It seems EA is still working on this one, having notified Origin users who filled out the survey but missed out on the coupon will be getting a $20 coupon code in their e-mail in a day or so. Everyone wins! Except, you know, EA, which lost all kinds of crazy money on this.
A post on Eurogamer from today tells the tale of Electronic Arts totally screwing up and giving away many dollars’ worth of games…and being okay with that fact after figuring out the problem.
It all started this weekend, when EA was offering up a $20 promo code to the US and Canada Origin store in exchange for users filling out a simple survey. But because the code was unsecured, meaning it could be used over, and over, and over…
The post puts it pretty perfectly:
“It didn’t take long for the code to hit Reddit. Thank you and goodnight.”
Naturally, gamers took full advantage of the screw-up. I mean…wouldn’t you? In fact, Inside Gaming’s own Landon Robinson was also a beneficiary of the error:
“On Twitter yesterday, a bunch of people were retweeting and posting the same character code over and over, claiming that EA was giving it out to Origin users as a discount for games. When I heard the code would allow an Origin account holder to claim a $20 game for free from EA’s store, I thought ‘Well, that’s a pretty sweet deal – might as well take advantage of whatever this crazy, generous offer is while it lasts.’ So I got a free game. [...] Good on you, EA.”
Upon discovering the mix-up, EA did what any company losing scads of money would do: they killed the code. But they weren’t jerks about it, yanking the games everyone had bought. Instead, Community Manager Sam Houston posted on the Origin forums:
“The coupon code is now expired; we’ll honor all sales made with the coupon code over the weekend and hope fans enjoy their games.”
That didn’t stop the EA-haters from coming out of the woodwork and getting on the company’s case for yanking the code, claiming it was “punishing loyal customers” who had filled out the survey from enjoying the code. And sure, they have a legitimate beef that the coupon code expired on October 14 instead of October 21, as it was supposed to.
But at the same time, someone clearly messed up, and Origin lost a good amount of sales on this mistake. A little sympathy for the dude who’s gonna get fired over this? In my book, EA was pretty nice about honoring the sales that were made even without the survey being filled out.
Slow clapping over here.