SimCity TOS suggest Origin bans for unreported bugs

Sunday, 20th January 2013 22:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

SimCity is hosting a round of closed beta testing this week and testers should be aware that not taking their role seriously could have serious consequences.

When signing up for SimCity’s beta, users must sign off on a lengthy terms of service agreement. SideQuesting examined the terms closely and uncovered this little gem:

“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.”

In simple terms: if you don’t report bugs you encounter, you may suffer an account-wide Origin ban.

Although terms of service often contain clauses which are rarely if ever evoked, you should probably just play it safe and send in bug reports should you spot any nasties during the closed testing. That’s what you’re there for, after all.

SimCity’s beta kicks off on January 25. Applications close today.

Thanks, Blue’s News.



  1. Talkar

    They reserve the right to ban, which doesn’t mean they will ban users for it. However, i actually think there should be some consequences for users not taking their part in a beta seriously, and treat it more like a demo. A ban from origin might be a little harsh though.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    I’d better get back to the barge-pole people. I don’t think the new ten-footer they shipped is going to be enough. Origin’s rotten to the core.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. dex3108

    So i have applied for beta months ago and now i don’t have time for beta testing so i am risking to be banned? EA is really funny lately :D First they were banning from origin for inappropriate behavior on forum, then they were deleting accounts after 2 year of inactivity and now this.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    The fact that people tend to react this strongly to their basic legal agreements should really tell EA something about their reputation.

    Although I doubt anyone at that company is actually listening.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    #1: So, you think there ought to be consequences to users (when the publisher is the one offering participation/wanting to see good number of players testing) when the publisher has been spared hiring in outside contractors to test an “in the wild” scenario?

    I agree that it would be better if people did feedback/report bugs. Very much so, actually. That would be great. But, if they start mandating it…It’s farcical! Because there’s no way to tell what one person knew, when, unless they implicate themselves. This rule basically gives the publisher a free pass to react as it likes, with the highest penalty being loss of access to that user of their established software library.

    What kind of process is there for a user to put their case if challenged about their participation, for instance?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. NoxNoctisUmbra

    Good, Closed beta means that they should check for bugs and issues. A lot of players expect a close beta to be a demo for them. No wonder a lot of games come out still crappy. 100-200 people are on development for games such as these and of course the 200 people wont find all the bugs that millions of people will play! Ban those useless close beta accounts if they dont help out in making this game!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. dex3108

    #6 It is very easy to punish players but what about rewarding them? I have been beta/alpha tester for many games and often we didn’t get basic thank you note.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    You want to point out the games that come out of beta with issues? How about the likelihood that the issues will have been reported before you’ve gotten to play it, but the developer has not chosen to address that particular problem (by the time you’ve played) so, it remains beyond beta. That happens, too.

    Part of the original “message” around beta trials was that people would get to play the games early. With the additional request that if bugs are found, the developer should be informed, and any user feedback submitted. The motivator IS, and practically always HAS BEEN the playing of the game “early”. That’s what gets people through the doors. Goodwill tends to deliver…Oh, wait! Yeah. EA might well have to resort to these methods, after all.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. roadkill

    @1 “A ban from origin might be a little harsh though.” You think?

    @6 A BETA test is a test. Do you know what a test is? Hint: It’s when you test something! You just test it, you don’t have to do anything else if you don’t want to. Moron!!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. GrimRita

    Let me get this right. EA are TELLING inexperienced people who want to take part in the beta, they if they dont spot a ‘bug’ they will be slapped with a ban?

    One day EA will actually ‘get’ community and what the idea of having an active community is.

    So will EA be issuing a long list of things to look for as to educate those in beta? Because what looks like a bug to EA might not be to an inexperienced eye. Utter bull shit from an out of touch company.

    #10 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.