Update (1/23/13): Looks like EA noticed the Internet was getting upset at them again and decided to take another look at the SimCity EULA. Apparently, this was all just another case of bad wording on their part, and they've already updated the EULA to sound less... frightening. Here is what the publisher had to say:
“The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage. However, the language as included is too broad. EA has never taken away access to a player’s games for failing to report a bug. We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point.”
Fair enough. An angry community can get things done, it seems. For those still interested in trying the game early, a beta will be held this weekend for folks who signed up.
Thanks, Smell the Chiken, for reminding us to check back!
If you're currently in or planning to get in on the SimCity beta, you're going to have to be extra careful around those bugs. Seems EA is toughening up, as evidenced by some harsh terms found in the SimCity beta EULA.
See, according to the end-user license agreement, if you run into a bug during your time in the beta, it's your responsibility (duty, even) to report it -- it being bugs, "undocumented features," or other such problems. Neglecting to do so may result in a ban from all EA games.
The reasoning behind this, according to the publisher, is that failure to report game bugs is the same as exploiting it:
"If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug. You acknowledge that EA reserve the right to lock anyone caught abusing a Bug out of all EA products."
That's a tad worrying, but some have pointed out that EA really shouldn't know if you ran into a bug or not, so the threat is both excessive and difficult to believe. We figure that finding a bug and then spreading word of it all over Reddit or Facebook, however, would be an entirely different matter.
EA laid down a similar rule during the Battlefield 3 beta, and vague wording in their Origin user agreement got the publisher into some hot water.