Origin To Delete Inactive Accounts?

By Jim Rossignol on August 3rd, 2011 at 8:41 am.

Oh dear.
A number of readers have written in to express concern about this clause in the terms of service for Electronic Arts’ new digital distribution, Origin. Here’s the key bit: “If you have not used your Entitlements or Account for twenty four (24) months or more and your Account has associated Entitlements, your Entitlements will expire and your Account may be cancelled for non-use.” The “entitlements” it’s talking about are “paid and free downloadable content, unlockable content, digital and/or virtual assets, rights of use tied to unlock keys or codes, serial codes and/or online authentication of any kind, in-game achievements and virtual or fictional currency.”

We’ve asked Electronic Arts for clarification on this, but it suggests you might lose DLC, achievements, and even your account if you don’t log on for two years. Not exactly the kind of permanence we’ve come to expect from certain online services, is it? I can think of quite a few services I’ve not logged into for two years, and I’d still expect all my stuff to be there. Is anyone aware of similar clauses in other distribution systems or online game services?

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211 Comments »

  1. SquareWheel says:

    Boy, these guys sure know how to run a digital distribution platform.

    • quakster says:

      I’m not gonna log into my Origin account for two years just to spite them.

    • FakeAssName says:

      not quite a reply, but just to get this at the top of the page: I found this while trolling around Mythic’s site:

      What is an Account Entitlement?
      An Account Entitlement refers to a Warhammer Item Bundle, Content Pack, or Character Transfer that can be purchased at the EA Store. Click here for the Item Bundle and Character Transfers. Click here for the Content Packs. It’s called an Account Entitlement as the codes purchased will apply to a specific game account and entitle to you receive items, access scontent, or transfer a character on said account.

      link: http://www.warhammeronline.com/faq/accountentitlements/index.php?section=1#ans1_0

      that sounds like what I thought it sounded like: all the extra bullshit but not the Games or DLC.

    • Jibb Smart says:

      Furthermore, I’ve read that an EA rep has said that this is just in the EULA for legal reasons (presumably in case the company goes bankrupt or some other terrible happening), and this won’t normally happen. The fact that this normally won’t happen means there’s no automatic system for removing “entitlements” after a certain time without use, nor for accounts to be removed if inactive for two years.

      So people should chill :)

      Jibb

    • PopeJamal says:

      Tell me again why Steam are the monopolistic assholes and Origin is just the plucky, misunderstood underdog. Because I’m having trouble remembering. I keep getting distracted by EA shitting all over me as a customer.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      People love to hate what’s popular because they are cool hipsters going against the norm. Or some such nonsense.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @ Jibb Smart: Question: if it’s never going to be actually used, then why have it in the first place? Also, why doesn’t Valve or any other digital retailer do this? In fact, Valve has already stated that if Steam goes under, your games will be unlocked.

      Would you sign up for a bank account if the fine print said you could forfeit your account and all related monies if it was inactive for two years? Even if they said, “well, it’s just a precaution, it’ll never really happen.” Personally, I wouldn’t. Why? Even though they said it wouldn’t happen, the fact that they even have something like that on the table to begin with is rather worrisome. Also, never take a business on their word. It’s like trusting a junkie with a personal loan.

    • Vinraith says:

      why doesn’t Valve or any other digital retailer do this?

      All of them do this, read your EULA. Steam’s, for example, states explicitly that your service can be discontinued at any time for any reason.

      Valve has already stated that if Steam goes under, your games will be unlocked.

      Your link points to a comment by a volunteer moderator, not a Valve employee. The reality is that Valve has never said such a thing, and if they did there’d be no reason to believe them. The circumstances under which the service would be discontinued is a huge unknown, it’s impossible to determine whether it would be possible for Valve to keep a promise like that, which is precisely why they haven’t made one.

    • halcyonforever says:

      In response to the above comment:
      “Would you sign up for a bank account if the fine print said you could forfeit your account and all related monies if it was inactive for two years?”

      You may want to re-check your fine print at your bank. If your account goes dormant (typically 18 months or more) and any attempts to contact you are un-responsive. The account is closed and and the funds turned over to the state.

      I’ve had the job of doing just that before. Typically once your mail gets bounced back they will begin the process of closing out your account. Most will charge you a series of fees to try to whittle it down to nothing first.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Vinraith: This has been addressed over and over and over. If you really don’t believe me, you can contact Steam Support and ask them. Gabe Newell posted on the Steam forums (a long time ago, it has since been purged) that Steam has since long ago been tested to work even if the authentication servers were ever to permanently go offline (Steam to be discontinued) and they have said that everything works fine. If Steam/Valve were to go under, they have said that there are safeguards put in place to make sure you would still have access to your games.

      How much you believe that it is up to you and, until Newell gives a press release where he specifically iterates what I’ve mentioned, you will simply have to take the words of Valve’s moderators and support staff.

    • Vinraith says:

      This has been addressed over and over and over.

      Yes, it has, and it’s never been resolved satisfactorily because it can’t be. Since the circumstances of a shutdown are unknown, the ability to keep this hypothetical, undocumented “promise” is equally so, full stop.

      Digital purchases are ephemeral, regardless of the distributor. If you want security, keep backups, don’t kid yourself thinking that a company in catastrophic financial distress is going to give a shit about you.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      halcyonforever: I have read the fine print. While some banks used to do this, it is typically an antiquated practice. Bank of America still does this, often terminating accounts of those still living due to having improper phone records (and due to being a shady craphole of a bank).

      A lot of banks cannot close your account and claim the funds unless there is a notice of death and there is no known next of kin to claim such monies, or it is not claimed within a set period of time. Many can and will close your account, and are required to reimburse any and all available funds, due to repeatedly writing bad checks and so forth.

      Also, what gets sent is a request of closure, not a letter of intent to close. You cannot simply seize someone’s assets without proper cause. At least, not in the USA. Sorry. I don’t care what kind of clause you write, if someone lawyers up they will grind that shit into dust. A bank CAN make the account “dormant”, which means that it will no longer collect interest, or they can close the account and submit the funds to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. They cannot seize the contents of the account, period. Believe me, I know. I had to help my Dad track down several old bank accounts (some that hadn’t been used in over 20 years) from my grandmother (his mother).

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Vinraith: What the fuck good do backups do if you have to authenticate through Steam? Congrats, I now have gigs of worthless data!

      The “ability” to make Steam run games circumventing the authentication servers is already, in part, a reality. It’s called “Offline Mode.” The real kink is installation.

      I know that Valve is company and that, push comes to shove, they’re going to be looking out for themselves. However, I do think that the plight of the customer is something they will consider much heavier than someone like D2D or (the new GameStop owned) Impulse. Why? Because there’s shitty business and good business.

      You have a choice between buying a pizza from a man who just stands there staring off into space and obviously doesn’t care other than trying to make some money. The other guy is darting about, enthusiastically tossing the dough, whistling, smiling, and trying to make the best pizza he reasonably can for his customers. The prices are the exact same. Which one do you buy from? The one who just wants to make some money, or the guy who genuinely cares about making a good product and takes pride in doing a good job?

