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Posts Tagged ‘Origin’

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This is certainly a turnaround: EA has announced that as of today, you can get a full refund on EA-published games purchased through their digital distribution platform Origin. This is part of a new policy that EA has dubbed “The Origin Great Game Guarantee”.

Obviously there are some conditions that need to be satisfied in order to get a refund. You need to apply for a refund: within 24 hours after you first launch the game; within seven days of purchasing a game (assuming you have yet to launch it); or within the first seven days of the game’s release if you pre-ordered it. Providing you satisfy one of those requirements (they’re all mutually exclusive) then you can apply for a refund. You’ll be asked a few questions and your refund submission will then take seven to ten days before you get your money back to you – assuming your submission was accepted.

Why would you want a refund? Well, EA thinks it could be for the following: “If something doesn’t work out—you aren’t riveted by the storyline, or sucked in by the action, or even just if the game doesn’t play well with your video card—we’ve got your back.”

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I wrote a little while ago about how EA was doing an alpha test with Apple Mac users in the UK and US. Normally beta testing takes weeks, if not months but in a surprising twist, it looks like they had everything nailed down right from the start (pat on the back there for you). The company has now announced that the full Origin client is now available to download from the Origin online store and will feature the same user experience as the Windows-based client.

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With the Steam on Linux beta going from strength to strength and more games ported over by the day, other software distribution platforms are looking at their OS compatibility to see if there’s other markets they can get into. Currently Valve is the only company, aside from GOG.com, that offers games able to work on three different, consumer-targeted desktop platforms: Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OSX and now Linux (mostly Debian and Red Hat-based, though). EA’s Origin has been Windows-only for quite some time but will soon take its first steps trekking into the Mac OS X bushveld.

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The EA Origin forums are awash with people claiming that their Origin accounts have been hijacked. The users have all received emails from Origin’s servers indicating that their passwords have been successfully changed. The only problem is that none of them have requested password changes to begin with. Some extra unlucky users have reported receiving emails that indicate their passwords and email addresses have been changed.

Judging by the complaints on the Origin forums, user account details are being altered to include changes to the date of birth tied to the account. This in turn seems to be making Origin Support’s life harder because a date of birth is what they are requesting from users who have had their accounts hijacked; obviously the user’s provided date of birth doesn’t match the newly changed date in the hijacked account.

It’s unclear how this all began, but EA is acting coy at present. Since this news broke late last night, EA has released a statement saying that anyone who has concerns about the security of their account, should contact customer support. The publisher is also maintaining that they have no indication that Origin’s servers have been hacked.

Source: Polygon

Well now this is an odd turn of events: the Court of Justice of the European Union (probably as important and scary as it sounds) has ruled that downloaded games are not exempt from being sold second hand. In other words: in EU countries, you as the gamer are entirely in your right to sell your Steam or Origin keys to somebody else.

According to the ruling, if a game distributor states that they hold the sole right to sell copies of that game, that right is “exhausted on its first sale”. No problem, right? I mean, that’s why publishers make you agree to End User License Agreements in the first place.

According to the court ruling, any EULA clause forbidding the resale of digital games, cannot be used to override this decision: “even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy”.

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Those of you currently playing Battlefield 3 have all been familiar with the system requirements because your friends keep on asking you what’s required. If they’re still on Windows XP, your answer should be; “a console or Windows 7 64-bit.” EA’s Battlefield 3 is the latest in a growing list of games that have killed off Windows XP support, only allowing gamers to play on Vista or 7. While 32-bit installs are fine, for the best experience EA recommends that players switch to 64-bit Windows with 4GB of RAM.

DICE, the developer of the Frostbite engine and a subsidiary of EA, hasn’t gone on record to state which games will be 64-bit only but has confirmed that the engine will be 64-bit only from 2013 onwards. Frostbite 2.0 will be present in this year’s Medal of Honour: Warfighter but there’s no specific bit requirement apart from the lack of XP support (inside I’m jumping for joy). The license of the engine is unfortunately proprietary and will only appear in games developed by DICE or EA, just like Codemasters uses the same EGO 2.0 engine in all its modern racing titles.

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We first mentioned EA’s OTT banning of players back in the April 2011 edition of NAG Magazine. That’s a whole year ago! It turns out that when EA said, “as with all technology updates, these changes take some time to implement,” they weren’t kidding.

A quick recap for those who have no clue what’s going on: some people have been permanently locked out of their EA Origin games due to misbehaving in the EA Forums. Both forum and Origin logins are the same thing, so when you misbehave in the forums, you get locked out of your games. In the case of some people, they received lifetime bans for things that they didn’t even do. Crazy, but you can read more about that here.

Luckily, however, EA has since altered their EULA to allow for banned EA accounts to still access Origin games. This is great news for those who have received lifetime bans – warranted or otherwise.

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On Tuesday we posted a story on how Electronic Arts has been banning Origin users from their games. The bans are the publisher’s response to Electronic Arts Forums infractions, although it has not been explicitly stated that the game ban is intentional. Since March this year, EA has maintained that the game bans have been accidents stemming from the fact that a user’s Forum account overlaps with their game account.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun continues to investigate this issue and reported earlier this week that a number of users have been suspended from their Origin games due to Forum infractions; some warranted and others completely uncalled for. What’s more, one user received a lifetime ban and will never be able to access his Origin games again.

Electronic Arts has since responded to Rock, Paper, Shotgun with typical PR answer answerless bollocks.

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Back in the April 2011 edition of NAG there was an article about a player who had been blocked from playing Dragon Age II thanks to his EA account being suspended through the BioWare forums. Because an EA account was required to play the game, he was left unable to log in to play thanks to the forum suspension. EA was quick to correct the problem and claimed that it was a system error on their behalf. They also said that they would fix the account problems within a week and that game accounts and forum accounts should never overlap.

We’re now in November, seven months later, and this is still happening to players. Unfortunately it seems to be getting worse rather than better and that’s largely thanks to Origin, EA’s new online distribution platform.

Website Rock, Paper, Shotgun has been keeping tabs on the situation and, thanks to reader input and first-hand accounts, has some serious horror stories to share.

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PC gamers in Germany are up in arms as a result of pictures that appeared online that show EA’s Origin accessing private information on users’ PCs. One such alleged image can be seen here. This has prompted people to accuse Electronic Arts of utilising Origin to spy on users – an accusation that the publisher has strongly denied.

Adding more fuel to the PR nightmare, a German newspaper called Spiegel published a list of items that are allegedly accessed by EA’s digital distribution platform. That list included things like: “IP addresses, usage data, software, equipment, software usage and existing hardware peripherals”. Origin supposedly accesses other EA games installed on PCs without notifying users.

It has also been suggested that the Terms of Service for Origin violate the online privacy laws of Germany. This has been the fundamental reason for German gamers’ outrage. As a result, EA has altered the German End User License Agreement and has issued a statement strongly denying all of the accusations.

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