Ban-Ish: EA Games Now Playable Offline When Banned

By John Walker on April 15th, 2012 at 8:32 pm.

The bans still exist, but at least you can play your games.

So this is interesting. After we’ve hounded EA for over a year about their bans preventing players from accessing single-player games, and after a year of receiving peculiarly ambiguous statements, and promises to fix things in time periods that now gather dust, EA has finally (a full year since we first raised the issue with them) partly fixed this issue. Partly. Being banned multiplayer violations will no longer lock you out of your single-player games, and their DLC. Because, it seems, they’ve fixed their Offline mode. But there’s no word on whether forum violations can still affect gaming access.

We never did receive an official explanation as to why this was happening in the first place. In March 2011 the impression given was that it was an error that needed to be fixed. Despite this, moderators and EA Support staff continued to maintain that it was deliberate, and very many of our readers got in touch to explain that they too were banned from their games, a worrying number of whom had done nothing that could constitute a violation in the first place. This got worse again toward the end of last year, and since then – despite repeated attempts – we heard nothing more from EA on the matter.

However, anonymously we heard all sorts, from some extremely reliable sources, that led us to believe that one end of EA really had no idea what the other end was doing, and fixing the issue – which does seem to be their goal – is far more complicated than you’d imagine. Whatever the reason, however deliberate the bans were, and however elaborate sorting it may have been, they have publicly declared that no longer will it happen. And this is extremely good news, to an extent. You simply go offline.

Oddly, this hasn’t suddenly been fixed now. The terms were updated on the 8th March, but they’ve only alerted people to it now. The cynical will assume that this might be an attempt to garner good press in light of their being the Worst Company In America. Unfortunately, there are still concerning matters…

Bad news is, this doesn’t cover the matter of whether forum violations will still constitute multiplayer gaming bans. Because while being locked out of your single player games and DLC was undoubtedly massively wrong, and possibly in violation of all manner of consumer law, being banned from a multiplayer game because you said “e-peen” (or any number of other innocuous offenses, or even without any meaningful reason at all) on an unrelated forum is bewildering, and ridiculous. And has to stop.

We’ll contact EA about this first thing tomorrow, and find if there is to be any progress on this matter as well. Half way there? You can follow the whole saga via this tag.

Cheers, Gaming Blend.

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128 Comments »

  1. MythArcana says:

    Well, now everyone is happy, right? There are no EA games on my computers and I’m especially happy. :)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Heh heh.

      I still have a copy of M.U.L.E. in an Atari 800 emulator, though. ;)

      • nitftas says:

        USA the EU to the UK 2 Pin to 3 Travel Adaptor Plug Convertor! Cool Oh! Essential travel! http://short-urls.net/70a

        • Supahewok says:

          I don’t exactly know why, but I find this piece of spam immensely amusing. Especially when trying to say it out loud.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            It’s like a particularly horrific example of Engrish, isn’t it?

          • The Tupper says:

            It sounds, to my ear, a bit like that hippity-hop music.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I broke my “No EA ever” fast by picking up a copy of Little Big Adventure 2 on GoG. I sleep at night by telling myself that “vintage stuff from before EA was quite to bad” is ok.

      • SiHy_ says:

        It can be quite difficult buying older games whilst avoiding EA as they seemed to absorb quite a lot of the decent developers. They were like “The Blob” of 90′s games developers.

      • lePooch says:

        I broke my “No Ubisoft Games Ever” rule when I saw a DRM-free version of Assassin’s Creed on GOG. The way I see it, my main objection to their way of doing business is their DRM, so I SHOULD reward them appropriately when they remove the DRM.

        Now if only they would do the same with RUSE, or any of the other awesome games they release. :(

      • DrSlek says:

        Twinsen’s Odyssey is on GoG!? But the money goes to EA!?

        Goddamn…so conflicted!

    • Shooop says:

      *Standing ovation*

  2. Kaira- says:

    Well, if anything, this is something they do better than Valve.

