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Battlefield 2142 to Bundle Spyware? 439

Posted by Zonk
from the not-cool-ea-not-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Kotaku reports on a Shacknews Post. Battlefield 2142, the new Electronic Arts game, is expected to include mandatory spyware in the retail package. The software will apparently monitor web browser and other computer usage; this information will be used to deliver targeted in-game advertisements. Other popular game titles have included spyware in the past to aid anti-cheating measures. Is spyware acceptable to the public when it comes with a game, or has EA made a PR misstep?"
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Battlefield 2142 to Bundle Spyware?

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  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by badfrog (45310) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:55AM (#16468931)
    I always love to have as many backround processes running as possible!
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by scuba_steve_1 (849912) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:02AM (#16469063)
      Wow...I realize that we are on the slippery slope of losing any semblance of privacy, but I did not realize that gamers were headed toward a cliff.

      Spyware to monitor your non-gaming behavior to better target advertising? Can you imagine the other uses for this information? The secondary market for this information may yield a revenue stream that eclipses their software license revenue...especially since this spyware will be, in some perverted sense, legitimate.

      Count me out EA. This is one frog that is jumping out of the pot of water.
      • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CDOS_CDOS run (669823) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:10AM (#16469221)
        The community has already started to lash out at this: http://www.gamersradio.com/games/battlefield_2142/ top_13_reasons_why_i_am_not_buying_battlefield_214 2.html [gamersradio.com]
        • Not that I'm a huge gamer, but I will *not* buy this product.
          Really that simple.
          [rant]
          I don't think my IP address should be logged for anything other than identifying cheaters.
          I don't think the game should run extra processes that will dog my machine.
          I don't think that the Joe Sixpack will notice, but fortunately most gamers are not Joe :-)
          I hope that the publisher gets what they've got coming.
          [/rant]

          -nB
          • Re:Great! (Score:5, Funny)

            by IcyNeko (891749) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:40AM (#16470023) Journal
            Hey man, if EA Games wants to advertise for reality porn and hentai anime in their video games, by all means please install spyware on my system. For extra points, include free 7-day trial on each site advertised.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Kamots (321174)
            Wonder how much impetus this'll give to piracy?

            Letsee I can:
            A) Spend $50, and get loaded with spyware reporting my porn habits to the highest bidder.
            B) Spend nothing and I don't get infested with spyware.

            It's not just about the money anymore... XD

            • by aplusjimages (939458) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:59AM (#16471795) Journal
              Spend $50

              Hell if it has ads on it then I want the game for free. Why should I pay for the game when they will be generating money from ads geared towards me?
              • If you play the demo, you come to realize that Battlefield 2142 is just a full-conversion mod to Battlefield 2.

                * Engine is almost exactly the same - don't even think they added HDR.
                * Gameplay feels like BF2 with the addition of a couple mechs on the map, and "hover-style" vehicles stolen from Tribes.
                * More unlocks than BF2. At least in BF2, you started with a full arsenal. You have to UNLOCK GRENADES!
                * Significantly less classes, which I think takes away from the game.

                Titan mode sounds good, except that t
    • by Ucklak (755284)
      Keep Windows as a game machine only, use other OSs for productivity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209)
        One step beyond what you said - spyware, Steam, etc. have pushed me away from PC gaming altogether, towards the console. I hesitate to say anything in favor of "trusted computing," but since cheating is such a problem in online games, and since open-source games seem to be practically a non-starter, I think it is best to simply have gaming on a separate, locked-down machine that has NOTHING to do with anything that matters - i.e. on a console.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
        Well, yea, I mean, that's what I do. I mean if they monitor my internet usage off of that machine, they'll only get other games. So all I'll have to worry about is some silly background process eating up cycles. Wonder if I could firewall block the phone home and still play the game?

        The thing that leaps to my mind is, with this new revenue stream is the price of the game going to be less? Or is it just there to cover the "free online play"?

        I think inevitably people are going to allow an increase in advertis
  • no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZiakII (829432) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:55AM (#16468947)
    no
  • Just great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:58AM (#16468995)
    Now, it will have to be rated 18+
    • Re:Just great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcai8rw2 (923718) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:27AM (#16469639) Homepage
      Ahh intersting point you make...if only I had moderator points to rate it so...

      So what you are hinting at is that to knowingly put spyware on a game, the end user has to be above 18 years old, and therefore 'legally' able to make such a desicion?

