We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

EA accidentally give away thousands of free games via Origin

EA Origin

On Saturday morning, EA emailed a discount code to Origin users who had participated in a survey about the distribution service. The code entitled the recipient to $20 off a game on Origin; if the game was under $20, they’d get the game for free. All in all, a generous thank you which saw Dead Space, Dragon Age and Mass Effect given away as a one time only deal.

One time only. Only, to pilfer a recent Hollywood tagline: there was never just one.

First, users discovered that the code could be entered twice – once in Origin’s browser version, and again in its client – to redeem two games. The reason for this, they surmised, was that EA wasn’t checking the code server-side to see whether it had already been used.

Later, gaming forumites realised that the code could be redeemed while logged out – not twice, but an unlimited number of times. Soon afterwards, news reached Reddit.

The exploit was finally fixed at 1am PST – 18 hours after the code had been released.

“The coupon code is now expired,” said Origin community managerSam Houston, picked up by RPS. “We’ll honor all sales made with the coupon code over the weekend and hope fans enjoy their games.”