Friday Flame Wars: Should EA Have Banned Discount Code Exploiters?
EA recently made news when a weekend survey reward turned into an expected merchandise giveaway blowout. It turned out that the $20 Origin discount code gamers received for partaking in the survey could not only be used by anyone who tried it — and many did, thanks to it being spread all over social media sites — but that any given user could use the code as many times as he wanted, so long as he deleted his cookies.
After the incident, an Origin community manager stated that not only will no users be punished for abusing of this exploit, but they’ll also be able to keep all the games they stole:
“The coupon code is now expired; we’ll honor all sales made with the coupon code over the weekend and hope fans enjoy their games.”
My stance on exploits in games is that gamers shouldn’t be punished for a developer’s errors — however, this is an exploit that extended beyond a game, one that has real-world consequences akin to piracy. Ultimately, it was EA’s mistake that allowed this to happen, but do you believe the “exploiters” deserve to get off with a dozen free games and no repercussions? Do you think the only reason EA didn’t issue any bans or take any aggressive action was to avoid inevitable fallout and reputation damage?