      That is a very intersting point...i wonder if it is true though...

      if it IS true then EA are cutting out a huge portion of their market sector.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PoderOmega (677170)
        I think he may be refering to a US law that protects minor's information. I'm not sure the details of the law or what this spyware is collecting exactly, but this could be an issue.
    • Re:Just great (Score:4, Interesting)

      by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:28AM (#16469685)
      +insightful.

      Minors can't enter into contracts, right? So software EULAs should be unenforceable against them, much less this.
      • Re:Just great (Score:4, Insightful)

        by araemo (603185) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @03:00PM (#16475165)
        +insightful.

        Minors can't enter into contracts, right? So software EULAs should be unenforceable against them, much less this.


        Minors can enter into any contracts they want. They're just unenforceable. ;) So, only idiots enter into contracts with Minors (Rather than their parents.)
    • Not a bad idea (Score:4, Interesting)

      by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:37AM (#16469911) Homepage Journal
      Companies will scream "free speech" if states try to outlaw "mandatory, up-front-in-your-face-we-told-you-its-here" spyware.

      BUT if states use the "minors don't have full rights to engage in contracts" logic, they CAN restrict purchase of such software to people over the age of 18 and withstand court challenge.

      THAT is one way to curb such evil.
    • Re:Just great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VorpalRodent (964940) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#16471411)
      Furthermore, many households have multiple computer users on one account.

      What happens when one person surfs porn all day, and then the younger teen goes to play the game? Suddenly, EA is distributing porn to minors.

      Ol' Jack Thompson better get his guns out again.

  • by steveo777 (183629) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:58AM (#16469003) Homepage Journal
    Because a game that does something I would never let a game do dang well better be free. Not to mention the computer I use to play it (or whatever system it's on). Because I sure as heck am not wasting good money on this. Yeah, it's a good idea, but I don't need another avenue for anyone to throw their products in my face. I get enough of that already.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      Well, I can tell you that certainly a lot of battlefield-series fans (suckers!) are going to be playing this game for free. Treating your customers like criminals just makes them act like criminals. Last I heard something like 50% of one's personality is how other people regard and react to you (on average.)
  • Dualcore... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sidde (758228) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:00AM (#16469025) Homepage
    So this is why they need dualcore for the new games.
  • I pre-ordered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by goldcd (587052) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:00AM (#16469031) Homepage
    and paid for 2142 via EA's downloader - and the EULA made no mention of this.
    Now either the kotaku is imagining bits of paper, the online purchased version is magically pure or EA are about to get themselves a huge class-action kicking.
    I loved BF2, shelled out for the hit-or-miss expansion packs and already felt slightly narked off. I think this is the final straw - wish me luck on getting a refund.
    • Re:I pre-ordered (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sglider (648795) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:04AM (#16469123) Homepage Journal
      It's true [ssb5.net]. Unfortunately, those that have downloaded the game from EA Downloader are all but screwed, and I sincerely hope they are able to get their money back.

      The real problem here is that EA isn't doing this to ease the burden for the consumer, it's doing it to make more profit -- you notice that whether or not you want ads, you've got them, and you still have to pay the full price for the game. It might not have been that bad if EA had reduced the price of the ad-supported game by 20 bucks or so.

      GG EA, just another reason why I'm not buying BF2142.
      • Interesting that they note in BIG BOLD PRINT not to use the software on a platform that ever connects to the internet if you want to play their game.
        So..... either buy a new computer, or never use the internet? Sorry EA - your game loses.

        Also, CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL!!!!
        Sheeyeah.
        • by sglider (648795)
          Not to mention that BF2142 (like it's predecessors) has a rather lame SP setup -- the only way to get your money's worth is to play online.
  • Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:00AM (#16469033)
    Interesting to a point - I really could care less about in-game adds, but monitoring all of my internet traffic and placing in-game adds?
    3 thoughts on this:

    #1 - It probably won't be long before someone develops a web browser wrapper that 'fakes' site visits.

    #2 - How explicitly does EA describe what they're collecting and how? If they're scanning my cookies, that's one thing. Directly monitoring packets is another level of bad.

    #3 - How long do you think it will be before some adult site that daddy was visiting gets into Jr's game because everyone logs in on one account? I can see the laywers salivating......

