Here's something to think about the next time you're tempted to behave badly in Killing Floor 2: Tripwire Interactive has inserted a clause in the game's license agreement specifically forbidding "cyberbullying," including griefing, racism, and sexism, and warns that players who engage in that sort of behavior can have their game keys revoked without notice.
The specific clause is found under section six, "Cheats, Cheating and Abusive Behaviors," which deals first and primarily with attempts to "circumvent or bypass any element of the KF2 or any KF2 servers to gain any advantage in multiplayer play." But then it moves on to address the issue of player abuse, with surprising frankness.
"We also will not tolerate anyone using the game, or any servers or forums provided for the game, to be continually or repeatedly abusive to other players," it says. "This includes, but is not limited to, 'griefing,' racist bigotry, sexism or any other forms of 'cyber bullying.' We will also not tolerate anyone hosting servers for the game where such behaviors are continually or repeatedly allowed to take place."
The EULA is equally clear about penalties for such behavior. "If we find you are a Cheater or Abusive, we will revoke your CD key and ban you from the KF2 servers and tell your mom!" it continues. "Your license will automatically terminate, without notice, and you will have no right to play KF2 or any KF2 Mods against other players or make any other use of KF2. End of story."
Harsh but fair, as they say, but predictably, not everyone is happy about it. In response to a Steam forum thread complaining about the "flagrent disreguard for basic owenership rights," Tripwire Vice President Alan Wilson started a thread of his own explaining that the addition of the "behaviors" clause is "a reaction to really evil behaviors which are simply not appropriate in multi-player or co-op games. Or anywhere in civilized society, for that matter."
"People are worried that we can 'take your game away.' Well, yes, we can. We've sold around 10 million games over the last 10 years. We have, I believe, taken away games from about 2 people. One of those was later convicted as a hacker in court," he wrote.
"So what does this [clause] mean? It just means that we wanted to make it clear where we stand. We don't have any intention (or the time, frankly) to start policing servers and hunting down people who use bad language at each other," he continued. "Its there so that, if at some point in the future, some individual gets utterly out of control and is being abusive to enough thousands of people to come to our attention—we can actually take action."
Killing Floor 2 hit Steam Early Access yesterday.