected.

On March 13-14, 2012, we deployed a patch to FIFA 12 that will end the disconnect problem. We announced this to our fans on March 9th via our forum, website and other communications channels. We understand that the wait has been frustrating for many of our loyal fans.

Players who were most severely impacted experienced a major disruption to their game experience. We will be compensating those people with FIFA Ultimate Team packs and coins significant enough to demonstrate just how thankful we are that they stuck with us while we tackled the problem.

Of the six customers identified by Watchdog, four are already in our system as being adversely affected by the FUT disconnect issue. We are currently gathering information for the other two, and if warranted, they too will receive compensation.

These actions and communications are testament to our commitment to our players and their game experience.”

Gamers originally made EA aware of the problem in a FIFA Ultimate Team forum thread back in October last year.This has received 3,000 responses and over 200,000 views to date.

FIFA 12 hit shelves last September on multiple consoles.

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