FIFA 13's web app for its FIFA Ultimate Team mode is back online after the developers fixed an exploit and banned players who used it to cheat.
Yesterday afternoon, EA Canada took down the web app after the studio "identified some new issues that are affecting user experience." The issue was a loophole that allowed players unlimited access to card packs with stars such as cover athlete Lionel Messi. That resulted in users flooding the market with auctions, which led to significant price drops on those coveted top-tier footballers.
The web app finally went back up earlier this morning. EA explained that the web app "had to be taken offline to be stabilized and ensure a level playing field for all FUT users." According to EA, "a very small number of users attempted to gain an unfair advantage" by using the exploit; the developers have since handed out permanent bans for Ultimate Team to those players.
At this time, there's no indication from the FIFA 13 Twitter account that EA Canada will reset the Ultimate Team servers entirely. The Ultimate Team web app launched on September 18th.
FIFA 12's Ultimate Team mode suffered rampant phishing attacks on Xbox 360 during the past year. Players' Xbox Live accounts were hijacked and used to buy hundreds of dollars' worth of Ultimate Team cards, with the beefed-up Ultimate Team accounts subsequently being sold online. EA and Microsoft attempted to address the issue with game patches and improved security efforts.
FIFA 13 launches on September 25th in North America on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation Vita, 3DS, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, and iOS. The Wii U version will launch alongside the console on November 18th.