Print 32 comment(s) - last by Pythias.. on Nov 5 at 1:18 AM

Banned from the forums? Kiss all of your EA games goodbye.  (Source: EA Support Forums)
Being banned from the official EA forums can cost you the ability to play your games online, or properly

The world of online gaming has always been a battleground -- not just between the teams in-game, but between those who play by the rules and those who break them. Cheating and hacking swings the balance of the game, griefing plagues many an MMO, and a degree of foul language is almost expected for online games that might be played by anyone over the age of thirteen.

Publishers like Valve have fought back with the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) system and Bungie continued by tying their official forum accounts into the popular Halo series with a ban at the forums negating the user's ability to use the matchmaking service. Now Electronic Arts has stepped up enforcement to the next level, with threats of revoking the online ability of a user's entire game library.

A post by EA Community Moderator Aaron "Apoc" Kaufman outlines the significantly higher threat carried by a ban from the official forums:

Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since it’s all tied to your account.

While some players may rejoice at the idea of delivering a metaphorical dose of chlorine to the online-gaming swimming pool, many others might remember a fairly well-publicized incident from a little over a month ago, where Spore users speaking out against the SecuROM DRM were threatened with a ban. While EA claimed "miscommunication" caused this inappropriate threat, and assurances were made that users "... are not going to lose (their) game for posting a comment" it certainly seems that promise was reneged on.

Currently, losing an EA Master Account will mean that the associated games will be unplayable through official EA servers. In the case of single-player games, the offline mode will still be accessible - however, titles such as Spore will no longer be able to receive content updates.

While it certainly seems easy enough to avoid the trouble by not joining or posting on the EA forums, your in-game actions can get you in trouble as well. Many a forum posting -- not on the official EA forums, natch -- has sprung up where a user has reported their Spore account suddenly suspended, after their latest creation was reported as particularly offensive.

Until EA clarifies the issue, as was previously done with regards to the DRM postings, it might be best for those with a penchant for Rick Astley videos to keep their hands off the keyboard.

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just wrong.
By mm2587 on 10/30/2008 9:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
Great so now when a forum mod decideds to go on a powertrip he has the potential to steal hundreds of dollars worth of merchedise from you. Great call EA this will really make my online experiance better.

RE: just wrong.
By gramboh on 10/30/2008 10:29:42 AM , Rating: 5
I predict EA to 'clarify' the position (and toss the moderator). You can't have volunteer forum moderators with this kind of power. They have no incentive to act properly/within company policy since they are just volunteers. Really though, what kind of loser would be a forum mod for EA? The worst kind.

Friends, that's not change we can believe in.

RE: just wrong.
By odessit740 on 10/30/2008 10:40:12 AM , Rating: 2
This man deserves a +6 for that.

RE: just wrong.
By omnicronx on 10/30/2008 1:24:27 PM , Rating: 3
Normally I would agree, but anyone who goes on an EA gaming forum, and says something bad enough to get banned, probably deserves it. Perhaps now I won't have to listen to the constant racist/sexist/antisemitic..comments, with most of which coming from 16-18 year old's anymore... which will make my online experience better.

EA forum admins can't just do anything they want either, you can complain and they open an investigation after a certain amount of complaints (and its not very many).

RE: just wrong.
By ted61 on 10/30/2008 3:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I really hate those "antisemitic..comments" I don't care if some calls me a German-Jew but I do agree that most people have to be really rude to get banned from a forum.

RE: just wrong.
By mindless1 on 10/31/2008 12:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to have missed the point, that yes someone should be banned from a forum (at least temporarily) for misconduct, but that their EA gaming account shouldn't be tied to it, that gaming bans should only apply to misconduct within the actual gaming and actually not even then because the customer has already paid for use of the game (unless it was specifically mentioned in the EULA). Banning someone for anything said in the forum is effectively sealing their license and use, arguably illegal.