    • Vinraith says:

      What the fuck good do backups do if you have to authenticate through Steam?

      If you’ve got a lot of games through an authentication-heavy service like Steam you’re going to want to get your hands on some cracks and probably accept some losses. Alternatively, buy through less authentication-heavy services whose systems are easier to bypass.

    • Wulf says:

      Which is assuming that Steam’s DRM is so incredibly impossible to circumvent.

      This is an incorrect assumption. I’m sorry, but it is, and this is a fact I happen to know. The only worrying part is the encryption, but if you have your games installed anyway then you won’t have to concern yourself with that.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf
      I can only speak for myself, but I certainly don’t know how to get around the Steam authorization on some of my games, namely those with Steamworks or similar Steam integration that lack a readily available crack. I’m always happy to learn something new, though.

      It’s not practical to keep all my games on the service installed, so that’s a non-starter.

  2. tKe says:

    Wow. That reads to me as “Please buy our games, but if you don’t log in for 24months, please buy them again.”

    Surely it doesn’t just stop at the DLC if you’ve had to register your games against the account and you lose said account?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It doesn’t seem to be explicitly be games, just extensions thereof.

    • tKe says:

      It was the rights of use tied to unlock keys or codes, serial codes and/or online authentication of any kind that made me think it might be more. Or at least the phrasing would allow for more.

    • zipdrive says:

      “paid downloadable content” sounds like games to me.

    • Zorak says:

      All games purchased on Origin require online authentication, ergo…

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      “It doesn’t seem to be explicitly be games, just extensions thereof.”

      I read it as it “doesn’t seem to be explicitly games, just everything on your account”. Looks like they’ll generously be leaving the account itself in place though, which is awfully considerate of them.

    • Zogtee says:

      It’s weird, because it seems so obvious to everyone (?) else. When you go up against something like Steam, you start by at least matching features with them and THEN you try to improve on what you’re offering.

      Does something happen to you when you get a job with EA and they put the branding iron to your tender bits? Something that makes it so you just don’t “get” things like this? Or are they simply confident that they can brute force the competition out of the way and don’t have to care about their customers?

    • ScubaMonster says:

      There’s also a clause saying you retain the rights to download your games for a year. People would say to me “oh but that’s just there for legal reasons and doesn’t mean anything.” Except that EA’s old EA Store did exactly that… made you pay a fee to be able to redownload after a year.

      Yep, Origin is going to be awesome. I think it’s hilarious they think they will go toe to toe with Steam. Also, why are their games going to be on Impulse? BF3 is available for pre-order. I don’t buy the crap EA has been saying about Valve having restriction rules. If that’s the case, A). how about they say what those rules actually are, and B). apparently they are the only ones with a real problem because nobody else says anything. Seems a bit too convenient they have that problem the instant they announce Origin. Sounds like damage control PR because they yanked their games from Steam. “No no guys, it’s not us! Valve are dicks and we can’t work with them, so come use Origin!”

  3. Baboonanza says:

    That’s outrageous, and completely unacceptable for service that expects you to ‘buy’ software without any physical media as a backup.

    I mean, what if I get sent down for that murder I didn’t do? I’m going to want to finish my current Far Cry playthrough when I get out!

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I would say you’d be a far cry from completing that game.

      YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!!

    • The Sentinel says:

      It would be a small Crysis, but a Crysis nonetheless.

    • The Colonel says:

      Life’s a beach. What can you do?

    • Wunce says:

      I’m sure loosing you account would be have a Mass Effect on your life.

    • Zarunil says:

      They just want to prevent your account from taking up Dead Space.

    • Voxel lens says:

      Yous be lucky to sit and playthrough anythin after wese done with u

    • Dobalina says:

      This could have an ex-spore-nential effect on gamers.

    • Big Murray says:

      I hate all of you.

    • Bobzer says:

      I agree, Just Cause you’re a murderer doesn’t mean you should lose your games.

    • Chezzers says:

      It seems your games wont have a very long Half-Life if you use Origin

    • nayon says:

      Don’t worry, your sentence will be over in a Brink of an eye.

    • ATwig says:

      They need to make a more Black and White statement about this…

    • drakkheim says:

      So if you happen to feel a Call of Duty and join the Arma and get sent into Enemy Territory and fight across a great Battlefield to help rescue a Prince of Persia and some Settlers for some politician’s ‘Just Cause’ you can return to the Homefront only to discover your games have been sent to Oblivion? that sucks.

    • Rasga says:

      Well, Origin doesn’t seem to be the right gaming Portal for murderers.

    • Burning Man says:

      All I can say is drakkheim poops parties.

    • Daoler says:

      Oh, you guys, you.

    • nayon says:

      I think EA dropped The Ball on this one.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      That would really spell Doom for your playthrough.

  4. Davie says:

    That’s insane. Steam doubtless has tens or hundreds of thousands of inactive accounts, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. EA is doing a piss-poor job of trying to one-up Valve here.

    • meatshit says:

      Nor should it be a problem. All it is is a few lines in a database somewhere. The price of maintaining that for decades is next to nothing. The only reason they could have for canceling inactive accounts is to make more money by forcing people to buy their games again.

    • khalood says:

      They’re making too much fuss about inactive accounts. I registered on steam in 2005, and started using it at around 2008, and it even automatically logged me in to the account I made in 2005 (didn’t format my computer).

      Same story with Gmail when I made an account when it was invite-only. When everyone else deleted your account if you weren’t active for 30 days, my Gmail account remained in existence despite the 4 years of inactivity.

    • Jumwa says:

      I was in a similar boat. I signed up for Steam with my first game about four years prior to ever using it again. The account sat idle for at least three years with just that one game on it. Now I have over 200 titles purchased through Steam.

      Had I gone back to take advantage of the winter sale and found my old account had been removed, I’d likely have been too annoyed to bother signing up for a new one and making further purchases.

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      It doesn’t mention anything about deleting the account. Just everything in it. So don’t worry, you’ll probably be able to sign in easily enough in order to ‘rent’ everything again.

  5. Kdansky says:

    If Steam would lose people’s games if they didn’t log in for a time, that would be hilarious in a killing frenzy kind of way. Deleting DLC is just icing on the player abuse cake that is DLC.

  6. Crimsoneer says:

    People, breathe. EXHALE.

    Let EA comment. We have no idea why this clause is there, and contracts and EULAs are quagmires of legal escape-hatches.

    Also, how are you going to avoid logging onto Origin for 2 years now that all EA games are on it?

    • sleep_crime says:

      Computer troubles, overseas military deployment (if you happen to be a swindled toolbox,) coma, prison. The list is virtually endless.

      Actually the answer is even simpler; stick to steam until their pants-on-head retarded service crumbles into oblivion a little ways down the road and enjoy the steady yet desperate trickle of EA flagship titles finding their way back to steam.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Thing is, this isn’t obscure legalese put in by lawyers without their clients (EA) really knowing or caring. This is a specific clause, the wording will have been worked out by lawyers but the intent and the sign off will have come from the clients requiring such an outcome.

