UPDATE: EA has said that they “have never taken away access to a player’s games for not reporting a bug” and in case that didn’t put your mind at ease, they followed up with this: ” it’s not something we would ever do.” The beta EULA is being updated to change wording that was deemed “far too broad”.
ORIGINAL: But, let’s get this right out of the way first: it probably won’t. It probably won’t because there’s almost no way EA could possibly know or prove that you didn’t report a specific bug. So you can put that pitchfork back into the cabinet, and order a replacement glass pane with “Break In Case EA Does Something That Might Offend Me” printed on it.
If you’re taking part in the SimCity beta, then you would have had to agree to a standard EULA before being allowed to play. Did you read it? Of course you didn’t – who actually reads all of that stuff? If you had bothered to read it (and I’m not being smug here – I honestly never read those things) you would have learnt that EA reserves the right to ban you from every single EA game if you fail to report any bugs you might come across while playing the beta.
Here’s the section of the EULA that’s getting people’s panties in a bunch: “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.”
Big deal. Did you take part in a Battlefield 3 beta? This clause was in there as well. It’s not the first time EA has shoehorned this over-protective condition into a beta EULA. While some get up in arms about it, it also highlights something that seems to have been forgotten by many people: taking part in a beta means more than you getting early access to a game.
When you agree to partake in a beta, you should be looking for bugs, exploits and problems, and you absolutely have to report what you find. It’s par for the course. Betas are not there to give you a reason to wave your e-peen around in the playground while telling people that you’re playing the game months before its release date. Taking part in a beta brings with it some responsibility. Perhaps EA’s inclusion of this ban clause is meant to remind people about that?