WTF, EA: Forum Bans Locking Customers Out of Their Games

42

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

glamdring

This is insane! I don't mind controlling forums and yeah sometimes bans get out of hand, but they are linked to your game!!

If you paid for that game being ban form a forum post should not stop you from playing your game or the company should issue a full refund at the price you originally bought the game for.

I was on the fence if I should or shouldn't get BF3, after using the beta Origin and battlelog made the decision that much easier. Now this seals the deal and to think Valve use to have EA as it's publish HA!

avatar

West996

A post from the future...

 

"EA? Never heard of um."

avatar

Brechan

" No one likes playing a game where no one chats to each other for fear of being banned for whatever stupid reason..."

Not that anyone playing BF3 on PC has a problem with that one, as there's no VOIP support for the game.

http://getsatisfaction.com/battlefield3/topics/why_is_the_squad_based_voip_feature_for_consoles_only_why_did_pc_gamers_get_the_shaft

16 days and counting: 2214 people following/ 626 replies/ 0 replies from EA/ DICE

avatar

MaximumMike

Just don't ever play anything published by EA. Problem solved.

avatar

ocnier

The thing that kills me is that EA will ban someone for forum "indiscretion" but won't ban the numerous hackers that are populating BF3 at the moment.  Talk about hitting the wrong target.  Oh well BF3 is the only game i plan to ever buy from origin and even that loyalty is severly tested.  They blew it when they went they went to war with Steam.  The MW3 sales alone on steam are killing their potential profits. What a bunch of idiots.

avatar

Mad Mort

Amen!

avatar

alexc

Forum mods in general have control issues and many must love the power trip they get from perma banning someone.  Back when World of Warcraft was having severe server issues I created a thread on the official Blizzard site explaning the problem.  Throughout the day I would give periodic updates through additions to my thread.  It was completely civil and as technical as possible to both inform Blizzard and the community about the issue and to help them troubleshoot.  My thread was one of the first created on the topic that day and had seen a lot of activity from other users, but apparently the lag caused pandemonium on the forums and hundreds of threads had been created after mine.  The forum mods had posted a sticky forbidding people from creating new threads about the issue, but I was not aware of this because I had been refreshing my own thread that was created long before any restrictions.  Instead of actually looking at when topics or posts were created the forum mods blanket banned permanently anyone posting about the issue, which amounted to hundreds of people.  This included many long time player and people that were previously positive contributors to forum discussions.  I frequently helped others in the class and new user forums, but this didn't matter, I was banned for "trolling".  I felt so strongly that I even contacted email support and I was told they were not allowed to discuss the issue and that I could not appeal the ban.  I have been exposed to power hungry forum mods before, but this was just irresponsible on their part.  No one holds these mods accountable and their effectiveness is based on how quiet they can keep the forums.  There is no recourse for the people getting banned unjustly because the forums stay civil whether you ban just the offenders or if you ban the offenders and some upstanding users.

avatar

jaymz668

This isn't an Origin vs Steam thing. Origin didn't even exist when dragon age players were banned from playing the game they purchased, a single player game, for giving a critical review of the game.

You can still be banned from playing the game if you bought it on steam, or at a brick and mortar store. You are banned from playing the game for a bad forum post. That is crap.

avatar

Bad Kharma

A long time ago there was a company named EA. It was gamers making games for gamers and they were very good. Then, as the money came rolling in, they became a business and not a business in the good sense but a greedy corporation who despised its customers and treated them like crap.

 

They didn't live happily ever after because you can't alienate your customers.

avatar

CalDrumr

This is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen.  And not waiting very long, I'd imagine.

avatar

noobstix

In paraphrasing a quote I found online, "As usual we recommend not [REDACTED], using Origin and avoiding EA".  And on another note, Battlefield 3 still sucks and I'm still trying to find out what to put my $60 towards.

avatar

silk42

What happens if your computer is stolen or your account is hacked and someone else posts to the forum using your account?  I'm certain you agree to some terms when you setup your account, but if someone else is posting the information, isn't it illegal to ban my account for something I didn't do?  If someone steals my car and kills someone, I'm not the one driving and thus I'm not the one going to prison.  I'm all for policing forums, but I think EA is going too far.  I await the day when a hacker posts thousands of posts using hacked accounts and everyone gets wrongly banned.

avatar

TechLarry

The only thing that will get companies back under the control of the Consumer (where it should be), is by boycott.