      And I’m pretty sure I can go two years without playing an EA game. And if they keep this up I reckon I can go a lot longer.

    • Aldehyde says:

      By not buying every single EA game (I don’t think I’ve bought an EA game for more than two years) and not playing the games that you buy all the time?

      Perhaps you bought a fun little game that you play once, it’s a great experience so you buy the DLC for it as well and play the game as well. However, it’s not a game you want to play immediately for a third time.

      Two years later you come back for it and want to play it again, however, all your DLC is gone.

    • Milky1985 says:

      This have been bought up before and EA have already commented, they basically said :

      “Yes its in the contract, but we will not be using it. Our lawyers say we have to put it in just in case”

      This is half true, they probably do have to have some clause as all of the them do, it just that most of them DON’T PUT A TIMEFRAME.

      But EA have been on record saying that they will not use it. Thus they have basically invalidated that caluse in the contract as part of there business has put in writing that they will not use it, so that can be bought up in court if needed (i hope, if you can dodge the lawyers long enough to get it to court)

    • Heliosicle says:

      As with everything companies seem to say, I probably want this but don’t know it.

    • Harkkum says:

      I could get a work assignment in, say, Somalia, and I seriously do doubt that the first thing on my mind would be playing EA games I have bought. Or maybe a more commonplace thing of having a baby in the family and getting that scornful glance every time you change game instead of a diaper.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Also, on a random note, you log onto your EA account every time you use an EA game. So, for EA to even legally contemplate this, you’d have to not play a SINGLE EA GAME for over 2 years. Then, they’d be legally allowed to deleted it – which they’re allowed to do at their discretion anyways.

      Just, you know, calm down. Origin is, actually quite good, if you’ve ever used it, although pricing is still pretty bad. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

    • zipdrive says:

      Sorry, my pattern of game usage is not yours to criticize. If I take two (or three, or five) years off from playing EA (or actiblizzard or Ubisoft, or Paradox) games, that my business and you have no say in it.

    • RobF says:

      Why do you find not logging into an EA game for TWO WHOLE YEARS such a major and impossible feat, man?

      Honestly, it’s really not. Given they’re mainly a franchise led outfit with the odd exception here and there, what if you, y’know, just want to play the odd exception? Like, say, Mirrors Edge. Or something.

    • MiniMatt says:

      I’m pretty sure I haven’t played a single Stardock game in two years but I’d still quite like to know that Gal Civ, SoaSE, Demigod etc are still there on Impulse.

      But yeah, perhaps we do need to recognise the difference between “The Law”, and an EULA contract. Firstly, because it’s in an EULA does not make it the law. Secondly, the removal of any particular clause as a result of legal challenge will almost certainly not rule other parts of the contract invalid. And thirdly, “the law” is different in different jurisdictions and in a global business it’s really rather impossible to say “they can’t do that, it’s illegal”.

      And finally, any liability they could potentially be exposed to would almost certainly be limited to the value of goods lost. Say you’ve got a couple hundred pounds worth of EA games and they pull this – the absoulte most I expect you’re likely to get back if challenged through (potentially overseas) courts would be a couple hundred quid. Now add your legal fees – how much lawyer time can you get for a couple hundred quid. And you’d probably struggle to get costs awarded to you if it can be shown that EA offered (eg) a couple hundred quid earlier in the process in an out of court settlement – therefore most of these clauses will never ever be challenged in court. They can however, be challenged via market forces – don’t like, don’t buy. A lot of publishers (Ubi, Acti/Blizz, EA) are making it quite easy for me to boycott their products of late.

    • TheApologist says:

      I find it completely plausible that I wouldn’t play an EA game for two years. These days a lot of my mainstream AAA type gaming is played on console which is often not connected to the internet.

      And this clause means I am even less likely to be buying an EA game in future.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “Also, how are you going to avoid logging onto Origin for 2 years now that all EA games are on it?”

      Ahahaha. 1) There are plenty of EA games still on Steam, many of which aren’t disappearing because I own them already. 2) There still aren’t any Origin-exclusive games I care about. 3) There need to be a lot of good Origin exclusives before they’ll convince me to sign up.

      So this news is yet another Origin-related story that doesn’t affect me at all.

    • Big Murray says:

      Minimatt: The solution to that issue would be a class action lawsuit. Which, if EA weren’t careful, there’d more than likely be enough people to gang together to carry out.

    • Ajh says:

      Uhm, because EA only puts out one or two games every few years that I’m even interested in, and even then, I tend to play single player games in spurts and then forget them for a long time.

    • Urthman says:

      Crimsoneer’s conviction that it’s impossible to go two whole years without playing an EA game is possibly the funniest thing I’ve read on the internet all week.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      “Let EA comment. We have no idea why this clause is there, and contracts and EULAs are quagmires of legal escape-hatches.”

      It’s in there for the same dumb damn reason why, when Origin was the EA Store (this was years ago, BTW) you had to pay a $2 fee to be able to download your title again after 6 months. Seriously. I was thinking about buying the BF2 bundle from them, but then saw that and immediately decided not to. The best part; even after paying the $2 fee, you could only re-download your title for 1 year. After that, SOL. Not even an ability to pay another fee to download for another 1 year. Wow, talk about customer appreciation! How on earth did the EA Store not do well with great customer-oriented features like that!?

      And, yes, they did shut off people’s ability to download, even those that paid the fee weren’t able to download again after their 1 year limit.

      Why should we give EA time to comment? So they can drum-up half-cooked excuses? “Oh, our draconian legalese is only their because our lawyers made us put it there. We’d never use it, though.” That’s EXACTLY why it’s there! In case they need/have/want to use it, they can. Otherwise, there’s no need for it! Quite simply, when such legalese is included in such a manner, it’s for one reason only: to screw people over. If it’s within regards to the possible closure of Origin, then why not have clauses that mirror Steam and everyone else? Why have this extra darcaonian lines? Furthermore, why wasn’t any of this in the EULA for the EA Downloads service? (the store relaunch that was in-between the original EA Store and then revamped into Origin)

  7. Zorak says:

    Entitlements includes any digital product as listed, including games proper.

    Further, if they cancel your account for non-use, your games go with it anyway.

  8. sleep_crime says:

    Who in their right mind would try to compete with steam to begin with, let alone pull this kind of bullshit? EA isn’t exactly riding high in public opinion to be able to successfully expand into digital distribution, especially given how important public opinion is in such a venture.

    Sink the money into a few new IPs and market them over a far more developed digital distribution infrastructure.

  9. ix says:

    Apparently they’re concerned about old accounts piling up. Really though, aside from the fact that you’ll eventually run out of usable nicknames, there’s no reason to want to clean up old accounts. Disk space is cheap and capacity doubles very quickly (somewhere between 12 and 20 months, depending on where you fit your curve, I think).

    So yeah, just dumb.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      That really is dumb.

      How much disk space could it possibly require anyway? It’s not like they have to keep a separate copy of each game you own just for your account. They’d basically just be saving your account details, authentication details and a list of what products you are allowed to download.

