To our dear Tom's readers who just purchased the PC version of Dragon Age 2 this week, watch what you say on the BioWare and EA forums. Seriously, you'll regret it.
As one gamer has revealed over on the BioWare forums, a comment made in a post brought on the mighty ban-hammer for 72 hours. The problem is that the ban isn't just focused on his forum activities, it's also locked him out of the actual Dragon Age 2 Signature Edition bundle--which he purchased and installed on his rig--during the 72-hour duration.
According to the post, EA sent forum user "Vware" an email stating that his account was suspended for inappropriate content. Vware contacted EA via Live Chat to understand what exactly it was he did to earn the 72-hour ban. An EA representative quoted one of his forum comments, repeating his "have you sold your souls to the EA devil?" post. While the comment is most definitely hilarious, EA apparently thought otherwise.
"Now, those are the words I said, you can't argue with that," Vware admitted.
"I'm not going to try and sugar coat that, let me just say in my defense, I have always been a pretty reasonable person on this forum. So I agree that you guys suspended my account from the forums for 72 hours. What I don't agree with is that I can't activate my new DA2 game."
BioWare's Stanley Woo followed up to Vware's forum complaint by pointing to EA's online terms and conditions.
"Because the BioWare community now operates under the same umbrella as all EA Communities, community members here have all explicitly agreed to abide by and be governed by both sets of rules," Woo said. "Consider it an added incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow."
Woo seems to suggest that someone on the forum didn't like Vware's comment and pressed the REPORT POST button. Once evaluated and deemed in violation, EA has the right to lock customers out of their installed games and/or DLC according to the Terms and Conditions.
Section 11 of EA's Terms and Conditions, "Rules of Conduct," clearly states that forum users are in violation when they "harass, threaten, embarrass, or do anything else to another player that is unwanted, such as repeatedly sending unwanted messages or making personal attacks or statements about race, sexual orientation, religion, heritage, etc."
So much for freedom of speech.