EA Allows 3 "Activations" Of Mass Effect And That's It? Period?

Reader jk writes in to let us know that EA’s sci-fi epic Mass Effect is still having DRM issues on the PC platform. This time, instead of requiring gamers to maintain an internet connection and activate their game every few weeks, paying customers (allegedly) get three “activations” of the game and that’s it. Uninstalling the game doesn’t “give back” an activation.

jk writes:

You reported the initial DRM problems on this title but it’s back…

Apparently the game Mass Effect PC version can only be installed 3 times, there are NO credits given back when you completely uninstall it..

They have been very dishonest about this. The consumer is crud at EA. Every single used disc for sale on ebay/amazon could be empty of installs and the buyer wouldn’t know til they got it home..

He pointed us to a forum thread on Bioware’s message board where one customer posted his attempt to get a straight answer of out EA’s customer service reps.

As it been said in the Mass Effect tweakguide that if you uninstall Mass Effect you get an activation back. I decided to ask EA Support if that is true. The exact question is:

When uninstalling Mass Effect do I regain a activation?

Here is one reply from a Chris P.:

Quote: Disc based authentication required authentication every time you launched the game. Online authentication is more flexible and for Mass Effect, game authentication is needed only at the initial launch of the game on a particular machine. Re-authentication is required if the game is re-installed on a previously authorized machine for any reason.

I did not ask about authenication or what is required. I asked if I get an activation back if I uninstalled. This reply does not answer my question. In fact the only 3 possible answers should be Yes, No, or I Don’t Know.

I asked again, trying to be clear to exactly what I wanted to know. A Chester responds:

Quote: Thank you for updating on us, Electronic Arts Technical Support. I do apologize for the inconvenience. If you just reinstall the game, you do not need to re-activate the game again.

Again, that is not what I am asking. I am not trying to be rude. I am not trying to be a jerk. I am trying to get a straight forward answer to my question and EA Support continues to fail to understand SIMPLE ENGLISH!

Yes, No, or I Don’t Know. How hard can it be?!?!?!

Allegedly, an official answer was eventually wrested from EA–confirming that 3 activations was the limit:

Unfortunately, you will not gain an activation by uninstalling the game.

Any other EA customers running into this wall? Or is this just bad communication? Any luck getting new activations by contacting EA?

The Obliviousness of EA support [Bioware]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.