No Dragon Age 2 for Suspended BioWare Forumite - UPDATED

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You can't catch me on my console! Weeeeeee

*runs off giggling*

Game companies: Giving more reasons to pirate their games on a daily basis.

<*actually bought the game and isn't promoting piracy merely making a statement that companies are stupid, thus giving reason to pirate, I'm paranoid about being banned so sue me.

It is a ridiculous situation, and I hope he is given access to the game by EA.

However, I like the hypocrisy of buying their games when he has such a negative opinion of the company.

I get that he did something wrong and got banned by his smart@$$ comment, but keeping a person from playing a game they just paid for? That seems a bit over the line Bioware... (>.>) (<.<)

Andy Chalk:
The BioWare Social Network user known as "v_ware" received notification yesterday that he'd been suspended from the service for 72 hours

Cry about it? He can play his game once he's unsuspended in 3 days.

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.

Seems like a perfectly good reason to suspend someone. He is insulting the developer and publisher of the game not giving constructive criticism. Sure, its not a terrible comment and thats why he only gets 72 hours and not a perma-ban.

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."

Wait, wait, wait... This idiot made a negative comment of the game BEFORE playing it...? He fully deserves this! Again, he can wait 3 days for the suspension then play. He isn't gonna die.

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."

Maybe the idiot should have activated his game before bad mouthing the people who made it? Just a thought...

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.

Again, he should have INSTALLED THE GAME before making negative comments with no value other than to insult. AND his suspension is only 3 days so he'll be able to play once its done.

I know many are siding with this guy, but I just cannot. In my view he wholly deserves his three day suspension and if he really wanted to play the game that he made a negative comment about then maybe he should have freakin' installed it before he typed said comment.

rsvp42:
Why is this news? "Random dude can't play DA2! Everyone get up in arms over it!"

The reason why this is news is that it clearly shows willingness by a company to exact a disproportionate response to a perceived injustice. As end users, we've tolerated their extreme levels of DRM and control over our access to their software solely on the promise that they'd be fair about keeping it. We're seeing that companies, at least EA and Bioware, cannot be trusted with that degree of power.

Asking whether Bioware had sold your souls to the EA devil is hardly cause to ban someone from a forum, let alone block them from registering games. Presuming this is the reason the poor sod was blocked, it was inappropriate action by the moderator.

I'm curious, on the other hand, if said moderator knew the full consequences of his suspending the guy. If this is genuinely the first time that someone was inhibited from playing a game due to overzealous forum policing, this may be a matter of an overreaching policy, a la the Bloody Code

EA could escape backlash if they apologized, updated their policies (or at least trained their forum moderators) and compensated the fellow in some small way. (Here, have a free game.) I suspect EA will remain inept about it, in which case, I advise everyone to do as DTWolfwood suggests and avoid the Bioware and EA forums. Indeed, there are plenty of places to dialogue, and no reason to risk the consequences of distressing their forum serenity.

Incidentally, has there been any case taken to court in which egregious segments of a EULA (or a ToS) were upheld? Most of these are contracts that have never been challenged, usually due to lack of need, and a lot have been resolved by settlement or through arbitration so as to avoid rocking the EULA boat. If it ever emerged that a EULA (or, again, a ToS) was absolutely legally binding, or was absolutely not, a lot of shit would proceed to go down.

Incidentally, Whargarble, the Bill of Rights is in full effect within the US and to American corporations. No private entity, including your workplace, can prevent you from speaking your mind (with reasonable limits, e.g. slander, panic-inducing speech, classified data, etc.), or technically, can search your belongings when leaving their brick-and-mortar store. These issues are seldom challenged in court (exceptions being things like the right to assembly on school grounds), which is why institutions get away with it. But there's valid grounds for a suit here, if he can prove that damages were incurred from not getting to play the game.

Comparably, if Microsoft ever used their kill switch for Vista or Windows 7 and caused a person or business to lose a day's work, they would be liable for it, unless they had ironclad cause to do so.

238U.

That is disgusting, wait a moment.
Chris Priestly claims it was some kind of glitch, and they only meant to deny him access to his DLC.
But that it can happen is terrible.

You may want to update the story I guess.

HAHAHAHA THE EMPIRE STRIKES AGAIN.

KefkaCultist:

suspended from the service for 72 hours.

Cry about it? He can play his game once he's unsuspended in 3 days.

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.

Seems like a perfectly good reason to suspend someone. He is insulting the developer and publisher of the game not giving constructive criticism. Sure, its not a terrible comment and thats why he only gets 72 hours and not a perma-ban.

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."

