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Gamer Banned From Dragon Age II Over Forum Post

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the flexible-boundaries dept.

DRM 469

RogueyWon writes "Kotaku is reporting that a Dragon Age II gamer banned from BioWare's forums for an allegedly inflammatory post has been locked out of the (singleplayer only) game for the duration of the ban. This is a consequence of EA's backend systems, which link forum accounts to the accounts that players use to access their games. This would appear to be a worrying new development; while trolling forums has led to bans from massively multiplayer games in the past (arguably with some justification), the extension of the principle to singleplayer games, where an abusive player cannot affect the enjoyment of others, must surely be a step too far."

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469 comments

Bad summary (2, Informative)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452460)

Ah, in true slashdot spirit the summary "forgets" a few things from the story. First of all, he wasn't banned from playing the game. He bought the game from EA online store and because he was banned, the installer didn't work. And to be honest, for me that sounds more like a bug than EA trying to ban him from a single player game.

Re:Bad summary (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452472)

He bought the game from EA online store and because he was banned, the installer didn't work.

Thus effectively banning him from the game. Your point? Or do you wish to continue being a pedant?

Re:Bad summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452528)

The distinction is important because there is a difference between EA knowingly and intentionally banning the user from single-player game, and EA accidently banning the user from single-player game. If it is an accident, and EA agrees that it is wrong, and fixes it... then there is no reason to attribute malice to EA.

Re:Bad summary (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452644)

>>If it is an accident, and EA agrees that it is wrong, and fixes it... then there is no reason to attribute malice to EA.

Except it does sound like working-as-intended.

But then again, this is the same company that jumped onto the social media bandwagon, merged their accounts with EA, corrupting them in the process so that I both couldn't log on and couldn't reset the password (it would fall into an infinite loop). And did things like tying their server uptime during the demo into getting exclusive items in DA2, which promptly killed their servers and forced (well, if that's the right word) people to play the demo over and over until the damn servers stayed up long enough to get credit for it. If it dropped even once during the demo, you wouldn't get credit at the end.

And so forth. I believe they're both incompetent *and* filled with hate and malice.

Probably a new thing Bioware got from the EA merger.

Re:Bad summary (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452652)

Whether through incompetence or malice, the result was the same. If it was incompetence, it means that it could happen again. If it was malice, then that it likely will happen again.

Re:Bad summary (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452794)

Yeah but a bug in software that causes it not to work on some systems is not referred to as "banning from a single player game." It is called a bug. This is a bug, not an intentional punishment for posting on the forum. Intent is a lot more important than result when dealing with something as insignificant as a video game. This isn't the leader of a country making a mistake and a bus full of baby otters crashes in to a school for rabbits killing thousands of civilians in the process, this is software. Bugs happen.

Re:Bad summary (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452900)

But if that is true AC then that means this is just yet another example of when the pirate game is the better version as yet again the badly designed DRM bites the customer in the ass. I've had to go and download the cracked version of games I bought and paid for because the DRM was such a PITA I spent more time fighting it than I did the bad guys.

The problem is these damned games companies seem to be forgetting we are the ones that pay them and that they DO have competition in the form of piracy. If I feel mistreated and ripped off after I give you my money and your shitty DRM causes me nothing but grief, why would I not just pirate the next version and save myself some grief?

To use the famous /. car analogy: If I have two car lots and one offers me a car for x dollars and proceeds to kick the shit out of me when I pay while the lot across the street may have cars of dubious origin but not only don't charge me, but treats me well? Wouldn't be a hard choice for most folks.

These companies either need to go the Good Old Games approach and offer us DRM free with rewards for buying, like how GOG gives you extras like soundtracks and strategy guides, or just agree to go with Steam with NO extra DRM bullshit. Because not only is this DRM a PITA but as a repairman I can tell you SecuROM and the others Can and DO cause system instability and a host of other problems including but not limited to burnt DVD/CD drives. For example certain versions of that crap WILL happily install x86 Ring 0 DRM into a 64 bit OS and then not only screw shit up since you have an x86 driver in Win X64, but then the uninstaller doesn't work and you get the "fun" of either dual booting and cleaning it out from the other OS or a couple of hours in safe mode editing the registry and removing files.