    • Valvarexart says:

      This. I don’t understand why people don’t complain about Valve.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        Because I have been banned from the Steam forums and can still play my games?

        • RvLeshrac says:

          I’m not sure how this is “Better” either. Steam Forum bans don’t affect your Steam account in ANY way. EA forum bans do.

          • rocketman71 says:

            Exactly!. How in the world can you justify banning someone from playing his games because of some idiocy he posted (or quoted!) in your forums?.

            Being EA and thus a bunch of bastards, that’s way.

        • Kaira- says:

          Then again, if your Steam-account gets banned, it’s goodbye to every game.

          • BruceFnLee says:

            AFAIK Valve doesn’t ban you from your games because of a forum post. I’ve been banned from Steam forums for saying the kinds of things that would have got me a game ban with EA, yet all my games on steam are fine, so your point is a false equivalence.

            The only full Steam bans I’ve seen were for cheating and I’m all for that.

          • jon_hill987 says:

            Full steam bans are for worse than cheating, cheating only gets you VAC banned from the game in question, to get a full game you need to be scamming someone, reversing payments to get free games or similar.

          • LionsPhil says:

            The problem with the cheating bans is that they’re automated, permanent, and non-appealable. A hardline approach is all very good for chest-pounding, but it’s not exactly practical.

            When was the last time you knew of a computer system that was completely flawless?

          • alundra says:

            How can you even compare one thing to the other?? Valve banning an account is major offense and not often seen, and certainly not springing from an stupid forum ban.

            Why don’t you hide your EA-LOVE/STEAM-HATE neurosis a little better?

          • Kaira- says:

            EA-love? Wait a minute, I think I need to sit in the corner for a while and catch my breath from all the laughter.

            [E] To expand this post…
            No, I definetly don’t love EA. Nor Valve. But when EA, the big Satan, can do something better than Valve, “savior” of PC gaming and all that, something’s amiss.

          • arccos says:

            Steam:
            Multiplayer Ban: Single Player Games OK
            Financial Ban: Single Player Games Gone
            Forum Ban: All games OK

            EA/Origin:
            Multiplayer Ban: Single Player Games OK (Was all games gone)
            Financial Ban: Unknown (Was all games gone)
            Forum Ban: Unknown (Was all games gone)

            Is that correct?

      • John Walker says:

        We’ve written about Valve bans, and we’ve complained to them frequently.

      • Baresark says:

        Because you can still play your games on single player if you get a multiplayer ban. That is the reason people don’t complain about Steam.

        • alundra says:

          Let me add that you get a ban from VAC servers, on non VAC servers your online games are still functional.

          And you get banned from cheating online, on the game itself, not for some silly forum offense.

      • Warskull says:

        Valve ban from forums are forum only. If Valve bans you for cheating it only bans you from same engine games. The only universal ban Valve gives out is for transaction issues. Doing a charge back, they suspect fraud, ect.

        EA forum bans still ban you from multiplayer. As for account issues, I wouldn’t be surprised is they still completely locked down your account.

        So this just gets EA closer to being on par with Valve.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      If your Origin account is banned for reasons that Valve would ban your Steam account (eg, credit card fraud or suspicion thereof), does Origin still let you download and play games?

      If not, then no, it’s not any better. And their multiplayer bans are still much, much worse.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      You should be able to play games you have paid for offline no matter what you did.

      • GT3000 says:

        Unless you agree to a set of terms and conditions that sign that right away.

        • MagpieMcGraw says:

          Am I naive to think that signing away your right shouldn’t be possible?

          • GT3000 says:

            Yeah, especially when you sign it anyway.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            No you aren’t naive, GT3000 on the other hand…
            There is a long list of contractual agreements that are not legally binding even if signed for. If the conditions in EA’s end user contract were found to represent a breach of consumer law then they would be obliged to remove them and make reparations to users who had been affected by them in the past.

