I posted yesterday about the player who was banned from playing his copy of dragon age because he made a negative comment about EA on the Electronic Arts official forums.
Fortunately, EA saw the light, the blinding light of negative publicity and outrage shone upon this practice, and relented by reversing the ban on the player playing his legally purchased game. The forum ban still stands however.
The reason EA could get away with this, is that they are requiring players to create an account when the game is installed. It also turns out that the game checks in with this account to make sure it is valid when the player loads it up to play. If the account status isn’t valid, in this case the player has been banned for whatever reason, you cannot play.
It occurs to me that this is one of the reasons why I opposed the Real ID Forum fiasco back in the middle of 2010. Back then I was primarily concerned with the privacy issue of having a real name linked both to forum posts and in-game characters, but the idea of all my Blizzard games linked to a single account didn’t make me feel comfortable.
Yesterday I said that the best way to get around EA locking you out of your legally purchased games is not to participate in their community, and to find a community elsewhere. I stand by that assertion. But there are times when you need to access an official forum, technical and gameplay support for example.
So here’s what you do. Create a separate accounts for the games you play, and your forum interaction. So in the case where you need to post, if you do happen to say something negative in the heat of the moment your gaming accounts won’t be locked out.
You might want to take this further by having separate accounts for each game you play. It’s more than easy to create as many gmail accounts as you have games. You can even have the additional gmail accounts forward to a primary email address to make it easier to manage multiple accounts.
Still, it’s a shame that so many game publishers are requiring players to create accounts in order to play single player games. Remember the good old days when you could defer registration as long as you wanted?