Wait, wait, wait... This idiot made a negative comment of the game BEFORE playing it...? He fully deserves this! Again, he can wait 3 days for the suspension then play. He isn't gonna die.

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."

Maybe the idiot should have activated his game before bad mouthing the people who made it? Just a thought...

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.

Again, he should have INSTALLED THE GAME before making negative comments with no value other than to insult. AND his suspension is only 3 days so he'll be able to play once its done.

I know many are siding with this guy, but I just cannot. In my view he wholly deserves his three day suspension and if he really wanted to play the game that he made a negative comment about then maybe he should have freakin' installed it before he typed said comment.

Where did you read his criticism was aimed at the game? We don't know exactly what it was, just that he asked Bioware if they "sold their souls to the EA devil". Why don't you get your facts straight before calling other people idiots?
And as has been said several times before about this whole thing, it doesn't matter what he did and what punishment you think he deserves, EA should not be allowed to lock him out if the game he legally paid for.

Made an extra profile on the bioware site. yousoldyoursoultotheeadevil
http://social.bioware.com/profile/2733677
Still deciding what to do with it though :P

Venereus:

KefkaCultist:
-snip-

Where did you read his criticism was aimed at the game? We don't know exactly what it was, just that he asked Bioware if they "sold their souls to the EA devil". Why don't you get your facts straight before calling other people idiots?
And as has been said several times before about this whole thing, it doesn't matter what he did and what punishment you think he deserves, EA should not be allowed to lock him out if the game he legally paid for.

Okay fine, I'll admit that maybe he wasn't talking about DA2 (I assumed it was DA2 since this is recent and that game has received a lot of heat for various reasons), but it was still aimed at the developer and publisher.

Also, he isn't permanently locked from installing the game. It is only a 3 day SUSPENSION a.k.a. it doesn't last forever. I'm 99% sure that once his 72 hours are up he can go ahead and play.

Wow. What a dick move by EA. I think a simple ban of the forums might be appropriate, but ban from even installing the game?

Man, and I was even starting to give EA some slack.

KefkaCultist:

Venereus:

KefkaCultist:
-snip-

Where did you read his criticism was aimed at the game? We don't know exactly what it was, just that he asked Bioware if they "sold their souls to the EA devil". Why don't you get your facts straight before calling other people idiots?
And as has been said several times before about this whole thing, it doesn't matter what he did and what punishment you think he deserves, EA should not be allowed to lock him out if the game he legally paid for.

Okay fine, I'll admit that maybe he wasn't talking about DA2 (I assumed it was DA2 since this is recent and that game has received a lot of heat for various reasons), but it was still aimed at the developer and publisher.

Also, he isn't permanently locked from installing the game. It is only a 3 day SUSPENSION a.k.a. it doesn't last forever. I'm 99% sure that once his 72 hours are up he can go ahead and play.

May be 72 hours are not that much for you, but it might be a big deal for others. What if those 3 days had been the one weekend he could afford to spend with the game? Anyway, when publishers are locking you out of your games, where do you draw the line? A week? A year? How much time are your rights and your dignity worth to you?

Venereus:
May be 72 hours are not that much for you, but it might be a big deal for others. What if those 3 days had been the one weekend he could afford to spend with the game? Anyway, when publishers are locking you out of your games, where do you draw the line? A week? A year? How much time are your rights and your dignity worth to you?

Well if three days is all he could afford to play Dragon Age II then he'd be missing out...

Look, the guy had not activated his game yet. The suspension stops him from activating codes. If he had had the code activated then he'd be able to play right now. They're not purposely stopping him from playing the game, it just so happened that he hadn't redeemed the code.

If he really wanted to play right now couldn't he just make a new account and activate the game on that?

Also, I wouldn't make a dumb ass insult of a developer on a forum run by said developer, so they can do whatever and I don't care.

Anyway I'm going now, not getting into an argument over this because you obviously have your opinion and I have mine neither of which are going to change any time soon

EDIT: Woops, I hit reply instead of quote. Edited in your post.

Sigh.
Annoying. Delayed commentary (I caught this in the general gaming forum earlier and commented there; it's always the chicken-egg problem on this site where duplicate news threads are concerned).

It isn't kind to badmouth your patrons, but suspending the user from registering and playing their game? Well, that sounds like something that should be addressed, at least in coda.

Well, it's officially an error? A glitch? Do you people still want heads to roll?

How dare they take less than 24 hours to get to the bottom of this!?

LOL http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/6465725/48#6483189

You can all apologize to EA now. (like anyone here would admit they overreacted)

EDIT: 'Knight Templar' a few posts up on this page found the link first : P

Come on Bioware, should have just perma-banned him instead!

