Stolen Pixels

Stolen Pixels #36: You Only Hurt the Ones Who Love You




Last week a spokescritter for Electronic Arts announced that your single-player games which require online activation are tied to your forum identity. The forum moderation works as such that if you break any portion of their Terms of Service or the EULA – those endlessly evolving contracts of thick legalese detailing your various obligations as a well-behaved customer – they can simply silence you and, in the same gesture, make all of your honestly-acquired games vanish. You will have no ability to appeal.

But! They then announced that while they can do that, they won’t. In fact, their DRM authentication servers are robust enough that they are able to ban you from some of your single-player games and not others, allowing them to steal from you things you have paid for only when they feel they have a very good reason.

I’m so glad we were able to work through this. Group hug.

(EA still doesn’t seem to be able to do anything about the fact that pirates get to keep their games forever no matter what, which sort of makes cynical people like me wonder what this whole system is for.)

Shamus Young is a programmer and writer by trade, videogame nitpicker by inclination. If you have the patience for more of his ramblings, they can be found at

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