No Dragon Age 2 for Suspended BioWare Forumite - UPDATED

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Between this and a video I saw recently where BioWare were accusing 4chan of the low score Dragon Age 2 has on Metacritic and basically saying "end of line" whenever somebody tried to offer a mature debate on the subject... I don't know if I want to support BioWare anymore.

Delusibeta:

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.

A quick look on the Wikipedia page on EULA's has also turned up two specific cases where they were declared non-binding. Considering that you cannot agree to an EULA until after you've bought the game, I would say your rights as a consumer legally trump EA's attempts to keep you from owning what you've paid for. The problem is that there have been too few cases to rule once and for all on the legality of EULA's. There is, however, a wide consensus among both gamers and lawyers that they are not binding, in the same way an EULA that says both you and your family have become the property of EA would not be binding.

An EULA which tries to trump consumer law will be laughed out of court. An EULA which says EA owns your game, despite you paying for it, nad can ban you from it at any time is trying to trump consumer law. If any legal repurcussions happen from this in the future, the odds are very much stacked against EA.

Apparently it was a glitch and he has now been unbanned.
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/11/ea-retracts-game-ban-for-forum-violation/

I'm still not so convinced though and think they're just trying to save face :\ but then I get pretty paranoid sometimes...

Edit: whoops ninja'd

So he trolled on there forums (Yes i did read his comment and i see it as trolling) and got a 3 day ban.
Dont see a problem.
The ban means he couldnt activate his game till those 3 days were up?
Still dont see a problem and i hope he learned his lession.

Andy Chalk:
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

Thin? I've been put on probation for asking if someone was being sarcastic.

I have the feeling if I said something like "The Escapist and it's moderators are the internet equivalent of Satan." The ban hammer would come down so fast my head would spin. Or maybe probation gets handed out like candy and you have to work for a ban....

Well that just goes to show, never say anything about anyone on the internet when there are moderators around. Do it in private behind their backs that way they won't lock you out of shit you payed for.

Paularius:
So he trolled on there forums (Yes i did read his comment and i see it as trolling) and got a 3 day ban.
Dont see a problem.
The ban means he couldnt activate his game till those 3 days were up?
Still dont see a problem and i hope he learned his lession.

Well what if the mod had permabanned him?
Would that be a problem?

Uriel-238:

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.

Plenty of times EULAs have been upheld. The most recent example I can think of is Apple vs Psystar. It all depends on whether if the clauses are legal. MAc OSX's EULA happened to be backed up by Copyright and DMCA laws. If they were illegal clauses, they would've probably not held up.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/11/apple_crushes_c.html

OT Though, This is why I still have this naive wish that Valve makes Steam a full on competitor to EA/Activision (Disc distribution, advertising and everything). Valve haven't really seemed to abuse their power over steam accounts.

MorphingDragon:

Uriel-238:

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.

Plenty of times EULAs have been upheld. The most recent example I can think of is Apple vs Psystar. It all depends on whether if the clauses are legal. MAc OSX's EULA happened to be backed up by Copyright and DMCA laws. If they were illegal clauses, they would've probably not held up.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/11/apple_crushes_c.html

OT Though, This is why I still have this naive wish that Valve makes Steam a full on competitor to EA/Activision (Disc distribution, advertising and everything). Valve haven't really seemed to abuse their power over steam accounts.

May be they're just waiting for more people to fall into their trap before pulling the trigger.

EA devils indeed.
I have several fairly impolite things to say about this.
I'll leave it up to your imagination as to what exactly that is.

I thought ToS agreements held no salt in a court of law?

If they REALLY wanted, they could take it to court and I've no doubt they'd be allowed access to the game they purchased.

Venereus:

MorphingDragon:

Uriel-238:

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.

Plenty of times EULAs have been upheld. The most recent example I can think of is Apple vs Psystar. It all depends on whether if the clauses are legal. MAc OSX's EULA happened to be backed up by Copyright and DMCA laws. If they were illegal clauses, they would've probably not held up.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/11/apple_crushes_c.html

OT Though, This is why I still have this naive wish that Valve makes Steam a full on competitor to EA/Activision (Disc distribution, advertising and everything). Valve haven't really seemed to abuse their power over steam accounts.

May be they're just waiting for more people to fall into their trap before pulling the trigger.

Maybe they're waiting for the internet to have correct grammar and spelling 100% of the time. ;) (See the smiley makes everything better)

I don't know, Digital Distribution will make EA and Activision mostly irrelevant one day anyway. This is just our equivalent of the music industry in the early 2000s. Maybe we'll have a MySpace equivalent for Game Devs.

Whilst I acknowledge that this guy has broken the (somewhat arbitrary) rules, denying him access to a product that he has already paid for is absolutely outrageous. I will never buy anything from the EA online store again after reading this.

