First off: I love Battlefield since the first release and I have been playing all of them since Battlefield 2 weekly for hours. I love DICE for making awesome games with such attention to details and with the guts to put something new into each and every one of them. I also loved Mirror’s Edge and Pinball Dreams/Pinball Fantasies – both DICE products (those where the days guys!). What I hate is when some producer (read: EA) takes over and drives a perfectly good franchise and an awesome games studio against the wall by doing things like manipulating game review scores or not releasing it on steam. But the latest is really the kicker… they want you to install a spyware, they call ‘Origin’ if you want to play Battlefield 3 on PC.

I am really happy to see the reaction of the German gamers population, that led to EA’s latest scandal now even making it into the mainstream media.

In case you missed out on the details: The reason is that in the EULA (you know, the colossal text that you scroll down and accept when installing something) they get the agreement from you that, if you want to play Battlefield 3, you allow them to scan your entire harddisk and send everything they find to undisclosed third parties, which technically even includes private documents, photos, videos and the like. Not enough that you actually paid for the game (as far as i read the rumors, EA wants to increase their prices from now on from average 50 to 60 euro per game), you also have to install a trojan/spying virus with it to be able to play.

It took quite a while since the first complaints started to emerge online in August, but now that Battlefield 3 has been released, it is finally all over the german speaking media: Die Zeit, SpiegelOnline, NZZ, n-tv. Only Bild is missing out on that one so far. However, I am wondering why the Media outside of Germany does not seem to report on any complaints at all. Are you people satisfied with what EA is doing? Are you not informed? Or is the mainstream media just not covering what’s going on?!

What can we do about it? I for one will not even install the game until EA has modified their EULA dramatically (unfortunately I pre-ordered in April without knowing at that point, that it will run with Origin only). I will give Amazon a bad review on Battlefield 3. I will write a complaint email to EA’s Privacy Department and if nothing has changed until 11.11.11 I will send back my copy for a refund and start playing Skyrim as planned and only Skyrim instead. *drool*

Workaround: If you want to play Battlefield 3 anyway but of course would like to prevent Origin from scanning your system, there is supposed to be a solution called sandboxing. I haven’t tried it myself, but go ahead and report back if it worked… I would still suggest you to at least write a complaint to EA about it though, otherwise there will not be anything happening ever and you would at some point sandbox each and every game you buy.

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