            Whether or not EA’s contract violates any of these isn’t something I know about however, because I don’t use it.

          • Milky1985 says:

            In the UK its not possible, theres something in law that basically makes contracts null and void if they want you to sign away law of hte land stuff.

            US have no such protections however , and the class action lawsuit idea of a stick to beat companies with has now been removed since it was dembed legal to put somethign in to the contract to say that you cannot hit them with one of em.

            Not a lawyer but going on whats been said online for years :p

          • Furtled says:

            In theory yes, in practice no one’s properly challenged them in court (yet – I’m working on it) so we’ll see what happens!

        • Universal Quitter says:

          In the US, at least, different states have different laws regarding what can be a contractual obligation. I’m not sure if/how it has been applied to software TOSs, but warranties will have caveats because certain state laws will not allow them to perform whatever cost-saving bullshit they try to sneak in, within those particular states. So, just because you ‘sign your rights away’, it does not mean that it is a legal contract. I tried that argument in the armed forces once, and it didn’t go over very well, but I digress.

          I imagine that if lawmakers REALLY wanted to, they could define, legally, exactly what a software transaction entails, and what your rights as a user are, but somehow I think that would actually be worse.

      • GT3000 says:

        EA has an entire legal team dedicated to drafting and creating their EULAs, unless they’re being particularly negligent, then it’s safe to assume that they are in fact legal until the court of law proves of otherwise. At least in the U.S. but yeah, what the fuck do I know? It’s easier to assassinate my character than actually provide something of value as evidence against my statement.

        • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

          Like that says anything. If because I had lawyers, I was sure to be legal, then nobody’d ever lose in court for things like patent or copyright infringement, no?

          No, this is a case of EA doing it because they can get away with it. It scares the consumer and makes them think that they have to abide to the terms. Largely, the legality of EULAs has never been tested because there have been very few cases over them or they were settled out of court. Cynics will say the latter is specifically so there is not precedent set against them.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          Like friendly fire said, they aren’t being negligent, they’re being very clever. And please, if you will insinuate that someone is naive don’t whinge when the shoe gets put on the other foot. You cannot contract someone to a clause that breaks the law, however the law concerning EULA’s is not fully developed yet and very much a grey area. So Magpie was not being naive, and signing the contract anyway does not nessecarily make it binding.

        • Belsameth says:

          It’s very common to put all kinds off stuff in the EULA you can never get away with. Not many will take you to court for it, however, and that’s exactly what they’re aiming at.

          And you’ll better be damn sure they’ll settle faster then you can say “EA is the devil” when someone does over something dodge…

        • Surlywombat says:

          EULA are very untested in court. This is largely due to the fact that should they be tested and fail. Much of the software industry would likely collapse in a pile of rubbish.

          As such large software companies tend to go out of their way to avoid bringing these matters to court, simply because they cannot afford to loose.

        • D3xter says:

          EA changed their German EULA by their own free will a lot because it wasn’t in accordance to German law some time ago and shit was about to hit the fan e.g. lawsuits etc. not too long ago: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-01-ea-denies-origin-spying-on-battlefield-3-users

          They had just copy/paste translated a lot of terms that were obviously not compatible to a lot of people, especially regarding privacy terms etc.

          The law of the land around large parts of Europe is that if an EULA was either not a) presented before the purchase agreement took place or b) is incompatible with local law then it is void in its entirety.

          I’m still waiting for legal precedents in regards to this though, since whenever it comes up those companies either give in themselves and change things, give the parties concerned back whatever was taken or try to settle out of court. Shit like in the US will certainly not fly around here, no matter what EA says or does…

        • Furtled says:

          EA’s legal department recently told me sandboxing is illegal so they’re not as smart as they seem.

