Sunday, 11 October 2009

A Beautiful, Beautiful Blunder

In relation to my previous post this week about digital downloads, I have this delightful little story to divulge upon your curious ears.

Last night I was messing about on Garry's Mod, as usual, when a friend of mine started talking to me on Steam. Well actually it wasn't really talking. It was just. "Liam. Free games. EA. Now".

Next thing I know, I'm downloading Mirrors Edge, Mercenaries 2 and Dead Space onto my computer, without paying a penny and or breaking any laws.

See, EA decided to do a deal where if you bought any three of their games from their digital download service you got £15 off. Now, these three games were all £4.99 each.... see what's happened here? After adding all three to my cart I had a lovely sum of £0, and the site glady let me download them without even inputting my credit card details.

So of course, this spread like wildfire around the internet and I'm guessing that EA are probably sitting in their offices banging their heads against their desks (well... at the very least one guys getting fired). The major issue here is, that I think this bug was only around for at least an hour and thousands of people exploited it, and God knows how much EA as a company have lost because of this. It's so easy to do, yet they can't request the games back because everyone downloaded them legally, it was a fault on their behalf. It was a grey area, and imagine if this had happened at even more inopportune time. Imagine if when the Saboteur was released, a bug made it completely free. A new release, £35, exploited and sold for free. Piracy is already a huge issue, why complicate it by making the legal copies free as well?

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