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Online Activation: The Noose Tightens

By Shamus
on Wednesday Oct 29, 2008
Filed under:
Video Games


A reader sent me a link to this. In that thread, an EA rep explains to users that if they get banned from the forums, their game account will be banned as well. Which will lock them out of all of their games which require activation. The key post, from one of the moderators:

Well, its actually going to be a bit nastier for those who get banned.

Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you’d actually be banned from your other EA games as well since its all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It’s all one in the same, so I strongly reccommend people play nice and act mature.

All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but its what we have to do.

Those banned will stay banned, but like most other internet services, its not that hard to create a new fake e-mail account. However, its a lot harder to get a new serial key =)

Avatars should be back within 2 weeks of the launch.


That smiley is the grin of someone that knows they have hundreds of dollars of your software they’re holding hostage, so they can make you do as you’re told. And you can’t complain because, well, they can make you do as you’re told and you’ve been told to shut up. (Or if they’re being polite, they’ll allow you to go into a closet by yourself and have your say.)

You are now obliged to obey the Terms of Service and the EULA (legalese-dense documents that can change on a whim) or you will be locked out of every game you’ve legally purchased from them. You can’t see the EULA or the TOS before you buy. You can’t get your money back after opening the product to see those agreements. You can’t get your money back if they change it and you don’t like the new terms. You can’t get your money back if they ban you for breaking rules they can change at a moment’s notice. You can’t appeal if you think you were banned unfairly. And really, they can ban you for whatever reason they like, anytime they like, even if you abide by the rules. What are you gonna do? Sue Electronic Arts?

Explain to me again who the thieves are?

I’m usually gentle about this issue. I say things like, “It’s up to you to decide if these terms are acceptable to you.” and “Follow your conscience.” But own feelings are that there is no videogame fun enough to justify doing business with these people. Ever. No, not even if EA comes out with System Shock 3.

Go stomp on someone else’s face.

EDIT: And don’t forget that EA overmind John Riccitiello hates DRM. You know, even though he’s done more to further the reach of DRM and the power it exercises over legit customers than any other single person in the videogame industry.

Comments (106)

1 2

  1. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Yeah… sounds like Spore isn’t going so well…
    And I was going to get it for my birthday…

    And also, Shamus… I’m sorry that you will see your beloved game’s title tarnished by EA’s hands.

    You know they’re going to do it. It’s EA.

  2. Emperor Luigi says:

    …wow. I can already feel the ranks of the pirates swelling.

  3. Sitte says:

    Do you have to have an EA game to start an account on the forums? If not, I forsee a lot of new forum accounts being started by people whose old accounts are tied to their games.

  4. SolkaTruesilver says:

    All right. I want to know
    – How to set up a paypal account to receive money
    – How to create a website that will be transparent in it’s money collection and use
    – How to create a fund that will be used by both point 1 and 2

    That fund will be used toward paying proper corporate lawyers into suing EA into the maximum number of country as possible, in order to break those behavior. I am sure a lot of people on the net would be ready to send money to a fund like that, and a faceless entity will have more chance getting at EA than one person that can be intimidated, bribed, counter-sued or simply delayed to death.

  5. scope.creep says:

    your != you’re (twice, no less)

    Tsk, tsk. I assume there was a wee bit of froth involved, thus the miss on the edit pass. ;)

  6. K says:

    Oh, great news. May I link some torrents now? They really don’t want me as a customer. In fact, they go to great lengths to make it unappealing for me to give them money. I think I will just not do that then. Have a nice day, EA.

  7. Loneduck3 says:

    Hmmm… It’s not like I’d ever go to EA’s forums or buy their games for a PC. As distasteful as this is, I won’t let it prevent me from buying good games. For example, the team behind Mirror’s Edge. All in all, that game looks good. I would not refrain from buying it simply because John Riccitiello is an ass. Of course, it’s a moot point because I can’t afford it anyway.
    Now I’m all for putting the raging preteens that just learned cusswords in their place, but you need to offer a venue for complaint, even if you aren’t going to respond to it. I can accept that EA is firmly committed to DRM. I don’t like it, but it’s not an immediate issue. But you have to allow people to discuss the totality of your product, including the DRM if you wish to include it. I understand you can control your forum. However, there are proper ways you should do so. I mean, if you don’t want to hear what they have to say, the smart thing to do would be to close the forums, give some technical BS reason.
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

  8. Apathy Curve says:

    I would happily file a (formal and polite) letter of complaint concerning my lack of desire to be extorted by that lowest of life forms, the forum moderator. However, EA have made it nearly impossible to contact them except by registering on the forums.

