An unfortunate gamer was left unable to install a copy of Dragon Age II after being booted off developer BioWare's community forums. According to user 'vware', the temporary ban was imposed after (s)he questioned whether BioWare had "sold their souls to the EA devil". The 72-hour expulsion locked him out of the Bioware Social …
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Well, I guess his question was answered, then. That would be a 'yes'.
At least they answered the question and the answer is "Yes"
"Woo added "Because the BioWare community now operates under the same umbrella as all EA Communities… members here have all explicitly agreed to abide by and be governed by both sets of rules. Consider it an added incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow.""
Yes. And consider the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts regulations an "added incentive" to follow the rules that you said you were going to follow when you sold goods and services in the UK?
Yea EA sucks...
This has been known to happen on warhammer forums too.
game didn't tickle me anyway, but this pretty much has me deciding not to even try it at all.
i'll make sure not to buy EA games in general, GOD i hate them.
EA, we own everything.
Agreed, they also created too much expensive DLC for the first game and i'm still boycotting EA anyway so won't buy new games from them.
Screw you EA, you're selfish and i'm buying Fallout New Vegas instead of DA!
So purchase is now an agreement to follow forum rules also ?
Good luck with making that stand up in court..
It's getting really silly now that you have to 'agree' to 32 contracts just to play a game you already paid for..
Down with this sort of thing!
"Down with this sort of thing!"
@"ban was imposed after (s)he questioned whether BioWare had "sold their souls to the EA devil"
Corporate censorship should be made illegal. Freedom of speech cannot exist if people are punished for stating an opinion.
Being critical of a company isn't sufficient grounds to punish people - in any way what so ever.
A number of companies are increasingly not listening to their customers and instead are increasingly seeking to dictate to their customers. This has to be stopped and the only way we can do that is speak out against them. So corporate censorship is making it even worse. :(
Re: Corporate censorship
"Freedom of speech cannot exist if people are punished for stating an opinion."
Why do you think that freedom of speech exists on a private forum? Just because someone kicks you out of their housr 'cause you said something they didn't like doesn't mean they're censoring you.
Not that I agree with EA preventing the user from playing the games that he bought, unless they were willing to give him a refund (plus interest).
Freedom of speech has to be defended
@Anonymous Coward: "Why do you think that freedom of speech exists on a private forum"
I don't “think” freedom of speech exists. Freedom of speech exists by law, as in Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Since 1948). (Freedom of speech is consider so important, its expressly stated in the preamble of the act as one of the overriding principles the Human Rights act seeks to achieve). Its just its not being protected the way it once was. We need to fight against censorship. The "private forum" argument is bullshit. They still do not have a legal right to violate freedom of speech. Also any clauses in end user agreements of any kind are not legal if they violate human rights. Just because they have the power to push people around as they choose, still doesn't give them the moral or legal right to push people around.
Here's a very good quote that sums the core problem up very well … "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - which is exactly the kind of world we are sliding into. We cannot allow censorship to grow and it is growing and more people need to defend it (unlike you AC who seems happy to accept its destruction and you expect us to bend to the will of the corporations).
Censorship and control is being brought back into our lives via the arrogance of ever more corporations seeking to control what we can do. Their arrogance needs to be fought against, as they are influencing ever more of our lives and its getting ever worse the more technology is used to affect and becomes part of our lives. This censorship and control is a growing problem and freedom of speech has to be defended in every situation to allow us to even begin to fight against the growing control.
I'm sorry but you're wrong
One of the ways that freedom of speech needs to be defended is by stopping people trying to stretch the definition of it to crazy extremes, which are easily defeated and thus erode the basic principle of freedom of speech itself.
If I own a forum and I tell you that you can't discuss a certain subject or use certain language on that forum I am *not* denying you your freedom of speech, I am simply refusing to publish it for you, which is my right. You still have the right to set up your own forum and publish whatever you like.
That's not to defend EA's actions here. Clearly they are assholes at all kinds of levels to even attempt this sort of thing... but lets not confuse and weaken the issue by dragging in irrelevant things.
What they did
is deny a paying customer the right to play the game they'd just bought.
That's unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances.
Go read the article
1) we do know what he said. He asked if Bioware sold its soul to the devil.
2) The issue isn't that he was booted from the forum. The issue is he was prevented from playing a single player game he paid for because of his forum behavior. Surely this is excessive?
Selecting Fail without reading the articl.... Double Fail.
I don't think...
...the problem is that the user got booted off the forum, it is that membership of the forum is required in order to play a game that the punter payed darn good money for ... and a single play game at that, where there is no one in-game that can be affected by any trickery.