TL:DR? Pirate version good, legit version shit.

Re:Bad summary (3, Insightful)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452568)

The summary does indeed make it sound as if the guy was banned from playing a game that was already installed and running, thus being banned from using something already in his possession. After all, there is a login screen in the game. There is a bit difference between being barred from downloading something and being barred from actually using it after it was purchased and installed.

Re:Bad summary (5, Insightful)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452676)

Preventing the user from playing a game he'd bought.
Preventing the user from installing a game he'd bought (And, by extension, preventing the user from playing a game he'd bought).

The installation is irrelevant. The important parts are that he bought the game legally and then was not able to play it. The mechanism of denial isn't important.

Re:Bad summary (0)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452580)

Its really a story about idiots who buy their games online. Unless you're getting seriously steep discounts, physical media should always be preferred.

Re:Bad summary (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452638)

Is physical media really that much better when the installer requires online activation? I have this game and I have the DVD, but it requires online activation when launching for the first time.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452680)

Its really a story about idiots who buy their games online. Unless you're getting seriously steep discounts, physical media should always be preferred.

My experience is that it doesn't really matter anymore. Almost every game has some kind of online activation or account, if that one is down having the CD/DVD won't help you. And if that works then it doesn't matter if the download is a few bytes or ten gigabytes.

I suppose in theory having physical media give you other options like phoning for a code - if that number is still active, of course. And if you first need a crack, surely someone will pack the full game + crack as well.

Re:Bad summary (1)

radicalpi (1407259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452682)

I suppose I'm an idiot. I buy all of my games through Steam. If Valve ever goes under or Steam is sold off to someone less accepting, I may very well be screwed. But, I average about 67% off on the games I buy, so I guess it's worth the risk.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452686)

Its really a story about idiots who buy their games online. Unless you're getting seriously steep discounts, physical media should always be preferred.

until the DRM madness ends i will never buy a game online.

as for this "ban" ... fuck it, if EA won't make this right and give him a good working game for his perfectly good money, i am sure the pirate community will have something for him.

even if you think piracy is terrible and wrong and something you would never personally do .. you must admit that pirates provide one of the only remaining checks against what is otherwise the entirely one-sided, unilateral power of big publishers. if this installer won't work for him i am sure a cracked one will.

if the bigass publishers like EA want PAYING customers then they better treat us right.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452692)

What? Fuck off. Buying online allows me to get the game instantly without having to shop or have it shipped to my house, and there's literally no difference between having a physical media or not except keeping the artwork around. You're the idiot here, not realizing that other people have different opinions.

Re:Bad summary (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452850)

Seriously, is it more inconvenient for you to run down the street and pick up the fucking game (10 minutes) or download a huge ass game (2 hours) every time you install it on a new computer? Video game installers don't stream "instantly" like neflix video does.

Re:Bad summary (3, Interesting)

nethenson (1093205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452698)

In fact, it is a story of idiots who buy their games. Pirates don't have this problems.

Re:Bad summary (2)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452920)

Yes. Mental note. If I want to play their shitty game (which I don't) I had better pirate it rather than buy it just in case they arbitrarily decide to prevent me from playing a game I paid them money for. Glad they cleared up that moral ambiguity for me.

Re:Bad summary (4, Informative)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452704)

Your ignorance and know it all attitude is appalling.

Digital purchases offer many advantages that physical media does not have.

I own over 200 games on Steam. I can play any one of them anytime. I have purchased well over 1000 games over the course of my life - except I can't find majority of them, the rest have scratched up disks, lost CDkeys, lost manuals and hard to find patches.

I can go on travel bring nothing but my laptop and play any game I own from the hotel room.

I have reached the point where I REFUSE to buy physical media because of the inconvenience of actually using it. Need the disk to play, need to carry disks with me for every game I may wish to play, need to manually patch everything.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452594)

You are fucking stupid. I could go on, but what's the point?

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452856)

I could go on, but what's the point?

Indeed. What was the point in posting the comment in the first place if there's n point in actually saying anything constructive?