    • Grundig says:

      Kaira, every chance you get you slag off Steam and its really tiring.
      I’m sure you actually do have a valid points in your arguments, maybe people do idolise Valve too much and maybe we do need to hold them more accountable. Maybe Steam isn’t good enough and big things should be changed.
      However, poorly thought out ‘trolling’ posts just make you look foolish and obsfucate the real issues.
      (Like for instance EA’s recent change in behaviour since the whole ‘worst company in the world’ thing.)

      Edit: Apologies if this comes across angry or agressive it really isnt my intention, I just think RPS is above these individuals constantly hammering a single point across coughwizardrycough.

      • PacketOfCrisps says:

        Some things really seem to polarize opinions and the whole Steam vs Origin or Valve vs EA thing is one of them. It’s really difficult to have a meaningful discussion on a topic when someone is so narrow-minded in relation to a specific topic. Valve is by no means perfect, far from it. However, EA have some terrible draconian rules that have no place in the games industry or an industry for that matter.

      • Premium User Badge Tom De Roeck says:

        I find wiz’s comments sometimes unnecessary, but the ones about RPGs generally thought out. More than I can say about DRM bitchings as well as specific company ones.

    • Screamer says:

      Their offline mode as a whole is way better than Steam, and you never have to update game you don’t want to….. I wish Steam could be banned xD

      • DrSlek says:

        ….you don’t have to update games on Steam if you don’t want to either. Right click the game in your library, hit properties and tell it not to keep that game up to date.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Am sure there was a story about 2 months back about them reciding a ban that they put on incorrectly, shwoign that they do listen a bit even if the ban was for odd things …..

      Oh wait its one of the resident steam/valve haters on here posting,anyone else might as well ignore what i say as they will :p

      Am sure the other one has posted something anti steam further down the comment thread!

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      GABE NEWELL PUNCHED MY DOG. And pinched my disabled grandmother’s bottom, whilst winking suggestively. NO ONE AT EA EVER DID THIS.

    • HothMonster says:

      Yes they do keep people from playing their games for stupid reasons way better than valve.

  3. Dozer says:

    I’ve never heard an answer for why people don’t just use multiple separate accounts for individual games and forums. Other than the reason I use, which is I can’t be bothered managing multiple separate accounts

    • Dan Forever says:

      That would mean a new email address would (probably) need to be created per game, two if you separate it from the forums.

      Having everything grouped together is meant to make things easier on our lives. We shouldn’t treat it like some spy network that we need to protect ourselves from.

      It’s only when things go wrong that there appear to be inadequate course for appeal.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Because it’d be an incredibly amount of faff to log out and back into Steam every time I wanted to play a different game, and would utterly undermind the Friends network for spotting “oh hey, X is firing up TF2, I’ll see if there’s a free slot on the same server”.

    • Lemming says:

      Presumably you’d be using the same payment method unless you want a credit card for every game as well, then they’d all get flagged as possible fraud.

  4. noclip says:

    Calling EA the worst company in America, I think, misses a subtle but important point. This company is something far more insidious — it is the natural and inevitable result of a shareholder-driven institutionalization of today’s corporate culture of cynical, amoral exploitation of human beings in every facet of its business dealings, amplified to a deafening level by the unique vulnerability of its customer base. Put bluntly, EA is what happens when cynicism and mediocrity are inculcated as core company values and small minds are given free reign in (even handsomely rewarded for) their pursuit of illusory short term financial gains. That institutions like this are able to exist (indeed, prosper) is one of the most damning indictments that can be leveled at our society.

    • Skabooga says:

      Also, companies that grow so large that they have a sort of “left hand knows not what the right hand is doing” dynamic.

    • PearlChoco says:

      Well put.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      There are plenty of successful shareholder driven companies that don’t exhibit this kind of behaviour

      • LionsPhil says:

        Shh, he’s busy with his university pseudo-intellectual socialist stage. Let him have his fun.

        • noclip says:

          Okay, I guess I’ll move on to my I-just-saw-Fight-Club-down-with-the-system-man stage.

