Awww. You have to give it to EA; after their evil evilness was one-upped by Activision, they did their best to get back on the bad side of the gaming community and they've done an admirable job!
So, as if the bullshit they pulled last spring with Dragon Age 2 wasn't enough, their other highly-anticipated title managed to piss more people off that a game going up against Modern Warfare 3 can afford to.
I mentioned this during my "Top 11 Theme Songs" video, but I always had a fondness for the Battlefield series. Developer DICE worked on a nice first-person-multiplayer shooter, way before Activision shoved their dirty hands in the genre and they came up with a good, fast-paced "battlefield" simulator, in which you were required to follow tactics and work with your team to achieve the highest score. Instead of being a hyper-active player on steroids, shooting everything in sight, you were required to be an organic member of a team, making the experience a lot more satisfying. Sure, there were some balancing issues (there are exploits in Battlefield 2 that made me want to drown a sealed freighter-wagon full of Pikachus), but, hey, that's what we got sequels for.
But no. After all these years of wait, I can't play Battlefield 3. Why?
Because it's distributed by Electronics Arts. One of the companies that even classic PC gamers don't want to remember they were ever good.
Screw you, EA.
So, here's what happened when the world was stupid enough to look for a way out of Activion's FPS tyranny by following EA:
For starters, they had to agree to use Origin, EA's own cloud service, that looks to replace Steam for EA games. I have not installed the service, I don't know how functional it is. What I do know is that I won't be installing it, because the Terms of Service specify that (paraphrased) "you grant Origin access to your computer to scan for all installed software, stored files, as well as browsing history", something upon which (also paraphrased) "EA maintains the right to share with and/or sell this information (the information collected) to third parties".
Congratulations, EA, you did it. You're once again the most despicable Evil in this industry. Not only do you want me to bend over so you can see my darkest place, but you maintain the right to whore me out to your friends as you see fit.
Needless to say that the same TOS ensures you agree you won't ever take them to court for anything they pull involving Origin.
Interestingly enough, this isn't a first for EA, as they tried to install similarly-purposed spyware in your systems with Battlefield 2142 several years back. Like this deal with Origin, participating in EA's douchebaggery isn't optional if you want to play their games. People caught them, but apparently I'm the only one who still remembers.
As if that wasn't enough, news surfaced today that a number of PS3 users are moving to sue EA for backing out on their initial promise of shipping each PS3 version of BF3 with a code for BF1943 (which is currently purchasable via PSN and XBL). If this sounds odd, it isn't; EA backed out of the 'deal' after the game was released (and presumably this version was chosen and bought by many, with the promise of BF1943 in mind) and they did it incognito, only mentioning the canceling of the deal in their Twitter and never making an official announcement or news.
The above is bad enough already and whether they can be legally prosecuted or not does not change the fact that this was a grade-A dick move, BUT! The thing that makes this whole affair infuriating to me is that their back-up deal, the deal they replaced the free 1943 give-aways with, is early access to the DLC for PS3 users. Not a give-away; just EARLY ACCESS.
So, what they essentially did was come up to you and said "yeah, you won't be getting that free thing I promised to get you to buy my product in this platform, but I can SELL you some more shit you REALLY don't need before I sell it to the others".
You know what, gamers? This I blame on you. The DLC. The microtransactions. Everything that has convinced companies you're such junkies, you won't turn down the chance to overpay your overpriced products just a week before everybody else does, as if that's any sort of assertion of your self-worth.
So screw you too.
Go out and buy your BF3 copy now while you still can. I'm sure neither one of the above matter to you, as long as you get to play that one game that will probably last you for two months before the next hot thing comes along.
FYI, EA has also put their name on "S.O.P.A.", the Sons Of Patriots Act (or "Stop Online Piracy Act" as the companies conveniently call it). You know; it's that thing that regulates all Internet, from sites to stores to video reviews. That's two attempts to spy on you and regulate what you do, whilst at the same time they back out of their deals and proceed to completely screw their customers over.
At least they're consistent within their own hypocrisy.
You can read the actual worrisome passages of Origin's TOS here.