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E.A games Bans gamers from gaming

DragonBorn

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#1
Hi to you all just Read this to night and thought i Would shear the news,

If you get banned from the E.A games web site for any think
E.A is banning the players from playing the games there have with E.A.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/11/14/ea-forum-bans-are-still-affecting-games/



You may remember, back in March this year, a story that threw EA forum user Arno into the limelight. Having violated the rules of the EA forums he was given a 72 hour ban on his forum account. But found that he was also unable to play online with any of his games attached to his EA gaming account, nor activate his single-player Dragon Age II. This led to quite the brouhaha, which eventually resulted in EA’s announcing that the ban had been “a mistake”, and the promise that not only would Arno’s gaming rights be restored, but they would fix the issue to prevent this happening again. They haven’t.

We are receiving information from a number of gamers who have received forum bans for a variety of reasons who are finding they’re unable to play Battlefield 3 (or indeed any other game tied into the EA user account), and worse, when they try to contact EA for help sorting this out, they are either ignored or told it’s tough. So what’s going on?


Three examples we’ve heard of in the last week provide contrasting sympathies for those banned, but always with the same result. The thing to stress at this point is, no matter the reason – nor how valid the reason – someone may have been locked out of their forum accounts, on no circumstances should this affect their ability to play games. There are a whole separate set of rules that might see someone locked out of their EA account (and the legality of these, and EA’s rights to prevent someone from playing a game they’ve paid for without offering a refund, are another matter entirely), and one should not affect the other. As was explained by EA in March. Said EA’s Senior Director of Customer Support, Boyd Beasley to “Arno”:

“Unfortunately, there was an error in the system that accidentally suspended your entire EA account. Immediately upon learning of the glitch, we have restored the entire account and apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused while accessing other areas of the EA service.”

However, four days later on 15th March, we were still hearing about the same happening to other EA gamers, and contacted EA to find out why this was still a problem. It was, they told us, still “an error”. After we’d tried to get in touch with Boyd Beasley directly, we received a reply from someone within EA called Andrew Wong, who told us:

“As noted last week, we have identified an error in our system which can suspend a user’s entire account when our terms of use policy has been violated. We are working to fix this and expect to have the issue resolved by the end of this week. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience – it is not our policy to prevent customers from playing a single-player game. Any registered player who feels they have been banned inappropriately is urged to contact EA Customer Service.”

The problem was intended to be fixed by the end of that week, which was eight months ago. So why is it still happening? And why the mention of single-player games in that context? As if a forum ban is in any way related to playing online gaming, when it isn’t offline gaming.



The first person to get in touch with us about BF3 was Nick. It’s hard to sympathise with Nick, to be frank. He made a stupid thread about “teabagging” on the EA forums, and then seemed to be a bit confused that he should get in trouble for suggesting he dangle his “balls” in dead people’s faces. Common sense would dictate that’s not a subject to be raising on a family-friendly forum. His astonishment expressed to us that this should be an issue isn’t endearing. However, less endearing was EA’s response. Following Wong’s advice above he contacted EA’s Customer Support, via email and live chat, and received a refusal to even discuss the matter each time.

We also heard from Rob. Rob’s encounter with EA’s seemingly arbitrary banning process makes much less sense. His account was suspended for having posted a “commercial”. What he had in fact posted was a link to his non-commercial blog, to a guide to “network troubleshooting”, recently updated for helping gamers get connected to BF3. A link that’s been repeatedly posted to the same forums for a couple of years, and better still, has actually been linked to by EA Support themselves. The link, says Rob, is mentioned on their own corporate support site and FAQ! He too found that the live chat support was absolutely useless, with those replying unable to deviate from a script that endlessly, uselessly loops. This led to his being banned from his gaming account for 72 hours, as well as a permanent “strike” on EA’s “three strikes” system. Something it’s not possible for him to dispute.

Then we heard from James, whose tale is even more extraordinary. He has been permanently banned for using the word “e-peen”. (For those unfamiliar, this is short for “electronic penis”, and tends to be used to suggest someone is egotistically willy-waving.) However, he did not even introduce the word. It was in reply to someone else who’d said it, and responded, “Ah, back to the e-peen talk.” He was originally told this ban would be for 72 hours, but on Saturday received an email informing him that it was now to be a permanent ban from his Origin account, with no further explanation given. It was added that the matter was “now closed”. And, as ever, EA’s live chat and customer support are refusing to help him in any way. He’s also been told that his BF3 characters and levels will be deleted.

