No Dragon Age 2 for Suspended BioWare Forumite - UPDATED

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No Dragon Age 2 for Suspended BioWare Forumite - UPDATED

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A BioWare fan received a nasty surprise when he learned that his suspension from its forums means he can't install his newly-purchased copy of Dragon Age 2.

The BioWare Social Network user known as "v_ware" received notification yesterday that he'd been suspended from the service for 72 hours. He claims the reason is that he asked, presumably in a forum post, if BioWare had "sold your souls to the EA devil?" It's a pretty thin reason to suspend someone, although we have nothing but his word to go on in that regard, but he acknowledges his transgression and appears willing to accept the punishment.

His more serious problem is that his forum suspension means he can't activate and play the shiny new Dragon Age 2 Signature Edition he purchased from the EA Store. "I already knew I was going play it without the extra content since I can't activate my extra codes," he wrote with an alternate account. "What I did not know was that I needed to activate the game before being able to play it. So now I've got a dead game for 50 euros."

The whole thing had the appearance of an "oops" on BioWare's part until community rep Stanley Woo weighed in. He explained that while BioWare community bans are "forum only," EA community bans are a different beast and can affect access to games and DLC, even when the games in question, like Dragon Age 2, are single-player.

"Because the BioWare community now operates under the same umbrella as all EA Communities, community members here have all explicitly agreed to abide by and be governed by both sets of rules," he wrote. "Consider it an added incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow."

As Kotaku pointed out, the situation isn't something that's likely to happen very often because v_ware bought it online from the EA Store and hadn't installed it prior to the suspension. But it did happen; by BioWare's own admission, a customer is being refused access to a game he dropped 60 bucks on because he said something he shouldn't have on a forum. And if it happened once, it can happen again, more or less at EA's discretion. Calling that an "incentive to follow the rules" is one way of looking at it, I suppose, but I'm inclined to frame it in somewhat less polite terms.

UPDATE: BioWare Community Coordinator Chris Priestly issued a statement on the situation indicating that the whole thing was a mistake.

"EA strictly enforces the code of conduct at Social.BioWare.com. If a player violates the rules by using profanity, they will be temporarily banned," he wrote. "Unfortunately, there was an error in the system that accidentally suspended a user's entire account. Immediately upon learning of the glitch, EA restored the user's macro account and apologized for the inconvenience."

It's not clear how this jibes with Stanley Woo's explanation that the loss of game access was a valid part of the suspension, except possibly that some forum transgressions do warrant it but v_ware's in particular did not. Whatever the reason, he's apparently back in action and in this case, at least, all is well.

Thanks to Knight Templar for the tip.

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Sheesh, suspend or ban someone from a forum if they're misbehaving but don't remove their games.

Welcome to the new age of gaming folks. THE FYOOOOOCHER IS NOOOOOW!

Whoa, note to self: do not buy from EA Store. That's outrageous.

I commented on the earlier thread, but just so it's here as well, I was shocked with this and the action they took. This is absolutely ridiculous, I should be able to buy any goddamn game I want regardless of my opinions on the company that publishes it. You got their sale, doesn't mean you have to be worshipped.

This is absolute shit and should never have even been on the table as worthy of punishment, at least not in this way.

he did break the rules i guess... I wouldn't think they would stop you from playing their games though, isn't that how they make business?
still, how dirty would ya be not being able to play a game you spent $60 on!

Funny how the comment that got him suspended is given credence by Bioware's response.

As much as they've probably had the rights to do it, it's still a really fucking shady thing to do to your customers, BioWare.

This is terrible. He paid his money. Your rules are bullshit.

This happened with BC2 accounts all over the place. People think EA are these awesome, wonderful publishers that rise above the standard lately.... how wonderful ignorance must be.

Wow. The guy paid 60 (hopefully) hard-earned bucks to get a brand new copy of the game and he can't even play it because he wanted to dicuss a topic in a forum and show his opinion on a subject. True, he might have gone too far, and was even willing to recieve the punishment, but this is another discussion for another time.

Also, funnily enough, this does means that his point (BioWare sold it'a soul to EA.) is kinda of valid.

uppitycracker:
This happened with BC2 accounts all over the place. People think EA are these awesome, wonderful publishers that rise above the standard lately.... how wonderful ignorance must be.

I doubt there are people who think EA is awesome :p

Honestly though, I don't think anybody at Bioware is responsible.
And wouldn't getting a ban on steam result in you losing all your steam games?

uppitycracker:
This happened with BC2 accounts all over the place. People think EA are these awesome, wonderful publishers that rise above the standard lately.... how wonderful ignorance must be.

Who the hell thinks that? I have an Extra Credits episode, some commercials, and a whole backlog of shady deals and shitty games to show them!

So it is pretty much the next step for DRM? If you aren't nice to the publisher you can't play the game. Next you will have to send them an Xmas card every year otherwise you have a perma-ban.

Meh, lucky i dont asscociate with EA communities.

Really the guy should have known that Bioware is owned by EA as of 2007, so its employees are working with this 'EA devil' whether they like it or not.

And im sure they do like it, or they would have left by now.

ddq5:
Funny how the comment that got him suspended is given credence by Bioware's response.

Heh, for real.

Okay, I'm completely against pirating, but I'm inclined to say that this fellow should pirate the fuck out of it. He bought the damn game, and he should get to play it. Pirates wouldn't have to deal with this problem, why do those who steal the game get punished less than those who purchase it?

They essentially stole 60 dollars from him. Seriously. Return the favor, guy.

While an over reaction the guy did overstep the line.