Oh and by the way EA: Drink a mug of concrete and harden the f#%$ up! "Oh no, some forum user has made comment on our corporate policy in a negative fashion! Quick, ban his arse!"

What a bunch of cry-babies.

Outright theft by EA is what it is.

TheBelgianGuy:
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.

Actually, the way I see it, he ordered a steak, and then, before it's done being cooked, went into the kitchen and spat in a chef's eye, calling him a worthless peice of shit, getting himself thrown out of the restraunt. Remember, games which require activation are services, so even though you own the cd, if it needs a code put in online to play, the company still has power over you.

Knew it was a mixup all along.

Sean Strife:
Between this and a video I saw recently where BioWare were accusing 4chan of the low score Dragon Age 2 has on Metacritic and basically saying "end of line" whenever somebody tried to offer a mature debate on the subject... I don't know if I want to support BioWare anymore.

Yeah, even if they're using the Tron reference to be cool, end of line does imply the arbitrary termination of the conversation, and if left on a sour note can leave one to infer general dickhood.

VanityGirl:
You can't catch me on my console! Weeeeeee
*runs off giggling*

It depends on your console. Both Microsoft and Sony have indicated circumstances in which they will freeze your Live accounts or sue the snot out of you for looking at them crosseyed (or looking at Geohot[1] at all). I'm not sure what the connectivity policies of the Wii are, as Nintendo has been less in the news than the previous two.

Consoleers have had the shaft up their rectums so long, they're used to it. The controllers just haven't turned on the barbs-and-vibrate button yet (or rather, often enough).

Incidentally, the boiling frog reaction[2] the consumer base has shown so far to DRM worries the crap out of me. I'm still resistant to software that requires online activation since it forces end users to trust the corporation will continue to support the software indefinitely. [3] Given that Microsoft, for example, plans to terminate support for XP within a couple of years, already the precedent has long since been harbingered that we cannot trust the companies with this degree of control. The Sony vs. Geohot affair has demonstrated the heights of superdickery to which companies will rise, if it pleases them to do so.

Ren3004:
However, I like the hypocrisy of buying their games when he has such a negative opinion of the company.

It is a common thing to like the published product of a company but hate their policies. The RIAA, for example, sponsors many fine artists who do good work, but to patronize those artists is also to patronize the RIAA and its tomfoolery.

rsvp42:
I realize they handled it wrong, but how often does this sort of thing happen?

At this point my argument is moot since EA admitted it was a mistake and has responded (I assume, by giving him access back to his game.)

We've been anticipating abuses of power by the publishing companies for a while now. I find the current state DRM, that is, the requirement of online activation to use, to extend to the companies too much power, and until EA acknowledged this was in error, this incident was confirming our worst fears.

I find it interesting that you don't find it news until incidents achieve a minimum threshold of frequency, which is fair, since that is the point when the likelihood that it will affect each of us directly becomes significant. As one who's dealt a lot in legal arenas, I tend to note first incidents, since they set precedents, and if a company can do something once and get away with it without reprisal, invariably they will not only do it again, but will extend their reach further still.

An example is online activation DRM, which didn't create as much commotion until they started setting activation limits, or now, the requirement for company accounts and persistent connections. I'm therefore inclined to sound the hue and cry early, to retain as many of my rights, as a gamer and consumer, as possible.

238U.

[1] Click here to get your URL tracked and potentially get sued by Sony!
[2] As apocryphal as the story is, it still has applicability in places. But boiling water will kill a frog almost instantly, and a frog will escape cold water if able, simply because frogs like to jump.
[3] It also forces the end users to trust the company will continue to exist at all. DIVX, for example, was something else before it was a video codec

Yhea, bioware just lost one more customer if they can restrict access to games I buy with my money for any reason. Even if it was a glitch, the simple fact that they CAN hit a button and stop me from using something I own is completely retarded.

Needing a forum account wasn't bullshit enough for them it seems.

It's good to see that this was resolved. I read about this earlier in an unrelated thread, and I had hoped the best for V_ware. It's good to see that DLC can still be trusted as a means of purchasing goods, but if rules like this continue to stick around. I fear for the future of downloaded games and the users who pay money for them. I mean, if you can have your games taken away from you for expressing your opinions, there is something inherently scary about that.

MorphingDragon:
Plenty of times EULAs have been upheld. The most recent example I can think of is Apple vs Psystar...

Why do I get the feeling that Judge Alsup now gets free Apple hardware for life?

238U.

Andy Chalk:
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

As someone who lurked and posted back on the original Bioware forums until they switched to the EA crap, the answer to this is simple. While Chris Priestly is evil, Stanley Woo is just a bit of a dick.

Sure. It was all a misunderstanding/glitch/mix-up. Whatever you say, Chris Priesly, the guy who acted rude and antagonistic alongside Stanley Woo, not only making the situation worse but portraying your employers, Bioware, as vindictive asses along with EA. I totally believe you.

