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March 13, 2011

Dragon Age II player ban was a mistake

by Darren Allan

Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age II, EA’s much-awaited RPG sequel, has certainly been stirring up plenty of controversy during its release week.

Firstly because of the reviews, which have been a mixed bag, and have included accusations of the PC version being a lazy port from some quarters. We’ll reserve judgement until we’ve played it, naturally enough.

Then a story hit the headlines about a gamer being banned from actually playing Dragon Age II due to a comment made on the Bioware forum.

Bit-tech.net reports that the person in question asked if Bioware had “sold their souls to the EA devil”. After the post was reported, he was then blocked from the Bioware social network, an account which is necessary to install the game purchased from the EA store.

An impressive hoo-hah ensued, given that it might not be uncommon for players to receive a ban from the multiplayer component of a game for dubious behaviour, but never from a single player affair. Effectively, this chap had bought a game he couldn’t play.

Senior Community Coordinator at Bioware, Chris Priestly, stepped in to clear this one up, posting on the company’s official forum.

He said: “EA strictly enforces the code of conduct at Social.BioWare.com. If a player violates the rules by using profanity, they will be temporarily banned.”

“Unfortunately, there was an error in the system that accidentally suspended a user’s entire account. Immediately upon learning of the glitch, EA restored the user’s macro account and apologized for the inconvenience.”

So it was all a big misunderstanding. Not that we think daring to mention the “devil” is exactly profanity, anyway (unless the post was embellished with other more colourful language elsewhere).

There has also been controversy regarding SecuRom copy protection coming with Dragon Age II, when EA promised this was only used on review copies.

Although from what we can determine via the chat about this issue on the Bioware forum, it isn’t actually SecuRom, but a false report triggered by “a release date mechanism borrowing code from the DRM”.

So, apparently Bioware didn’t break it’s promise, although we’re still awaiting an official confirmation on what happened here. An interesting week for the company, indeed….

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