The Electronic Arts company is determined to fight cheaters, so it has developed a new anti-cheat system at the kernel level that will debut with the upcoming game FIFA 23, which will hit the market on September 30. According to the publisher, the move was necessary to "ensure fair play" and deal a blow to PC cheat creators, who are increasingly creating kernel-level exploits that OS-level anti-cheat tools cannot detect.
In her blog, EA's senior director of game security and anti-cheat protection, Elise Murphy, wrote that the company developed EA AntiCheat (EAAC) because third-party anti-cheat solutions often prevent company teams from implementing additional privacy controls or settings that offer greater precision and granularity for EA-specific game modes.
A necessity for anti-cheat software
“For single-player-only titles, or titles without competitive ladders or leaderboards, the cheat landscape differs,” Murphy wrote in a blog post. “Depending on the title and type of game, we may implement other anti-cheat technology, such as user-mode protections, or even forgo leveraging anti-cheat technology altogether in some cases, opting instead to design the game to be resilient against certain types of cheats”.
EAAC won't be used for all EA games, but the publisher claims it's necessary for competitive, network-focused titles such as FIFA 23. This year's edition of the game includes cross-play support, and in theory, EAAC should prevent problems for console players who could make PC cheaters for them.
On the other hand, the company could use a different approach for games without ranking and a competitive system. So it wouldn't be a surprise if EA uses EAAC for games like Apex Legends. The tool would only be active when an EAAC game was running, and removing all EA games would also remove EAAC.
This tool can also be removed manually, but in that case, FIFA 23 will not be functional. Murphy said that EAAC will have a negligible impact on gameplay so there should be no performance degradation. EAAC will only check necessary files for anti-cheat protection.
Browsing history data will not be collected, nor will apps unrelated to EA games. Riot and Activision also use similar tools for the games Valorant, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Call of Duty: Warzone.