How much you want to bet they had him say this because he was acting like a jackass to the forum users?

EA still has the ability to keep you from playing your game, (I know it's only on PC, if you bought from EA store, and if you haven't installed it yet. Not the point) despite having purchased it, for little to no reason at all. It's in the fine print.
And Bioware still has assholes representing them on the forums, as well as proof they tried keeping this hush-hush by locking down every thread talking about this they could find (and trying to make sure links to said threads were locked down as well...which utterly failed).

So, yeah, victory for this guy, but the bigger problems still remain. However, I'm sure said problems will be kept as minimal as possible since both EA and Bioware now realize how quick and how heavy a shitstorm their arrogance can stur up.
Meh, at least they said they were sorry.

I must be the only person who doesn't have a problem with this.

Uriel-238:
I'm therefore inclined to sound the hue and cry early, to retain as many of my rights, as a gamer and consumer, as possible.

238U.

I wish I could star you or give you a thumbs up, mate.

This is an omen, people.

Fascism has officially entered the gaming industry.

Bara_no_Hime:

Andy Chalk:
**snip**

This is why I buy my games on disks. And why I don't game on PC, but that's another topic entirely.

Although, for the record, it's actually kinda nice to see a forum troll getting bitch-slapped in a serious way. Maybe people will actually start being - gasp - polite to one another on forums? One can only hope.

That whole "oh, he paid for it, that's not right" thing - it doesn't matter at all. He handed a company some money. So what? Companies rip people off all the time. He also broke a company policy that he agreed to. They have every right to take his stuff away as a penalty.

This doesn't surprise me or offend me. I will continue to buy from EA because they make a quality product, because I enjoy their products, and because I am smart enough to behave myself (or not frequent) company forums where I might piss them off.

Edit: Ah yes! I almost forgot - he's only suspended for 72 hours. So he hasn't been denied his game, just instant access to it. That's barely a "time out".

I see. So what you're saying is, let's go around and enforce a generally accepted means of conduct onto people by threatening them with removal of something they legitimately obtained. What if I were a mod on EA forums, and you were a poster, and I found out somehow that you bought a game from Activision, and there was a clause about supporting rival publishers openly. What if I decided to ban you from the forums and consequently all your EA games because you happened to buy that one other game? Oh, and let's apply your logic to real life. I don't like something you said because it hurts my feelings and I'm a cop. So I throw your ass in jail and deny you your freedom for 72 hours because you said "ass" in my general direction. See where I'm going with this?

But that's fine, I don't mean to berate you for your opinion, I just simply wish to reveal the flaws in your view. What I have a problem with is you seem to think it's okay to force people to be polite. So...let's all be fake and nice and patronize each other because "or else?" Civility and courtesy should be exercised upon their own merits, where deserved and/or necessary. Yeah, it'd be NICE if we were all nice to each other, but that's obviously not human nature, otherwise we'd all be nice to each other. Just my two cents.

tl;dr, there's such a thing as abuse of power, and people are dicks.

PinochetIsMyBro:
I must be the only person who doesn't have a problem with this.

Maybe because it hasn't happened to you, yet.

I actually have EA to thank for compelling me to learn about the torrent community. A few years ago, I called their customer service about a cracked CD #2 of The Sims 2 I had ordered online. They mocked me as if I was a delinquent teenage hoodlum until I openly stated I located and was downloading an illegitimate copy to burn my own disc #2: They had until it was done[1] to ship me a new one, and that I would use the incident, and how it resolved, to guide how I dealt with EA in the future.

Only then, did they send me my intact disc.

238U.

[1] a fair challenge, as I was on dialup at the time

Deshara:
[

Actually, the way I see it, he ordered a steak, and then, before it's done being cooked, went into the kitchen and spat in a chef's eye, calling him a worthless peice of shit, getting himself thrown out of the restraunt.

Faulty analogy. He had already paid for the steak.

Worst-case-scenario in that case, the manager would try to settle it quietly before the other customers started running in different directions.

Hey! BioWare! Sold your souls to the EA devil? U Mad? LOLOLOL

BRING IT SOULLESS CORPS. I can handle your immature trolling!

seriously, this is very immature. the dude was just joking around, he wouldn't meant it if he bought your game anyways.

why Bioware? so unreasonable, so foolish.

psych0r3bel:
I see. So what you're saying is, let's go around and enforce a generally accepted means of conduct onto people by threatening them with removal of something they legitimately obtained. What if I were a mod on EA forums, and you were a poster, and I found out somehow that you bought a game from Activision, and there was a clause about supporting rival publishers openly. What if I decided to ban you from the forums and consequently all your EA games because you happened to buy that one other game?

IF that was clause in the agreement? Then yes.

