FIFA 12's Ultimate Team DLC has made serious money for publisher EA, but a proportion of the profits are owing to footie-obsessed Xbox Live account hackers. Speaking to Joystiq, core labels boss Frank Gibeau has admitted that hacking is a perennial problem, unlikely to ever be resolved.
"We learned a lot from the experience," he commented. "A lot of companies are suffering from this right now. There's a lot of sophisticated hacking happening in the gaming industry and it's a continuous battle.
"We take it very seriously, put a lot of resources on it. The learning from the FIFA example last year has been incorporated this year. There's some incremental and additional things. I don't want to get too detailed because I don't want to tip our hand. Rest assured, we take it very seriously."
It's unclear whether the hacks stem from weaknesses in EA's systems or problems at Microsoft's end. EA has apparently hired somebody from the manufacturer to work on additional security precautions.
"You're never going to win this battle," Gibeau confessed. "The moment you declare victory, somebody will walk in and show you didn't. So you have to continuously stay on top of it and, most importantly, keep account integrity the first and foremost issue."
Should people feel confident about investing in FIFA 13, then? "I hope that they do, and I think our performance will have to make them feel that way. We can promise it, but we have to actually show it."
I'm working on a feature about data security right this very moment. Any pointers? If you've had trouble, you might want to look up HackedOnXbox.