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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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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.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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