EA New Terms of Service - READ THE FINE PRINT

Sims games are really popular to mod in this community, so I thought it’d be prudent to inform everyone of something worrisome in case they haven’t heard already. This mainly ties to later installments to the series, mainly anything where they require you to use to EA App (such as Sims 3 & 4).

As some folks have probably heard, there’s been a lot of discourse around user agreements that basically state “we must have permission to snoop into your alternate accounts unrelated to our company, as well as your personal computer, or you can’t use our products” - mainly on Microsoft and Adobe’s products (heck, the latter’s getting sued by THE GOVERNMENT over it).
However, I recently decided to try playing Sims 3 again after a hiatus due to several other interests occupying my attention, and that’s when trouble started showing: the EA App is asking I agree to new terms of service and user license agreement in order to play the game, nothing new initially. However, with all news going around about predatory contracts going on, as well as previous experience where a game I bought had a lot of “California Caveats” in the User License Agreement (that I refunded because hell to the no, I’m not getting into a contract that’s basically allows theft), I decided to go over it.

I scroll down EA’s license agreement and find the red flags: “we can talk to Microsoft, Sony, etc. about your accounts” and “we can look at your computer”. Some of you may not understand it, but this is basically allowing EA to spy on you.
EA Store forces players to accept new privacy terms before playing, here’s a summary of the changes. : r/pcgaming (reddit.com)

Wayback Machine (archive.org)

I know some of you will say “if you haven’t done anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide”, to which I say, go live in a neighbor full of nosy people, and make sure your house walls are all windows - not even the interior walls (i.e. bedroom and bathroom walls) can block sight, everything must be visible - then try to say that.

14 Likes

Privacy vigilance is important, however I think a lot of your claims are hyperbolic.

Adobe is being sued for predatory subscription cancellation fees, not privacy violations.

And as for the EA terms of service, I looked at the reddit post, which was nothing more than a link to the same web archive comparison of the Privacy statements you included, and then compared the statements themselves. The changes seem to be primarily clarification.

Sharing account information with Sony and Microsoft is pretty clearly stated as necessary because you can play EA online games on their systems. They need to know if a PSN or Xbox Live account trying to access say, Battlefront servers, matches the EA linked account.

Likewise, it also says what exactly the information about your device is collected, which is physical hardware, IP, and usage of their games, software, and services. All of which is required for most online games.

Is a lot of this necessary for the Sims? No, and the forced inclusion of online elements in games that don’t need them is indeed a net negative for privacy because to use the internet requires at least some information be exchanged by necessity. They’re also certainly collecting more information than is strictly necessary to earn extra advertiser money. But as a blanket privacy statement for all their games, it’s fairly standard.

It says exactly what they do, why and how. There’s no clause that lets them “spy”. EA can’t go rummage around in your “homework” folder for cheats.exe and then tell Microsoft and Sony what they found.

Again, it’s not great, and you still don’t have to find the terms agreeable. But it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be.

6 Likes

Do they specify that in the terms though? No!
Clownfish TV brought this up, but if terms are nebulous enough, companies ARE using that to justify overreaching far more than they actually should. EA’s TOS NEVER specifies why they’d need to do this, which is something to pay attention to.
And yes, Adobe getting sued for the subscription cancellation difficulty IS the more accurate way to put it, but remember why they’re making it so; combined with the TOS and AI stuff, Adobe execs KNEW what they were doing. Same as to why Adobe went from physical software to subscription, which would MAKE IT REQUIRE always being online.
All of this, and that’s not even getting into the fact that EA tried this before on Origin - I saw a 5 year old Reddit post detailing the same issue, where they tried to make it possible for them to snoop. I’m having trouble finding it again, which sucks because that’s more evidence of what EA is trying.
There’s also the part where the TOS says they can ripoff your work you put in the game - aka, the mods you create.
And on the double links, the second one was to show front-and-center the link the post is referring to. This is partly in case if the Reddit gets deleted, as there have been tyrannical or scummy moderators doing that before on other parts of Reddit.
Edit: almost forgot to say this, but on an extra for contracts, always pay attention to what they DON’T say, like “why would they do this” or “what are the full specifics”. That’s how a lot of scummy companies have gotten away with REALLY underhanded contracts.