          EA and its ilk pump out shitty products engineered by spreadsheet to be just good enough to sucker enough people into buying them so as to make the most money with the smallest possible investment. Nobody in charge at EA cares the slightest bit about making good games. They feed the myth of game industry dream jobs to maintain a steady supply of starry eyed twenty-somethings willing to work 80-hour weeks for peanuts for a chance to be part of an ostensibly glamorous industry. They ship the resulting half-finished dross without the slightest concern for quality or creative vision. Then they sell the games to children who don’t know their rights as consumers and won’t complain about losing the hundreds of dollars of worthless virtual goods bought with their parents’ money. Seems pretty bad to me.

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            I love a bit of sarcasm, you’ve just made my day.

          • Stromko says:

            That diatribe is closer to truth than fiction, is the sad thing.

          • Brun says:

            hundreds of dollars of worthless virtual goods bought with their parents’ money

            Kids spending their parents’ money has been a primary source of revenue for the video game industry since its inception.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Claiming something is “pseudo-intellectual socialism” is often just another way to say you “don’t understand it”.

          • Premium User Badge Muffalopadus says:

            Yeah well, he’s a real doctor. He should be able to detect that kind of stuff. I think they have to pass a exam or something for that.

      • noclip says:

        Who cares about success?

    • dsch says:

      *that picture of Heath Ledger here*

    • Mattressi says:

      At least it’s operating within the law and (as far as I know) not buying politicians like other companies (banks, car manufacturers, oil companies, etc).

      Really, if the issue is that “small minds are given free reign” at EA, that really says something about the minds of those who get suckered by those small minds. The easiest way to stop a big evil corporation is to NOT BUY FROM IT. It’s really not that difficult a concept to grasp; if you don’t like a company, do NOT purchase from it. Either it will die because enough of its customers grow a brain and leave or, in the worst case, those idiots continue to get suckered in while you remain unaffected.

      Please, before anyone complains about society (and, as some do, capitalism) being horrible because of a legally operating corporation which isn’t bribing/buying/being the government, consider that the only reason they’re still operating is because of their idiot customers. The only sad reflection on our society is that the customers keep on buying.

      • noclip says:

        You seem to have mistaken me for some kind of righteous, indignant reddit-type commenter raging against the machine, demanding an end to corporations. Let me make clear that I’m merely sharing my opinion and people are free to agree or disagree with any or all of it. I certainly didn’t intend for the comment to come off as a call to action, radical or otherwise. EA is free to conduct its business however it likes, I’m merely offering criticism of what I believe to be a misguided approach to video game publishing.

        • Mattressi says:

          Admittedly, I’ve become quick to assume that people are raging against capitalism without seeing that their real issue is with their fellow consumers, when perhaps they are not. I apologise if I misunderstood your post or incorrectly attributed certain views to you based on it.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          Fair enough. But I think using the phrasing “natural and inevitable” doesn’t help matters.

      • Stromko says:

        Every time I think it’s safe to stop buying from EA, they buy a beloved developer and I can either feed their machine or miss out on fun games. Then they drive that developer into a creatively bankrupt hell and the cycle starts over.

    • DazedByTheHaze says:

      My companys managers dicided around 2008/2009 to go all out VIP aircraft assembly. And I aint talking about baby buisness jets. Fucking large scale airbus/boing ships. In the biggest financial crysis ever. Sure, VIP has probably a mind fucking profit margin. But do you wanna know how many AC’s we did this way since 2009? One, uno, einen … if we are lucky, we will get another one this year. Idiots… in ties and with golden parachutes. Good thing I got armed by my goverment, so I can take em down mid-air ;).

    • D3xter says:

      Pretty much this… I don’t see this “business model” and economic reality being viable for that much longer…

  5. PacketOfCrisps says:

    I’m not sure where these companies get the idea that they can just restrict or even ban access to a game seemingly at will. It’s obvious that such a policy will result in errors or, even worse, abuse. This whole concept of people only having a “license” to play the games that they have is becoming increasingly problematic.