    That’s a mighty nice black tower you’ve built to keep we proles out in the mud, guys. I hope you rot in it. I’ll not be funding another brick of it, myself. A shame, really; EA used to be such a great company… twenty years ago.

  9. DiscountNinja says:

    I’ve been umming and ahhing over the whole DRM issue for a while. I’d almost convinced myself that for REALLY incredible games I could put up with the invasive DRM, but this is too far.

    Linking your forum account to your games acount, and banning you from them forever? Too far EA. You just lost a hell of a lot of business. The sad thing is, your suck Sims Franchise bought be many people who don’t really know about the wole DRM thing, will keep tiding you over. And we’ll lose yet more of our beloved devs :(

  10. scarbunny says:

    There was a time long ago that I would see the name EA on a game and know I was getting a well made game that I would probably enjoy.

    Now I see EA and just know I’m in for a good hard lube free screwing.

    I now refuse to by anything EA hell I wont even waste my bandwidth pirating there trash, Oh well I was looking forward to RA3.

  11. Kevin says:

    Man! I can’t wait to run out and not buy some EA games! I think today I will not buy at least $60 worth.

    How ’bout you?

  12. Hotsauce says:

    “Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

    I think we just crossed the line to “transgress them at once”, and that piracy became the most ethical thing you can do.
    But then, I’m a console gamer myself, so I won’t be pirating anything. But I also won’t be buying any EA games.

  13. Factoid says:

    My tinfoil hat alarm just went off. I’m now pretty much convinced that EA is deliberately killing off the PC platform. They hate the pirates so much, that they’re waging a war of attrition against them. Except it’s not normal attrition, where you try to grind the OTHER guy down until there’s nothing left….they’re grinding THEMSELVES down, and making the pirates look on in horror, A Clockwork Orange style.

  14. Martin says:

    Not buying is not enought. You have to tell them that you are not buying. Go to your game store and tell the manager you are not buying the new EA game. If enough people do it, those managers will stock and sell less EA game. And EA will know it’s not because the game was pirated, but because they have less buyer.

  15. Dr. Fears says:

    Is there some way to give money to Maxis directly? Or maybe just the Spore team? If so… Helloooo, Bittorrent!

    I would rather give $50 to Wright than $50 to EA and trust they will give Wright his fair share (they won’t).

  16. acronix says:

    @ Martin:
    If everyone do that, they´ll link your forum and game accounts to your verbal complains. The manager will answer “I´m sorry, but you were banned!”

    Making bans from forums go all the way to the game accounts is just a brand new dimension of stupidity, one I tought couldn´t exist. Not to mention this part:

    “We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but its what we have to do.”

    A lot tougher? I´d say it´s a lot easier! You can ban people that you don´t like/agree with from your forums and, most importatly, you make them NEVER use THEIR games again. You know, we (the buyers) should own the game once we purchase it. But…oh, right! I forgot EA´s lema: “You don´t own the game. WE do.”

  17. Fenix says:

    Man… need to pirate if you wanna get any guarentee of keeping a game these days. I miss the days where buying the product was what you would PREFER doing. Now piracy is better in… hmmm… EVERY SINGLE WAY!!! I can’t even feel guilty pirating from EA. Do you feel guilty stealing from someone who just raped 3 babies? Seems stealing from them is a little weak these days. Personally if I saw someone raping babies I would stab the ****er, but that’s just me.

    Anyway fallout 3 is fun. A pirate like me PAID for that game. I would feel guilty otherwise.

  18. Neil D says:

    Martin’s got it right. Don’t just avoid their games, let them know exactly how and why they lost money. The company doesn’t care about you as a person and never will, but they’ve got an intense interest in how to best part you from your money. All business decisions are made on that criterion, and if you don’t let them know directly why they aren’t getting your money (outrage on the Internet is easily dismissed), they will listen to what their Marketing and P.R. people are telling them, which is usually what they want to hear.

