The PlayStation 4 cryptomining warehouse was a FIFA bot farm

midian182

Posts: 7,271   +65
Staff member
Recap: Following the Security Service of Ukraine's (SSU) recent report that it had shut down a cryptomining operation consisting of 3,800 PlayStation 4 machines, it now appears the consoles were likely being used for farming something else: FIFA Ultimate Team cards.

Ukrainian publication Delo was skeptical that anyone would use something as uneconomical as PS4 slims to mine crypto, even with the current pricing and availability issues facing graphics cards. But the biggest giveaway was that some of the images released by Ukraine's security forces show game discs sticking out of the last-gen consoles.

The publication's sources say the PS4 Slims were controlled by PCs running bots, farming FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) for profit. The coins, or even the loaded accounts themselves, could then be sold for real money.

FUT mode lets players use FIFA points—500 of these cost $5—to buy card packs that come with random rewards. But the odds of getting some of the world's top players are less than 1%. It's possible to play FIFA (for a very long time) and accrue enough in-game currency to buy individual player cards on the market or packs from the store, and you can also buy FUT coins on the black market, though EA says the latter can result in a ban.

The mode continues to be a lucrative feature for EA; FIFA Ultimate Team hit a record six million daily users last December and was behind more than a quarter ($1.49 billion) of EA's net revenue during the previous financial year.

Given that over 500 GPUs and 50 processors were also discovered in the Vinnytsia warehouse, it's possible that some cryptomining was taking place, but that wasn't the farm's primary purpose.

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Faelan

Posts: 80   +63
I don’t know about you, but as a gamer, I find that that even more sad than them being used for mining crypto. It’s a painful reminder of just how bad part of the gaming industry has become. Indie, smaller studios and niche genres such as hardcore simulation titles is where it is at where I’m concerned.
 

eforce

Posts: 567   +712
So here we have EA trying to suck more and more money out of people and in doing so, they've given organised crime a new source of income.

WTG EA! Still the terrible corporation that we all know and hate.

Not as terrible as those who buy from them though.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 275   +238
Who the poor soul that made this game monetization stuff mainstream? didn't seem to be this bad a decade ago, for consoles at least


WoW Goldfarmers would like t say hello!

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10165824

As would the Diablo 3 Real Money Auction House:


Most other dev houses have been following Blizzard's lead on this: making as much money directly as they can off these "prize packs", while encouraging a black market for sales outside the game.
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,852   +2,205
TechSpot Elite
I don’t know about you, but as a gamer, I find that that even more sad than them being used for mining crypto. It’s a painful reminder of just how bad part of the gaming industry has become. Indie, smaller studios and niche genres such as hardcore simulation titles is where it is at where I’m concerned.
I'm just glad the Ubisoft never made it mandatory. Sure, there are possible microtransactions in AC: Odyssey but I never even thought to use them. In fact, I wasn't even aware of them until I was already level 75. Now I'm level 99 (+ 33 mastery levels) and I've STILL never used them.

It's one thing to have them and another to make it almost impossible to play without them. Odyssey is perfectly fine without them. Even if someone was having trouble in the game, you can always turn the difficulty down. I've never had to but it has always been an option.