Re:Bad summary (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452662)

He bought the game from EA online store and because he was banned, the installer didn't work.

Thus effectively banning him from the game. Your point? Or do you wish to continue being a pedant?

If the game had already been installed, he could presumably continue playing.

So he was not banned from playing the single player game, he was prevented from installing it.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452828)

He bought the game from EA online store and because he was banned, the installer didn't work.

Thus effectively banning him from the game. Your point? Or do you wish to continue being a pedant?

If the game had already been installed, he could presumably continue playing.

So he was not banned from playing the single player game, he was prevented from installing it.

When EA designed this system they knew it could end up affecting players who had not yet installed their game. They knew or they should have known. Now that they absolutely know for sure, they should either file this as a bug and FIX IT or they should admit that it's an intentional effect. Either way this guy gets screwed out of a game he purchased that means he got defrauded, ripped off, fucked over however you like to put it, and that is the fucking point. Is that plain enough for you to understand?

Why you think splitting hairs is so important and why you want to whitewash EA's actions here is a mystery. Are you an employee of EA? If you are maybe you want to tell your masters that many people see this and feel like yet again, the paying customer suffers something that would never happen to a pirate. EA are a bunch of morons if they let this stand though at this point if they reverse it, it will be just to cover their own asses after all the bad publicity. It definitely won't be because they think ripping off their customers is wrong. Assholes.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452546)

Ah, in true slashdot spirit the summary "forgets" a few things from the story. First of all, he wasn't banned from playing the game. He bought the game from EA online store and because he was banned, the installer didn't work. And to be honest, for me that sounds more like a bug than EA trying to ban him from a single player game.

That's great aside from the part where the BioWare community rep confirms that posts that are reported can be actioned to prevent you from playing the game. It's a feature.

Re:Bad summary (4, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452556)

Submitter here - thought I ought to make a quick reply:

On your first point - the effect of the ban was to prevent the user from installing (and hence playing) the game. It wasn't that they prevented the user from buying the game (which would have been stupid, but arguably less evil) but rather that money had changed hands and the user wasn't able to access the game due to the ban. Given the space limitations on story titles and summaries, this felt like a fair summing up to me.

On the second point, I had first hoped, when I read TFA, that this was due to a backend bug. However, the response from Bioware makes it fairly clear that from their point of view, this is "working as intended".

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452610)

You know, at first glance this seems harsh. However, there are precedents for this type of thing. Think of a movie theater. If you buy a ticket, go in and act like an ass - you get kicked out and don't get your money back and don't get to see the movie. Games are likewise entertainment with no intrinsic value (just entertainment value). Seems like a similar situation where "an asshole got owned". Perhaps if folks would be a bit nicer or at least civil to others there wouldn't be any story like this.

Re:Bad summary (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452660)

If this were a massively multiplayer game, I would agree entirely. In fact, if this was a ban from the multiplayer portion of an online and offline game, I would also agree. However, the Dragon Age games are resolutely single-player only. You can't actually ruin somebody else's experience of the game, in the way that shouting and screaming in a movie theatre would ruin the movie for others.

I don't like to push an analogy too far, but I think there's a better one here. This is like buying a DVD from a store and then standing around in the store shouting abuse. The staff would be absolutely within their rights to remove you from the store, but not to confiscate the DVD you'd bought off you as well.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452724)

No, this is more like you buy a Disney DVD, then go to Disneyland and act like an ass, so Disney kicks you out of the park, and then for added measure, comes to your home and smashes your DVD.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452720)

On your first point - the effect of the ban was to prevent the user from installing (and hence playing) the game. It wasn't that they prevented the user from buying the game (which would have been stupid, but arguably less evil) but rather that money had changed hands and the user wasn't able to access the game due to the ban. Given the space limitations on story titles and summaries, this felt like a fair summing up to me.

Your summary implies that the game had already been installed and was working. This is not the case. There is a difference between banning somebody from a game, and preventing them from installing it in the first place.

Your summary implies that EA could, at any time, swoop in and prevent gamers from playing their games. This may actually be true. But that isn't what's happening here.