    And for those using this as a justification to pirate, consider that piracy still helps them more than not buying and playing their game at all does. The more people play the game, the more people talk about the game, the more people hear about the game, the more people buy the game. It’s that simple. They would still rather you pirate their game, help populate their online game world, and spread the word about the game, than have you avoid them altogether. Take a stand, or admit that you’re not willing to forego your pleasure for your principles.

  19. J SMith says:

    Looks like Empire Total War will be Steam only and as such will require online activation.


    Another fine series down the drain. Why is it so difficult to do 2 versions of a game. One for Steam and the like for people that like that and another completely offline install/play/patch for people that like that?

  20. DaveMc says:

    This is remarkably evil. I *still* don’t accept the argument that this means that you have the moral right — nay, moral duty — to download their games without paying for them, but I can certainly understand people’s feelings running that way. I still side with Shamus, in that I think that the proper response to someone presenting you with an unacceptable business proposition is to refuse to do business with them.

    Still, if anything were going to get me to cheer on the pirates, it would be this sort of foolishness.

    The people I feel worst for are the developers, who are caught up in all this. I hope more developers start choosing to self-publish (or publish through saner hosts) rather than going through EA or other behemoths. If only there were some sort of globe-spanning network that would allow you to reach your potential customers directly . . .

  21. Ben Orchard says:

    This is an epic FAIL of such massive proportions that I wouldn’t have thought it possible.

    I’ll not be buying EA in the future. Morons.

  22. Mike says:

    Sooooo if you misbehave on the forums and get banned, you cannot play any games linked to that account?

    OK – while heavyhanded, this is not a problem.

    Don’t register on the forums. Just don’t.
    Especially if you are the type to really get involved in forum wars. Just go play your game.

  23. Neil D says:

    Mike, it’s not a question of how to avoid having them delete your account. It’s the very idea that they feel they have the right to effectively disable the game that you purchased from them. Right now, it’s being a dick on their forums — which is not even in-game behaviour, but something only tangentially related to the game itself. Tomorrow, who knows what other reasons they will decide are fair? But even if this is as far as it goes, it’s still much too far.

    Imagine if, after posting a negative review of a Warner Brothers movie on Amazon, or even being a jackass on their online forums (if WB even has forums, but this is hypothetical, stay with me), they were able to prevent all of your WB DVDs from playing ever again. Would that seem reasonable to you?

  24. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar says:

    I wish Blizzard would have the same policy in WoW forums. That would make them a lot more civilized instead of the wretched hive of scum and villainy they currently are.

  25. LexIcon says:

    Absolutely outstanding. EA has managed to spontaneously mutate from cold corporate behemoth without a soul into an actual cackling madman, wracked with psychosis and mumbling in the streets while wringing his hands.

    Is there a way we can have EA euthanized, and put her out of our misery?

  26. the Jack says:

    Dear Internet,

    Please give me a call when all your users understand the business of making video games, how much it costs to market the things, how many of these games tank each year costing producers millions of dollars, and why the system is the way it is and how they get AAA titles the way they do is because of companies like EA.

    Remind them that EA is the way it is because of its customers, and that this is (America, anyways) a free-market economy with freedom of speech, and that participants constantly vote with their dollars, and that even if they personally are not voting EA, hundreds of thousands of others are.

    Finally, let them know, gently, that this is the way things are and if the world really cares, these things will some day pass.

  27. James says:

    Well – if you have to buy EA games make sure you don’t have them on the same account. Get a separate *master* account for each. That way in case they freak out at something you say the damage is limited.

    Personally, I don’t intend on buying their games.

  28. Ed says:

    Poll question:

    Which is a worse offense?
    a) Horrible DRM
    b) Gloating about your horrible DRM with poor grammar.

  29. Kel'Thuzad says:


    I’ll take your second choice, because it has it so that they’ve put in the Horrible DRM and they’re gloating about it.

    About the Troll in the Corner article…
    Wasn’t the smiley more of a slap in the face, like Shamus says?