Pretty sickening stuff from EA, but then what do you expect? I've no idea why people are acting surprised over this, it's exactly the sort of thing EA would do.

The thing that truly annoys me is the defending of EA that's going on, both here and on the Bioware forums. People seem to be labouring under several delusions:

a) That the fellow in question was uber-trolling. He wasn't. He asked if Bioware had sold their souls "to the EA devil." As far as trolling goes, it's hardly ROFL EAT ALL T3H DICKS!!!1!!! Heck, he could have just meant it as a harmless quip. Regardless, even if he was trolling hard with all his might, that doesn't give EA the right to ban him from a game he legally purchased. Which brings me to my next point:

b) That EULA's and ToS' are in any way legally binding. They're not. The only legal contract you enter when you buy a game is the contract of handing over your money, and getting a game handed to you. EULA's have no legal standing, as you don't agree to them until you install the game, by which time the transaction is long finished. As for a ToS, while a private website can have it's own rules of conduct, those rules don't trump your rights as a consumer. If a mod wants to ban him from the forum, that's their prerogative. If they want to ban him from his game, they've infringed on his consumer rights, and should get a legal slapping for it.

I also despair at the number of people going "It's only 3 days, stop bitching!" This is an unprecedented act of douchebaggery from EA. They have essentially taken someone's money, and denied them access to what they paid for. In essence, they have stolen from one of their customers. If we don't cause as much of a stink about this as possible, we're allowing them to do the same thing again in the future. I already feel robbed by publishers with most of the games I play these days. I don't want that to turn into actual robbery.

TLDR: EA is a big company. It doesn't need sycophants to defend it.

People use the EA store?

This whole event has spawned some of the most disgusting white knighting I've seen on the internet. Coming from a SA forums user, that's saying quite a bit. I'll never call myself a Bioware fan (not that I would have anyway) because I'd be ashamed of being lumped in with the lot on the Bioware forums.

Also: If Bioware has no control over who gets banned on their forums, and what effects that has, how could they possibly deny that they have sold themselves to the EA devil?

Sober Thal:
Well, it's officially an error? A glitch? Do you people still want heads to roll?

How dare they take less than 24 hours to get to the bottom of this!?

LOL http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/6465725/48#6483189

You can all apologize to EA now. (like anyone here would admit they overreacted)

OK, so in the forum thread which kicked this whole mess off, when the mod Stanley Woo expressly said that the guy was banned under the EA ToS, not the Bioware ToS, and such a ban would include banning access to his games... that was a mistake? He glitched himself into saying the guy couldn't play the games he paid for?

Bloody corporate apologiests. It's hard enough putting up with EA's bullshit already, without you guys telling us the shit is actually roses.

Welcome EA, mein fuhrer.

This is a lesson kids, commit it to memory.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Sober Thal:
Well, it's officially an error? A glitch? Do you people still want heads to roll?

How dare they take less than 24 hours to get to the bottom of this!?

LOL http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/6465725/48#6483189

You can all apologize to EA now. (like anyone here would admit they overreacted)

OK, so in the forum thread which kicked this whole mess off, when the mod Stanley Woo expressly said that the guy was banned under the EA ToS, not the Bioware ToS, and such a ban would include banning access to his games... that was a mistake? He glitched himself into saying the guy couldn't play the games he paid for?

Bloody corporate apologiests. It's hard enough putting up with EA's bullshit already, without you guys telling us the shit is actually roses.

The quote was:

"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. 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."

Woo thought what happened, was supposed to happen, yep. But it was a glitch. I guess Mr. Woo isn't that high up on the chain of command, just a bit high perhaps?

Or yeah, they don't care, then they care.

Sober Thal:
The quote was:

"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. 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."

Woo thought what happened, was supposed to happen, yep. But it was a glitch. I guess Mr. Woo isn't that high up on the chain of command, just a bit high perhaps?

Or yeah, they don't care, then they care.

That quote wasn't Stanley Woo's at all. That quote came from Chris Priestly, one of Bioware's employees, once the issue had started to gather a lot of attention on the internet. The quote I'm talking about, from Stanley Woo the Bioware Forums Mod, goes thusly:

Please review the EA Community Terms of Service, particularly sections #9 and #11. There are two levels of enforcement here:

1. BioWare community bans are forum-only and can be for as little as 24 hours. These bans should have no effect on your game, only your ability to use all the features of this website/community. these bans are handed out by BioWare Moderators as the result of our travels around the forum and/or issues reported by fellow community members.

2. EA Community bans come down from a different department and are the result of someone hitting the REPORT POST button. These bans can affect access to your game and/or DLC.

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. Consider it an added incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow.

