SimCity Closed Beta EULA Sparks Controversy

Recently, EA opened up closed beta signups to PC gamers looking to get a taste of the city-building series reboot SimCity. The EULA that closed beta entrants were forced to sign was a bit strange, as it stated the following: “It is understood and agreed that, as part of your participation in the Beta Program, it is your responsibility to report all known bugs, abuse of ‘bugs’, ‘undocumented features’ or other defects and problems related to the Game and Beta Software to EA as soon as they are found (“Bugs”). If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug. You acknowledge that EA reserve the right to lock anyone caught abusing a Bug out of all EA products.”

Essentially, anyone who has knowledge of a bug and fails to report it will not only be banned from the SimCity beta, but be locked entirely out of their Origin accounts. The wording of the EULA raised a bit of ruckus across various media outlets. EA responded by changing the wording of the EULA and released yet another statement explaining the company's stance: "The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage. However, the language as included is too broad. EA has never taken away access to a player’s games for failing to report a bug. We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point."

This isn't the first time that the publishing giant has stirred up a bit of controversy with its EULAs. Back in 2011, EA's distribution service Origin had a EULA that was worded in a way that could be interpreted to allow EA to monitor and share applications running on a user's PC. Soon after, the company changed the wording of the EULA, removing or altering all clauses that would allow it to collect any personally identifiable information. 

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  • Northwestern
    I don't see why this is such a big problem. You should report every problem to prevent anyone from exploiting it, and while it is a bit excessive to ban someone over such a bug, no simple flaw should be left unattended and unreported.
  • nukemaster
    Exploiting bugs then reporting(have to see how far it goes before a report :p ) them is the FUN of beta testing.
  • upgrade_1977
    Ban from Origin? Another reason to stick with steam, lol.
  • zubikov
    I hate EA. It gutted all its competition, lost creativity and now tries to rule the industry with an iron fist. It's all marketing, lawyers and shareholders over programming and art. Any talent still left in the company is afraid to show their true colors and stand out b/c it may interfere with some policy or objective. I'm all for making money and successful, responsible companies making quality products, but EA is a shame to a declining console/PC gaming industry. Won't be getting my money!
  • bigdragon
    That clause was likely there because of competitive multiplayer games such as Battlefield. What bugs me though is that this means cheats won't exist in Sim City. Hell, I doubt there will even be mods with the way they've been trying to lock everything down. I used cheats from time to time in Sim City 4 and used mods every single time. I am really disappointed in the direction EA has taken with this new Sim City. It would have been nice if they sat down with the SC4Devotion people and hashed out how to make the perfect Sim City game instead of going off on this multiplayer always-online tangent.
  • bak0n
    So... I'd lose access to the SimCity beta(if I were to test it) if they were to ban me for Origin. Not a big loss.
  • Kami3k
    NorthwesternI don't see why this is such a big problem. You should report every problem to prevent anyone from exploiting it, and while it is a bit excessive to ban someone over such a bug, no simple flaw should be left unattended and unreported.
    It's just a "bit excessive?

    I'm assuming what Hitler did to the Jews was just a bit excessive as well?

    You must be a EA employee paid to spew this drivel, I don't see how any could defend getting banned for missing a bug and not reporting it.
  • ph1sh55
    Testing the limit of 'exploits' is part of beta testing. That's a pretty comical thing to have for a EULA for a BETA. Hell look at all of the fps games where's exploits 'abused' ended up being kept as features. (rocket jumping, movement quirks etc)
  • hwangchan
    The way it was written, they would have the right to block your origin account if you didn't report a bug, even if you didn't personally experience said bug. That's moronic.

    I don't think its the policy that was wrong exactly, just the way it was written. Apparently EA agreed, but it was easier to just exclude the clause than fix it.
  • EnFission
    You are signing up for a closed beta, with the purpose of finding bugs for EA, not to actually playing the game. If you aren't reporting bugs, you are wasting EA's time and preventing another player from beta testing (presuming they have participant limit). You have reduced the efficiency of the closed beta.

    Congrats Kami3k, you have compared being locked out of an account to mass genocide, next time try and get the scale a little closer.