  30. LexIcon says:

    Dear theJack,

    Please answer these questions regarding your post.

    1) Why should the internet denizens have to understand the video game industry inside and out? I don’t know much about the car industry, but I still want to own my own vehicle and have it run without exploding and destroying my garage.

    2) Please explain why EA gets the right to treat customers like this? They make plenty of money from console gamers who don’t know/care about DRM to be able to mistreat their computer gamer customers for many years to come. Not giving them our money will do comparatively little, since they’ll get it from somewhere else.

    3) This is the way things are, and it’ll pass?? Really? That’s great, for the future. IF it happens. But I’d like to change the here and now, please. Try telling a starving child in Africa that his hunger is meaningless, because future generations will have food.

    In conclusion, please do not say crazy things on Shamus’s nice website.

  31. acronix says:

    @ the Jack:
    Our *ignorance* about game making business doesn´t give anyone the right to ban games we *-have-* buyed, which is what we are complaining about. Banning from the fora is one thing, but banning you from playing games you have purchased because of how you behave in a post is another.

    “Remind them that EA is the way it is because of its customers, (…) ,even if they personally are not voting EA, hundreds of thousands of others are.”

    Of course. They sell the secucrap because there´s people willing to pay them for that, and probably cheer them. But some of us don´t want to be part of those, even if EA doesn´t care, we do.

    “Finally, let them know, gently, that this is the way things are (…)”

    We “know” things are like this. If we didn´t know, we wouldn´t be complaining. Maybe if the other knew, they would be complaining too. Maybe we are not the ignorants.

    EDIT: Well, LexiCon made better points in less time. (*Punchs himself in the face*)

  32. idolminds says:


    That would be a great idea, except I had a look at the TOS. Having multiple accounts is grounds to ban all of them.

  33. Veekie says:

    Hmm, interesting, Wizards of the Coast’s D&D Insider subscription seems to work along the same basis, that is, being tied to your forums account.

    Though given the lower cost of that subscription, it’s nowhere as bad as EA’s, since you could just terminate it and maybe lose a couple months worth of subscriber fees at worst.

    You have to wonder about what kind of brains are in charge of these things. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to just grab a pirate copy, conjure up a fake email and account, and shit up their forums?

  34. BK says:

    Question: What’s required to get a forum account? Given the post mentioned above, it sounds as if only an email address is necessary. Which means that for a given person, this measure is either:

    -Terrifically useless. If you set up a forum account distinct from your master account.
    -Draconian. If your forum account and master account are the same.

    Yeah, this is a rather boneheaded decision. It imposes an excessive and possibly illegal punishment on users, considering that EULAs and other shrink-wrap contracts are unenforceable if you can’t easily assent to them. And it doesn’t hit the real issues, which MIGHT be solved by banning IP addresses. Lucky for me that I can’t recall the last EA game I’ve played…

  35. Rats says:


    “that this is the way things are and if the world really cares, these things will some day pass”

    We (thats you and I, as well as all of the people you have ever met) are the world. And a great deal of us do really care. There is a discussion here which is obviously going over your head, everyone who has posted here is using this as an outlet to let other people know how they feel. Shamus has pointed us to yet another example of why the world (thats us) should care.

    Many people who are not in possession of the facts will do what they have always done, but saying “I dont think its right but what can I do. I will let it sort itself out and I will continue to do as I always have” is in no way helpful.

    EDIT: Apologies, both acronix and LexiCon made this in much better time than I. acronix-LexiCon made different Points, and yours are just as relevant, dont hit yourself…

  36. Hotsauce says:

    @the Jack
    The condescending tone is insulting without stooping to actual name-calling, and the smugness adds just the right bouquet. A fine trolling effort sir. 8 of 10.

    Over the last decade or so, the free-market system has become increasingly broken in this country. A free-market economy requires healthy competition. This keeps prices down and innovation up, because consumers have plenty of places to get what they want. But as more companies are bought up by corporate giants, competition dwindles to nearly nothing, and the consumer is left with only two choices:
    1) Buy from Company A.
    2) Don’t buy at all.
    With no effective competition, Company A has no incentive to work in the best interest of the consumer. Instead, it starts making its decisions based on something other than what will drive customers to them and away from their competitors, since there pretty much aren’t any. EA has become such a behemoth. With close to no effective competition, gamers are stuck saying “well, I really want to play a game, and there’s not much other than what these guys are making, so I guess I’ll put up with it.” In a healthy free-market economy, they’d be able to say “that looks like a good game, but I’m going to play this other really good game because the company treats me better.”