    • FakeAssName says:

      they already are just about out of possible user names, I signed up for it because I had a little bit of extra cash lying around and everyone was all up in arms about it and EA “betraying” Steam … so I figured I would give it a shot.

      took me at least a half hour to get through their account system because EA’s back end of multiple account databases is a total cluster fuck: I had to make a EA Origin user name in addition to my existing EA store ID, then I had to make a Pogo account and tie it into my EA store/Origin account so the help desk person I was dealing with could actually manually edit the thing in a way that DICE’s BF2142 log in system would communicate with the Origin account and see that I actually did properly own the game.

      then I had problems with the Northern Strike patch fucking up and refusing to work on my system, strangely the basic game worked just fine … in the end I couldn’t get the damned thing to run and count that $15 as a pointless donation to EA. but that’s not a problem with the Origin software; it’s a problem with DICE not taking the time to update the game to work with Origin (I guess they are too busy with BF3 to support an old title like 2142) and the database / user ID issues are legacy problems with EA (being a huge blob that keeps starting up new databases like a fat man reaching for a new chicken wing after loosing the first three under, half consumed, his man boobs.)

      just to make this clear: Origin itself works just fine; it downloads cleanly, is easy to use, and doesn’t take up excessive resources or need to be running to play your games …. everything else like developer support and the (pre-existed even before EADM) account database it is attached to is a total pooch screw.

      … but that was like a week after the service was launched, maybe it’s gotten better (although I doubt I will ever get 2142 to work).

      TL;DR: EA -needs- to clear up all of it’s user account databases because it is a huge fucking mess. however, they can’t really do that without deleting peoples product history, so they started this death threat to scare people into migrating their own accounts into Origin with the intent of killing off anything people don’t care enough about to log into by 2013.

    • Nalano says:

      @FakeAssName

      By your logic, in order for this to be useful, EA would still have a borked user database for two more years before it clears up that clusterfuck.

      No. There’s absolutely no reason for them or anybody else to delete database information nowadays. Space is cheap, and it’s a trust issue with your customers.

    • FakeAssName says:

      I think the problem is that they just have too damned many databases, each one was designed to stand alone so none of them can be combined because they will get accounts where two different people have got the same ID, while one person who uses all of the multiple EA databases will have a different ID on each one.

      EA is not known for it’s efficiency, but I think they are actually trying to get things sorted out … just in a really fucked up manner.

      as for why they can’t deal with it: data is cheap, paying someone to troll through multiple databases when dealing with a support issue is not. neither is maintaining multiple independent store fronts: I count EA store/Origin, POGO, Mythic, and now POPcap … their is probably others in addition to their separate international sales department.

      EA really wants to get all of that consolidated, and I don’t blame them. I do think they really need to figure out a different way to handle it.

  10. Cinek says:

    That is why RETAIL RULEZ.

    No junk-services, no risk of removal, no risk of loosing things I pay for just because company went bankrupt or got stupid rules, no hassle with bans (like people who got their steam games blocked due to forums ban), no distribution of my credit card number to each of 123 services offering games, no worries that in 10 years I won’t be able to play my good old game, plus: retail games usually get patches, DLCs, etc. FIRST! :D

    • DSR says:

      I would agree with you but this CD with old copy of Rainbow Six: Raven Shield(which became unreadable after constant jumps and hops into drive every time I wanted to play) tells me what I should not.

    • zipdrive says:

      I call bullshit: Physical games have their own problems, like discs being scratched and lost, and these days they also suffer from the same problems you mentioned for download games: You can be banned from playing an online game because of forum posts whether you have the disc or not, store clerks can still copy and distribute your credit card number, and operating system compatibility is a pains in the ass after a decade.
      Not to mention that the DLC you mention is only digitally distributed.

    • sk2k says:

      Cinek, good luck finding a retail game that does not need a service like Steam, GFWL, Origin, etc. for activation/playing MP.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Quite. Retail doesn’t exist any more—just the option to buy an online-locked game in a less convenient fashion and possibly with an extra hardware dongle.

      GOG “RULEZ”, though. Descent is mine for as long as I can keep the installer backed up.

  11. Longrat says:

    I recall having this discussion with someone on RPS before. He said something about how this assures that you can keep your games for at least 2 years, as opposed to the draconian steam policy which just says “you can lose everything at valve’s discretion.”

    • Dominic White says:

      I hear that reasoning a lot… I’d like to know what the hell you have to do to get your entire Steam account locked down, because the penalty for cheating and hacking like a mofo is only getting locked out of VAC-protected servers. So, you’d have to do something significantly worse than running hacks on public, protected servers.

    • Milky1985 says:

      If you read the T and C you will see that they still have the “we can terminate your account whenever we want” clause. Basically they have both clauses so you can also lose your account at EA’s discreation.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      I think the “you can lose everything at [company]‘s discretion” is more of a failsafe clause put in for if the company ever, for some reason, is no longer able to support the online distribution platform. Example, if Valve were to go bankrupt next week, this clause would protect them from being sued and stuff by angry gamers who lost all the games they purchased.

    • Longrat says:

      @Dominic
      I read on the RPS forums a while back that someone got his account banned for receiving a gift that was purchased with a bad credit card, or was a stolen serial or something. I’m unsure, but their T&C says stuff about piracy, that is, using fake/stolen CD keys will get you instabanned, as well as performing fraud.

      @Milky
      If you say so, dawg. I really CBA to read the terms.

    • MultiVaC says:

      This feels a little different than Steam’s clause to me. Valve’s is sort of a catch-all thing that reserves their legal right to disable accounts (which is admittedly a horrible thing in itself), but here it looks like EA is outlining a disturbingly specific scenario where “your Entitlements WILL expire” after two years of inactivity. Your account being cancelled is only a possibility, but it specifically says that your “entitlements” WILL expire. I’m not really sure what the extent of things that we would lose when entitlements expire are, but the addition of those details makes in a lot more worrying than what Valve has.

    • nayon says:

      You should make sure not to make any off comments on EA forums, they might disable your account.

  12. Brometheus says:

    “Those sure are some nice games you have there. Be a real shame if something happened to ‘em because you abandoned them for two years, capiche?”

  13. Was Neurotic says:

    That reminds me. I reinstalled my pre-Origin EA Download Manager a few months ago so I could get at my BF2 Euro Forces pack. What EA had listed as my purchase items back then were Euro Forces, The Sims 2: Seasons and Hellgate London.

    I had some kind of problem with the whole thing though – the password for the DLM wasn’t good and I had to change it, which had some kind of knock-on effect on my other EA-related passwords. But the end result was that once it was all finally sorted, my Euro Forces expansion had transmuted into a full copy of BF:BC2… Key, activation code, multi-player – for all intents and purposes a 100% kosher game.

    Moral of the story? Playing with EA is a crap shoot that sometimes works out okay. :D

    • pepper says:

      Heh, Good for you!

      You do know that all the expansion packs(euro force, blabla bla, something something) have become free, except for Special Forces, although I have no idea if that is still being played.

