The people over at EA didn’t think their recent coupon promotion through. The gaming company was offering $20 in online credit (to be used on EA’s Origin platform) to anyone who took a survey, which in itself isn’t such a bad thing. However, the smart people running EA forgot to make sure that you couldn’t use the same coupon over and over again.
When gamers became aware of the potential exploit these oversights, they went nuts. Someone posted instructions on how to take advantage of the oversight on Reddit, and soon thousands of gamers were downloading games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age 2, FIFA 12 and World in Flames. Basically, people started grabbing every single game that was cheaper than $20. All you needed was a single coupon code.
EA has revealed that it won’t be banning any of the users took advantage of the exploit.. Instead, the company plans to honor these downloads.
“The coupon code is now expired,” said EA’s community manager, Sam Houston. “We’ll honor all sales made with the coupon code over the weekend and hope fans enjoy their games.”
Perhaps EA knows that it would be suicidal to try to fight back in this instance. The company is already despised by many online gamers–many of whom have pledged to never purchase another game on Origin–primarily because of the way the company handles DLC (downloadable game content). Letting everyone keep their free games might win a few points for the company that was voted worst in America.
Though some media outlets are reporting that EA “lost” a lot of money over this snafu, the reality is that no money was lost. Gamers downloaded games that they never would have spent money on simply because they were free.