    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by griffjon (14945) <.GriffJon. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:41AM (#16471365) Homepage Journal
      Really, though, if they need help in profiling people who bought Battlefield 2142, sell them short Right Now. Advertisements for:
      *sci-fi movies, models, games, paraphrenalia
      *anything related to the womens. hot pr0n, internet dating sites
      *deoderant (more of a public service than an advert, really)
      *guns
      are good ideas, and will sell

      Ads for:
      *sporting equipment
      *feminine goods/perfumes/etc.
      *sunglasses or anything outside-related
      *56k modems
      are bad, and will not sell.

      The preceeding ideas are copyrighted by me, and can be used freely by anyone except the gaming and advertisement industries, who must pay me royalty fees if they wish to take this BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS train of thought out of the station.
      • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:02PM (#16471855) Journal
        "I see you've been 'pwned', would you be interested in Viagra(tm) so you can feel like a man again?"

        "I see you've been playing for over 4 hours, would you be interested in a coupon for Preperation H?"

        "Your browser is open in the background to 'www.HornyTeenSluts.com', could I interest you in singles available in your area?"

        "I was scanning your email while you were playing and found a letter from what appears to be your girlfriend who is breaking up with you. Could I interest you in a special at 1-800-FLOWERS? No? How about those available singles I mentioned before?"
    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

      by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... org minus distro> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:07PM (#16473207) Homepage
      I hate to be a pedant, but it bugs me all to hell when people type "adds" when they really mean "ads".

      Adds are what you do to two numbers. Ads is the correct abbreviation for "advertisements".
      And to keep my post from flying completely OT:

      #1 - Why a browser wrapper? Why not replace their database with one of your choosing?

      #2 - Doesn't sound like the describe it well, but if it's running as a service, I'd bet they're not after just cookies. They could do that easily enough from within the game.

      #3 - I'd love to see EA lose tons of money on that. They make their money off of frat boys who have to have the latest version of Madden and Tiger Woods, and buy other franchises and run them into the ground.

      Fuck EA.
  • Pathetic! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paulius_g (808556) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:01AM (#16469039) Homepage
    What? You can't be serious! Oh wait.... You are?

    Now really, who will get all this money for advertising? The consummer still needs to buy the game, right? So what, all this spyware and ads revenue is a "bonus" to the game developer? If the game would be offered for free upon installation of this spyware, I would then accept it. I would get myself another HDD with another Windows installation just for that game.

    My fellow /.ers, is this the starting of the end of privacy? Whatever happened too good old gaming.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      is this the starting of the end of privacy?

      Actually, this is the end of the end of privacy. Corporations know even more about you than you know about yourself. Welcome to the new world order.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Some_Llama (763766)
      "My fellow /.ers, is this the starting of the end of privacy? Whatever happened too good old gaming."

      No this is not the end of privacy, this is the beginning of a revolution where the consumer says F-U to game companies that put ads in games.. you have a voice, use it, don't buy games with in game advertising and they WILL* stop...

      (*or start suing gamers saying piracy is reducing their revenue)
  • Is spyware acceptable to the public when it comes with a game, or has EA made a PR misstep?

    It's only a big PR misstep if the general public is informed that this is a horrible idea. If it's just a couple of geeks muttering, it's not a problem at all (since most of /. hates EA already).

    Therefore, I suggest telling all your friends that EA will be watching their every step online and they'll be open to identity theft. Come to think of it, would EA have pr0n ads in game if that's what your browsing histor

  • by GeekDork (194851) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:03AM (#16469093)

    So EA/Dice has a really unstable, memory- and processor time-hogging bastard of an engine that'd barely run well even if it had exclusive hardware access, now they want to run more and really nasty stuff too? They just could have made a new game instead of an overhyped, overpriced and unnecessary mod. That's one more copany I won't be buying from anymore.

    This crash was brought to you by Dodge. Buy bigger cars.

  • Why only pay once? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:10AM (#16469229)
    Firstly, I hate spyware, but don't we all.

    It seems to me that this is a bit of a double dip on their end. I could see putting up with this if it was actully financing "free" content that I could receive down the road. Professional caliber add-ons for example.

    Some Questions remain

    1. Can you turn off the spyware?
    2. If so will it still be feature complete with the spyware turned off?
    3. Will it uninstall when the game uninstalls?
    4. What new security holes does this open?
    5. Will the upfront purchase price be subsidized by this spyware?