But people have to be willing to stand up for themselves, a trait which is greatly in short supply these days :(

I'm truly ashamed at the level of BOHICA RUTA consumers are willing to put up with :(

avatar

dgrmouse

Dragon Age's forums have been linked to the game logins since day one.  Getting banned from the forum means you get banned from the game, and they ban for even simple criticism of their game or their company.  And since the game, despite being single-player, requires you to login online EVERY time you play it in order to access key features, you are at their mercy.

 

You guys really should've seen this coming.

avatar

bling581

BF3 is an awesome game, despite having to stomach Origin. Any other games they release in the future though that are Origin exclusive better have the same quality or I'm not buying. I don't like it that you have to use your Origin account name in the games and anything you post on their forums could risk getting you baned.

My biggest question is why in the world does EA ban someone from playing their games they paid for just because they broke the forum rules. Ban them from the forums, it's that simple. It shouldn't have anything to do with the games you purchased.

Side note: the whole web launcher for BF3 is a huge pain. What happened to server browsing in the game itself? Half the time it doesn't even launch correctly and I get a black screen or it freezes on the spawn screen. The only time you get to mess with the options is during live game play which sucks because you're not helping your team and you're losing potential points. I hope this isn't how all Origin games are going to work.

I was really excited for the new Star Wars MMO, but now that I've experienced Origin I'm not so sure I want to deal with it for more games.

avatar

praack

banning from the forums is one thing, banning a game for cheating is another-  locking all of your accounts out is way out of line- dependant on county may infringe on rights- in other countries though it would show they have the control needed to do proper monitoring and censoring to prevent anti-state activity

ok so maybe i am a going a bit sideways here- but this a tad totalitarian (or hard line communist)

avatar

firefox91

EA is really going overboard with their position as the top game provider. Just because they are the king, doesn't mean they can start stomping all over everyone like this. All it will do (and already has) is cause people to stop spending money with them. The problem is of course they are the top game maker because their games are usually the best. So do you go with good entertainment or trying to send a message? I'm just glad I don't post on gaming forums to begin with to worry about it. There is far too much trolling to justify the effort or time.

avatar

biggiebob12345

At present EA has gotten a whopping $13 from me.  So really I wouldn't care if my crap got banned.  I just wait a year and then buy their games 90% off.  The games are still $60 worth of fun though.

avatar

Pyrophorics05

My biggest gripe is companies having teams of laywers to put together ToS, EULA and all the other fun documents we are required to sign but would never have the time, patiences or in some cases the intelligence to understand. In these documents, they basically try to retain ownership of all the products and services you legally pay for.

If I buy a car but then come back the next day to cuss out the owner of the dealership, they cannot reposses my car. I might land in jail or have a heafty fine, if anything, but they cannot take merchandise that I have legally paid for. Why is this the norm in the computing world?

 

 

avatar

dgrmouse

It's the norm because the tech. industry has HUGE lobbying power and our government is very, very corrupt. Historically, consumer protection was amazingly strong at the federal level - and in many states, even more so. Most EULAs today ask you to explicitly waive your rights as a customer or even as a citizen. To play BF3, you must agree to the EULAs for both Origin and Punkbuster, which absolutely no sane person would do. Given the popularity of the game, every single media outlet out there ought to be blasting away at EA right now. There is absolutely no situation where it is appropriate for a video game installed on a family computer to have the legal ability to monitor and transmit sensitive data without limitation. EVERY media outlet should be hammering home exactly what the ramifications of allowing Johnny to install BF3 are.

avatar

Brad Nimbus

Fuck that! If I was actually silly enough to order a game from origin and this happened just to be a prick I would get my lawyer involved, spread that shit all over the innanets and watch as EA struggles to save face.

avatar

dgrmouse

Yeah... sure you would.  Who is your lawyer, again?

avatar

Brad Nimbus

Pauhl. Yours? I wonder was this a typical smartass remark? If it is fuck off

 

I get the feeling the reason why these companies are ripping people off because no one tries to fight it. Same thing with vehicles. Your paint can peel off and ford will laugh in your face. Put em on the phone with your lawyer and they change their tone pretty quick. I suppose you will challenge me on that too?

avatar

NineteenEleven

I wonder if i post a link to this article if my EA acct will get banned.

 

I love playing BF3, but between having to sandbox origin to keep them from spying on my and the way EA has been behaving lately they will not get any more of my money.

avatar

logicmaster2003

As much as I loved BF1943 and BF2 ( yea I still play BF2 up to this date), i turned down buying  BF3 because its not a STAND ALONE game like BF1943 & BF2, u have to run it on top of another program (origin) and a browser too, which killed my taste bud for BF3.