RE: just wrong.
By omnicronx on 10/31/2008 2:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think because this is on the internet that people should not be held accountable for their actions? A temporary ban from a forum or any ban in general does absolutely nothing, when all they need to do is go make a different account. This way people will think twice before posting derogatory comments on the forum. And personally If I was going to be stupid enough to attack a company on their forum, I would be using a separate account from the one I use for all my games.

P.S In regards to online play, the EULA usually broadly covers what you are not allowed to do. In fact most online games you give up ownership rights and Intellectual Property rights to in-game content and accept to behave in the norms within the game. This can be pretty much anything, and they can basically make up the rules on a case per case basis, to what they consider 'behaving within the norms of the game'.

In other words they can ban you from their servers at anytime for objectionable conduct, and it is NOT illegal.

RE: just wrong.
By omnicronx on 10/31/2008 2:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is nothing new either, Back in the Ultima online days, I was banned for joking around about an animal being perfectly lined up with another animals ass. Nowhere does it state that I can not talk about beastiality (thats what they said I was banned for) because it was outlined in the terms that you can be banned for any questionable activity. The difference here, they actually ban your credit card so you could not make another account, even though you paid for the game, and the subscription service.

RE: just wrong.
By mindless1 on 11/4/2008 9:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
If someone screws you out of what you own, that's a shame if you didn't pursue it, but your unwillingness to pursue that in no way diminishes the rights of others who won't take that kind of crap.

If someone once killed someone, is that a proof that it's ok to murder people from then on? Of course not, it's illegal still... as is this.

RE: just wrong.
By mindless1 on 11/4/2008 9:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I think that because it is the internet that there is not a damn thing I can possibly post that allows someone to revoke a license I have already paid for without any knowledge before purchase that I'd have to kiss ass to keep the license I would own.

It's illegal. Period.

I don't give a damn if you don't like what people post on a forum, that is why moderators exist to police those forums and it is an entirely separate domain than owning a product license.

I and the vast majorty of customers do not pre-agree to anything except to pay the stated price to play the full game. Your idea of add-on terms has never held up in court and never will. Full disclosure is the only legal, moral, decent way to conduct business.

NEVER is it tolerable for any term to be added after the fact, after a two party contract (paying and getting license) has been met by both parties. If you can't understand this basic principle of right and wrong, you are utterly lost about basic consumer rights.

It is completely illegal. I and everyone have never bought a game under the context that we couldn't have free speech. If a private website wants to censor that, let them piss people off by doing so, but it never negates a prior contract that did not specifically spell out that term.

Once it specifically spells out this god-like power of censorship, to the point where everyone realizes the contract they're getting into, only then will it be enforcable as a retraction of contract.

You sadly miss the entire point of a two party agreement. Neither can make vague nonsense statements then come back later and claim those allow for voiding the meat of the contract... the whole purpose for it.

NOBODY can basically make up the rules. Get a clue, PLEASE!

RE: just wrong.
By Totally on 11/4/2008 11:27:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not possible to create aliases, EA requires that you to tether an account to a game key, sort of like GPGnet but a key is required to do anything.

RE: just wrong.
By NullSubroutine on 11/1/2008 10:20:26 AM , Rating: 3
I find it more annoying to hear that everyone that say bad things on the internet are said by younger aged people. In my line of work the most foul mouthed heathens are in fact, adults. They may not act like adults, but they are most certainly of age.

And since you are so 'up' on being tired of racism, sexism, etc, perhaps you would like to know you are now guilty of doing the same, stereotyping with age.

More evidance of EA = antichrist
By the goat on 10/30/2008 10:16:59 AM , Rating: 2
I am glad I have not bought a game from EA in the past eight years. Last one was SSX snowboarding on the PS2. Good riddance EA. Please keep on disappointing me.

