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I've just given the Kingdoms of Amalur demo a spin on my PS3 and I have to say I found it most enjoyable (with the horrible facial animations, or lack thereof, serving only as a mild distraction).

However, I couldn't help noticing that once I fired up the demo, it performed all sorts of suspicious things like authenticating with EA servers. I also had to agree to two massive end user license agreements, and was heartily encouraged to create an Origin account.

This is a new and daunting experience for me on the PS3, as I thought this sort of nonsense only happened on the PC. And that got me wondering what sort of DRM restrictions does the game impose on me when played on the PS3. Of specific concern are the two following points:

  • Does the game require an active online connection to function? What happens if it can't get in touch with its mysterious EA servers?
  • What is it that I am agreeing to in those massive agreements? Anything related to Origin is notoriously devious. Am I allowing some sort of information to be collected?

Any other information on the matter would also be greatly appreciated.

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Er, why didn't you read the EULA and ToS before you agreed to them? Since you've already accepted their terms, you're now bound to them. :/ –  FAE Jan 29 '12 at 20:42
    
@FallenAngelEyes Plenty of reasons, the main one being I didn't have half an hour to invest in starting to play something for half an hour. Worst case, I'll never buy the full game (which I will sadly not do if this is all as sinister as it seems). –  Aubergine Jan 29 '12 at 20:57
    
"I didn't have half an hour to invest in starting to play something for half an hour" I thought that was the case with most console games :P At the very least I know that Amalur will contain some kind of key that is one time use (so if you buy the game second hand you will not have access to some content that's already on the disk) –  z ' Jan 29 '12 at 21:58
    
@FallenAngelEyes I've heard that EULAs and ToS aren't legally binding - not sure about the truth of it. –  Raven Dreamer Jan 29 '12 at 22:11
    
@yx. There's going to be day 1 DLC that requires an online pass to get (other than that, it's free). See here. –  Aubergine Jan 30 '12 at 11:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As with most EA games, Amalur does contain some online component through an EA account. As far as I know, it isn't some sort of DRM but rather a way for EA to unlock content for you between games without the need of save files, in the case of Amalur, it unlocks objects for you in the full game and in the upcoming Mass Effect 3.

A similar thing was with Dragon Age 2, where playing the demo, compelting some actions on Dragon Age's website and the Facebook game, Dragon Age Legends, unlocked stuff on your EA account which was available in the full game.

EA/38 studios did confirm there will be day one DLC (which I believe isn't included on disk) and will be free for purchasers of new copies of the game. I'm not sure if the DLC will be tied to your EA account or will be like in most cases a code redeem in the PSN store/XBLM/Origin.

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Is an EA account an Origin account, or something else entirely? –  Aubergine Jan 30 '12 at 9:36
    
EA accounts haven been a while before origin, they were used in EA forums, TheSims.com, EA download manager (precursor to origin), Autolog and other games (Dragon Age and iPhone games come to mind). They can be used as origin accounts as well (I know that because my EA download manager stuff has been transferred to Origin) –  JohnoBoy Jan 30 '12 at 10:20
    
That definitely doesn't sound as evil as I first thought. I'll try messing around with the demo some more while not connected to the network and then I'll go ahead and accept your answer unless I'm sourly disappointed by what I discover. –  Aubergine Jan 30 '12 at 11:32
    
Incidentally, because the demo starts by trying to connect to the network, the first time I loaded it never stopped loading until I forced it to disconnect from the internet, this was probably because of a strain on EA servers since trying after a while allowed me to log in successfully... –  JohnoBoy Jan 30 '12 at 11:49
    
You just saved me the trouble, then. Thanks! –  Aubergine Jan 30 '12 at 12:37

Amalur has less protection than most games. Logging into EA account is completely optional, the only purpose it serves is distributing special items and DLCs.

Even while playing the demo, you could have skipped logging in to an EA account and gone straight to playing. As for the EULA, it's basic: you shouldn't use the game to get commercial profit and shouldn't edit the game for commercial purposes.

And as you didn't read a thing you probably subscribed to their newsletters as well, which has a second agreement stating that your personal information (e-mail) won't be used in any way other than sending you news/announcements.

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Yeah, I got caught by the email announcement today. Effin' EULAs. Not legally binding, but still a total pain. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 9 '12 at 5:20

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