 

avatar

NotYetRated

I contacted EA About this and they cleared things up. I will no longer be buying any more crap from them, it is unfortunate too because I love BF3. But with the way this company is handeled, I cannot support them any more.

A link to the snap of my conversation.

http://legendsmc.dyndns.org/downloads/EA%20BAN.png

 

What are your thoughts on this?

avatar

US_Ranger

Nice roundabout answers they were giving you there. In other words, yes, you're screwed if you get banned. I never buy EA games anyway but this pretty much seals the deal for me. 

avatar

jnite

Something tells me I'm going to hear about lawsuits over this in the future.  They are taking away your paid products over questionable forum activity (much of the said activity sounds like they didn't deserve it in the first place).  That's like Sony or Microsoft coming to my house to take my consoles and games because I was banned from their forums (no idea if they even have forums but you get the idea).

avatar

Badg3r1977

If EA continue this way they will loose more than customers; they will make them selves a target to those hacker communities take offence to companies Pis*ing on their customers!  I love the BF games but if my account is banned for a basic human right (free speech) then I would do my best to make their lives hell!  By the way, im not a hacker nor am I affiliated with any hacker groups in any way but in light of the recent hacker occurrences; you know what i mean.

 

avatar

mario_ramalho

Has EA been overpowered by the former german SS? To be banned from a game for making a mistake in a forum, is even more disassociated than the example mentioned on the post; it's more like scratching someone's car (on purpose or accidentally) somewhere in Poland, and be formally charged in a court of law in the US for the ultimate decline of the car industry in Detroit, as it were. It's the difference between damaging a company's renevue by the act of piracy or using cheats in-game, and being an actually interested gamer, enough to spend (read: waste) time on a forum to ask or talk about anything related to the game. Call their customer service, and you might hear the message: "Ze lines are busy now, vee vill answer ven vee please!" - queue marching sounds. Ridiculous.

avatar

h e x e n

Exactly why I stay off of the EA forums. Trolls and troll bait.

At the same time, PLEASE don't fuck this up, EA. BF3 is a fantastic experience and if you manage to muck it up with this kind of petty crap you're going to lose customers at an exponential rate, causing maybe one of the best multiplayer FPS experiences to sit vacant as people don't play or buy the game on sheer principal just to spite you.

EA, you were doing so well for a couple of years, what happened? This is the kind of bullshit that will cost you customers and ruin the few good games you actually produce on occasion. I'm not going to keep giving you a good word if this is the kind of shit you pull.

STOP!

Haha, look at me talking as if they'll read this. :|

Maybe another boycott is in order. Haven't purchased a single Activision game in 5 years, I'm sure I can just as easily do the same with EA. Hopefully they salvage this quickly and with respect to the customers.

avatar

BloodDonor

This would be grounds for a full refund in NZ, including for all games your account is associated with...

avatar

Nimrod

Im sure this might not come as a surprise to the people I troll on this site buuuuut. . .

"Hello,
 
This email address, and all EA personas associated with it (including personas/accounts used for multiplayer games), have been permanently and fully terminated in our account system.  This action was taken due the severity and number of violations of our Terms of Service committed with the personas associated with this email address. 
 
As the decision in this matter is final, please know that it is possible that no further correspondence regarding this account will be acknowledged. This action was deemed necessary due to the nature of the offenses on the accounts. We regret having to take this final step, but it is entirely necessary on behalf of protecting the Electronic Arts community.
 
We respectfully ask that you please do not phone or email Electronic Arts regarding this matter from this point forward. We also ask that you understand and respect all statutes within the Terms of Service, as they still contractually apply to you as per the original agreement, especially the sections regarding terminated members of the service."

If you get past the insanely ridiculous language in this post you will realize that EA does not want your or my money.

I at one point received a similar ban from the SoE forum system due to some server drama i was involved in. Guess what, they didnt cancel my account and my CC is still charged 15$ a month 4 years later!

So hopefully SoE will continue to put out good games and even if they ban me from the forums i will be happy to purchase them.

Now that all my BF2 and BF3 stats dating back to 2004 are erased, i dont think ill be doing business with EA ever again.
However i did respond to a questionnaire from a local state representatives office asking about spyware in Origin.

And before you ask, NO I cant talk about who that rep was. But I can say that some people in Washington are concerned that Origin may violate some U.S. laws.

So go ahead and ban me from your games EA, Im working with my state reps to get your app banned in the entire United Sates. Im sure there are activists and lobbyists who might want to take a look at this policy of preventing people from playing a game they paid for just because EA doesnt agree with their speach.

