‘FIFA 22’ avoids price gouging for Benjamin Mendy FUT card ahead of trial

EA has fixed the price existing Ultimate Team cards can be sold at.

Additional reporting by Matt Kamen.

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been “price fixed” in FIFA 22’s FUT cards following allegations of rape.

The defender, who is awaiting trial until January 2022, has already been removed from EA’s FIFA 22 where possible – but online items such as FUT cards have been more difficult to take out.

“As Benjamin Mendy has been removed from the active rosters of both Manchester City and the French National team, in FIFA 22 he has also been removed from respective rosters and suspended from appearing in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs and Ultimate Draft while he is awaiting trial,” explained EA yesterday.

Unfortunately, EA also confirmed that Mendy was still in some FIFA Ultimate Team packs before the changes were made. FIFA 22 has a staggered release thanks to the fact you can play the full game via a ten-hour EA Play trial, but also if you buy a certain version of the game, you can get early access that way, too. On top of that, while EA Play’s ten hour trial often gets the game a high player count than normal, due to EA Play being part of Xbox Game Pass, it’s higher than ever.

“We can confirm the changes in FUT were made the day after the launch of the EA Play early access trial resulting in some players having access to Mendy in packs before the suspension kicked in.”

But now, EA has taken steps to avoid profiteering in the wake of the impending trial. “Any current cards in circulation have been price fixed,” they confirmed. This doesn’t remove any of the existing cards from the marketplace, but it stops people hoarding them and price gouging in the manner that has happened such as in 2019 when Leicester City’s Emiliano Sala tragically passed away in a plane crash, causing his eventual removal from Ultimate Team in FIFA 19. This caused fans to hike the price of any existing Ultimate Team versions of Sala. The solution to this is to “price fix” existing cards, stopping anyone from selling him above the threshold set by the developer.

A quick look in-game reveals that Benjamin Mendy’s FUT card now has a max price of 5,000 coins – stopping those who own the card from hiking up the price under the circumstances. However, there are currently over 1,000 copies of Benjamin Mendy available on the transfer market.

FIFA 22
FIFA 22. Credit: EA.

After making Mendy available for a single day, this is about the only way to remove him without taking a card from players who may have paid for him. For now, a low maximum price will at least stop players from profiting off the back of a real-world trial. But with over 1,000 copies of the defender available to purchase, it begs the question – will Benjamin Mendy really get removed from the game entirely?

Elsewhere, eFootball 2022 is now available to play worldwide for free.

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