EA Accidentally Gives Away Thousands Of Free Games

Over the weekend, some gamers received a special code from Electronic Arts as thanks for completing a survey. That code allowed them to download a free game from Origin, EA's online store for PC games.

Or, it would have if EA thought to secure the code properly. Instead, it was quickly discovered that the code could be used to download as many free games as the internet wanted.

Shortly after the codes were sent out, news was circulated on community site Reddit that not only did they work for anyone (not just those who took part in the survey), but that they could be used to download multiple games. For free.

Call it stealing, call it taking advantage of an administrative oversight, the fact is EA's online store spent the weekend handing out thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of free games to people before the loophole was closed down.

You can see one gamer's haul up top.

Use the code OS3874XVC to get $US20 off Origin purchases! Can be used to get a $US20 game for Free! [Reddit]

Electronic Arts "Gives Away" Thousands Of Free Games Due To No Server-Side Validation [minimax]


    Wonder how many people will respond to this with crap like "Yeah, steal from Satan, Take that EA!" etc. etc. I'm assuming 1 person, with an error ratio of a billion.

      Yeah, steal from Satan, Take... that...

      hmmm, yeah, my heart's just not in it.

      Well that little screenshot of the reddit conversation proves it.

      "EA took all your money, this is your chance to get it back."

      No, you idiot, you GAVE EA your money, you're just a petulant, entitled manchild who's entire worldview does not extend past their bedroom walls and events occuring only to yourself.

      I am so frustrated and embarrassed by most of the human race.

    What I find funny is I either own all of them which I bought on Steam for $5, or I got for free the last time EA botched up a promotion when you could buy any game and get one for free from the pool of choices... Turns out all you had to do was add all the choices and you got them all for free.

      Wow, so they've accidentally given away their games before? They really thought out this Origin thing, didn't they?

    The downside for those that got the games is that they still need to use origin to play them



      Yeah you would think if people were willing to take EAs games for free they would just download the version without origin.


      I saw this 'offer' at the weekend and choose to decline. Even free games can't convince me to install Origin.

    it was not an accident, EA gave away the code as a marketing trick to expand there userbase, which interm has inflated there stock value because it looks like growth

    seems rather desperate

      If that was their purpose, why not just run a free games promo for a very limited time? I fail to see how there would be any stigma attached to that, and it would provide great PR. No, this was an accident.

        if it was an accident they would of released an official statement by now and removed the games that used that code, the reason why its being played off "under the table" is so it does not look like there deliberately giving away free games, from an investors point of view all those free games look like growth until EA releases a financing statement

        the evidence is in the stock value, its shot up to 13+

      Interim close off has not ended yet.

      Interesting... I guess they would have gotten a ton of Origin installs at the weekend at least.

    Pity most of those games are shit, excluding Mass Effect 1 and Mirrors Edge.

    I think they are a decent haul of games, can't see a particularly shit one in there. If it was Quantum Theory and Mindjack, yes, maybe, but I'd not call Dead Space or Burnout Paradise 'shit'.

    There's a learning curve when it comes to online distribution; in terms of the entire industry, not just EA. Mistakes like this are bound to happen.

    I saw this linked in a few places, checked out the eligible games, realised I had no interest in any of them except ones I already own, that having to make an Origin account just for the sake of free games!!! was too much effort and went back to playing Xcom. I'm interested to see if people get to keep the games.

    Maybe there's some Good Samaritan at EA who keeps doing this.

    I only have ten things to say about this.




    Meanwhile, Origin users increase by tenfold.

    Wonder if EA will remove the games from the accounts in question...

      Couldn't blame them. Might be bad PR though. Not sure.

    Great, another find by /v/ stolen by Reddit, what a fucking surprise.

      Sorry MR elite /v/ man, that thinks the site he uses is the shit.

    Spewing I missed this.

      got Sim City 4: Deluxe, well i have it on CD, but got another copy on Origin

      Last edited 15/10/12 3:02 pm

    Geez, I've got quite a collection of good games in Origin now between this and their last little accident. Should keep me going a while.

    God dammit, i missed it

    I can assure you, that Reddit didn't start circulating this information.

    While EA could take back the games if they wanted to, I doubt they will.
    Ubisoft made all their games on their online store free accidentally a while ago, and they explicitly let everyone keep their hauls. I expect EA will do the same.

    Felt really nasty after installing Origin. Oh well, got Spore so can't really complain

    any word if this works in au yet?

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