The actual situation is no different than if his Internet went out - he would be unable to use the installer, but still able to play anything already installed on his machine.

Re:Bad summary (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452782)

There is a difference between banning somebody from a game, and preventing them from installing it in the first place.

The difference seems pretty insignificant in this case.

They're two different ways of preventing the guy from playing the game. Either way, the guy's unable to use the game he bought. Seems unfair given that playing the game doesn't affect anyone else.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452820)

IANAL, but If they took his MONEY, and then refused to produce the product purchased, that sounds a lot like fraud.

Pinch me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452834)

Hello, I have just woken from ten years in cryogenic slumber and I think my hearing must be a little out of whack. Can you please repeat what you said to me, it sounded like "some guy bought a single player game to play on his home computer and because his internet was out (or something else having the same effect - actually I thought you said a game company took his money then used the internet to stop him installing the game he just paid for, but that can't be right), he wasn't able to use his *single player* game that would run wholly on *his *own* home computer*"? I seem to remember hearing something about massively internetable rolypoly games (not sure if that's right either, the pre cyro drugs were pretty hardcore) not long before I snoozed off, but this isn't one of those is it?

If its a game he's paid for and wants to play on his own home computer, where's the beef? (Or WTF? (overheard that one in a conversation between a couple of the techs waking me up, did I get the context right?))

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452742)

I guess EA just wanted to push one more person to piracy. They must not like getting paid for this or any future game. Who would have thought!

The installer app in the copy on the pirate bay does not have this 'feature'

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452754)

If unauthorised copying is considered "theft," then how is this not? No matter how you cut it, they're taking away something that he rightfully owns - that being, the right to install his copy of a game that he owns.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452792)

And to be honest, for me that sounds more like a bug than EA trying to ban him from a single player game.

That's not correct.

If you click on the forum thread (first link in the Slashdot summary) and scroll down to the end of the thread, someone from Stanley Woo from Bioware provides an official response to the incident, including:

"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."

So this is no accident.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452868)

And in true slashdot spirit, the content of your rant about the incorrect summary make it painfully obvious that you didn't read anything but the summary.

They need to refund his money. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452468)

Actually, they also need to be sued for false advertising, or, scamming.

for, in effect, they had had ended up NOT having sold a product to someone, despite being paid for it.

Re:They need to refund his money. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452538)

I'm sure some of us know someone who has been kicked out of a movie theater, skating rink, amusement park or ski resort.

The player would lose any legal battle. No refund needed if you violate the rules you agreed to.

Re:They need to refund his money. (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452566)

The people who were kicked out of the movie theater, skating rink, amusement park, or ski resort were kicked out so they could not ruin other people's enjoyment of the place.

Explain how that is a valid analogy.

Re:They need to refund his money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452588)

They were also on private property, not in their own home on their own computer.

Re:They need to refund his money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452788)

That validation server on which the ban was placed is also private property not in the user's home (that's what he was denied access to).

It seems to me what happened is the user didn't read the fine print in his EULA and failed to realize that the forum ban would also affect his ability to run the installer as it uses the same (invalid) credentials to authorize the install.

It's like getting kicked out of a mall for being an ass in the movie theater and complaining that no you can't buy shoes at the shoe store in the same mall.

Re:They need to refund his money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452740)

Because he banned for violating administrative rules. Not ruining other people's enjoyment of the place, although that may be the particular rule he violated.

Any of these are valid reasons in MA, despite not involving other patrons.

movie theater - Recording the movie
ski resort - Inverted aerial maneuvers, even with spotters.
skating rink - No insurance
amusement park - Reselling a ticket

Re:They need to refund his money. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452756)

The theater, skating rink, amusement park or ski resort does not get to break the stuff that you bought at the venue before getting kicked out. If you bought popcorn at the theater, you could take it with you when you left.

Re:They need to refund his money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452886)

They wont.

I'm not here to argue the right/wrong of sales vs licensing. Its been covered enough on /.

But likely he violated the EULA for the game, so they are pulling his license. So they will likely have their legal ducks in a row on this.

Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (2)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452480)

Violation of rights? What if Ford banned you from your car for inflammatory remarks? This is a product he paid for being remotely disabled... Someone needs to give the gaming industry a good dose of "Act Right". Taking away our right to resell games, horribly restrictive TOS, crap tons of DRM, now remote disabling if you annoy them...

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452570)

It's simple: don't buy their games. Games are a luxury. If you don't like how they treat you, do not give them your money. Don't buy "Sequel 12 - The Game". Take your money to another publisher/developer who does not want to rape you.

I've always been saying online-activation and online-accounts for single player games are bad, but people just dismiss it as "Oh it's fine, nothing's going to happen.". Well, tough luck, if you buy a game that requires these things, you get what you deserve.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

JStegmaier (1051176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452642)

The game wasn't remotely disabled. Because he bought it from EA's online store, and because the download/installation requires account authentication, he couldn't download/install it because he account was temporarily disabled... If he had already installed the game before being an asshat on the forums, he would be happily playing it right now. Sounds more like a possible bug than an evil corporation trying to strip everyone of their rights to electronic entertainment if you ask me.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (4, Interesting)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452696)

I think a more relevant analogy would be buying a Ford, you hurling abuse on the forecourt of the only Ford dealer in town and then that Ford dealer not allowing you on their property to pickup the car when it's ready.

You aren't banned from the car, rather banned from the only available means of getting hold of the car.

In both the real and analogous cases, the common sense solution would be for either a workaround or a refund. But no-one likes common sense in the land of media and blogosphere hyperbole.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452912)

No, that would be a totally irrelevant analogy, because there is no physical space for him to violate, nor any risk to them that he will be able to badmouth them on their "property" simply by downloading and installing the game that they accepted his money for.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452736)

This is a product he paid for being remotely disabled...

The product was not remotely disabled. The summary is misleading on that respect.

The game had not yet been installed. Part of the installation process is a check for an active EA account (to make sure you're authorized to use the installer, and haven't just pirated it). Since his account was banned, he could not use the installer.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452904)

Ok so hes not just banned from this game, hes banned from any and all he bought from them but doesn't yet have installed at the moment.

Re:Someone needs to lay down the legal smack down (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452804)

Right to resell: in theory, isn't buying online and having the installer locked to a certain account done in exchange for a cheaper price? Can't he have gone to Egghead and paid $39.95 and been good to go? It's more like renting a car from Enterprise, doing a youtube video about how Enterprise (allegedly) sucks, and having them ask for their car back.

It is the same thing with electronic versions of media. You buy a $6 e-book and then complain when your rights are restricted. Don't like it? Go pay $16.99 for the book. Or cheap plane tickets. You got the $99 flight because they wanted to fill that particular airplane, not because they love you. Want an unrestricted ticket? Pay full price. Want to save money? Accept that discounts sometimes have limitations. [This assumes it WAS a discount. If not, never mind.]

This particular case sort of sucks, but I don't disagree with the message. We all have the right to free speech, but if you act like an ass, other people might exercise their rights too.

entitled to a refund? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452496)

If he paid for it, then they're telling him he can't USE it, he should be entitled to demand a refund. That simple. He didn't pay for the privilege of getting banned. Does anyone know if he sought a refund?

Re:entitled to a refund? (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452752)

He paid to license the game and was bound by the terms of the agreement which I fear had a line about EA being able to take his license if he was being a giant dong in their community.

You are not eligible for a refund when you breach the terms of the agreement.

I am not saying that EA was right, just that they don't owe him anything.

Re:entitled to a refund? (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452790)

he IS entitled to a refund.

no good were exchanged yet money was taken.

which part of that do you not understand?

its just that simple. it really is.

I have no problem with the company banning him, but I do have a problem with not returning his purchase price when they refuse to offer what he gave money for. or, do you think its more like a 'donation' and they 'opt' to give you your goods or not at their discretion?

don't be an ass. give him his money back and then just part company.

if the game co does not return his money, they are looking at BEING SUED themselves, for theft. yes, not kidding.

Re:entitled to a refund? (2, Insightful)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452826)

He is not entitled to a refund.

Events:
1. User buys license entitling him to use software.