  14. Plankton says:

    Oh dear! And there I was almost considering using Origin. Yeah, not really.

    • The Sentinel says:

      If Mass Effect 3 is released as an Origin exclusive then I’m going to have some serious thinking to do. I imagine a few others will as well.

    • Icarus says:

      Mmyes. Serious thinking indeed :(

    • zeroskill says:

      I cant see any reason why you would consider Origin as your main platform. EA hasnt really a good history (EA downloader was a pathetic excuse for a service) and after checking out Origin myself I have to say its but a shallow imitation of Steam. Im not really hot for any EA games too, so maybe that makes the decision easier for me, but im not trusting EA with my credit card information or digital goods in any way. They have history of shutting down online services the instance they stop being profitable.

      So the only thing Origin has going for it is some EA exclusive games and content, and thats a really sad fact.

    • vodkarn says:

      This would literally be the first time ever for me, but due to the fun of trying to use my Limited Edition (or whatever the hell a pre-order is called) for Mass Effect 2 I’m seriously considering buying ME3 retail, and getting a hack to avoid Origin. I the last few months I’ve lost THREE WEEKENDS to EA auth servers being down. Why? Because my Mass Effect 2, being a pre-order, comes with DLC… and my saves include DLC content, which means I need their servers up to be able to use my saved games.

      Fuck. That.

      I learned my lesson EA, you taught me verrrrry well what happens when I use your online services.

  15. Dominic White says:

    ‘Entitlements’ includes games as well as DLC. Or anything you’ve bought – it’s in the terms.

    So, yeah, they’re threatening do delete everything you own (whether you bought it from Origin or not) if you don’t log in often enough.

  16. IDtenT says:

    I don’t see the problem. There is no precedence of them actually /doing/ what they say they have legal rights to do. It’s all legal speak.

    • Harkkum says:

      I think you are somewhat too optimistic when it comes to companies. If they have, say, five million accounts and they can get rid of one percent of those every two years they will save in disc space, however insignificant that money might be. And they will.

      And more on the point, of course there is no precedent as the service is not mature enough to have anyone with an account that is even more than two years of age not to mention been inactive for that long.

    • PoulWrist says:

      All kinds of companies have these clauses in their terms of use. Check out whatever MMO you play and see what it says about how they have the right to delete your characters if you don’t log in for 6 months or whatever other things they have to say in order to not be sued constantly.

  17. Wozzle says:

    I’ve seen some corporate apologists on the PCG forums defending this with the “well, why do you care if you can’t be bothered to log on every 2 years!? Besides, it’s not like they’d ever actually do it!”
    Ignoring the first nonesense and focusing on the second, I’m not sure why they even need that clause? Do they lose anything by *not* deleting inactive accounts? I don’t understand why this is even necessary.

  18. Dave says:

    I really think the “we can wreck your shit any time we feel like it with no recourse” a la Valve needs another mention here before we destroy all the EA

    • zipdrive says:

      Yeah, valve don’t smell of roses either, in this regard.

    • The Sentinel says:

      I’m sorry, folks, but no. Valve smell of newborn kittens and give everyone warm tummy feelings so we’re not allowed to criticise them. Go back to kicking EA, please.

      @Dave: I’m no Valve fan but ask yourself this: out of Valve and EA, going by their historical behaviour, who do you trust more to provide you a decent gaming service?

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I don’t think new born kittens smell like you think they do.

    • The Sentinel says:

      I don’t think you’re as clever as you think you are. Newborn kittens not smelling very good, despite the misleading first impressions (Kittens? Awwwww!), is the entire point of writing it as it fits nicely into the vaguely sarcastic tone of my post.

      If you must propagate those awful meme things instead of your own original thoughts at least try to do so when it doesn’t make you look a bit foolish? Wait, it’s a meme: sorry, asking the impossible there.

    • BarneyL says:

      The difference is that EA are a company and are therfore evil and only out to steal your money.
      Valve on the other hand is a charitable organisation set up purely for the benefit of gamers can be nothing less than a noble beacon of honesty and good practice.

  19. Ice-Fyre says:

    I have a feeling Steam is gonna do better than Origin tbh

    • PoulWrist says:

      Because the “we withhold the right to just take away your account and thus the thousands of euro you spent in it at any given moment, without explanation, warning, recompense or even a reply to your emails should we deem that you have somehow broken our TOS” is so much better?

    • Koozer says:

      Yes. Possibly losing your account for doing nasty things is better than definitely losing your account for doing literally nothing for 2 years.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Because the “we withhold the right to just take away your account and thus the thousands of euro you spent in it at any given moment, without explanation, warning, recompense or even a reply to your emails should we deem that you have somehow broken our TOS” is so much better?”

      Please read what i wrote earlier.

      Origin HAS THIS CLAUSE AS WELL , this 2 year and we will kill your account is an additional clause on top of the catch all.

      Stop using that to bash valve, its a general clause in all of the digi distribution platforms, basically so that they can kick you for hacking/cheating/scamming.

      The 2 year inactivity thing is the thing being discussed, and its a stupid clause, but with all thats happening in the world of gaming (with blizz, ubi and other companies being idiots) its just part of the industry now :/

  20. zipdrive says:

    Look at it this way: EA tend to shut down their games after two years anyway, right?

  21. StingingVelvet says:

    Steam says they can take you account at ANY time for ANY reason.

    I think that qualifies.

    • Goomich says:

      Just like Origin:

      “EA may terminate access to any PC or mobile products and/or EA Services at any time by giving you notice of such termination within the time period specified when you joined the particular EA Service, or if no time period for notice of termination was specified, then within thirty (30) days of the date such notice is posted on the applicable product or EA Service or on http://www.ea.com/2/service-updates.”

  22. yourgrandma says:

    I viewed origin as just software to download your games as you don’t need it to run while your playing and i would never use its features. Similar to the greenman gaming Capsule or what ever direct2drive and other digital download software there is. I could easily see myself not logging into origin in 2 years as i very rarely buy EA games. I already regret buying BF2 there.

    • FakeAssName says:

      D2D uses that gamespy “Comrade” thing (I think, not sure now that Gamefly owns it), and Origin is a virtual carbon copy of it.

  23. pepper says:

    EA appears to have the magic skill to always turn me away from their services no matter how hard they try.

  24. PoulWrist says:

    Have any of you guys ever read the TOS for whatever MMOs you play? Many of them will say if you don’t log on for 6 months or other periods they will delete your characters… does it mean they do it? Not in any case I’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does take place.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      They actually state that if you go a certain period of time *with an inactive account,* that is to say “an account you have not paid for,” they will delete your characters.

      Square-Enix does this in FFXI, almost without fail. They don’t care if you log in, they just care about whether or not you’re paying them.

  25. Eclipse says:

    Wow, they’re really trying hard to piss users off aren’t they? Instead of giving us a good alternative to steam they’re:

    - refusing to publish some of their newest big titles on steam ( and that’s ok, it’s not everyone NEEDS to publish on steam)

    - deleting previously released games like Crysis 2 and Dragon Age 2 from steam (and that’s less than ok… means you’ll stick with the version you have, with no updates or the chance to buy additional content)

    - and now setting a limit of two years that will delete all the stuff you got?