There is a difference between critisism and abuse, and what he did, did step over the line, albet only minorly

He will be able to play the game when the ban expires, and once he's activated fuuture bans will disable DLC, and achievements not the entire game. Hell he could play now if he registered a second account.....

simple moral of the story is if you cantt trust yourself to remain civil while critising, then don't post on an account linked to your game. simples

This seems to be the latest trend, huh?
We're buying things that apparently aren't actually ours. Imagine you'd put a steak in your fridge, and whatever shop you bought the fridge from comes to take it away, because their owner is a vegetarian.
It's completely ridiculous, yet we gamers always get treated like this.

ddq5:
Funny how the comment that got him suspended is given credence by Bioware's response.

lol, aye. Might as well have simply posted "yes, yes we have."

I guess it's a good thing it wasn't a permaban, eh? :p

But yep - sucks big time I s'pose. Might not happen to many people, since it was a combination of poor timing along with poor policy, but still stories such as this will help fuel piracy in these instances. And in this case, I honestly don't know if I could blame them. Conceptually, it isn't much different from the OtherOS thing with PS3s. If you paid for a product and its advertised functionality, you should be able to play it - good forum manners or no.

Andy Chalk:
it again happen again

Just wanted to point out a little error in the post.

O.T. That's just absurd. Though I'm sure Activision will see this and try to one up them.

TheBelgianGuy:

And wouldn't getting a ban on steam result in you losing all your steam games?

Depends on the kind. You can't lose games for voicing an oppion on the steam forums as the account is sperate form your game acc. A VAC Ban only stops other games that are VAC secured from launching online but the games can still be played offline(no mutiplayer allowed basically). And the last ban i know of is a account lock one. They lock your acc cause you bought a game, They gave you access then you don't pay them. This one locks all your games and you are suspended.

Just curious, but does a similar thing happen on Steam?

Lol, he asked if Bioware had sold his soul to the EA devil and then bought the Signature Edition? Oh I forgot... Bought the SE knowing that wasn't going to play the extra content? Wow...

That's bloody brilliant...

As for the story, I guess is more an EAs policy than Bioware's... Still that's harsh.

I used to play an mmo that would issue game bans based on forum conduct.
everyone just used a dummy account to troll.

Anyone defending EA/BioWare here is completely in the wrong.

How butthurt do you have to be to say "he made fun of us, how about some financial retribution?"

Huh. So they can arbitrarily deny you to play your game.

Fuck and Dragon Age 2 looked good as well. Pity.

EA this may be a concept you may not know, but there are other such things as lost sales other then the so called lost sale of piracy.

It's called the lost sale of, the store keep is a royal cunt.

Catchy Slogan:
Just curious, but does a similar thing happen on Steam?

Steam forum is not tied to your steam account, so the answer is no.

its funny how you can lump forum trolls into the same group as cheaters / crackers / exploiters if i were this guy i'd be contacting a lawyer about this and seek damages for denial of use or something similar.

Also i see many people say "its in the ToS, its in the EULA" you can write and force people to agree with anything but that agreement can still be in violation of the law, its simiar to many apartment complexes having their tenants sign a statement that they will pay all legal fees if there is a disagreement, no matter what they have you agree to its still not always legally binding.

This is like insulting microsoft then having them disable your windows OS for 3 days.
IMO if someone speaks an unpopular opinion on a forum it should not infringe upon anything else but access to the forum.

FlashHero:

TheBelgianGuy:

And wouldn't getting a ban on steam result in you losing all your steam games?

Depends on the kind. You can't lose games for voicing an oppion on the steam forums as the account is sperate form your game acc. A VAC Ban only stops other games that are VAC secured from launching online but the games can still be played offline(no mutiplayer allowed basically). And the last ban i know of is a account lock one. They lock your acc cause you bought a game, They gave you access then you don't pay them. This one locks all your games and you are suspended.

Thanks for making that clear. Steam at least seems to be fair. The guy should have been given a forumban if they really wanted to punish him for voicing his opinion.

Oh well, if anything, this will create again more hatred towards EA. Funny how their retarded PR keeps turning on themselves.

I am surprised that EA have this setup at all. Blizzard's forum and game setup isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than this one. Forum bans are separate from game bans, and even game bans don't translate to bans of your battle.net account, so you can be banned in Starcraft or Warcraft without it affecting any other games on the account.

dududf:
Huh. So they can arbitrarily deny you to play your game.

No they can't they have to be able to prove you broke the ToS of the license. If the ToS is deamed reasonable by the court then they can uphold the ban. Not all of the clasuses will pass that test I'd recon, but this one may well.

TheBelgianGuy:

FlashHero:

TheBelgianGuy:

And wouldn't getting a ban on steam result in you losing all your steam games?

Depends on the kind. You can't lose games for voicing an oppion on the steam forums as the account is sperate form your game acc. A VAC Ban only stops other games that are VAC secured from launching online but the games can still be played offline(no mutiplayer allowed basically). And the last ban i know of is a account lock one. They lock your acc cause you bought a game, They gave you access then you don't pay them. This one locks all your games and you are suspended.

It is jsut a forum ban they imposed, it is however a requirement that you have an active forum account to activate the game, which this guy will have in 3 days.

Thanks for making that clear. Steam at least seems to be fair. The guy should have been given a forumban if they really wanted to punish him for voicing his opinion.

Oh well, if anything, this will create again more hatred towards EA. Funny how their retarded PR keeps turning on themselves.

Would those less polite terms include Stupid, idiotic, hateful bullshit?

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