2. User breaches agreement and loses license to use the software.

The fact that he did not use the software in the time period between him purchasing the license and losing it due to the breach of it's terms is irrelevant. They cannot be sued for anything and owe him nothing. They are acting within their rights.

Once again, I am not saying that what they are doing is not morally wrong, but it is legal.

Re:entitled to a refund? (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452876)

EULAs are not legal and binding. Agreements can contain all sorts of drivel so clicking that agree button does not entitle EA to your soul, even if they write it in the document. Sorry.

While it plays out over time... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452504)

All of this crap was really writing on the wall the moment we started down the "$FOO is licensed, not sold" road. The rest is just technical implementation details of the measures needed to keep the remote systems, and their users, in line.

Re:While it plays out over time... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452602)

Can anyone actually point to a time when commercial software was not merely "licensed" to people? As far as I know, music, movies, and software have always been merely "licensed" to the purchaser, no matter what media it was on, what items they physically owned, and so on. Was there actually a time when you could own any of the aforementioned items and truly "own" it, short of duplicating for illegitimate resale/distribution purposes?

Incredulous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452516)

...and the reason why all you idiots keep on buying EA games and supporting those douchebags is...???????

Re:Incredulous. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452630)

While people could theoretically boycott (not that it would accomplish anything), EA is enormous. If they don't already own your favorite developer today, they will soon. And if they don't, one of the other two major evil corporate game developers and publishers will.

Re:Incredulous. (3, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452668)

Because they are the publishers of some absolutely fantastic games.
You know, it's very easy to say "simply don't buy their games", but with that attitude, we'd most likely never get any form of entertainment anymore, because almost all of them include some restriction or price tag we're not happy with.
The choice remains between sticking up for your own values and missing out on some piece of entertainment you're dying to experience, or accepting the restrictions and enjoy the game after all. Considering that option 1 makes virtually no difference to EA, the choice is often easily made for option 2. But IMO, even having made that choice, it's still valid to rant about the restrictions on the entertainment. You may have bought the game, but that doesn't mean you fully agree with the restrictions it comes with.

Re:Incredulous. (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452882)

Agree with what you say, but would add that this is now the second time that I've bought an EA game (a steam purchase in this case) which I've later regretted because I probably would have witheld my purchase had I known about some of the stuff the publisher was doing.

The first case was worse, really, because it directly affected my enjoyment of the game. That was Command & Conquer 4, which had "needs an always-on net-connect" DRM (and an unreliable version at that), despite the fact that I hadn't found this anywhere in the pre-release publicity.

C&C4 was a fairly marginal purchase for me anyway - I'd liked C&C3, but not loved it. Had I known in advance about the DRM, that would have been a definite no-purchase. Dragon Age 2 would have been a much tougher decision.

Wow (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452534)

From TFA:

2. 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.

Damn, all I have to do to ruin someone's day is report their posts? Harsh.

As will be parrotted and echoed a dozen times, they really should divorce the game from community connectivity when doing these punishments and not deprive you what you paid for.

Re:Wow (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452672)

If you are a game reviewer and you displease the publisher or developer today, you can pay the price, tomorrow. You'll be cut off from demos, early reviews, meetings, press events and other access to their people or games.

Now, we can finally extend that to the consumers. Too critical of our company, developers, DLC practices, or product? Oops, sorry! Enjoy your next year without access to your "owned" content.

Re:Wow (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452902)

Yes - if you do it on their private forums. You can post that EA sucks and that Bioware sold out all you want, just not on their site.

It's kinda like walking into someone's living room and taking a shit, you can't expect them to like it.

I've never been surprised to see "official" forums delete criticism posts. Official forums are there to help sell the game. Nothing more.

You want to bitch and moan about EA, do it here or on some game forum. Not on EA's forums with an EA owned account.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452734)

Damn, all I have to do to ruin someone's day is report their posts?

Reported OP.

Re:Wow (1)

arketh (887647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452922)

Yeah, that is the scary part. any user can report your post and block your access to play new Bioware games... how long before someone starts reporting every user on the forums for fun? I for one am going to avoid posting on game forums if I can help it.

