Early this week it transpired that the Terms of Service for SimCity’s beta held testers in much the same regard as cheats, and threatened to treat them as such should they fail to report bugs. Cue much furrowing of brows. EA have since responded by holding a magnifying glass up to their small print and making sheepish Did I say that? noises.
Said a clearly discombobulated spokeshuman to Kotaku:
“We have never taken away access to a player’s games for not reporting a bug, and quite simply it’s not something we would ever do… 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. We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point.”
Was that us? That can’t have been us. We wouldn’t say that.
EA’s worry, it seems, was that nefariously-minded beta players would stow away the juiciest exploits until release, at which point they’d release them to economically spectacular in-game effect. And while that might have made no odds in previous entries in the series, cities in the new SimCity will not (necessarily) exist in isolation. This is a multiplayer-first SimCity, with regional development features dependent on the honestly-gained gains of other, nearby cities.
Still, that initial wording went far beyond the call of reason. Here it is again:
"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.”