FIFA 17 Accidentally Used A Real Guy's Twitter Handle, And He's Pissed

FIFA 17 is praised for being true-to-life in every regard -- so true-to-life that, hell, developer EA even included a real guy's name and Twitter handle. And, boy, is he pissed. FIFA 17

Released late September, FIFA 17 offered "The Journey", its new story mode which followed athlete Alex Hunter's rise to soccer glory. In-game, one of Hunter's fans is Calvin Wong, who messages him on a Twitter-like platform with the handle @CalWong.

"Can't believe @MrAlexHunter was too busy to give me his autograph after I spent 4ever waiting for him!" the fictional @CalWong said. Later, after obtaining the autograph, @CalWong writes, "Will keep it 4ever."

Cute. There's just one catch: Calvin Wong is a real person (a Cartoon Network story boarder, in fact) who tweets as @CalWong. On September 20, a FIFA 17 fan tweeted a screenshot from the game at Wong, tipping him off that the game had used his name and Twitter handle without consulting him. In response, Wong had some choice words for EA:

Wong's tweet got some traction. Over the next few days, Wong sent out a few more accusing EA of ignoring his original complaint. Wong called for them to admit that they were wrong for not doing their due-diligence to confirm whether the Twitter handle was real.

"I work at Cartoon Network," Wong told Kotaku in an email, "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.

"Hope they leave it in and tell everyone to tweet you," read one tweet.

"The game is bigger than you. Behave," read another.

FIFA 17

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.

After Wong's lawyer reached out to EA, the behemoth developer apologised to Wong in an email, describing the in-game "tweets" as a fictional social feed wherein Wong's handle just happened to match up with the one in-game. It was, they said, a coincidence. EA told Wong that they're patching him out of FIFA 17.

EA sent us an email clarifying that the inclusion of Wong's name and Twitter handle was coincidental. They apologised for the confusion and are "taking steps to remove this handle from the game and are committed to getting this resolved as soon as possible".

Hoo boy, just think of the frustration that a simple Google search can help avoid!


Comments

    Awwwwww poor baby! He works for Cartoon Network donchaknow! Stupid game!

      It doesn't matter where he works, it's a pain in the ass to have shitloads of random people tweeting at you because some retards at a major game company lack the brain cells to even consider doing a bit of research.

        But no one tweeted at him until he made noise.
        The game has been out since September and he didn't know until someone sent him a screenshot.

      As demonstrated by people's reactions, I don't think not wanting your name and twitter handle in someone elses product a valid complaint.

    If it was my name and handle in the game, I'd be stoked.

      Me too! That's what they should do for the next game - open invitation for people to have a chance to put their handles in the game.

      You'd be stoked that they depicted you as a vapid idiot?

      Can’t believe @MrAlexHunter was too busy to give me his autograph after I spent 4ever waiting for him!

      If they made me look that stupid I'd complain too.

        It would add to the novelty of it. I wouldn't want to be made to look racist, or sexist, or some kind of bigot/asshole. But something stupid, like waiting for an autograph would just give me and my mates a good laugh.

      I'd get myself a new handle and use the old one to start trolling EA and posting offensive material that vaguely looks like it's official EA material. Create a shitstorm of hate and plead satire.

    Calvin should have asked @BarbraStreisand if she could think of any reasons not to publicly complain.

    yeah EA were in the wrong, but i kinda feel if this guy had contacted EA directly instead of just tweeting insults at them maybe it would have been cleared up without people targeting him.

    How does the fake twitter handle in the game affect him at all? Like he didn't even notice until someone pointed it out to him so it's not like he was getting FIFA related tweets was he?

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