Forbes is reporting that Electronic Arts has changed the language of the "End User License Agreement" (EULA) users have to agree to in order to play SimCity. Players, who are already peeved that the game requires an "always-on" connection in order play even single-player, took issue with some wording in EULA for the SimCity Beta.
The original wording told those who signed up that if they didn't report a bug while playing the beta they could face a ban… from all of EA's games! While the purpose of betas is to test for bugs and report them to development teams, companies have made early access to betas parts of commercial products – sometimes as code pack-ins for other games or as a pre-order incentive. Obviously if you somehow pay money to get into a beta directly or indirectly your expectations of what is required of you is slightly different. I am not sure that anyone "paid" for access to SimCity for the record, but I do think that the general sense of what a beta is supposed to be has changed for the average consumer.
The original text from the EULA read:
"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."
After taking a bit of heat from players online, EA said that it would change the wording of the EULA and issued the following statement to Forbes:
"The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage. However, the language as included is too broad. EA has never taken away access to a player’s games for failing to report a bug. We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point."
At any rate, the Internet scores: Internet – 1, EA – 0