That was stupid of him (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452536)

If you're going to accuse a corporation of selling their souls to another corporation and imply that they are the devil... for god's sake don't do it on their own forum!

Re:That was stupid of him (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452576)

Still doesn't warrant not being able to play the game.

Re:That was stupid of him (2, Interesting)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452706)

Uncommon stupidity shloud be grounds for jail time.
this guy got it easy,as far as I'm concerned.

On a different note, although that was not proved, since he could not access the forum or download the game, there is a chance he would not be able to login if he had it installed.
this kind of online authentication for a single player game is just wrong, regardless of anything else.

Re:That was stupid of him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452832)

you should be in jail for being fascist garbage

Re:That was stupid of him (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452714)

Why not? It is customer feedback after all. It is basically saying: I like your company, but I dislike that other company. Please do not do business with them. :(

Re:That was stupid of him (1)

surzirra (1977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452798)

EA comes across as thin skinned and thick headed.

Re:That was stupid of him (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452894)

EA comes across as thin skinned and thick headed.

A giant gorilla with an angry temper and thin skin is still a giant gorilla with an angry temper. Pissing it off to prove that you're within your rights can still get your spine snapped.

Not another misleading summary (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452550)

I would say this story takes the biscuit for most misleading summary ever, but then again there are just so many misleading summaries on Slashdot these days.

EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452554)

Why do people still buy from this company?

Re:EA (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452772)

Because people like to play videogames and Electronic Arts either puts out your favorite game, owns your favorite developer, is planning to own your favorite developer, or has an existing minority stake in your favorite publisher or developer. I mean, seriously, it's hard to come up with a list of great games that doesn't have a huge amount of EA representation. They're not even the only "evil" corporate game publisher/developer out there, so you'd have to boycott others in a similar situation. It'd be kind of like refusing to support Microsoft, Apple, and Canonical. There are still alternatives . . . but they're pretty limited.

Violated Wheaton's Law, chose to be a dick (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452600)

And bad things happened to him?

Well, good. Dicks need a solid pounding from time to time, to remind them that throwing down has consequences online as well as in meatspace.

If he's got a problem with it, he can sue them, which will just prove how much of a dick he really is.

Re:Violated Wheaton's Law, chose to be a dick (1)

jidar (83795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452708)

You should be able to express your opinion "That EA sold their souls to the devil" without losing access to the games you bought. A forum ban I could see, but this? Come on.

Re:Violated Wheaton's Law, chose to be a dick (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452908)

Well, good. Dicks need a solid pounding from time to time, to remind them that throwing down has consequences online as well as in meatspace.

Being a dick says a lot about your character, but other than alienating yourself from people who don't want to be around dicks, it really should carry no consequences whatsoever. Hell, I think your comment is quite dickish, but I don't think you should be banned from posting to slashdot because of it, much less banned from using all the other Geeknet sites, like sourceforge. However, such a drastic move would be analogous to what happened to this particular guy.

Have you sold your souls to the EA devil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452608)

That was the inflammatory statement.

It was judged to be a prejudiced statement that maligned malevolent superbeings by unfairly associating them with EA.

I say that kind of statement should be banned and that Beelzebub is owed an apology.
   

I was going to buy this game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452678)

This is going to sound like sour grapes and a bunch of BS, but I was seriously 100% going to buy DA2 today. Now I'm going to download it instead.

Specific case aside, this is a fascinating concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452684)

Let's make a bold assumption for the sake of argument. Assume that 10% of online gamers act like assholes if they are never punished, but will be nice gamers if they are briefly punished. .01% of gamers are plain old assholes.

We all know that asshole gamers ruin online games. In FPS, it is the Team-Killer, in RPGs it's the Ninja or the Leroy Jenkins, in any game on XBL it is the hate-filled bigot that yells at anyone. A simple 24 hour ban is good enough to convert the 10%. However, the .01% will just exist to destroy your experience.

Should the game company take the time to ban assholes, just like they approach modders and other cheaters? Should a publisher ban them from Every game, just for acting up in one game or an online forum? One could argue that banning the assholes greatly improves the online experience for everyone else. IMHO, I would pay extra for a game that didn't have a bunch of assholes ruining my experience.

