A few weeks ago, John Walker of Rock Paper Shogun came up with an investigation about game publisher Electronic Arts—more commonly known as EA—and the company’s nasty habit of banning their customers from playing games purchased by these customers. These bans have prevented customers to access even single-player use of games, and unfortunately for many disappointed customers, EA does not issue refunds. This dubious banning practice of the company has made a lot of heckles rise among gamers all over the world, and many customers have been protesting their lack of access from their Origin account games.
Talk about the EA ban began when a certain Arno, an EA forum user, had unwittingly violated some of the forum rules. As a result, he was given a temporary 72-hour ban on his EA forum account, which he found to have extended to his EA gaming account, essentially banning him from playing the online games attached to his account and even his single-player Dragon Age II. When confronted with the news, EA Games retracted and announced that this ban was just a big mistake. The company promised to restore all of the user’s gaming rights and even went as far as to promise that this kind of incident will not happen again in the future. So far, they have not made good on their promise. Over the last few months, a good number of gamers who have received such bans from the forums are unable to play the various games attached to their account. These users are under the assumption that the ban only extends to the forum, and not on the games that they have paid for. Unfortunately for these gamers, whenever they tried to contact EA for support in fixing the issue, they are either ignored or told that sorting this problem out will be tough.
So far, there is no word from the EA management about the problem. The support team of the game publisher of course does the standard song-and-dance—point the affected customers toward support lines to report and complain about the issue. But of course, what good is reporting and complaining if it will fall upon deaf ears? John Walter has received what he calls an ambiguous statement, which he claims to have “…avoided the current issue and rather said there were plans to “review” whatever the current secret policy might be.” Walter also claims that there are “…no responses to our emails since. All the while, we’re hearing of case after case of customers being affected.”
While it is true that EA is one of the biggest game publishers in the entire gaming industry with millions of customers all over the world, this kind of actions and reactions about certain issues will probably make a good chunk of their loyal customers migrate to another game company that will respect their gaming rights and respond to their concerns immediately and efficiently.