Update: James explains he was polite and courteous with the EA Live Chat person, who had pointed him toward the email form to request further help. He filled this in, again politely he says, and the next day received an email in response saying,

“Please note that your account has been permanently terminated from the Electronic Arts Online service for violating the terms of services. The account will no longer be accessible in any way, and all property, items, and characters associated currently are or will soon be deleted.”

And the in field explaining why?

“This action was necessary due to the repeated nature of the offense on the account. We regret having to take this final step, but it is entirely necessary on behalf of protecting the Electronic Arts Online community. The violation has already been discussed above so further communication on this matter won’t be entertained. We thank you for your understanding on all the statutes within the Terms of Service, and they still contractually apply to you as per the original agreement, especially the sections regarding terminated members of the service.”

No such discussion had taken place. No such “repeated” offense had occurred. Which makes the refusal to even discuss this ban somewhat problematic. Since he received this email, James has not been able to access any of his Origin games online.



So what is going on? We contacted EA about this last week, but have not had a response, let alone a statement on the matter. We’ve tried contacting some other people today, and will update if we receive a reply. And let’s not forget the statement that EA gave to Shack back in 2008:

“Posting in EA Forums is enabled by an EA Nucleus account — but access to the forums and access to the games are separate. Players who have been banned from EA Forums are not automatically banned from online access to their other EA games. Players can be banned if they breach the Terms of Service or Code of Conduct in a forum, game or service. Each forum, game and service is managed independently by customer support representatives responsible for that specific forum, game or service.”
 
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#2
Sigh.

Looks like BF3 may be the last EA product I purchase if they're seriously linking forum and game bans. I remember hearing about the dude who was banned back in March, but they said it was a glitch.

So Ubisoft is out, EA (except Valve) is out and Activision (except Blizzard) is out. Looks like I'll be saving me some money in the future.
 

DragonBorn

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#3
Sigh.

Looks like BF3 may be the last EA product I purchase if they're seriously linking forum and game bans. I remember hearing about the dude who was banned back in March, but they said it was a glitch.

So Ubisoft is out, EA (except Valve) is out and Activision (except Blizzard) is out. Looks like I'll be saving me some money in the future.
Lets hope there go the same route as ubisoft and sails are down.
 
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#4
TL;DR

Give me the short version.
 
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#5
TL;DR

Give me the short version.
You misbehave on EA's forums, they ban you from the forum and lock you out of your EA Account/Origin games.
 
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#6
You misbehave on EA's forums, they ban you from the forum and lock you out of your EA Account/Origin games.
Well thats bullshit. I can understand the ban from the forums, but locking you out of your game? Uncalled for.
 

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#7
Seems harsh but cannot help feeling that if ya a dick on the forums i don't want to bump in to you in a game because you just be a dick.
 
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#8
Seems harsh but cannot help feeling that if ya a dick on the forums i don't want to bump in to you in a game because you just be a dick.
But in the game at least you can ignore them, be better than them, take their dog tags, etc.
 
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#9
Seems harsh but cannot help feeling that if ya a dick on the forums i don't want to bump in to you in a game because you just be a dick.
Yeah but they lock you out of singleplayer, too. If I read that right. And thats even more :nutkick:

I'll be the first: *cough cough* piracy *cough*
 
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#10
Seems harsh but cannot help feeling that if ya a dick on the forums i don't want to bump in to you in a game because you just be a dick.
That is true. Afaik they don't even outline this to us BEFORE we register/enter our CD key in Origin/Steam so we can still return the game.

A pop-up before you enter your CD key such as -
**WARNING: If you sign up to EA forums with your game account and get banned from the forums, you will be locked out of your games. Continue; Yes/No?
would be real nice.
 
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#11
Section 9 of the Origin TOS says some things. It doesn't necessarily apply to Origin only, and bundles everything as "EA Services":

Origin ToS said:
EA may also terminate access to EA Services for violation of this Terms of Service, if EA (in its sole discretion) deems that your use of EA Services renders EA Services less safe for others and/or minors or for illegal or improper use of EA Services, Content, Entitlement, products or EA's Intellectual Property as determined by EA in its sole discretion.

