Are you someone who enjoys going online to complain about video game companies? Like to vent about the online passes or complain about DMR? Enjoy going to your favorite forum to complain about server closures? Well be sure to keep that far away from EA's prying ears or you might find yourself unable to play your newly purchased games.
A BioWare forum user found this out recently the hard way. After asking in the EA Live Chat "Have you sold your soul to the EA devil?" he found out that along with his three day ban came a complete and utter lock out from his account. Due to the way the BioWare Social Club is set up, you use one account to get into their forums and access your registered games. The problem comes in that to play BioWare PC games you need to activate the games through their Social Club. If you get banned from the forums by EA then you can't activate any games you may have purchased. Thus you paid $50 for a product you can't actually play.
Some people might say that this is an oversight, but a post from BioWare moderator Stanley Woo responded with the following tidbit:
1. BioWare community bans are forum-only and can be for as little as 24 hours. These bans should have no effect on your game, only your ability to use all the features of thiswebsite/community. these bans are handed out by BioWare Moderators as theresult of our travels around the forum and/or issues reported by fellowcommunity members.
2. EA Community bans come down from a different department and are the result of someone hitting the REPORT POST button. These bans can affect access to your game and/or DLC.
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. Consider it an added incentive to follow the rules you say you're going to follow.
In light of this staggering insight into the mentality of the administration, threads have been popping up left and right with people decrying both EA and BioWare for using their forums as a way to shut people outof their games. While some are choosing to focus solely on EA for this it does seem that BioWare is well aware of this side effect of their Social Club setup and are quite content with using it as means to beat unruly posters back inline.
Apparently, being able to play an offline game you paid real money for is the threat being dangled in front of gamers faces "Don't say bad things about us or we will take away what you legally purchased!" While this sort of activity is understood to be a distinct possibility in online games,like an MMO, or by catching a game developers attention with negative activities, like those unlucky Black Ops spawn boosters, being blocked from playing single player games is a whole new world of aggravation. Suspending or banning an unruly poster from a forum for bad activity is one thing, but having the ability to play your game snatched away for rude comments is just tacky.
While this is only a temporary thing, the ban standing for 72 hours, this is a serious issue that all users of both EA and BioWare's forums should be aware of. Either behave yourself or, do as I do, and keep a huge berth from those forums entirely unless you have something very important to say / do there. Going near a company website to complain about anything runs you some very real risks these days. With EA acting like an annoyed parent, scolding people and taking away their gaming privileges is it a risk really worth taking?