Which is why I would not be on those forums, and why I don't buy games online.

psych0r3bel:
Oh, and let's apply your logic to real life. I don't like something you said because it hurts my feelings and I'm a cop. So I throw your ass in jail and deny you your freedom for 72 hours because you said "ass" in my general direction. See where I'm going with this?

Um, cops CAN do that. Not for 72 hours, but for 24 hours. That is why you never give a cop the finger, or call them pigs, or anything like that. It is completely within their rights to arrest you and hold you for 24 hours.

psych0r3bel:
But that's fine, I don't mean to berate you for your opinion, I just simply wish to reveal the flaws in your view.

There are no flaws in my opinion. You just don't agree with it.

psych0r3bel:
tl;dr, there's such a thing as abuse of power, and people are dicks.

And I say it wasn't an abuse of power - is was power properly and justly used to punish someone who deserved it.

While I acknowledge that you have your opinion, it is not mine. I shared my opinion on a forum - I have no problem with what EA did - and you are telling me that my opinion is wrong. You can disagree with my opinion, and you can try to convince me otherwise (you have not, but you can try) but saying that my opinion is wrong is rather presumptive on your part.

PinochetIsMyBro:
I must be the only person who doesn't have a problem with this.

Nope. I have no problem with it either.

It's a buyer-beware world. **shrug** Don't piss off the people with all the stuff. You might need to buy from them.

TheBelgianGuy:

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?

yea a ban on steam taking ur games would cost some ppl thousands...i would get a lawyer...

Deshara:

TheBelgianGuy:
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.

Actually, the way I see it, he ordered a steak, and then, before it's done being cooked, went into the kitchen and spat in a chef's eye, calling him a worthless peice of shit, getting himself thrown out of the restraunt. Remember, games which require activation are services, so even though you own the cd, if it needs a code put in online to play, the company still has power over you.

More accurate analogy:

He ordered a steak, and when it arrived at his table he loudly exclaimed that the chef was working for a restaurant chain of dicks. Upon hearing this, a middle-manager for the chain walked over to him and stole his fork.

Because the manager had sustained brain damage in the Great War, he either didn't realize that the customer wasn't able to eat his steak without the use of the fork or did realize it and stole his fork the with the intention of preventing the customer from partaking in his steaky goodness. When the restaurant manager heard of this, he intervened and eventually got him another fork.

Then everybody lost their shit on the Internet.

Bara_no_Hime:

psych0r3bel:
I see. So what you're saying is, let's go around and enforce a generally accepted means of conduct onto people by threatening them with removal of something they legitimately obtained. What if I were a mod on EA forums, and you were a poster, and I found out somehow that you bought a game from Activision, and there was a clause about supporting rival publishers openly. What if I decided to ban you from the forums and consequently all your EA games because you happened to buy that one other game?

IF that was clause in the agreement? Then yes.

Which is why I would not be on those forums, and why I don't buy games online.

psych0r3bel:
Oh, and let's apply your logic to real life. I don't like something you said because it hurts my feelings and I'm a cop. So I throw your ass in jail and deny you your freedom for 72 hours because you said "ass" in my general direction. See where I'm going with this?

Um, cops CAN do that. Not for 72 hours, but for 24 hours. That is why you never give a cop the finger, or call them pigs, or anything like that. It is completely within their rights to arrest you and hold you for 24 hours.

psych0r3bel:
But that's fine, I don't mean to berate you for your opinion, I just simply wish to reveal the flaws in your view.

There are no flaws in my opinion. You just don't agree with it.

psych0r3bel:
tl;dr, there's such a thing as abuse of power, and people are dicks.

And I say it wasn't an abuse of power - is was power properly and justly used to punish someone who deserved it.

While I acknowledge that you have your opinion, it is not mine. I shared my opinion on a forum - I have no problem with what EA did - and you are telling me that my opinion is wrong. You can disagree with my opinion, and you can try to convince me otherwise (you have not, but you can try) but saying that my opinion is wrong is rather presumptive on your part.

Your opinion. I respect you for having it. My bad for saying it was wrong if that's what I typed, I'm pretty sleepy.

And if I was an EA mod you'd find yourself hard-pressed to play your shiny copy of Bulletstorm or Need for Speed right now. :]

PinochetIsMyBro:
I must be the only person who doesn't have a problem with this.

Nope not the only one, I have a comment somewhere where I explain my views on why the guy got what he deserved.

psych0r3bel:
Your opinion. I respect you for having it. My bad for saying it was wrong if that's what I typed, I'm pretty sleepy.

And if I was an EA mod you'd find yourself hard-pressed to play your shiny copy of Bulletstorm or Need for Speed right now. :]

Thank you. **nods**

And actually, while I have no particular interest in either of those games (my EA purchases are generally Bioware specific) my copies of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age are safely printed on shiny PS3 disks awaiting use.

Remember, back in my first post I also said that this is they I don't buy games online. ^^

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