    Moreover, I don’t think that anybody here has displayed any lack of understanding of the processes of the gaming industry. Rather, they simply think they don’t need to be this way. However, I reject your argument that a company needs to abuse its customers in order to produce high-quality titles.

    It seems that you’re saying that, with so much money invested in the game, the company needs to do things like these invasive Digital Restrictions Management schemes to protect their investment from piracy. This argument falls flat in the face of the fact that DRM just plain doesn’t work. At all. Not even for a week or two. Spore was available to pirates well before it was available at retail.

    I’ve seen the theme of your post echoed often in many topics, not just gaming: “Don’t bother complaining because your voice is drowned in a sea of dollars.” It conveniently leaves you free to take no action, yet still feel superior. But if you complain often enough, people start to hear you, and over time they do change their buying habits, deciding that this time, not buying at all is preferable to being treated poorly. Starbucks changed it’s business practices because enough people stopped buying from them that the sea of dollars wasn’t quite as large as it used to be, and stockholders hate that. Same goes for Wal-mart, to a smaller degree.

  37. Lady Kat says:

    @Ed – Definitely gloating. Horrible DRM just makes me mad, the gloating makes me mad enough to shoot them in the face or something, I don’t know, I’m just SAYING.

    What a bunch of jerks. Seriously, I’m shocked that these people can get away with this ridiculousness. I will NEVER buy an EA PC game ever again. Sims 2 is going in the trash, no matter how much fun it is to mod, and those expansion packs I’ve had my eye on will not be purchased. I’m done with this nonsense.

    And I won’t be pirating any of these games either. Neither the torrentz or EA offer a decent product, as one is illegal and it’s not nice to steal, and one is unplayable because they’ve decided to be a bunch of meanies and not give anyone the game without a bunch of ways to steal it back out from under them, and as I already stated, stealing is not nice.

    And as far as console game purchasing goes, I will also not buy any shiny new game that has their logo of doom on it. I will wait and buy it used, because I remember reading that this apparently gets their britches all in a twist, which is exactly what I want to do at this point. And it’s nice and legal, which makes me happy. (This whole thing reads vaguely like some kind of angry New Year’s Resolution list in retrospect, but I think I’m okay with that.)

    EDIT: @theJack – oh, troll. <3 you’re so cute, don’t you have a bridge you can go under or something?

  38. Coldstone says:

    Watching EA’s downslide has been terribly depressing.

    There was a time when EA was all about the games, and they were a young and hungry company, and they went out of their way to produce some really good stuff. They became crazy successful, and went on to greater and greater things.

    Somewhere along the line, all that money and power got into their heads, and something went horribly horribly awry. One of the most telling symptoms was when 2k Sports started putting out games to rival EA Sports titles. For less than half the cost. And just as good.

    What does EA do?

    They don’t drop prices (not at first anyway, they dropped the price down to $30 a couple months later, but only for that year), they *buy* the NFL franchise title, ensuring that nobody else can make an NFL game for 5 years (I think that comes due in a bit, now that I think about it)

    Sure enough, the next year’s NFL game is heralded as a steaming pile of crap. From what I hear, EA’s been phoning it in ever since.

    What happened? EA used to be a nice, fresh faced kid who would cheerfully deliver our paper for us, and now he’s matured into a bitter lottery winner who still deliver’s the paper, but throws it through our window and claims it’s our fault for putting a window there.

  39. Matt K says:

    @Lady Kat, I would be careful buying used EA games because most likely they have already used up their installations or are tied to another account without which it is again unplayable.

    I’m not sure that these types of complaints will have any effect on EA, they seem so deluded that it’s like complaining to a mental patient to take off the tin foil hat. That said it would probably be worthwhile to complain to the maker of said games.

