There was a time long ago when beta testing was a privilege, an agreement between the user and the developer that you would test the game for bugs or to offer feedback on balancing or features, and in return you got to play the game early. The state of beta tests today, which mostly serve as little more than promotional tools and early access demos, is one that the industry only need to look to itself to find who to blame. Perhaps spending years treating a beta like it is a giant pre-release party instead of the low-key bug-busting event it should be was a poor choice.
Recently we’ve seen developers trying to bring beta tests back to their roots, generally through the enforcement of a strict nondisclosure agreement and close discussion with users on the community forums, and a stern reminder that the test is indeed just that: A test. In the case of Electronic Arts and the upcoming beta test for SimCity, they responded in the same manner they always do: They threaten bans. In fact, according to the EULA, if EA thinks you knew about a bug and didn’t report it, you could lose access to “all EA products.”
“It is understood and agreed that, as part of your participation in the Beta Program, it is your responsibility to report all known bugs, abuse of ‘bugs’, ‘undocumented features’ or other defects and problems related to the Game and Beta Software to EA as soon as they are found (‘Bugs’). If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug. You acknowledge that EA reserve the right to lock anyone caught abusing a Bug out of all EA products.”
As you might have guessed, actually banning for such an act would be difficult, if not impossible without the help of a specialized team of psychic mind readers. The wording offers a clear difference between someone failing to report a bug and a person who abuses a bug. So how do you prove someone knows a bug exists? If their account was spotted experiencing but not abusing said bug? There are a million different contexts in which a person could experience a bug and either pass over it due to inexperience in bug testing, not recognize it as being a bug, or not report it for whatever reason. Does that person really deserve to lose access to their entire Origin account for such a crime?
Of course not. It’s likely just a scare tactic. Hopefully.
(Source: Side Questing)