EA Installed Dangerous Software On Customers' Computers, Then Denied It
Hold on to your monocles, because Electronic Arts is featured in an article about game companies doing shitty things. Nintendo could stuff every Switch box with live rabid bats, and EA would still be the world's most hated game maker. Why? Well how about that time they bundled a game with some software that could damage your computer, and when confronted about it went, "Us? Nah."
DestructoidThey should have gone with "We're giving you two programs for the price of one! Wow!"
Shortly after hitting stores, it was discovered that the PC version of Dragon Age II contained a little program called SecuROM, which was intended to prevent illegal copying. We say "intended" because by the time Dragon Age II was released, SecuROM was best known for being insecure as hell. Basically, it acted like an overly familiar house guest, giving itself permissions it shouldn't have and potentially making you vulnerable to viruses and other invaders. If you're gonna let viruses into someone's computer, the least you can do is show them some nasty porn in return. That's the very principle the internet was founded upon.
SecuROM was so dangerous that Microsoft outright banned it from running on Windows 10. And if you need an illustration of how stupid EA was for using it in Dragon Age II, they had already been sued for using it in Spore.
EA and BioWare claimed that the program included with the game wasn't SecuROM, just a different program that did all the same things. Which was like claiming you didn't key somebody's car because technically you used a knife, but it was blatantly false anyway. Savvy players found that Dragon Age II was indeed using files that came from SecuROM. Finally, Australian IT firm Reclaim Your Game published a lengthy report proving once and for all that EA had included the software without informing customers. EA executives promptly apologized and then never did anything bad again.
A Mobile Game Company Tricked Kids Into Sending Them Personal Info
In 2011, mobile game developer Broken Thumbs Apps was fined $50,000 for secretly collecting data about their users without their permission. Over half the internet has been involved in some form of data collection scandal by now, but what's special about this case is that they weren't targeting disaffected voters or people who are into text-heavy T-shirts, but young children.
Broken Thumbs Apps via Twitter"Our apps cripple your second-biggest evolutionary advantage!"