Regarded as one of the most outspoken critics of FIFA, Kurt “Kurt0411” Fenech has been banned by EA from accessing their future products.
“They’ve done everything this year but look at themselves and admit they f*cked it. They killed their game and their ‘esport'”, tweeted Fenech. And on February 25, just two days after his tweet, Fenech’s EA account was banned and he was facing a potential ban against his YouTube and Twitch channels.
In response, Fenech created a new account in order to get around the ban and stream FIFA gameplay. However, EA quickly banned his new account and filed a copyright infringement to Twitch in regards to his stream.
Apologies, no stream this morning. Imagine banning a new account of someone who brought in 15k viewers to your game after you literally told me I have to make a new one 🤣🤣. The amount of pettiness this company has is next level….I'll catch you guys tonight 👍
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) March 3, 2020
Fans have flocked together to support Fenech, with YouTuber Keemstar revealing that a potential documentary may be on the way.
A Long Standing Dispute
Fenech’s dispute with EA has been longstanding. Receiving bans for alleged attacks against competitors and employees, the account ban is the most recent ban in a drawn-out battle.
“In November 2019 […] Kurt0411 was banned from competing or attending any EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series events or future competitions. Since that time, Kurt has continued to post abusive and threatening messages [….] As a result, today Kurt0411’s EA account will be banned from playing our games and accessing our services due to these serious and repeated violations” – EA
The streamer was originally banned from all FIFA competitions in November 2019 due to “additional online attacks against competitors and EA employees”. Footage also shows Fenech spitting on the EA logo during an expletive-filled rant.
Those 50 seconds are better than your whole streaming career
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) November 1, 2019
Upon reflection, Fenech told the BBC that although he may have pushed some limits, the recent bans are unwarranted. “Upon reflection I could see that I definitely did push the limits and, although merited, I shouldn’t have made it as personal as I did.”
“I accepted the initial account ban even though I deemed it harsh. But to then realise that the ban means I can never stream Fifa ever again is absolutely ridiculous and a clear abuse of power from EA.”
Fenech’s ability to reel in audiences is one that he has drawn upon amidst his dispute with EA. On March 6, Fenech reeled in 18.6k viewers while streaming PES2020. Regarded as the sub-par alternative to FIFA, Fenech was able to pull in more viewers than major FIFA streamer, Castro1021.
While EA does say that it is “open to feedback and constructive criticism”, Fenech feels otherwise, saying “I just gave my opinion – albeit harsh opinion – on everything EA has been doing wrong, but I guess in today’s world you can’t even give that”.
Just A Broken Game?
Since it’s release, FIFA 20 hasn’t met the best of user reviews. With a majority of players purchasing the game in order to play Ultimate Team, players haven’t taken kindly to the new functioning mechanics of the game.
Many users on Reddit accuse the game of scripting and an inability to be fair. A quick Google search reveals that the user score for FIFA 20 currently sits at 2.1. In comparison, GamesRadar gave the game a 4/5 star rating. Could the casual gamer just be mistaken?
The possibility of a broken game lies in the statements of the non-casual gamer. Along with Fenech, FIFA streamer Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt has voiced his discontent with EA developers, saying that the latest FIFA is the most ‘unrewarding’ yet. He followed by saying that “no one enjoys playing” FIFA and that “Because this year’s game is so unrewarding, anyone can win, guys who aren’t good can win on FIFA 20.”
But with EA shutting down major streamers and failing to acknowledge concerns from fans, it’s unclear whether developers are ready to take on suggestions and new ideas. Until they do, it doesn’t seem like much will change from either end – a buggy game is released and the consumers eat it up.
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