Users of EA’s online gaming service, Origin, in Myanmar were surprised to find that they could not log into their accounts so they can play the games they have purchased. The cause was that EA blocked Origin access to an entire country to comply with the now lifted US embargo on Myanmar.
The blocked Origin access seems to be a peculiar situation. Most companies would rather avoid regulations as much as possible. They wouldn’t choose to impose restrictions on their users unless a law required them to do so. It is unclear how EA came to ban Myanmar users, especially now that the 19 years embargo on the country was finally lifted in September by the Obama Administration.
The nationwide ban prevented Origin users from playing any of their purchased games on the digital service, including the recently released games like Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. Any attempts to log in were met with the prompt “Access Denied” with no other explanations of why this was happening. Users quickly went to EA’s forums and even to Reddit to voice their woe’s and demand an explanation as the reason why this happened was never posted anywhere.
EA became quickly aware of their mistake and stated that the company meant to comply with the embargo, which is was not even in place when it started to block access to Origin. Strangely enough, according to users’ explanations on the forums, the service was available prior to this, when the actual embargo was in effect.
According to an EA community manager post, the company is working to restore access to the service for players in Myanmar. They also apologized for the inconvenience the situation has caused and they will release updates as soon as they are available. However, no mention of any compensation for players who have not been able to enjoy their games for a week now.
In Myanmar’s case, users will be able to access their purchased content once again, but this situation highlights the need for similar types of service to have certain policies that would refund their customers in case they will not be able to access their games because of an international embargo.
Do you know anyone that has been affected by the blocked Origin access?
Image source: Origin