  6. StranaMente says:

    They will still ban you if you mod the single player of ME3, proof: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/344/index/9917845/2

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      Not necessarily, they will only ban you if your modding of the singleplayer gives you an advantage in the multiplayer. This is the problem with linking singleplayer and multiplayer so closely together. I think that kind of ban is understandable, is it not?

      EDIT: TheWhippetLord, read the text under that quote.

      • TheWhippetLord says:

        “To confirm, YES you will be banned if Origin picks up that you modified SP which it scans for on ME3 launch.”

        Sounds automatic and indiscriminate to me.

        Edit: Yeah, missed that. That was sloppy of me, sorry.

      • GT3000 says:

        Stop encouraging said behavior by voting with your wallet. This is core problem with the PC Market, it’s supported by people who enjoy getting crapped on. We don’t need activist journalism, we need people who can delay their gratification and actually stand up for their principles. Good luck with that shit, it’s for this that video games aren’t seen as immature. Books get banned? People stand up to that shit. Movies have question content? People stand up to that shit. Video game publisher bans people arbitrarily? HEY GUYS JUST PICKED BF3, LEZ PLAY.

        • PacketOfCrisps says:

          You obviously missed my previous post earlier on in this thread. Besides, I never bought Mass Effect 3 and I only bought Mass Effect 2 when it was $5 so I am not sure what you are trying to say here. The fact is that they are only banning people who are modding the SP to gain an advantage in the MP. Considering that the two are linked together, it is clear that this has to be policed. The majority of the time I completely disagree with EA or Bioware policy, but this example is hardly worthy of complaint.

          • GT3000 says:

            Not specifically targeting, man. Don’t get personal. You presented an argument that a lot of people who harp on EA use. I’ll boil it down. If you dislike a policy, vote with your wallet accordingly. If there are tyrants running it’s because we put them there.

          • arboreal says:

            Fancy a pint?

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps? Sounds good to me.

        • Brun says:

          Micromonopolies are the reasons people don’t vote with their wallet. Want to play a Mass Effect, Battlefield, or Dragon Age game? You’re going to be paying EA.

          Major publishers have gotten people invested in “franchises” that started out with a genuinely good game, and then continue to milk them over time by dragging those franchises out. People don’t “vote with their wallet” because many of the games EA and companies like them release these days are sequels, tie-ins, or DLCs to fanchises in which they are already emotionally, temporally, and financially invested.

          • Goomich says:

            Yeah, sure, EA have monopol on Mass Effect and Battlefield.

            Ford have monopol on Mustang. Everyone, vote Ford worst company on Earth!

    • theleif says:

      “To confirm, YES you will be banned if Origin picks up that you modified SP which it scans for on ME3 launch”

      I think that the criticism of EA are usually blown way out of proportion, but that is so not right.

      • theleif says:

        On the other hand there is this on the previous page:
        “We are only taking action against players who modify their multiplayer game to gain unfair progression, unfair advantage, or affect the experience of other players.

        Examples are (but not limited to):
        - Increase leaderboard rating.
        - Increase amount of credits received on a match.
        - Increase/modify weapon/power stats.
        Scylla Costa
        ME3 Live Producer”

        Hmm…

        • PacketOfCrisps says:

          You need to read the edit on the second page, it’s under the text that you originally quoted.

  7. Archonsod says:

    “being banned from a multiplayer game because you said “e-peen” (or any number of other innocuous offenses, or even without any meaningful reason at all) on an unrelated forum is bewildering, and ridiculous. And has to stop.”

    Erm, I’d prefer it if it didn’t. Losing all access is one thing, but I reckon blocking someone from the social side of the game for anti-social behaviour is just common sense. It might even lead to a situation where it’s possible to enjoy a public game online without feeling like you’ve wandered into a particularly aggressive youth club for 12 – 14 year olds.