    -Lemur
  • Boycott (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CosmicDan (934381) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:16AM (#16469355)
    I stopped buying EA games a few years ago after bizarre experience interviewing with Maxis. I was going for a high end programming job and everyone I interviewed with posed a question that was clearly straight out of their current task list. I gave good answers to everything and everyone seemed happy and impressed. I even exchanged some followup emails with one developer about a particularly odd math algorithm he had been working on. They seemed eager to have me onboard. Then the HR dept stepped in. Clearly they were still chained to EA and disconnected from Maxis. She determined that I was a low level system admin and even though we had discussed salary in the 120-140 range she said because I was just a system admin they could only offer me 40k. Cue twilight-zone music. I tried to explain to her that I was a senior developer and had just spent two days interviewing with all of the other deveopers there. Apparently this pissed her off something awful. I tried to contact some of the people I had interviewed with and she had forbidden them to speak with me. Real nice. So I figured that if HR runs the shop, it must be hell to work for. I have never heard anything positive from any EA owned shop's employee. I joined the developer's boycott of EA at that point and chalked it up as a lesson learned. Despite the fact that the Battlefield series of games looks really pretty, I still won't support EA. They do dirty business and destroy small studios. I wish there were some way to support the developers who bleed for them without contributing the the hateful machine that the conglomerate has become. Just my $0.02
  • Not exactly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wind_Walker (83965) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:16AM (#16469363) Homepage Journal
    The representatives of DICE (the developers, EA is the publisher) have now clarified on the forums that it only records what ads you look at and for how long you look at them - it does not monitor your browsing habits, your cookies, or your hard drive.

    Or so they say...

    But even if it's not spying on my pr0n, I still have problems with paying full price for a game and having it be supported by ads. If they want to knock off $10 and give me in-game ads, that's fine by me. I consider it a fair trade. But the recent ad craze in the video game industry is not lowering prices, it's just creating more revenue for the game publisher.

    And since EA is not only charging for cheat codes [next-gen.biz] and adopting **AA tactics on torrents [destructoid.com] I've decided to stop buying EA products - even Spore.
    • by revery (456516) <charles@NosPam.cac2.net> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:12PM (#16472033) Homepage
      I've decided to stop buying EA products - even Spore.

      Now you've gone too far!! We're talking about Spore, here. Will Wright? The Sims? You're joking right? You were probably thinking, "I'll get people's attention if I make some outlandish claim." Well you jumped the shark with this one, my friend. Next time, try something believable, like "I eat babies" or "George Bush is my favorite public speaker".

      Not even spore... you got me... oh, that's funny.
  • by Edgewize (262271)
    This rumor has been going around the net based off of ONE post on the ShackNews forums, with no confirmation whatsoever as far as I can tell. It seems to be fueled by the neverending hate for anything that EA does.

    I highly doubt that this is true.
    • by sglider (648795)
      Besides the fact that Colin Clarke (DICE[CKMC]), the community manager for DICE, confirmed it? http://www.totalbf2142.com/forums/showthread.php?t =4180&page=3 [totalbf2142.com]
    • From the Gamespot [gamespot.com] review of Battlefield 2142 (emphasis mine)

      On a peculiar note, even though the world is ending in 2142, it appears that advertising will still be around. Battlefield 2142 features in-game ads, though we didn't get to see them firsthand during our testing. Still, there is a printed disclaimer that comes with the game telling you that Battlefield 2142 will analyze certain "advertising data" on your machine to determine what ads to display to you. Ironically, EA says that if you don't want you

  • Would you, as a potential customer for Battlefield 2142 prefer to get targetted in-game advertisement or no advertisement at all?

    Seems clear to me; as it does not benefit the customer in any way, he shouldn't have to pay (using personal information as a currency) for it.
  • So, slashdot is reporting on Kotaku reporting on a Shacknews post? Are there any more layers we can go through there?
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      Are there any more layers we can go through there?

            You could always wait for the dupe!
  • by HaloZero (610207) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `akedotorp'> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:23AM (#16469549) Homepage
    I just called GameStop and cancelled my preorder.

    I was all excited to pick it up and play, too. Just itching to order a new video card (over instead of buying a new Mac) to play this and a handful of other gems on. Guess I'll be sticking with the 360.

    The line must be drawn here. Not even this far, certainly not any farther!

