SimCity

SimCity beta's EULA contains EA wide ban clause for unreported bugs

Phil Savage at

EA's overzealous lawyers are at it again! Did you sign up for the upcoming SimCity beta? If so, did you read its giant EULA? Every last dry, boring, legally-binding word of it? No, me neither. Fortunately, SideQuesting spotted a tweet from Twisted Pixel's Dan Teasdale, pointing out a clause in the agreement that could result in a full EA ban for not reporting bugs.

Section 6.2 of the SimCity beta EULA states:

"It is understood and agreed that, as part of your participation in the Beta Program, it is your responsibility to report all known bugs, abuse of ‘bugs’, ‘undocumented features’ or other defects and problems related to the Game and Beta Software to EA as soon as they are found (“Bugs”). 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."

Essentially: If you know or have heard of a bug, but don't report it, EA can treat that as "abusing" the bug. EA can ban people who abuse bugs. Therefore, EA can ban people who know or have heard of a bug.

It's important to note that that's "can" and not "will". Similarly mad EULA powers were agreed to for the Battlefield 3 beta, but no-one was banned for a missing bug report. For one thing, it's got to be a nightmare to enforce. "I'm sorry, sir, but our records indicate you overheard details of a crash-to-desktop while out shopping. Now you can't play Mass Effect 3."

But while the clause is openly ridiculous beta back-covering, and unlikely to result in any action being taken, it's absurd that the option is even on the table. Sure, beta tests should be about bug reports and game testing, but that's rarely how they're promoted by large publishers. That's certainly true of SimCity's beta - essentially an exclusive timed demo that doubles up as an online-server stress test

Thanks, BluesNews.