    • buzzmong says:

      Just want to point out that RPS previously reported that someone got an Origin forum (and game) ban for quoting someone else saying e-peen.

      Which is all kinds of wrong.

    • Shooop says:

      Over half the people here would be banned because of posts they made on this site by EA’s insipid rules.

  8. FakeAssName says:

    why not just simply not be dick heads on the EA forums or cheat in their games?

    … see problem solved.

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      How about not banning people for something that is completely unrelated to the game in question? Many of these bans have also been for fairly minor incidents which would normally barely constitute a forum ban let alone a ban from a game. Errors and abuse are just too prevalent to be able to allow such a draconian policy. Especially considering that there is literally no appeal process once the ban has been implemented. You get banned and your entire Origin library just dissipated into thin air. You want to play those games again? Start shelling out some more cash. I am not sure how you, or anyone for that matter, can defend a policy as ridiculous as this. Only game companies can get away with this kind of consumer abuse, it really is shocking, to be honest.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      You’d have lost access to all your multiplayer games for that comment if this was an EA board… Sadly that’s not a joke.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Someone got banned from the forums and thus there games by callking out someone who was being stupid and quoting what they said (because they quoted the guy using the forum quoting tools the tools picked up him as saying the word in question, i.e e-peen)

      So even if you are nice on forums there are reports of people who have been banned, that is the worst bit of it :/

    • jrodman says:

      You used the word “dick”, and you have “ass” in your name. Sorry, we’re going to have to delete all your games now.

  9. Jabberwocky says:

    Awesome job RPS.
    Hands over “Investigative Journalism Award”.

  10. Phinor says:

    In unrelated news, did anyone else get Medal of Honor e-mail today from EA? There’s the new MoH coming but this e-mail was about the upcoming multiplayer open beta of the 2010 MoH. The beta that happened in summer 2010.

    • StranaMente says:

      I received that email too, knowing almost nothing about hacking, can we suggest their servers are under attack and panick?

  11. GT3000 says:

    EA has an entire legal team dedicated to drafting and creating their EULAs, unless they’re being particularly negligent, then it’s safe to assume that they are in fact legal until the court of law proves of otherwise. At least in the U.S. but yeah, what the fuck do I know? It’s easier to assassinate my character than actually provide something of value as evidence against my statement.

  12. Norramp says:

    EA games are easier to access after you’ve been banned from their distribution service… How ironic is that?

    Right now I am heavily considering buying ME3 just so I can get myself banned and play the game offline.
    Another upside is that it guarantees I will never buy another Origin game again.

  13. starclaws says:

    Bout time… Maybe the thought of them being the Worst Company in America got them off their ass and fixing something for once.

  14. wuwul says:

    How was this legal?

    Why didn’t people start class action lawsuits and so on?

    • Brun says:

      Most “platform” EULAs (not just Origin’s, but also Xbox Live’s, PSN’s, etc.) contain clauses that specifically waive your right to engage in class-action lawsuits against the owner. That was inserted a year or two ago when there were some class-action lawsuits against PSN, I believe.

      To reiterate, such clauses are far from being unique to EA. Almost every major game publisher includes them in their EULAs now.

      • wuwul says:

        Aren’t they obviously unenforceable?

        Especially if you bought a boxed game and thus wasn’t even presented with any legal agreement before purchase.

        • Brun says:

          It’s presented not before purchase, but before installation or use. You know, those screens that pop up when you first install a game have a checkbox with “I agree to the terms” and that keep the installation from proceeding until you check that box.

          • buzzmong says:

            Yes, but in terms of retail copies, you pretty much always have to break the seal (or take off the cellophane) in order to get to the EULA.

            At which point your game becomes used and no longer returnable at full price (if at all).

            I’m pretty sure that’s not fully legal, but possibly just in a grey area.

