Friday, 20 April 2012

EA changes policy a bit - single player still available to the banned

A small reprieve.

You might have read either here or somewhere else about how late last year people discovered that if they were banned from EA's forums that if they had any games that were purchased from Origin that they wouldn't be able to access them either.

The debate about whether or not the practice of being locked out of games for things you've done outside of them is still on-going (I know that I personally come down on the side of being vehemently against it except in cases like hacking the software or hardware, in which case you take your fate into your own hands), but there has been a small reprieve given to those that found themselves on the wrong side of the banhammer.

About a week ago EA changed the official policy regarding suspended accounts, stating "If you find yourself with a disabled account, please note that you can still play EA games in single-player mode. For PC games you will need to enable Origin's offline mode to play games with a disabled account. Go to the settings tab in Origin (the gear icon) and select Go Offline."

Now, to some this might be small comfort, considering that games like Battlefield 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and others have online play as their major or only component. It does mean though that you still have access to your games, at least limited access in some cases.

For me this is far from a favourable solution, but it's at least a step in the right direction. I still stand by my original assertion that baring being a big enough dumbass to go onto EA's forums and talk about piracy and how to pirate games that a person shouldn't be locked out of games they bought for (even if they're a troll or just utterly inept and repugnant). At least this means that game series like Mass Effect and Dragon Age can be mostly enjoyed even if you're in the proverbial slammer.

It's funny to note that the change to the policy also includes this disclaimer: "Please note: The majority of banned or suspended accounts are only suspended temporarily. Find more information about the length of your suspension by checking the email address associated with your account."

Something tells me that that's even smaller comfort to those that might not know whether or not their bans are temporary, or even what they've been banned for. I guess the unfortunate lesson here is that if you use Origin and post on EA's forums, be sure to realize that big brother is certainly watching you.

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