Overzealous lawyers alert! There were a couple of rather worrying lines of text in the End User License Agreement for EA’s Sim City Beta. “If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA,” said the line, “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,” it continued. To clarify: If you spot a bug but do not tell EA then they could have locked you out of every other EA game you own.
The purpose of a beta is to
shamelessly promote the game note down any bugs and report them to the developers, thus assisting with the final product. Punishing gamers who fail to do so is a new and rather draconian step and you have to wonder how EA would have enforced this.
How would they know if a gamer has “heard” about a bug, or even know about it? The gamer might not even recognise it as a bug. Well, panic not, because EA have responded to the outcry this caused today, and changed their mind.
“The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage,” says the official statement. “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.”