It would be like if I bought a Honda then use a curse word or held an opinion while driving and they repoed my car.

 

I mean, these ass holes think they can just TELL YOU that you cant call and harass them about it or ask for your money back. Who the hell do they think they are kidding? Now not only are they getting calls from me, but their going to be getting a notice from my representative.

These dick heads at EA could not have possibly set them selvs up to be a  bigger target. First of all, they rush and ruin good games, then after they screw their customers on content they treat them like slaves.

 

Its THIS kind of thing that I wish people would protest. Not some ambiguous "Wall Street" boogie man but the REAL tangible issues like this. It seems like companies are forever getting away with it. Even the occupy people dont seem to know the REAL reasons why the banksters are destroying the world. They just want a skape goat. In the mean time, the real world keeps on turning and keeps on burning.

 

 

avatar

stradric

"Its THIS kind of thing that I wish people would protest. Not some ambiguous "Wall Street" boogie man but the REAL tangible issues like this. It seems like companies are forever getting away with it. Even the occupy people dont seem to know the REAL reasons why the banksters are destroying the world. They just want a skape goat. In the mean time, the real world keeps on turning and keeps on burning."

 

You gotta be fucking kidding me.  So people losing access to play video games is somehow more important than people losing their houses or not being able to find a job?  You've said some dumb shit on MPC before, but this has to be dumbest.  Sorry, but the massive income inequality gap in America takes precidence over a report of one guy being perma-banned from Origin for acting like an asshole.

EA, like the banksters, is certainly greedy, but this isn't even an example of their greed.  It's just abuse of power.  You can protest by not buying or playing anymore of their games.  Protesting the corruption, greed and abuse by the banksters and their acolytes in government is a bit more difficult and orders of magnitude more profound.

avatar

bling581

"You can protest by not buying or playing anymore of their games."

This is often the response to articles like this where a company is on a power trip, but it's not a realistic answer. You're assuming that all their customers are as informed as we before buying their products. What about all the first time buyers, little kids, etc? Sure, we have the option to vote with our money, but someone needs to stand up for the consumer base. If one company gets away with stuff like this what kind of message do you think that sends to others?

For the thousands to tens of thousands that boycott a company there are millions more that buy their products, so in the end it does nothing. If it makes you feel good then by all means do it.

avatar

stradric

Agreed, but I never said people shouldn't talk about it.  By all means start an online petition to raise awareness... whatever.  Nimrod made the claim that protesting EA for banning less than a handful of people from playing their games is somehow more important than what Occupy Wall Street protesters are organized against.  That's just pure idiocy.

We have an economy where there are 5 people out of work for every 1 job opening.  We have banks that, right after scamming millions of americans with subprime mortgages and receiving massive taxpayer bailouts, turn around and decide they want to start charging people montly fees for using their checking accounts.  We have massive levels of wealth inequality not seen since the first Republican Great Depression.  But wait, forget all that!  5 people got banned from playing Battlefield 3.  To the streets!

avatar

Nimrod

if you wernt such an idiot you might realize that what EA is doing is EXACTLY what the OWS people are protesting. Well sort of, the OWS people are all as stupid as you and have absolutely NO IDEA whats actually happening in the world.

avatar

lhatten

Amen Bro!! I second this.

avatar

biggiebob12345

This is why I don't bother with moderated forums.  9 times out of 10 you end up with an overzealous moderator on a power trip that thinks filtering mild profanity is equivalent to saving the world.

avatar

firefox91

I don't agree. Unmoderated forums of those that the mods choose not to do their jobs are nothing but troll nests. You cannot have an edcucated discussion on anything because someone will always be there to screw it up. While some moderators do get power trippy, I find many enforce the rules that are posted for that given forum. If you join the forum and ignore the rules replacing them with what you believe is okay, then you are likely one of those trolls I talked about. If you don't like the rules, don't post there. Simple.

avatar

West996

Did you not read the article? Did you see the examples for the bans? 

Posting a link to a support blog that they themselves have linked to?

Posting the word 'e-peen'? 

I'm all for moderation but that is just silly.

avatar

biggiebob12345

"If you don't like the rules, don't post there. Simple."

I already said that, and hence I don't post on places that have 10 pages of rules.   Anyways, don't hang out on forums populated by 12 year olds and there's few trolls.

Same applies to game servers with power trippy admins.  No one likes playing a game where no one chats to each other for fear of being banned for whatever stupid reason.  I've been in several BC2 servers that are like this.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.