If there are further questions or concerns, please send them to me via private message. Thank you.

End of line.

He readily admits that the guy has been banned from his game, and tries to laugh it off as some kind of incentive for good behaviour. There's no mention of any glitches, erros, or anything like that. Just an assurance that, if you break the EA Terms of Service (which as I have already said, are non-legally binding), you can get banned from your game.

The quote you posted, the one from Chris Priestly, that's what we call "damage control". It's when an individual or company has been caught doing something shady, and starts coming up with excuses to try and justify themselves.

Uriel-238:

rsvp42:
Why is this news? "Random dude can't play DA2! Everyone get up in arms over it!"

The reason why this is news is that it clearly shows willingness by a company to exact a disproportionate response to a perceived injustice. As end users, we've tolerated their extreme levels of DRM and control over our access to their software solely on the promise that they'd be fair about keeping it. We're seeing that companies, at least EA and Bioware, cannot be trusted with that degree of power.

Asking whether Bioware had sold your souls to the EA devil is hardly cause to ban someone from a forum, let alone block them from registering games. Presuming this is the reason the poor sod was blocked, it was inappropriate action by the moderator.

I realize they handled it wrong, but how often does this sort of thing happen? This is perhaps the first and only instance of this problem and as such, need not be blown out of proportion. Obviously companies can have some pretty crazy legal agreements, but unless this gets worse, it's not news as far as I'm concerned.

Consumer rights is a hefty issue, but I feel like there are bigger and more egregious examples of overbearing corporate policies that affect a wider range of customers. This is just not-news and an excuse to rant.

I picture Emperor Palpatine saying the Bioware response.

"Consider it an incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow".

If you feel he's being rude, suspend his right to speak. But don't steal his money and then throw a fit that he doesn't like you, you're behaving like a goddamn fascist!.

If you really wanted people to read the rules so badly, you wouldn't make the sheets 200 pages long!. You know damn well that most people don't read them and will miss something so out of the ordinary as to go against their instinct on free speech. You can'y honestly tell me that you, as gamers, read every legal agreement you sign or that nobody else has broken this rule, do you know how popular an opinion this is?, you might not want to piss off the people who put food on your tables!. Just put a notice up in the beginning detailing the basic rules the player must follow.

Now issue an apology and reprehend the mistake, don't make yourselves look like self righteous, infantile, megalomaniacal bags of douche!

Had to get that off my chest

Edit: So I hear it's been fixed, so I guess we're cool now. I'll have to do some research before I take the final verdict on weather this is acceptable, but at least I know that, at worst, they're being a little harsh, not the Nazi pricks previously mentioned

A wild opinion appears!

I'm assuming a little here(if I'm wrong I take it back) but;

He makes this comment about dragon age 2

He receives a ban for it

He then kicks off about being unable to install

He made a non constructive comment on a game he then admits he hasn't actually played beyond a demo...

Its like a Darwinism ban. (there's a certain irony here in that I'm making baseless claims about this guy making baseless claims but, meh)

To all the sensationalists out there remind yourselves, it's a three day ban, his game didn't explode when the ban came into effect. The EA mods weren't being thought police they were being idiot police.

This is the kind of corporate behavior that leads to people just not buying games and pirating.

Stop being sensationalists about this. He wasn't banned from playing the game, his online account was suspended. Naturally, things like game activations would not work during the suspension. If he had, in fact, activated the game before getting banned it, there wouldn't have been a problem.

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

You noticed that too, eh? *sigh* Well, at least I know where not to buy something.

Bottom line:

Electronic Farts.

End of line. LOL

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
b) That EULA's and ToS' are in any way legally binding. They're not. The only legal contract you enter when you buy a game is the contract of handing over your money, and getting a game handed to you. EULA's have no legal standing, as you don't agree to them until you install the game, by which time the transaction is long finished.

EULAs have been declared legally binding on at least three counts.

Chris Priestly wrote...

Here is my official response. You will likely see this picked up on news sites soon enough.

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. 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.

You may want to update this story, Chalk.

Naeberius:
Made an extra profile on the bioware site. yousoldyoursoultotheeadevil
http://social.bioware.com/profile/2733677
Still deciding what to do with it though :P

Put shoe on head.

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.

'people think EA is awesome'? who? some one that's been in a coma for the last 15 years or so
and this was bullshit, flat out,
forum ban, fine, rigging it so he can't play his new game? unacceptable
if it as me, there'd been a nasty letter to EA about it fallowed by a gutting of all vital account info and abandoning the account (done it before, only once though)

Looking how big this situation bloated up, the gaming community really is at its limit to blow up in rage. Just a little more push. :3

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