EA Changes SimCity Beta EULA After Internet Complaints

January 22, 2013 -

Forbes is reporting that Electronic Arts has changed the language of the "End User License Agreement" (EULA) users have to agree to in order to play SimCity. Players, who are already peeved that the game requires an "always-on" connection in order play even single-player, took issue with some wording in EULA for the SimCity Beta.

The original wording told those who signed up that if they didn't report a bug while playing the beta they could face a ban... from all of EA's games! While the purpose of betas is to test for bugs and report them to development teams, companies have made early access to betas parts of commercial products - sometimes as code pack-ins for other games or as a pre-order incentive. Obviously if you somehow pay money to get into a beta directly or indirectly your expectations of what is required of you is slightly different. I am not sure that anyone "paid" for access to SimCity for the record, but I do think that the general sense of what a beta is supposed to be has changed for the average consumer.

The original text from the EULA read:

"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."

After taking a bit of heat from players online, EA said that it would change the wording of the EULA and issued the following statement to Forbes:

"The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage. 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."

At any rate, the Internet scores: Internet - 1, EA - 0

Source: Forbes



Re: EA Changes SimCity Beta EULA After Internet Attacks

I know I'd probably be unpopular for holding this viewpoint, but I kind agree with the intent of what EA was trying to address ...

The purpose of beta testing is to help make a better product for the community and in the mean time, you get to play a game for free .. even if it is rough around the edges.  Personally, if I find bugs, I report them.  Some people use it for far more selfish reasons.  All too often I've played in MMOs (and been involved in their beta testing) where "testers" have gone in there with what seems to be the express purpose of finding bugs to exploit so they can have an advantage at release.

Now I know that Simcity is not an MMO and the same does not apply here.  I think that EA went a little overboard for what is ostensibly a single player game.  Perhaps the clause was a hangover from an MMO beta test ... I don't know.

But I do kind of understand where EA was coming from.

Re: EA Changes SimCity Beta EULA After Internet Attacks

Same here - I agree with their sentiment, but not with their approach.

Re: EA Changes SimCity Beta EULA After Internet Attacks

SimCity looks amazing but if I give money to Bioware / Electronic Arts I am giving money to the wrong cause.

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