RE: More evidance of EA = antichrist
By mmntech on 10/30/2008 10:26:40 AM , Rating: 5
Last game I bought from EA was Sim City 4. Surprisingly, I actually got good customer service from them when I had a problem with my CD key. That was before their DRM fuelled power trip ruined what few good games they have. I must admit though I pre-ordered Mirror's Edge, but not for PC.

I can't shake the feeling that this is 100% about the DRM complaints they received from Spore. Talk about sour grapes. Don't fix your products, just silence those complaining. Microsoft should try this.

RE: More evidance of EA = antichrist
By CSQuake on 10/30/2008 11:10:59 AM , Rating: 2
'Worth Reading' + 1.

I agree, EA are upset that so many people have the freedom to voice their opinions about their nasty DRM. Now they don't have that freedom ...

This should be on the main news of DT. It's believable coming from EA.

RE: More evidance of EA = antichrist
By omnicronx on 10/30/2008 1:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
I can't shake the feeling that this is 100% about the DRM complaints they received from Spore.
Meh, have to keep people accountable somehow, otherwise they can continually create forum accounts after being banned. I noticed that they did not ban users for posting bad comments about spore on the EA forums, they merely erased the thread or post. I don't see why they would suddenly start banning people.

RE: More evidance of EA = antichrist
By The0ne on 10/31/2008 10:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
they merely erased the thread or post.

I will never join, less buy a product from a company that does this. I've seen similar issues with dealership forums as well. The mods are Gods and tosses posts that create bad reputation for the company. So much for being fair and open.

By Raidin on 10/30/2008 10:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's one way to encourage pirating.

RE: Well...
By InvertMe on 10/30/2008 11:39:09 AM , Rating: 4
That's not the answer - just don't play the game. There is still no excuse to steal their IP just because you don't like EAs policies.

RE: Well...
By Nik00117 on 10/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: Well...
By mindless1 on 10/31/2008 12:11:30 AM , Rating: 2
Because bashing in the windows with small bricks just wouldn't have the same effect?

By Spivonious on 10/30/2008 9:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
If you're banned from a game, then you asked for it.

But if you're banned from the forum, what gives EA the right to take away an advertised feature from a purchased game?

I anticipate a huge backlash from this decision.

RE: Legal?
By lakrids on 11/3/2008 9:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
Lawsuits...I see lot's of them in the horizon.

Vote with your wallet people
By iFX on 10/30/2008 12:07:50 PM , Rating: 3
This won't effect me since I refuse to buy any EA games or use their forums. This company is out of their minds. Vote with your wallet people.

I already knew it.
By mindless1 on 10/31/2008 12:21:49 AM , Rating: 3
The moment I read this article I knew this would not last. The moderator has already backpedaled and written that the game account and forum are separate.

Why buy a game from this company?
By PokerGuy on 11/3/2008 8:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
Why do people continue to buy games from a company like this that treats you with contempt and feels it's perfectly fine to take away your ability to play the game you legally purchased on a whim?

Geez people, just stop buying their crappy products and you won't have any problems.

Screw 'em!
By Pythias on 11/5/2008 1:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be concerned if I actually bought any EA products.

a lot harder to get a new serial key
By mm2587 on 10/30/2008 10:04:39 AM , Rating: 1
wow the mod that posted that thread is an asshole. His snide little comment at the end of the anouncement about it being easy to create a new email account but much harder to get a new serial key is obnoxious.

Lets see how would I get a new serial key to play the game I already paid for....oh thats right I would have to give EA more money and get another copy.

EA milking the market to the max

By CSQuake on 10/30/2008 12:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
u r strange.

By omnicronx on 10/30/2008 1:17:38 PM , Rating: 3
Playstation Three: Do you understand the words commin outa my mouth?

no.. no we don't...

By Cullinaire on 10/30/2008 1:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Mr. PS3:

You're trying real hard to be a meme here but I must inform you that you're hardly the first to continuously act retarded in the hopes of creating a lasting franchise of suck. Therefore you're wasting your time.

Have a nice day.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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