Personally, I'm appalled at this kind of development. If you buy a car, the manufacturer doesn't care if you drive it straight or rip it to bits and wrap it around a lamp post. What kind of authority does Sony, EA, Apple and all the rest of them, have to dictate how people use equipment and games that they've shelled out a slice of wedge for.
Interesting theory yoy have there
So, if I happened to take exception to what you had written, hit the "Report" button under your post and got you banned for 72 hours, you'd be alright with that...?
I've hit the "Report post" button
And hopefully you will be banned from The register for 3 days because of your comment
the problem is that the user got booted off the forum, it is that membership of the forum is required in order to play a game
That isn't exactly how it works. The 'forum' is part of the BioWare community portal; getting banned from that portal means that you can't access your BioWare account.
Not being able to access your BioWare account means you can't install the game as it ties into that account as part of their (somewhat dubious) DRM system.
However, once the game is installed you don't need an Internet connection let alone a connection to your BioWare account. You can just run the game as normal, all that happens is that the achievements you unlock are not recorded on your BioWare account.
If you're going to blow a fuse and have a rant about shonky DRM, feel free - at least it's not an Ubisoft title.
If someone is being a git on the forum, booth them.. Fine. It happens. But that is all that should be done.
But.. The person in question bought a game they were then unable to use because of a forum ban. Effectively, EA accepted money for a non functional item. That has got to break some consumer protection law or another.
Yet another reason to...
Just download a pirated copy of a game if you only want to play the single player part!
You may not agree...
But the more draconian the process for playing a game becomes, the more attractive hooky copies become to certain punters.
What also annoys me is the limited activations per game, what? Something that EA seem to be very fond of lately - I'll stick with not buying EA games for the foreseeable future.
There is an xkcd for everything :)
First they came for the Pirates....
But I didn't care because I wasn't one of those.
Then I couldn't play a game because I had a virtual DVDRom installed
They I couldn't play a game because my WinXP build wasn't too their liking
Then they made me authenticate every time I played
Then they came for lippy customers....
It has ended for me now. I just don't buy EA Games. Simples
anon for obvious reasons
I had to move to smartsteam the past two weeks because of shoddy support from steam.
I dont particularly want to pirate a game but when they make it near impossible to play any of my games then yes i will pirate and i have done (only used it to launch games i owned).
your probably thinking your account got banned for a reason yes it was paypal DD didnt go through.
No warning of missed payment just one day disabled account. two weeks to resolve after payment was resent !!!!!
This makes me extra sad that i am actually going to be providing EA with more money when BF3 comes out. but other games i will most likley pirate.
What came first DRM or the Pirate.
Not sure what you described is "piracy"
Since you have a licence to the games in question.
What you are more likely guilty of is "bypassing DRM on software you hold licence to" - a far more serious offence!
I'm going to have to remember this xkcd.
It's EA! What do you expect?
Oh well, every now and then EA provides me with a fresh reason to not buy their stuff.
I wasn't aware that EA ever had anything that could be described as a 'soul'..?
I'm apalled that they would contrive the authentication system such that you were forced into signing up to a forum's Ts&Cs before being able to play an off-line game you've bought in a shop, but since it's EA I'm not at all surprised.
Personally after they tried to brick my Wii by constantly hammering the drive in COD4 I wouldn't trust them one bit.
Can't wait for Apple to follow
I expect Apple to follow... bricking your iPhone for 3 days if you vent out that after 2 years they still haven't grasped the concept of daylight saving time...
On a serious note, this is incredible, you buy something, you are unhappy, you criticize, you are punished.... 1984 any one?
You buy something, you are unhappy, you go to their forums and insult the entire company with what could easily be taken (and was) as hate speech, and somehow you expect no repercussion. It's not 1984, it's lunacy.
Hate speech ????
"Sold their souls to the EA devil."
This hardly constitutes hate speech especially on the internet.
Overreaction surely, or have you only just wandered onto the internets
RE: More like
"It's not 1984, it's lunacy."
Luncay you say? Sounds like hate speech to me.
He probably didn't actually "agree" to the terms and conditions...
Because he didn't actually read them. He simply entered his name, proposed forum user ID, email address and DOB and hit the enter key.
Like most people, he probably considered the 3 previous pages of legalese Ts&Cs jargon too much to be bothered with.
Preparing for customer support
After all, they don't want another incident like the one where Dragon Age patch 1.03 caused the game to randomly crash for tens of thousands of PC users, but Bioware ignored the hundreds of complaints on the forums for three months before even admitting there was a problem. With this new policy, they can simply get rid of the complaints and not have to worry about the patch.
...ignored countless posts about the direction the warhammer MMO was (and is) going. Not just ignored. Censored and censured - no doubt some posts were ludicruous but a lot weren't.
Guess what... They still do.
