Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker is investigating EA's habit of banning customers from playing their own games. All it seems to take is a naughty word on their official forums. The bans prevent even single-player use of games, and EA does not give refunds.
Despite repeated attempts to receive a statement on EA’s current position on their banning procedure, we have only been met with silence for the last fortnight. ... I’m building up quite the portfolio of affected gamers, who find after a forum violation they’re unable to access their Origin games. And within this is a more disturbing trend – those who are finding that their forum bans are, without explanation, becoming permanent bans. Permanent bans from accessing their Origin accounts, their Battlelog accounts, and therefore downloading purchased games, and playing online. Something which obviously raises serious questions about consumer rights, which is of course another angle we’re currently investigating.
Walker points out that even if someone posts "invective-speckled" rants, that should only earn a forum ban, not the complete swiping of entire game catalogs.
For years, DRM advocates scoffed at the idea that it would be used for bullshit like this -- the refrain was always that it was about preventing piracy. But managing rights is what DRM was built to do, so that is what it's used for.
The problem is not that EA has an intentional policy of punitively screwing its customers. It will fix this specific problem, now that enough people have noticed it. The problem is that the machinery of DRM creates perverse incentives for everyone from top executives to forum moderators, and the corporate veil creates moral hazard to go with it. So you never know where the next shit ganache in the chocolate box will be.
EA Origin Bans: Update Edition [Rock Paper Shotgun]
I love computer games but don’t have time to plow through countless hours of padded-out nonsense. As I’ve enjoyed several of the picks in Joshua Rivera’s roundup of 21 games you can finish in 6 hours or less, I’ll surely be hitting the rest too! Pictured above is Campo Santo’s Firewatch, worthy of two plays […]
Nintendo’s Switch is a touchscreen tablet with removable physical controls that turn it into a traditional handheld game console. It comes with a chunky dock to hook it up to a TV set for high-definition couch action; also announced is a traditional wireless gamepad to match the squared-off dark gray design: it’s what disassembles to […]
The developers behind the hotly anticipated Shadow Warrior 2 have gone on record explaining why they didn’t add DRM to their new title: they themselves hate DRM, and understand that DRM disproportionately inconveniences legit customers, not pirates who play cracked versions without DRM.
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]