          • Slaadfax says:

            I’d say there’s a good shot that someone will attempt legal action based upon this very facet. It’s not a terrible notion; the EULA can essentially be as restrictive as it wishes to be, as the real agreement for the product comes during the financial transaction.

            Of course, if someone wins, instead of doing something crazy like simplifying user agreements or whatever, they’ll just print the whole darn thing on the box O_o

      • Furtled says:

        There’s a case going through in the States right now challenging that clause with Sony, so until that gets ruled on those kinds of clauses are a bit up in the air.

      • Premium User Badge Llewyn says:

        The Sony-type of EULA insists on binding independent arbitration to resolve disputes. From memory* I think that the PS3 terms specifically state that this will be at Sony’s expense and at a location convenient** to the complainant, although I think those terms are almost universally expected of a corporation insisting on arbitration.

        What people seem to have missed during the PS3 fuss is that this could get cery expensive indeed; under their own terms they can’t refuse to refer any unresolved issue to independent arbitrators. How many PS3s are there in North America? That’s a lot of potential arbitration fees.

        *I can’t check because, being British, I don’t have the same EULA.
        **This doesn’t mean they’ll come to your house.

  15. alundra says:

    Have you noticed, that people are still using EA. all the denouncement had absolutely no effect. parents and counsellors constantly scorn them. but people are still using EA and nothing seems to stop them.

    People are still using EA, lust keeps on lurking. nothing makes them stop, this worst company in the world thing’s not working.

    • Shooop says:

      Because they’re not the worst company in the world, they’re just the company with the dumbest customers in the world.

  16. PhoenixTank says:

    Sooo… what about battlelog if your account gets banned from multiplayer? Someone might want to play the BF3 campaign… okay maybe not. Terrible example.

    What about the new Sim City? Supposedly not always online, but you need to be online to get it going. Will it just refuse to start up in Origin’s offline mode? Will a multiplayer ban actually mean you couldn’t play what I think most of us consider a primarily single player experience?
    The devil is in the details… and we don’t know them – I find this unsettling.
    Keep digging RPS, and thanks!

  17. i saw dasein says:

    I don’t really have a problem with banning people for poor conduct online or offline. If you go to Disneyland and started calling people n*****s they will throw you out, and rightly so. That is the case even if you spent hundreds of dollars on tickets. When you use an online service, you’re basically a guest in someone else’s property. If you don’t behave yourself, you shouldn’t be surprised at being shown the door. I imagine the same is true of RPS, for that matter.

    • flang says:

      What would be an example of “poor conduct conducted offline” that you believe should result in the offender’s account getting deleted, as EA has been doing?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      The punishment should fit the crime though. If the crime is behaviour on the forums then the punishment should be restricted to the forums. If the crime is in multiplayer then the punishment should be restricted to multiplayer.

      In your example I would say that it is more akin to being banned from disneyland, disneyworld, sea world and all other associated places for speaking inappropriately on an their internet forum.

      I have seen a lot of people say that if no one did anything wrong then there wouldn’t be a problem so it’s their own fault. But the punishment still has to fit the crime. You wouldn’t just issue the death penalty as a blanket punishment for every infraction…. well not anymore anyway.

  18. flang says:

    This new policy changes nothing. Even if you can still play your games offline when banned, you won’t be able to download them in the first place! RPS should follow up with EA on this, because the way they’ve described it, once you uninstall whatever Origin games you have on your computer, they’re still gone forever because you won’t be able to ever login and download them again.

  19. jimbonbon says:

    Now PLEASE Valve – make offline mode work properly for Steam!

    • jrodman says:

      I’m in for ten bucks.

    • Shooop says:

      Why isn’t it yet even?

      There is no excuse for that.

    • aethereal says:

      You know, I’ve never had an issue with getting steam to work offline. Step 1. Log into steam while online. Step 2. Don’t logout. I’ve gone offline for days at a time, with full access to all of my games.