EA turns into supernanny

With PWC recently announcing the Retail PC Games market being in trouble, EA isn’t worried in the slightest. They would even say the PC gaming market is healthy as a horse. Last year 40% of their sales where digital and that figure is expected to rise above 50% in 2011. Digital distribution is convenient for you, if you have the appropriate broadband connection, as you don’t have to leave the house or hope the postie isn’t on strike for a change. More importantly though the margins are a lot better which helps the bottom line of the publishers and there is no second hand market.

There is another little drawback though….. With most digital distrubtion methods your gaming details are linked to an account which you would also, for example, use on the games discussion forums. We’ve all seen the videos of kids freaking out about their video games. Not surprisingly some people do on occasion get temporarily banned from the forums for posting inapporpirate content. Sound fair enough, however, if you just bought a new game online you wouldn’t be able to play it as long as your account is banned.

If you look up the terms of service they actually states that EA Community bans can affect access to your game and /or DLC. The moderators actually goes so far as to say – “consider it an added incentive to follow the rules”.

A former worker at EA said that this has always been the policy for all EA games. Apparently your account on the forums is tied to your EA Account, meaning it is tied to your online persona (and the gamertag or PSN ID attached to it). If you check it on the EA Identity Manager you will see all your forum personas listed under your EA Account.

This means that when you get perma banned from a forum, it does affect your EA Account. Meaning, if you get perma banned, it also flags your EA Account, which means you won’t be able to access any EA games.

Luckily for this guy he only got temporarily banned for posting “Have you sold your souls to the EA devil?”. Seems pretty harsh to ban someone for in the first place but to also block the access to the games they bought that seems a bit excessive.

So all in all EA can revoke your gaming and DLC licenses for forum conduct violations. Sound to me like EA is turning into an evil Supernanny — if you don’t behave we’ll take all your toys away permanently!

Sources: Star Wars The Old Republic Strategies, Industry Gamers, Gamasutra

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