    Tell Maxis (if it wasn’t owned by EA) that you will not buy the game due to the DRM, complain to the Mirror Edge crew or Bioware. Perhaps with enough complaints they’ll take their games to another publisher (an hopefully contract out of this silliness) or if we’re lucky sue EA for violating the good faith clause of the contract by tanking sales with this DRM.

  40. Illiterate says:

    Soooooo if you disagree with EA on the forums and get banned, you cannot play any games linked to that account?

    There, fixed it for you.

  41. LexIcon says:

    Well put, Coldstone, well put. The monocle-wearing avatar you were assigned suits your post.

    And thanks for the compliments guys. I’ve just gotten caught up on this blog, and I’m happy to be part of such a well-spoken and interesting crowd. That goes to Shamus too, for making a place for people like us to talk and express ourselves.

  42. droid says:

    Let us hope there is a human attached to the forums, for robots are quite arbitrary in their kicks. My brother gets kicked for saying “Hitler sucks.” 3 times in most chat rooms. The bots must be Nazi.

  43. Dev Null says:

    The weirdest thing about this entire policy, is that the only thing it accomplishes is discouraging people from using the EA forums. Which they presumably only put up to gather data about their customer base in the first place, or else to try to build some sort of sense of community among their players so they’d buy the next game – which sense of community they’ve just destroyed, along with any motivation for new people to join the forums…

    No real effect on the players (yet), but they sure do shoot themselves in the foot real purdy.

  44. General Karthos says:

    As I’m reading the post by EA, I ABSOLUTELY swear, my randomly shuffled iTunes with over 1000 songs plays the Imperial March from “The Empire Strikes Back”.

    Kinda summed up my opinion on the issue more succinctly than I could have.

  45. Dev Null says:

    Dr. Fears says:

    Is there some way to give money to Maxis directly? Or maybe just the Spore team? If so… Helloooo, Bittorrent!

    I would rather give $50 to Wright than $50 to EA and trust they will give Wright his fair share (they won't).

    Absolutely. Its not that hard to track down the company address. If your reason for pirating is the draconian DRM / policies of the distributor, then surely the only fair thing to do is still reward the developer; pop a $50 in an envelope, along with a note saying what its for and why they’re getting it this way. If enough people do it, they can take the dev team out to lunch. If _really_ enough people did it, they could fund their next project without having to go to EA…

  46. Sam says:

    Wow. I was having a tough time in my abstinence from EA, but this made it a whole lot easier. Thanks, Shamus! I now have absolutely no desire whatsoever to even think about considering giving EA any of my money anymore! I feel like actively pirating any EA game I’d formerly considered buying, like Mirror’s Edge.

    Seriously, what a terrible idea. Here’s hoping sales go down once again for the (apparently) world’s dumbest video game company.

  47. UtopiaV1 says:

    I want to contribute, but everything of value has already been said! ¬_¬

    If you want to know how i’m going to respond to this, well i’m buying a large back-catalog of old games and recent titles not produced by EA. That should get me through the gaming famine we are about to endure thanks to EA eating all the proverbial pies.

  48. Illiterate says:

    *dang, that was supposed to be right after mike’s post.


    WoTC’s D&D insider doesn’t have any initial buy-in. If they banned your user account and you really wanted another, you could open a new subscription.

    It would be the same if they made you buy a new player’s handbook to register a new forum account.

  49. Simplex says:

    While trying to find out why PS2-style usb controller is not working properly in Dead Space I came across a topic on drm and contributed:

    I’m not sure, but I think I read the ‘store analogy’ on this blog (whether it was Shamus, or someone in comments) so just in case I credited Twenty Sided Tales after someone wrote “I love your store owner analogy- it is so dead on.”