    Dead EA, just revert back to steam, you’re clearly not able to do anything better than GFWL

    • PoulWrist says:

      Except it’s valve taking them off steam, and they put the titles on steam after launch, and you have much harsher things like “we can just take your account and not tell you why” on steam. But hey, let’s ignore all that, shall we? EA can do no right and they must forever be hated for no reason what so ever, and our fanboy eyes shall glitter whenever we look to the oppressive steam because the people who hawk through it sometimes choose to have sales.

  26. Dominic White says:

    Oh dear. The anti-Steam swarm have just arrived. Poisoning the well indeed.

    • MD says:

      Who are you referring to?

    • The Sentinel says:

      Yes, let’s all roll our eyes at the KERR-AAZY Valve “Haters”, those people devoid of any intelligent reasoning powers whatsoever! Let’s even label them and use that label dismissively at every opportunity! And let’s affect some kind of elitist posture, that of the decent person having to suffer these utter imbeciles! THAT’S how to foster healthy debate on the Internet! Well done, that man! I salute you!

      …but not in the way you’d like.

    • TheApologist says:

      @TheSentinel
      Consistently aggressive over reaction is probably not the best way to get people to listen to your point of view.

    • Koozer says:

      @TheApologist: I concur. I have nothing else to add.
      EDIT: heey, your post was longer 5 seconds ago.

    • The Sentinel says:

      @TheApologist: Probably not, but you’re assuming that was the intent. See below for an example of a point of view expressed reasonably and sensibly in response to the original post.

    • TheApologist says:

      @Koozer
      Sorry about that – I posted and then read further down the thread where TheSentinel made many of the points I had just made. Which makes his/her aggressive posting here pretty baffling. But I felt it was fairest to cut the criticism of not responing to argument and leave the criticism of manner and tone.
      @TheSentinel Some kind of post-modern experiment in the multiple logics of a fragmented self?

    • The Sentinel says:

      Not even remotely. :)

  27. Oryon says:

    How is ‘it’s not that hard to log in once every 2 years’ a valid argument in any way. This is about the principle and attitude towards the consumer. What if they say ‘you must play our game every 2 days, or lose it’? When does the timeframe start or stop being a concern?

    Jesus people stop putting up with crap and stand up for yourself. Screw Origin.

    • PoulWrist says:

      You’ll have to say “screw you” to ALL online services then. None excluded. And probably your ISP as well as your mobile operator. Are you all really this stupid? Someone points out a clause in one EULA and you immediately think that this is the ONLY one to have such a clause? Or a worse clause? Tell me, does Origin’s EULA have you agreeing to them without warning or explanation to revoke access to your account and never bother responding to your emails about why or what you did ?

    • aircool says:

      I gave up fighting long ago. You can’t win, so I just enjoy the games instead of getting all worked up over nothing.

  28. Eukatheude says:

    “Please pirate our games!”

  29. Joe Duck says:

    This year is turning out to be interesting in the gaming industry. We get first the realization on the industry that PC gaming is still profitable and the consumer fatigue with console marketing. Then we get Ubi’s lovely DRM not only mantained but heralded as giving positive results. EA decides to compete with Steam by taking away user’s rights and trusting that we’ll all accept a substandard draconian service for the privilege of paying for their AAAAAAAAAAA titles. Then Activision decides that Blizzard are not making enough money as it is and decide to introduce the same DRM that Ubi has, but go on to explain that they do it “to help you not cheat”. As a favour.
    At the same time, Valve introduces F2P games in Steam, makes TF2 free forever, has indie games in their store front page and has regular, predictable sales that grow our libraries and tie us more to the platform.
    Out of these 4 companies, only one is competing by giving the customer more and better.
    I think it is obvious where I am going. Sorry EA, you cannot do that to me. Why? Simple, because I will not buy your game in the first place.

  30. D3xter says:

    Eh, I was about to check out “Origin” the other day and I saw that:

    2. Consent to Collection and Use of Data.

    You agree that EA may collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer (including the Internet Protocol Address), operating system, Application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware, that may be gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, dynamically served content, product support and other services to you, including online services. EA may also use this information combined with personal information for marketing purposes and to improve our products and services. We may also share that data with our third party service providers in a form that does not personally identify you. IF YOU DO NOT WANT EA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, TRANSMIT OR DISPLAY THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL OR USE THE APPLICATION.

    I then proceeded to do exactly what they pleaded me to do.

    • PoulWrist says:

      You mean like how Steam does all these things too? Only you didn’t read the one in steam because rosy fanboys told you that it’s something made only to benefit you and really give things away? :p I think you should read that and then uninstall steam as fast as humanly possible.

    • Koozer says:

      I hate to agree with maniacs, but he’s right, Steam does collect data too.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “You mean like how Steam does all these things too?”

      you mean the steam hardware survey, which it activly asks you if you want to do and upload the data?

      Compared to the EA just do it in the background anyway? yes thats the same of course it is.

      Jesus christ steam might nto be the best system, but can all the stupid valve haters invading this thread come up with valid reasons please. All i have seen so far is saying is valve is worse (when actually no, origin do the same thing) and “but valve do it too” (true, but generally ask peopel rather than just doing it)

    • BarneyL says:

      I see no “stupid valve haters” all I see is a few people pointing out the entirely accurate fact that the terms you agree to on Steam are no better (if not worse) or that Valve are just as guilty of forcing their DLC system on others as EA are and then a bunch of raving Steam fanbois jumping on them with dumb accusations of bias that apply equally to both services.
      Or perhaps we could drop the hyperbole and all have a reasonable discussion instead?

    • Ajh says:

      That’s fairly standard. It lets them use their data for statistics like steam puts out, as well as tailoring advertisements on the website, and telling developers what people are buying.

      They’re not likely to sell it to places like credit card companies, though they CAN, which has always disturbed me.

  31. blind_boy_grunt says:

    The 2 years is one thing, but for me that reads much more like they are trying to introduce to us that we are not longer buying games but “entitlements”. Or has that already happened and i forgot/not noticed?
    “Yeah you don’t buy anything from us, we are allowing you to play the game, for a time. That you gave us some money may or may not have anything to with that. That’s why consumers right don’t apply, you pesky little gamer you.”
    The word entitlement just feels like they are lighting candles, sprinkle some roses around and put on some Barry Manilow to get us in the mood for some serious assfucking.
    But i’m probably beating the cadavre of a long dead horse.

    • mouton says:

      You don’t own games on Steam either, just “subscriptions”. Actual ownership – even of a copy – kind of died with digital distribution, sorry.

  32. RakeShark says:

    I’m trying to be as fair and “forgiving” as to this whole Origin situation.

    SWTOR being Origin-exclusive? Fine, no problem. Considering how much EA has dumped into its production and development, I don’t blame them for wanting to squeeze every cent for profit out of that game. Much like Battle.net and SC2, control over your biggest property is something you want when hundreds of thousands of people are playing it. I don’t so much mind the Origin part of SWTOR as I do the the somewhat underwhelming gameplay demos in contrast to the hype.

