FIFA 17 as anyone who plays it knows that it is a fantastic game. And one of the big new features in the latest edition is the ability to go on “The Journey.”
“The Journey” lets you take over the career of a up-and-coming soccer player named Alex Hunter as you guide him through his “journey” from beginning to, hopefully, super-stardom.
It even lets you interact with Hunter’s Twitter account, bringing even more realism into the way the world of sports works today.
There’s just a teeny-tiny little problem with that, however.
You see, one of Hunter’s fans who tweets with him in the game is named Calvin Wong. Wong’s Twitter handle is @CalWong. As in, there is already a person in real life using that Twitter handle.
That reads, “.@EASPORTSFIFA Hey assholes, please don’t use real twitter accounts in your dumb game, k thx.”
“I work at Cartoon Network,” Wong told Kotaku in an e-mail, “and every time we make up a character in a show, we make sure that it’s cleared legally. A cursory search of my ID @CalWong brings me up instantly. The fact that nobody at EA [was] smart enough to do that is ridiculous.”
For days, Wong didn’t hear from EA. But he did hear from FIFA fans who had their own opinions about Wong’s complaints. Wong was called an “irrelevant prick,” among other insults.
Naturally, everyone who saw his tweet immediately had his back. Just kidding, the douchebags of the internet were out in full force as one would expect…
“Hope they leave it in and tell everyone to tweet you,” read one tweet.
“The game is bigger than you. Behave,” read another.
A few racist tweets were sent his way as well, riffing on his last name and heritage. “I got harassed pretty harshly about it, with tons of racism,” Wong said. The negative attention was stressful, bolstering his resolve to get his name wiped from FIFA 17.
“It’s as if I had a cute private house in my corner of the net and somebody thousands of miles away gave a bunch of soccer hooligans my address,” Wong said.
Finally, after Wong’s attorney hit up EA was there an actual reasonable response.
According to Kotaku…
EA sent us an e-mail clarifying that the inclusion of Wong’s name and Twitter handle was coincidental. They “apologize for any confusion this unintended coincidence has caused” and are “taking steps to remove this handle from the game and are committed to getting this resolved as soon as possible.”
Now really, how hard would it have been, say, while they were CREATING THE GAME, to do a quick Twitter search and find a username that was NOT in use and just bought it for themselves? Apparently, they never thought of that.
Man, I should go into video game development with this kind of insight!