EA: Banned From Forums? Can't Play Single-Player Game Either

from the overkill dept

Tom Landry was the first of a bunch of you to send in the news that EA has taken forum banning to a new level. Obviously forums ban people all the time for whatever reason, but it appears that EA went way beyond just a forum banning in this case. First, the guy was banned for saying in the comments: "Have you sold your souls to the EA devil?" Seems pretty tame compared to some of the stuff that goes on in plenty of forums. But, whatever. If EA wants to be thin-skinned like that, that's its own insecure decision. Where it goes overboard is that not only did the company ban him from the forums, but it also blocked him from activating a single-player game that he had purchased, Dragon Age II, from BioWare. In the thread where this is discussed, a company rep notes that this is EA's policy, and since BioWare is a part of EA, this was done at a higher level:
EA Community bans come down from a different department and are the result of someone hitting the REPORT POST button. These bans can affect access to your game and/or DLC
That seems ripe for a lawsuit. Selling someone a video game for 50 euros (what the guy says he paid for it), and then telling him he can't play it, even as a single player game on his own computer, because he said something mildly anti-EA in a forum? Honestly, all that really seems to say is that you should never "buy" (yeah, right, you didn't "buy" anything) from EA since they can vindictively make whatever you bought stop working if someone who works there doesn't like you. That seems like a much worse message than some forum person talking about "selling your soul." Update: And of course, once the publicity came out on the story, EA is now claiming it was a glitch and has been fixed. Doesn't change that this appears to be part of EA's official policy, though (also, corrected the name of the game).

Filed Under: bans, bioware, forums, video games
Companies: ea

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    From other sources or comments I've seen, this was not his first go-round with moderation issues. He was purportedly a repeat offender, but, heh, the devil comment does seem pretty weak for banning. Perhaps the ban was in process for prior bad behavior at the time he posted that one?

    Private forums aren't democracies nor run by the gubmint, so it's their way or the highway. We can discuss the pros and cons of taking a hardline vs. giving leeway, but in the end it's EA's forum, their rules of the road. I can support that, but not denying use of a purchased single-player product by remote control.

    Glitch or goof, it was addressed. However, there are definitely communication issues amongst EA employees or reps that need serious attention. When a Bioware dev quotes EA's TOS *in support* of forum ban = no game on that game's public forum, you've got a very mixed message going out.

    It's true or it isn't, pick one and put out a damn memo.

    An aside: I absolutely believe that an overwhelming number of EA employees are looking out for the customers and are dedicated to good experiences for them. Much like Comcast employees I've dealt with over the years. They want to do right by me and their jobs. Yet I still feel ill having to call Comcast for anything, based on past awful experience, and I'm no longer an EA customer based on the same. I'd dump Comcast if I had anything like a choice of providers around here.

    With both there are systemic problems that create situations that drive customers up a wall or right over it, situations that could or can be avoided with a bit more foresight or communication, and I wager, like most giant companies, those on the front lines take the brunt of decisions made by those who aren't as close to the customer as they should be.

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