    Business practices such as these really are an insult to the community. 'You're going to take our crap and like it!' - and the shitty part is that people do, over and over again. Stop cramming advertisements up my ass - I don't care about your shitty product. If I get my arm blown off in 2142, I don't want to see an advert for Bandaids. I certainly am not interested in a Dodge Neon.

    I hope the lack of my sale takes money out of your pocket twice. I'll be encouraging all of my friends to cancel their preorders, now, and some of them are significantly more paranoid about Crapware than I am.
  • The text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spiked_Three (626260) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:24AM (#16469577)
    The Software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide Inc. ("IGA") (the "Advertising Technology"). The purpose of the Advertising Technology is to deliver in-game advertisements to you when you use the Software while connected to the Internet. When you use the Software while connected ot the Internet, the Advertising Technlogy may record your IP address and other anonymouse information ("Advertising Data"). The Advertising Data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and changed during online game play. The Advertising Technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you, and EA will ont provide IGA with any of your personally identifiable information. The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence. If you are located within the European Union, the servers may be located outside the EU.

    By installing and using the Software, you agree to: (i) the transfer of the Advertising Data to servers located outside your country of residence and, if applicable, outside the European Union; (ii)the collection and use of the Advertising Data as described in this Section; and (iii) the delivery of advertising and marketing content by the Advertising Technology. IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET."
    • Re:The text (Score:5, Insightful)

      by malsdavis (542216) * on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:52AM (#16470265)
      How can they justify calling information like your IP Address, website cookies etc. "anonymous data". Unless your at an internet café and enter false info into any websites you visit, obviously IP address and some cookies can be used to personally identify exactly who you are.

      Also, they'll need to do a lot more than just bury this disclaimer deep in the EULA to get around Data protection laws in many EU countries. The article states a piece of paper included in the game. Not sure how this works for people who download it though.

    • Re:The text (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:57AM (#16470383) Homepage
      Now here's one of the reasons I'd like proper security controls and compartmentalization in computers... Wanna access my web traffic? Yeah right, screw you. You're running as a nobody-user with no rights to nothing outside your little program files dir, and you don't come close to any of my data unless I permit it. There's so many applications that do things I don't want them to or never asked them to do, there really should be a way to sandbox "hostile" apps. You might ask why you'd want to run those in the first place, but I really feel that's another discussion. I want to be able to run the apps I want with assurances they won't hose my computer or do anything else I don't want them to. Not too much to ask, if you ask me.
    • Good to know.

      I've avoided buying games because of unreasonable programs bundled with them before (for example, Silent Storm Sentinels being lumbered with Starforce copy protection), so it's good to know I should avoid this game, too.

      I wonder if they're floating this as a test balloon, or if they actually think this is a reasonable thing to do. Or whether they figure most people just won't care. I wonder how much of an impact it actually makes when people avoid games which do this kind of thing.
  • "Other popular game titles have included spyware in the past to aid anti-cheating measures. Is spyware acceptable to the public when it comes with a game, or has EA made a PR misstep?"

    What a disgusting attempt to inflame people on an issue that doesn't exist. First of all, anti-cheating measures are not spyware. Spyware reports back on what you are doing. Programs like PunkBuster or Warden (part of Blizzard's WoW client) do not report on anything except the game process, UNLESS THEY CATCH YOU CHEATING.

    Sec
  • Maybe I'm just naïve, but a firewall should be able to block the program from accessing the internet. Sure, you still have a background process running on your machine, but at least it's not invading your privacy. On the other hand, if it accesses the 'net through BF2142 you're gonna have a problem.

    On another note, this trend of adverts in games is becoming alarming. Is this the "next-gen" of ad placement? As the /. story says though, it may be a big PR misstep. If gamers experience lag or their comput
  • by endemoniada (744727) <nathaniel@endemoniada. o r g> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:31AM (#16469767) Homepage
    Seriously, what the hell?

    If i buy BF2142, which I won't, then I've already given my share to the developers and anyone else that deserves to get paid. It would be a whole other matter if the game was free, or significantly cheaper, but it's not.

