Giving truth to the adage that “nobody reads EULAs,” Crytek says it didn’t even know the “bug ban” clause was in there.
The SimCity beta sparked a predictable uproar earlier this month when it came to light that a clause in the end-user license agreement allowed Electronic Arts to ban participants who failed to report bugs – and not just from the SimCity beta, but from all EA games. The publisher quickly stated that it would not actually impose any such bans and promised that the “confusing” policy would be changed, yet the very same threat is contained in the EULA for the Crysis 3 multiplayer beta test that launched yesterday.
“If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug,” section 6.2 of the beta test EULA states. “You acknowledge that EA reserve the right to lock anyone caught abusing a Bug out of all EA products.”
But we all know that nobody actually reads EULAs – not even Crytek, as it turns out, which acknowledged that it became aware of the issue thanks to a Games.on.net forum post. “It was baked into the Beta before we realized it had the ‘Bug Ban’ clause. We aren’t enforcing that,” the studio said via the official Crysis Twitter account. “We’ll be releasing a blog post about that soon, but for now rest assured we aren’t banning players for finding bugs.”
So why this language is included in so many beta test EULAs when nobody has any intention of enforcing it? My best guess is that it’s a holdover from the days of yore, when betas were actually for testing and not preorder bonuses or exercises in PR. Developers were looking for useful feedback, and reserving the right to bounce players who weren’t willing to provide it in favor of those who were probably didn’t seem all that outrageous. That’s still a far cry from banning people from all their games but back in those days, things like Origin were still deep in the realm of “bad ideas that nobody’s had yet.”
Whatever the reason, the important thing is that you can set your mind at ease and sign up for the Crysis 3 multiplayer beta test completely worry-free at crysis.com.