Well... (2, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452688)

..In a world where it is ok for a restaurant to refuse to serve any TSA agents and your employer can fire you for burning a koran on your own time, why *can't* a game company revoke service from a troll?

I think all three are really shitty, but chances are most people only disagree with 1 or 2 of the above and those are the people who make it all possible.

Re:Well... (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452858)

There is a huge difference between all 3 (assuming your post is accurate, citation would be nice).

1) Refusing service has always been an option. The only things we have said you cant refuse service for is age, race, and disability.
2) This is a disgusting practice which is legal in some states. I agree it is absurd
3) The difference here is he PAID for the product in question. This is a SINGLE PLAYER GAME, not a service.

Re:Well... (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452892)

Refusal of service is one thing, however it is generally required to refuse service, to do it before collecting the money. I mean if this were a physical store, someone walks in and asks to buy a game after ticking off the manager, the manager can send him out of the store immidiately that is perfectly find, or the resteraunt can kick the TSA agents out of the resteraunt that is perfectly legal. However in this case it's like the resteraunt seated the TSA, took their order, took their money and then kicked them out of the resteraunt without delivering anything.

Thanks for posting (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452750)

Thanks for posting this story. This issue doesn't affect me, as I don't use EA forums, but it is still something that I find completely unacceptable. I've bought (yes, with money) every RPG Bioware ever released for the PC (and I think I also have a copy of Shattered Steel), but combined with the emphasis on DLC (which requires logging in) in recent titles, this means I will not be buying (or pirating) DA2.

(Apologies for all the parentheses. I'm in the middle of On Lisp [paulgraham.com].)

Oops! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452768)

Turns out there are consequences to your speech. More so when you're using something you don't own. Arguably you don't really own anything. If the right person decides they want your stuff, they'll just take it. Technology is just increasing the pool of people who can.

Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452780)

More justification for torrenting.

Another happy pirate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452824)

So another consumer will learn how piracy is done, and will not buy their next game. You just shot yourself in the foot, EA.

On the other hand... (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452844)

...never thought I'd see someone suffer actual consequences for being a jerk on the internet. Maybe a sign of changing times?

Dispute the charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452864)

If he purchased the game from an online store he likely used a credit card to purchase it. I would call my credit card company and dispute the charge on the grounds that the merchant is not allowing you to use a product you purchased. Bioware had little issue taking money from them, and if they don't want him playing their game due to an "inflammatory" forum post they should refund him his money.

I'm curious what exactly was said.

this happened to me (1)

fuckamonkey (1619765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452870)

I had a similar experience with Steam and Fallout: New Vegas. I posted on Steam forums complaining of the difficulties I was having with Steam not letting me play my game in single player mode. My internet connection was down at the time, and Steam locks you out of your game if you aren't connected to the internet. My post was deleted for "discussing piracy". I created a new post and removed all references to piracy, but this post was also deleted. I then discovered that I had been banned from the forums, and my license key had been invalidated. I could no longer play the game that I had paid for. After receiving no real response to numerous emails to Steam and Bethesda I gave up. These companies do not have easily discoverable customer support lines, so there was no one to call. Needless to say, I pirate all my games now.

Really don't like this trend (3, Interesting)

Paspanique (1704404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452918)

I was also banned from my steam account because paypal choose a transaction I've made with Valve to check my identity. Their system was faulty and after confirmation(Phone calls to land line and CC verification), It took several phone calls & more than a week of back & forth to get everything in order.

Mean while, I lost access to all the games under my Steam account because Paypal stopped 1 payment & I had this account for 4 years. I had almost 20 games in my Library & couldn't play them until paypal released my money. Sure, I understand they wanted to be paid, but having total control over 20 of my games is really frightful.

It took me almost 2 years before I bought another steam games & honestly, if I can avoid using this kind of system, I will. I rather have a boxed DVD than letting someone have total control over something I paid for... I mean it's not like I don't know how to get the games for free...but I don't pirate because I feel it's wrong, and this is how they thank you... Anyhow

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