Anyone remember the recurrent billing errors ? And how they treated people.
They barely update the title homepage for this, their only real MMORPG - at least till SW:TOR comes out.
Don't play EA games, unless you are really prepared to put up with no customer support.
SW:TOR - caveat emptor - I'm NOT going to buy it after all the crap I've been through.
(Not trying to take sides here but I've played some korean F2P MMOs as well as WoW and have *never* had such bad service as that from EA/Bioware/Mythic).
Installing Dragon Age II already a Sysephean ordeal
Installing Dragon Age II is already annoying. I actually purchased it online via direct2drive to save waiting for it in the mail, but for some reason I was prompted no less than FOUR TIMES for the game product code, and I had to create logins for bioware community forums, EA online, and all sorts of other online "social" accounts so I could show other players what achievements I've unlocked in game, god knows why anyone else would even care what the hell I'm doing in my own non-multiplayer game...
Having said that, the game is enjoyable, but linking online authentication to play a single player game is never a good idea - Even Steam finally got the point by installing an "offline" mode with their games..
Steam has always had an offline mode (well, for as long as I can remember and I've been using it pretty much since it was launched) but quite often you need to be online *when you install the game* - it's part of the DRM mechanism.
BioWare community and EA online are basically the same thing now (since EA bought BioWare) - it's their take on Steam's online authentication and content delivery system ... only it's worse as it seems that there's no 'common currency' across the platform.
You want to buy games or DLC on Steam, you log into Steam and pay with a credit card - simple. And you can purchase content from any publisher in the same way - or lots of different publishers at the same time.
You want DLC for Dragon Age you have to log into you BioWare account, buy BioWare credits with your credit card and then use those credits to buy the DLC. As far as I'm aware, those BioWare points aren't transferable so and you can only buy them in blocks (400, 800, 1600 or something) so you may have a couple of hundred credits kicking about that you may never spend.
I suspect the EA system is like it is because it has to be 'kiddy-friendly' for the console crowd - mum and dad buy the credits so little Johnny doesn't max out their cards. Whereas people with real systems are trusted with cards (Steam isn't on consoles - although Portal 2 looks like it'll link Steam and your PSN account somehow).
Crime and Punishment
While EA and Bioware can enforce whatever rules they want on their forums, if they're going to ban people from playing (singleplayer) games for forum infractions, I do want to see them dragged to the courts to defend their T&Cs and DRM.
Claim physical damages equal to the cost of the game and emotional/mental damages as ridiculously high as you can go.
Insert disk, play game
No authcodes, no mandatory internet connection, no "you must create an account on yet another proprietary game network", no 3 installation limit, no cloud based saves.
For an industry that is constantly bemoaning the 'death' of PC gaming they sure seem to be doing their level best to kill it.
I got the XBox 360 signature edition, and to redeem the bonus content I got given a code. To redeem this code I had to create an account with Bioware on my PC, and punch in the code on their website for the content to unlock on my console, which had conveniently linked itself to the account I'd created with Bioware. Why I couldn't have been issued a standard marketplace code is utterly beyond me.
And what is wrong with cloud saves?
I use steam, and recently had a hard disk die on me. One new drive and re-install later, and my saves were there waiting for me. SteamCloud FTW :)
If you ever needed a reason to torrent
Then this is it.
A good lesson
To all those who say, "They'll never use that kill button on the computer game/fondlefone/BD player! If you've got nothing to hide - you've got nothing to fear!"
Of course, they will. If one has power to do something, he will do it sooner or later.
EA - ShmeeA
Let me explain how I think EA's product cycle works.
Step 1 - Announce a new game to be released next year.
Step 2 - HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE (gaming magazines & on-line magazines with their fingers in EA's pockets, i.e. all gaming magazines)
Step 3 - Start taking pre-orders.
Step 4 - HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE (gaming magazines & on-line magazines with their fingers in EA's pockets, i.e. all gaming magazines)
Step 5 - Release buggy, incopmplete, DRM riddled game that doesn't live up to the hype.
Step 6 - Rake in profits from pre-orders and spotty teenagers who can't get to the shop fast enough.
Step 7 - Allow "the press" to start releasing glowing reviews.
Step 6 - Pretend issues with the game aren't worth dealing with, maybe release a patch later that doesn't deal with any of the major game issues.
Step 7 - Goto step 1
Funnily enough, by Friday night...
EA had changed their tune, said the whole thing was a terrible cockup and reversed the ban (on the game if not the forums).
Again the pirates win.
Whilst it does seem an incredibly over the top reaction it does serve as an interesting reminder that there are always consequences to your actions. Even when the actions are apparently virtual/online. Not always the consequences you intend or want either.
I guess I won't have to spend money on this game now. Thanks for making my mind up EA.
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