[Update: Electronic Arts has updated the terms of service and account ban policy for Origin so you can now play your games offline while banned.]
If you didn’t want to jump onto the EA Origin bandwagon, you were right for doing so. Further incriminating evidence have surfaced that EA is once again back to their old ways (and you were doing so well, too...*sigh*). Remember when forum accounts could get you banned from your EA Link or EA Sports accounts? Well, that little rule is back in full force.
According to a report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it appears people being banned on the EA forums are having their Origin accounts restricted and deleted (all paid-for content along with it). One guy received such a ban for using the word “e-peen” on the forums.
Most of the bans associated with the EA forums are 72 hour bans, but if you do get banned from the EA forums it retroactively affects all your EA accounts (and remember EA consolidated all their account services into one) including Origin.
Many of the bans are probably in result of EA dropping ban-hammers on hackers playing Battlefield 3. The only problem is that like the Dragon Age fiasco, not everyone getting banned are hackers.
Some people are getting banned for posting “commercials” on the forum, though it was actually a mistake on EA’s part because the link in the supposed “commercial” was actually a network trouble-shooting guide that EA even uses on the technical support page. And there are others getting banned for the typical douche-baggery that gamers are known for, such as bragging about how many people they were able to tea-bag before dying. Nice.
None of that seems all that scary until you factor in the irrefutable “Three Strike” system, where you receive three strikes from EA and then, you’re out. Finished. Nil. In this regards account data is wiped. So yeah, don’t get a “Strike”.
If you do strike out, here’s what happens exactly as stated from the e-mail EA sends out to offenders…
“Please note that your account [email] has been permanently terminated from the Electronic Arts Online service for violating the terms of services. The account will no longer be accessible in any way, and all property, items, and characters associated currently are or will soon be deleted.”
This isn’t surprising in the least bit. We ALL knew that this kind of thing would be possible with EA and anyone who was leery about the service for this very thing had every right to be. Heck, it wasn’t too long ago that reports surfaced showing that Origin really is Spyware and not long before that reports surfaced detailing how two years of account inactivity can lead to the deletion of entitlements and content on the account.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind, though, people: If you play by EA’s rules. If you do what they say. If you play the way they want. If you buy regularly. If you stay active. If you behave and if you keep it clean then you don’t have anything to worry about. However, if you’re a normal human being you might have a bit of a problem.
You can check out the very lengthy and detailed report over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Stay tuned in, though, because EA still has to fire back a corporately safe PR response regarding the matter and possibly update Origin’s End User License Agreement for like the fourth time this year.