    BF3 being Origin-exclusive. Resentment, but alright. I would would like to able to associate my Steam friends with BF3, but I suppose the Battlefield community is somewhat its own little world away from the rest of the multiplayer games I tend to frequent. BFBC2 players I know were liking the Steam support, and are no doubt angered by the uprooting of their established community structure. Again, it’s not so much the Origin thing that makes me weary of BF3 as the lack of mod/custom map support, which was a big draw to BF2 for myself and my buddies.

    Really, Origin itself is looking a lot like an online portal rather than a digital distribution platform, much like UPlay from ubisoft, just contorted and twisted to become a store. I can’t honestly say I expect Origin to crash and burn, because retail still plays a big part of EA’s publishing income, a place Valve has abandoned aside from their console releases. Myself, I’m going to be buying SWTOR and ME3 from retail, mostly because that’s how I’ve bought EA’s products over the decade or so.

    Origin may offer limited services and EA’s new titles exclusively, but it doesn’t stop me from going to retail for EA, and getting everything else from Steam/Impulse. It’s not like they’re doing anything different from what GFWL is doing. It may be an annoyance, it may very well be a hindrance, but it certainly won’t be my primary option for gaming.

  33. aircool says:

    Recently me and a few mates decided to go back to BF2142 as we were getting hyped over BF3. BF2142 was released in 2006, with the latest patch being released earlier this year.

    I hadn’t played it since 2007.

    If the same thing happened with BF3 (I’m getting a physical copy, but no doubt will have to suffer Origin for patches – and no doubt there’ll be a day one patch, just to make us all even more cynical), then I’d be screwed if I hadn’t touched Origin for over 24 months. Is that right?

    However, to be fair (and see both sides of the argument), during those imaginary 24 months, it’s highly likely that I’ll have logged into Origin to patch other games etc, as EA are bound to release at least one game in thsoe 24 months that I’d end up buying & patching etc…

    “The more you tighten your grip, EA, the more Customers will slip through your fingers.”

    • aircool says:

      Forgot to say. It’s all well and good bashing EA; they can be a right pain in the arse sometimes. However, it’s easy to forget that they publish some great games, and, in my experience have excellent tech support. Slow it may be, but they’ve helped me solve many tech problems with games in recent years.

      May as well throw this one in as well… SOE (again, in my experience) are quite good at helping you out with your online accounts and in game problems as well.

      It’s easy to have a go at the big fellas, but just as easy to overlook some of the benefits of having all their games under one roof.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      you are probably right, it just seems they are hording rights because the buyer/player can’t be trusted.
      “It’s easy to have a go at the big fellas, but just as easy to overlook some of the benefits of having all their games under one roof.”
      Not so long ago you could have them all under one roof and mean that literally ;).

  34. jalf says:

    I don’t suppose anyone has read Steam’s terms of use recently?

    Because they’re basically saying they can remove your games if they feel like it.

    The only thing about Origin that’s puzzling/worrying is that they’re more specific about when it might happen.

    But please, don’t pretend that Steam offers any superior guarantees of permanence.

    And of course, GFWL has a clause that they can terminate your account if you do/say anything that *could* be considered offensive. That is, it doesn’t actually have to offend anyone, as long as there’s a *chance* someone might be offended.

    Overall, digital distribution services offer horrible terms. Steam included. By all means criticize Origin, they deserve it, but please please please don’t go saying things like “Steam is so much better, I’ll just stick with them”. They’re not, and they deserve to feel a bit of heat for this as well.

    • aircool says:

      Not forgetting of course that pretty much every EULA has a clause which allows the publisher to completely stop supporting the game after 28 days.

      Origin looks like it might be the only source for updates, patches and whatnot. I think it will be highly unlikely that you’ll not log in at least once in a 24 month period. Unless you’re dead.

    • The Sentinel says:

      I think the difference people are seeing is that EA’s putting a timer on the whole thing, 24 months, is worse than Steam’s position. Steam are expected to behave in a more-or-less reasonable fashion, given that they spend a great deal of time and effort trying to keep their customers happy. Yes, they can remove your entitlements at any time but are expected to do so mostly in a reasonable and fair manner; i.e. to people who actually deserve it. EA’s track record of looking after their customers is much less trustworthy, therefore the suspicion of hidden, malignant intent is much greater.

    • PoulWrist says:

      All kinds of services have a time period. Check out whatever MMOs you’re playing and see what they have to say about how long they are going to be keeping your characters around after you stop logging in.
      Does that mean they ever actually delete your characters? No. It’s just to cover any reasons they may have to fiddle with it. Like say cleaning up names or other such things.

    • Ajh says:

      Oh steam isn’t any better. None of them really are.

      …Well..I’m a bit of a fan of GoG because I can back up my game files and never worry about them expiring or being unable to use them. They’re the site that’s gotten most of my non-mmo dollars this year.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Because they’re basically saying they can remove your games if they feel like it.

      The only thing about Origin that’s puzzling/worrying is that they’re more specific about when it might happen.”

      Have you read the EA Downloader/Origin T and C recently, they also have the “we can remove your game if we feel like it” clause AS WELL as the 2 year one.

      That is why its even more worrying :/

  35. Vexing Vision says:

    I don’t like Steam very much. But Valve has a track-record. And so does EA. I know where I’ll spend my online money.

  36. Deano2099 says:

    Well the old EA system also said you could only download your games for two years. But once that period expired they stayed available anyway. Not that it didn’t stop EA from charging people extra for ‘insurance’ on purchase that turned out to be pointless but still…

    I prefer the honesty, to be frank. “You’re renting this stuff for two years” is kind of preferable to “you can keep this for as long as we let you”.

    Blizzard have something similar with World of Warcraft – there is a clause that allows them to delete your character if you don’t log in for for however many days. They have yet to delete a character.

  37. Lobotomist says:

    W T F :O

  38. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Didn’t the same kind of argument pop up when steam was first starting up? Or has everyone forgotton..

    • DeanLearner says:

      I was going to ask the same thing.

      I believe EA have done this because it makes legal sense. While they won’t necessarily delete everything after 24 months, the contract states they have the right to. A contract stating they will indefinitely supply something is a ridiculous thing to get in to.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Totally agree with you there, the main annoyance for me is it means, another set of username/passwords to remember, which is slightly annoying, but not much else, I mean, putting the disk in the drive is also annoying, yet I and most people have been doing it for yonks without much of a whimper, although I did/do usually NOCD my older games/non mp-constant online ones anyways.

  39. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Ummm… I can buy EA stuff from Gamer’s Gate, right?

    Crysis averted.

    • Lemming says:

      “Crysis averted”

      I don’t know if that was deliberate, but it was delicious irony.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      If it’s intentional, it’s a pun, and if it’s accidental, it’s irony.