  50. Lady Kat says:

    @Matt K
    I didn’t actually mean used PC titles. Those I’m going to abstain from altogether, and obviously, with all their current idiocy, wouldn’t work. I meant I was going to transfer my irritation with EA right over into the console market and not buy any new console titles of theirs. I remember reading something or other that says that used game sales were taking money away from them….I think linked here?(Shamus post? Reply to post? I don’t know, I can’t remember.) Anyhoo, let’s use Mirror’s Edge as an example, since it sounds freaking amazing. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’ll buy this game for PC. Seeing as how I plan to buy a PS3 eventually, I will probably get it then. And I will wait to get a used copy, possibly on eBay or some other such vendor so they will receive no revenue from my purchase, which makes them all grouchy face. At this point, I vote yes for anything that pisses them off and saves me money in the process.
    Thanks for the warning, though! ^_^

  51. Merle says:

    I’ve already bought Spore, but come to the conclusion that I will not be purchasing any more programs from EA. Not even, and it truly pains me to say this, any sequel to the game as long as EA has their DRM-soaked talons sunk into it.

    It’s a damned shame, too.

  52. Plasma says:

    Okay, I was convinced that piracy is wrong, largely by this blog.

    But now EA Games is making it so tempting to pirate some of their games just to punish them.

  53. Clint says:

    Off topic, but amusing link:


    MTV is hosting Weird Al’s “Don’t Download This Song” on their music video site… except they bleeped out all of the names of filesharing programs he mentions in the song. How paranoid can you get?


  54. Oleyo says:

    I am so glad that I don’t own any EA games from this decade. I will never buy another product from them ever, no matter how appealing the game may seem. I would rather see the whole industry burn and go indie, than to support these criminals.

    Also, I would like to say that I am up to date on the DRM front mostly because of this site, Shamus. So thank you.

  55. Illiterate says:


    Pirating the game doesn’t punish EA.

    Pirating their studios, by which I mean ramming into the studios with a ship o’ the line, bombarding the break room with cannonade and setting fire to the render farm, well that might punish EA.

    It’s also significantly less “gray” from a moral and ethical standpoint.

  56. Illiterate says:

    Also reminds me of this (sorry, firefox only sometimes allows me to edit posts, would love any ideas on correcting this)


  57. Veekie says:


    Well, it’s similar, but not identical, as I said. WotC’s is a lot more stomachable, simply because you could go at it again. You still get a small monetary loss(compared to the price of an PC game these days, or even the PHB) if you’ve subscribed and some mod is on a power trip though.

    Though with the content I’ve seen so far, I’ll pass on subscribing. And with the way gaming is going, I’m glad I stopped buying new games for years, Roguelikes, Dwarf Fortress and DOS emulated games will keep me fed game wise until the industry wakes up.

    It’s interesting how the old 2d Worms games still rocks for example.

  58. David B says:

    As mentioned above, I also wish Blizzard would do the same thing with their forums. It would certainly reduce the amount of asshattery on the boards.

    That said, Blizzard also issues temporary suspensions, recognizing that not all violations are completely intentional or as bad as others.

    I’m willing to be that the big problem EA is having on their boards is people wanting to discuss DRM – a topic they seem to consider off-limits. That generalized idiot behavior is not what prompted this measure. And that’s what’s going to hurt EA the most in the war of public relations.

  59. LexIcon says:

    @ Illiterate:

    You wouldn’t happen to be in possession of one of them ships ‘o the line, would ye? I do happen to be a first rate sailor and vagabond, if I do say so meself.

    Avast! To the demon’s hovel, to pillage and burn!

  60. Philip says:

    Great you just convinced me not buy RA3 and I have been a C&C fan once the series started.

  61. R4byde says:

    Looks like Empire Total War will be Steam only and as such will require online activation.


    Another fine series down the drain. Why is it so difficult to do 2 versions of a game. One for Steam and the like for people that like that and another completely offline install/play/patch for people that like that?

    NOOOOO! I was actually looking forward to that! The first game I’ve wanted enough to buy new, and they stick it with Steam!? Who hates me so badly?

  62. Plasma says:

    Illiterate: Yeah, I know. It wouldn’t punish them, it would only give me a slight twinge of satisfaction. But I’m certainly never going to buy their games now, I guess I’m just saying they’ve removed any guilt I might have had if I were to wind up pirating their games. Which I actually probably won’t because they don’t have much in the way of good games.

    Though pillaging the studios wouldn’t be as effective in hurting EA as pillaging EA’s actual offices. I’d say John Riccitiello and his cronies probably are due for a good keel-hauling.

    Unless the idea in pirating the studios was to kidnap the developers and force them to work on DRM-free games, in which case it just might work.

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