Dear Electronic Arts,
I understand I am only one person, just one paying customer duly handing over my money in exchange for the use of your software. I realize that no one in your company may even read this but I feel that it needs to be said and that other paying consumers feel the same as I do. There are a lot of us out here buying your products or you would not be in the business you are in. It is my hope that others will share my feelings and agree with this letter. And go one step further by becoming vocal about it.
I’ve long been a fan of the games you publish. I can clearly remember one of my first EA experiences – plyaing M.U.L.E on my Atari 400 with my Dad. Thanks to you, my life was never the same after that. I started exploring computers, picked up some manuals about basic programming, subscribed to various magazines and became a life long computer gamer.
Throughout the years you’ve published a lot of quality games and provided a ton of entertainment for me. You’ve been on my Atari systems, my 386, my Pentium 2 desktop, and every modern computer I’ve ever owned. You’re on my high end gaming rig right now with Spore and Crysis. You’ve been more of a constant in my life than most of the people I’ve ever shook hands with.
Sadly, today is the day that legacy ends. You’ve lost another consumer thanks to your combined use of DRM for all of your games and EULAs that strangle a users rights. I’m here to tell you publicly that I will no longer support the EA software distribution model and sadly no longer purchase any of the great titles EA will publish until your company changes how they treat a money paying, law abiding consumer. I am not only making my statement with my wallet but doing so vocally in the hopes of encouraging others to do the same.
I respect the fact that developers spend a lot of money and put a lot of time into creating great games. I am completely willing to put up my $50 for a new title. I am not willing to be treated to third party software installs on my computer, EULAs that effectively eliminate any rights I may have to use that software or dictate how I may do so after I’ve paid my money or in short, be treated like a criminal while the individuals who do pirate your software enjoy a better user experience.
I will not be pirating your software, so please leave me out of whatever statistics you plan to put forth showing how pirates are working on your bottom line. I simply will not purchase any more EA titles, no matter how good they look.
Your use of SecuROM software, draconian Terms of Service and EULAs which no sane person should agree to have forced my hand. I won’t be purchasing software from Electronic Arts any more.
If you would like to get me back as a paying customer, you can take a long and deep look at your use of DRM. Stop using a system which is overcome within hours of a title’s release and essentially only hampers paying customers. Until then, your games will be removed from my computer and SecuROM will be as well. If I have to reinstall, so be it.
Be nice in your forums. The below quote is a perfect example of not being nice. It shows only that you would willingly take away a paying user’s ability to play a game based on words they would say.
Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you’d actually be banned from your other EA games as well since its all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It’s all one in the same, so I strongly reccommend people play nice and act mature.
All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but its what we have to do.
Those banned will stay banned, but like most other internet services, its not that hard to create a new fake e-mail account. However, its a lot harder to get a new serial key =)
I’m glad that smiley is in there or this slap in my face would sting a lot more. In short, don’t punish us for buying your software. Yes you have a right to protect your IP and as a gamer I respect that right. I will not however allow any company to install potentially destructive software on a computer I own or have the ability to render my paid for software useless because they do not agree with something I may state in an online forum.
If you feel the same way, I would encourage you to make your opinions known. Don’t just stop buying. Be vocal. Be polite, as concise as possible and let folks like us who play games and folks like those at EA who publish them both know where you stand. Please feel free to copy any or all of the text here and use it yourself, or put your thoughts in to your own words.
Be seeing you.
Thanks to Shamus for pointing me towards the forum article.
[tags]video games, drm, electronic arts, goodbye[/tags]