    Basically, I PAY lots of money to GET ads, and there's not even a way to pay MORE to get RID of them!
  • You know, before now I wasn't especially interested in 2142. I thought BF2's multiplayer was pretty weak and can't run it on my home computer anyway, so naturally I wasn't looking forward to what amounts to a retail mod of a game I already didn't like. After this, though, I'll be telling all my friends - including a few avid BF2 players who have been anticipating this release - to avoid this shit like the plague, at least until a hack is released that disables this dandy little 'feature' EA has decided to s
  • by phorm (591458) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:45AM (#16470109) Journal
    From the actual box disclaimer (linked in another's post) it appears that the software is used to monitor and/or distribute how often the in-game ads are viewed, not the browser etc. This bring a few questions:

    a) Does said software run when the game isn't running
    b) Does it connect on a specific port or to a specific IP (can I block it)
    c) Where is this info located besides in-box. If a user has opened the box, most outlets will not accept a return
    d) Can somebody give a working link/email for EA's complaints department
  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:57AM (#16470367) Homepage
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a MMORPG deserve neither Liberty nor a MMORPG."
  • from summary: "Is spyware acceptable to the public when it comes with a game, or has EA made a PR misstep?"

    One may as well ask "Are rootkits acceptable to the public when it comes with music, or has Sony made a PR misstep?"

    We all know how well that one worked out. At least it's well publicized before the release, so that the hew and cry can prevent it from happening in the first place.
  • So, if this game is anything like C&C Generals or the expansion packs, it will be so buggy it wont play out of the box, it will be owned by blatant cheaters for the first year and then the expansion pack will come out and similarly be owned, they will never include the ladder pack and other promised features, BUT they will have spyware installed on your computer.

    Where do I sign?
  • Well it looks like EA is doing their part to kill off that pesky PC gaming once and for all. I'm sure that there is all kinds of spying going on on users during online console games, but at least none of that involves (potentially) the kinds of other private crap I have on my PC. As usual, hacks will be born to get around the spyware, but isn't anyone getting a little tired of this yet? I know I am, soon the only game I'll be playing on my PC is solitaire!
  • One would think the stock market would react to this (ERTS) - a fun game in itself!
  • by Divine_Madcat (1014607) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:23AM (#16471011)
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v402/ojibewa/214 2ads.jpg [photobucket.com]
    Scanned straight from the paper in the box.
    http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/7315/igavy2.jpg [imageshack.us]
    Another good shot with the box.. Way to go EA....
  • ...has anyone reading this actually done any serious packet sniffing on their PC(s) while they're playing some of these networked games, just to see what that game is "reporting back to mummy and daddy"?

    I've not been playing many games recently but now the Winter nights are drawing in again, I think I will dig out Ethereal and start seeing what sort of activity is happening on the good old Ethernet...

    I know Steam is a bug hunk of spyware and, for that reason, the last Valve game I bought (and played) wa

  • Sorry to rant, but this is pretty much the last straw. Why do you keep getting more and more shi. crammed down your pipe every time you go out and do the honest guy thing, i.e. buy a game instead of just downloading and cracking it?

    I just bought two games. One was a "gold" edition (read: An ancient game and its add-on, repackaged and bundled in a vain attempt to make yet another buck with it) of Stronghold 2. Nice, I thought, 20 bucks for a game that's not too shabby. Cool. Put it in... DVD doesn't read. Hm
  • by mrroot (543673) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:36AM (#16471289)
    Maybe they could change the TK punish system so instead of subtracting 6 points, it makes you watch a 30 second advertisement. Now that would be a punishment.
  • Remember when cable tv came out and one of the things they said about it was that you would get commercial free tv? Remember when you could watch PBS and they advertized that an advantage of Public TV was the absense of ads and commercials? Ya, I can't remember these things either. PBS shows are the same length as regular commercial tv shows and the spare time is spent showing you ads and commercials for the proud sponsors who brought the show to you. Cable TV, well heck, not only do you get commercials, yo
  • by Kattspya (994189) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:07PM (#16471943)
    Dice says there's no spyware in 2142 according to a post by an admin of a Swedish BF2142 forum. The text in Swedish can be read here: http://www.bf2142.se/forums.php?m=posts&q=946 [bf2142.se]

    Here is my quick and dirty translation of the salient parts:
    John [John Hargelid of DICE] told me that it's an integrated module in the game that's only active when you play. This is used to gather statistics on the ads that will be in Battlefield 2142.

    John says that there are no connections what so ever to spyware and that the code doesn't send information about your surfing habits. The information that is transmitted to DICE/EA has nothing to do with your personal surfing habits.

    In conclusion: No information regarding your surfing habits will be transmitted and the program is only active when you play Battlefield 2142. The only statistics that are sent are from the in game ads in Battlefield 2142.

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