EA forum bans reportedly locking users out of games

Battlefield 3 - EA problem solving

A number of Battlefield 3 users have reached out to Rock, Paper, Shotgun to report that they had been banned from playing the game for alleged behavior violations on EA's forums.

RPS cites three users' experiences who have been banned from their Origin accounts for misconduct on EA forums. The offenses themselves sound questionable (one user claims he was banned for linking to his blog, something EA apparently decided was a "commercial"), but what's striking is the totality of the response. One user received a 72-hour ban, RPS reports, "as well as a permanent “strike” on EA's 'three strikes' system. Something it's not possible for him to dispute."

Another user was supposedly handed a lifetime ban for using the phrase "e-peen". To be clear, this is a ban from all EA accounts, including Origin, and therefore all the games he kept on this account. He was also told that EA would not discuss the matter any further, closing the door to attempts to resolve the problem.

There was an incident like this in the spring regarding a Dragon Age 2 user, who was locked out of his game after violating the rules on the Bioware forum. EA later restored access to his account.

Were these just forum bans, the accountability process and the proportionality of the response might be questionable. Some of these seem like minor forum violations, at best. To revoke users' access to their games seems seems needlessly draconian, and the lack of a working appeals process is irresponsible.

Hopefully EA will clarify this situation, and explain how it will handle bans better.