You may lose your user name and persona as a result of this termination. If you have more than one (1) Account, EA may terminate all of your Accounts and all related Entitlements. In response to a violation of these Terms of Service or any other agreement applicable to EA Services accessed by you, EA may issue you a warning, suspend your Account, selectively remove, revoke or garnish Entitlements at an Account and/or device level, immediately terminate any and all Accounts you have established and/or temporarily or permanently ban your device and/or machine from all EA Services or certain EA Services. You acknowledge that in such instances EA is not required to provide you notice before taking action to suspend or terminate your Account, temporarily or permanently banning your device from some or all EA Services or selectively removing, revoking or garnishing Entitlements associated with your Account. If EA terminates your Account, you may not participate in an EA Service again without EA's express permission. EA reserves the right to keep Accounts for, and provide EA Services to, any individual. You may not allow individuals whose accounts have been terminated by EA to use your Account.
That's not the entire section, but it spells out enough. Did you guys just click "I Agree"? lol
 
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#12
I do believe that losing your games permanently is definitely too harsh. I do however approve of forum-ban translating into game-ban if it is for a limited time-frame (one month sounds OK).

It would teach kiddies not to be dicks.
 

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#13
But in the game at least you can ignore them, be better than them, take their dog tags, etc.
i wonna play not keep hitting ignore :).

Yeah but they lock you out of singleplayer, too. If I read that right. And thats even more :nutkick:

I'll be the first: *cough cough* piracy *cough*
Solution is simple don't be a dick.. Although is a bit much blocking single player as your just going be a dick to you self.

That is true. Afaik they don't even outline this to us BEFORE we register/enter our CD key in Origin/Steam so we can still return the game.

A pop-up before you enter your CD key such as -

would be real nice.
True, not as if many read the agreement though and have to wait for a forum like this one or the actually game site of some one who did actually read it lol.
 
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#15
Who cares if you get banned? All that matters is how many dog tags you collected in last night's BF3 session, right? If you get banned, you can simply open another account and buy your games a second time.
 
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#16
i can see a class action coming for this too.

they banned a mate of mine because he quoted some guy being a douche on there, how is that right?

72 hours without any of his ea games because he quoted something someone else said?


yea ea and their nazi mods can suck my swingers.

not as widely reported is that they have also wiped players stats who they think have cheated/stats padded.

note wiped and not banned, so you can cheat and not play to the spirit of the game and not get your games take but if you say dice are a bunch of fuckwits who have killed the bf series they effectively steal you money.

incase anybody doesnt know in the uk they tell you before taking your money that once bought you cannot return a pc game so you are screwed.
 
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#17
I understand banning in multiplayer. If you misbehave in a forum you most likely misbehave ingame. But as I said locking you out of singleplayer is beyond anything reasonable.
 
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#18
I understand banning in multiplayer. If you misbehave in a forum you most likely misbehave ingame. But as I said locking you out of singleplayer is beyond anything reasonable.
I think that it is quite reasonable: you miss-behave - you get punished.

But, what I can not approve of nor understand is:
  • being banned for saying things like "e-peen"
  • being banned for quoting other people
  • losing your games permanently*, or for any long period of time

* with the exception of cheating - you should be perma-banned for cheating, imho
 
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#19
I'm pretty sure an EA representative had said that the linking of forum and game bans was unintentional and that they were going to do something about it. That was early last month though, so maybe they're changed their mind again?
 
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#20
Well now let's be clear on this. This is not the EA forums we are talking about it is BATTLELOG, an integrated part of the game. I have accounts on both US and UK EA forums and they are under different credentials(granted its all under the big EA "Personas" umbrella) But none the less they are VERY separate things.

Battlelog is probably the biggest out of control cesspool I have ever seen and it most definitely needs some heavy duty cleaning/policing.

But let's not confuse Battlelog with EA forums. You wanna be a jerk off in an integrated component of the game well your gonna "get the horns"
 
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#21
Glad I didn't buy any of their games seems as though there is a lot of witch hunting.
 
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#22
Clamping down on the trolling probably to make EA forums a more pleasant place to visit.
The penalty is a bit harsh though.
 
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#24
I see no problem with this myself, but I've always be a supporter of harsh punishments. Think about it, if 13 year old Little Joey knows he'll loose all his EA games by acting like a dick, he won't act like a dick. And if he does, my 40 year old ass doesn't have to deal with it after he's banned.
 
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#25
I do believe that losing your games permanently is definitely too harsh. I do however approve of forum-ban translating into game-ban if it is for a limited time-frame (one month sounds OK).

It would teach kiddies not to be dicks.
You're putting too much faith in their moderators. Very few people alive today can fairly dictate who should be punished and to what extent. "Peers" should not have the power to ban you from playing video games. That's just absurd. Banning from the online aspect is as far as it can be argued, but simply muting their ability to communicate with other plays would be much more appropriate.