EA shares it has been targeted in a massive hack stealing 780 GB of data, including the source codes for FIFA 21 and the Frostbite engine.

Image: Battlefield 2042; Credit: Electronic Arts (EA)

by Cade Onder, Screen Rant

Major game publisher EA has fallen victim to a substantial hack, losing 780 GB of valuable data ranging from FIFA 21‘s source code to tools and the source code for the Frostbite engine, which is used for major internal games like Battlefield. This is far from the only hack of this nature to happen in recent memory, but it is an incredibly noteworthy one given the breadth of data breached. Thankfully, though, EA says that no personal user data was compromised in the hack.

This comes off the back of Wednesday’s Battlefield 2042 reveal, which led to a lot of excitement after the last entry failed to impress series fans. The near-future shooter returns to a slightly futuristice setting, giving fans the return to Battlefield 4‘s more contemporary setting that the franchise is best known for. The game also comes with a new-and-improved iteration of the Frostbite engine, a proprietary engine originally developed by child studio DICE that is now used in almost every EA game for its impressive physics, graphics, and more.

Just a day later, Vice is reporting that the source code for both EA’s incredibly valuable Frostbite engine and FIFA 21 has been stolen by hackers. The responsible party is reportedly trying to sell the stolen data, noting it has “full capability of exploiting on all EA services“. The breach of 780 GB of data comes off the heels of a similar hack that hit CD Projekt Red earlier in 2020, but EA has noted in a statement this likely won’t have much of an impact on any games’ development or the publisher’s playerbase:

“We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen. No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy. Following the incident, we’ve already made security improvements and do not expect an impact on our games or our business. We are actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation.”

Image: Battlefield 2042; Credit: Electronic Arts (EA)

There have been reports that EA’s Frostbite engine is notoriously hard to work with, so it’s not incredibly likely that anyone who shells out a lumpsum of cash to hackers would be very happy with their purchase. However, reverse-engineering the code for more illegal activity is a possibility that may have driven the hackers to steal the source code in the first place. EA has made efforts in recent years to push the Frostbite engine onto its other studios, making the engine increasingly important to EA’s entire development schedule and games library.

Whether or not these hackers end up leaking anything of substance from games like Battlefield 2042 to the rest of the public remains to be seen. Either way, EA doesn’t seem to be too bothered by it beyond a brief an approximate one percent drop in its stock at press time. Either way, this incident seems to highlight apparent cybersecurity issues at many high-profile gaming companies, and EA should probably count its blessings that no personal data was compromised.

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