      Ain’t the world sweet. :)

  40. RogB says:

    I registered an EA download account, solely for the purpose of my missus playing The Sims 3.
    shorlty after, we had twin girls. The EA account (or sims3) has never been used since. (2 and a half years)

    Last week I installed origin, and was surprised to see that the old EA account was still there and still shows Sims3 in my Games Tab.

    so this ’2 years not using a login’ CAN be an issue. Thankfully, in this case all was well. Thats not to say they might be so nice next time though..

  41. gusone says:

    Origin just gets better and better…..

    Join the Steam ‘EA Boycott Origin’ Group. Fight the power and bring BF3 / Dragon Age 2 / Crysis 3 / Mass Effect 3 and every other new EA game back to Steam. We are small but with your help we can grow. We also boycott Tom Francis as well if that helps.

    • Harlander says:

      I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about creating a social group on one digital download service to express your refusal to use a different one that seems a little…

      … I dunno, weird?

      Best of luck to you, I guess.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I’m betting Gusone’s Origin profile will show him clocking hours in BF3 in the coming months. That’s exactly how boycott groups go. Remember L4D2 and MW2?

    • Milky1985 says:

      “That’s exactly how boycott groups go. Remember L4D2 and MW2?”

      Not this BS again. Yes some people who boycott will not follow through, but a big percentage will thats kinda the point of it.

  42. Carra says:

    Wtf. I haven’t logged into my direct2drive or gamersgate account for over a year.

    I still expect my games to be there when I want to play them in a year.

    • johnpeat says:

      The largest DD shop in the world is probably the iTunes Store.

      If you buy music from that, how long do you have to download it?

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Not related to OP, but more @ Johnpeat,

      I do not know how long you have to download the music you ‘bought’ etc, but I know from personal experience that if you reinstall iTunes, or a major upgrade of iTunes, you lose all of your ‘purchased’ music, and can not ever get it back again – hence backups!

      The sad thing is, idk if you can backup online game files, like steam? because steam is hardcoded into them, so if steam goes awol, then so do your games.

      I downloaded DCS-A10C a while ago, and was extremely happy to find no DRM on the install file itself, I have about 4-5copies on my HDD’s just in case -__-

      mm still wasn’t really related, but bam, you have it now.

    • The Colonel says:

      Feckin’ iTunes. Low quality music at high-DRM, annoying filetype prices.

  43. johnpeat says:

    What I want to know is what is missing from games that the people who claim to be enthusiastic about them have to spend their lives reading T&Cs and then whining about them on the Internet…

    Perhaps we need “Digital Distribution Whingers Story” knocked-up ASAP?

  44. Tei says:

    My impresion registring CD-Keys in Origin is that EA have absolutelly no idea what everyone owns, at this point.
    I was tryiing to register Dragon Age in Origin, and the only options for my cd-key was the German version and the japonese version, so I tried to register the german one… but that never worked, so I tried the japonese, this one work (my version is Spanish)
    With the other CD-Keys I have seems a similar experience. His “CD-Key”<—->”Game database” is a complete mess. I would not be surprised if that Cd-Key you think is for a full game, in the database shows as a DLC or any other random crap.
    This is going to be fun, because the fundations of Origin are absolutelly piss poor quality.
    Valve got a lot of problems and oposition trying to make his platform succeed, but at least started from a blank slate. EA don’t have this luck. I predict a nightmare.

  45. TheApologist says:

    So, the people saying Valve are no better than EA seem to have trouble answering the following arguments:
    1. That Valve’s historical behaviour suggests they might be worth trusting, EAs does not
    2. That, while Valve does have a catch-all clause, so does EA, and such clauses are common and have a particular purpose, i.e. to avoid the company getting sued should they be unable to provide anyone with an online gaming service in future. EA’s additional clause is not required for this purpose, so it is reasonable to be suspicious of EA in a way one has no reason to be of Valve.
    3. Specifically, that suspicion might be that EA is hoping to force people to rebuy their games after two years. It is hard to see how anything that has been highlighted in Valve’s T&Cs could be construed as being for this purpose.

    Any anti-Valvers really able to answer these points?

    • 0p8 says:

      i too would like to hear this answered please.
      if there is already a “cover everything “clause in both origin and steam then whay the need for the extra 24 month thing?

    • Coins says:

      Also, Valve is not chained to shareholders, to the best of my knowledge. Also an important fact.

    • jalf says:

      Wow… Way to completely miss the point. Here’s a hint: the world isn’t black and wihte. EA isn’t the devil, and Valve aren’t saints. Valve has closed plenty of accounts spuriously.

      But that’s not the point. It’s not about who is worse, or who is *most* trustworthy.

      The real issue is that both companies write into their terms of use that “you don’t own shit, and we can take everything you paid for away if we’re having a bad day”.

      It doesn’t matter that Valve hasn’t done that so far. What matters is that they reserve the right to do so. Just like EA does. And it’s bad for customers in *both* cases. I’m not anti-Valve, but I’m anti “ripping off your customers”. So far, neither Valve nor EA has done this on a large/systematic scale (both have done so in a couple of individual cases of customer support gone awry), but both companies reserve the right to do so, and I, for one, think that’s a bad thing in both cases.

      Perhaps any “pro-Valvers” could explain to me why we should tolerate, nay praise and worship Valve when they reserve the right to do the exact same thing that EA reserves the right to do? Is the answer really just “But we like Valve, and we don’t like EA”?

      Also, EA answered here.

    • TheApologist says:

      @Jalf – I know the world isn’t black and white. That’s my point. My question was about why lots of people are criticising Valve in a thread about an EA term of service. Their reasoning seems to be based on an equivalence asserted between EA’s behaviour and Valve’s. I.E. Valve are just as bad as EA. That equivalence seems to me to be based on an inability to distinguish between, if you like, lighter grey (Valve) and darker grey (EA).

      It is that reasoning that leads you to a point that essentially, because Steam is not perfectly white it is black, and therefore the same as EA.

      To answer your questions, I do not and have never felt Valve or Steam are infallible or problem free. But I feel them to be good enough for me to spend some money on games on. The reasons for forming a distinction between Valve and EA in this regard are given in the questions in my OP, and I still haven’t really got an answer to them.

  46. Lemming says:

    I’d swear they have something similar for their Spore servers. I bought Spore legit, signed up etc and after the initial ‘wow-factor’ I didn’t play it for a few months. Tried to run it again and it claimed my login (which was saved btw) was no longer valid. Really wasn’t impressed.

  47. Phase says:

    This is outrageous.
    This is just one way to basically encourage piracy, if the game is cracked then your game would *never* expire.

  48. Dana says:

    They had the same clause in the previous incarnation of digital shop.

  49. noclip says:

    “Your Origin account is now Useless™”

    • db1331 says:

      It’s useless from the start. I had to download Origin for the BF3 alpha. It’s totally pointless. It doesn’t do anything that Steam or any other programs on your computer don’t already do better. They don’t even have any sales on their games. I will say this though. Once you launched the alpha and were in Battlelog, you could close Origin completely and still play. I’m not sure if this will work for the final build though.

  50. magnus says:

    Not exactly the best way to get people off Steam and onto Origin is it? I for one can’t feel the love!