EA gives away thousands of free games in promo code blunder

By on October 15, 2012, 11:30 AM

Electronic Arts sent one-off download codes to select gamers this weekend as a gesture of gratitude for completing a recent survey. The code was supposed to allow recipients to download a free game of their choice from Origin but a flaw in the redemption system meant EA likely dished out hundreds of thousands of free games.

The coupon code was reportedly good for $20 off most games on Origin but if you bought a game that cost $20 or less, it was free.

Surprisingly enough, EA sent out a universal code which was the same for all recipients and it was soon discovered that anyone in the US and Canada with an Origin account could take advantage of the offer.

If that weren’t enough, Reddit users somehow found out that you could get two games per account. The code could be used for one game on the website and for another title within Origin. All you had to do was check out at the same time.

EA eventually caught on and revoked the code but not before a lot of people took advantage of the loophole. Titles downloaded include Crysis Warhead, Dragon Age II, Medal of Honor, Mass Effect 2, Mirror’s Edge and Shank 2, just to name a few.

One has to wonder what EA was thinking in the first place by not sending out unique redemption codes. Furthermore, now that they have invalidated the code, will legitimate survey takers that didn’t get around to cashing in their $20 discount still be able to do so or are they simply out of luck thanks to the actions of others?




User Comments: 14

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | Gareis Gareis said:

Such a foolish mistake :face palm: I've disliked EA for quite a while, there are so clumsy, and they really aren't worried about customer satisfaction.

1 person liked this | negroplasty negroplasty said:

Karma sucks, don't it EA?

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Is not that those games where must have anyways.

1 person liked this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The real unfortunate part to this whole story is you have to use Origin, those under $20 games are titles that have already made there money. The actual loss to EA is negligible at best.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Hilarious! Quality controls people!

1 person liked this | Gareis Gareis said:

Karma sucks, don't it EA?

They always screw us clients over, don't they?

Guest said:

Wow, so far all negative comments about EA when they tried to give something back to those who took their time to complete the survey.

How about saying shame on the 'potentially hundreds of thousands of people' who exploited EA's lack of security for personal gain.

And then you all wonder why DRM has become a way of life.

I hate people...

Guest said:

Thanks for providing the first sensible comment. All the "OMG they left the front door open, let's all grab what we can"-people should consider their moral standpoint before pointing fingers at EA.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

The holy joes strike again, every thread on this( and while the code was valid ) were full of holy joes telling us its bad to steal, feck off, if its free its free, not very often anything is free so people take the opportunity when given.

Its great we have holy joes, so in a time of need those of us with cop on can just grab their food/clothes( when the impending zombi apocolypse occurs )

mrtraver said:

I'm one of those unlucky suckers who completed the survey but did not get to use the code. Silly me believed them that it was good until 10/21.

I did try to use it the same day, but the only game I wanted "batman: arkham city" was not eligible. I decided the next day to go ahead and get C&C4, but I got the message "invalid promo code" so I submitted a ticket to EA. After reading this article, I assume I am never going to see it.

avoidz avoidz said:

Nice windfall.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Headline should've read, "EA Gives Out Bad Games for Free, Saves Time Searching Torrents".

valentyn0 valentyn0 said:

The holy joes strike again, every thread on this( and while the code was valid ) were full of holy joes telling us its bad to steal, feck off, if its free its free, not very often anything is free so people take the opportunity when given.

Its great we have holy joes, so in a time of need those of us with cop on can just grab their food/clothes( when the impending zombi apocolypse occurs )

u just went full retard...

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.