Monday, November 3, 2008

EA - Red Alert 3 Installation Code issue

[caption id="attachment_884" align="alignright" width="300" caption="EA:"Sorry bitch, just figure it out!""]EA: 'Sorry bitch, just figure it out!'[/caption]

You might remember awhile back I was talking about how EA was going to be linking their forums to users online EA accounts.  Apparently their latest game, Command & Conquer - Red Alert 3 had a misprint on (what they claimed) a small number of instruction booklets that contain this code.  The code itself if supposed to be 20 digits long, but some users were reporting that there were only 19 digits.

Lets pretend you didn't know anything about I've talked about here.  You're a gamer, and you head to your local Best Buy/GameStop store and purchase a copy of Red Alert 3.  You go home and open up the game and pop it in your DVD/CD drive, punch in the code provided in the instruction manual and find out the code doesn't work.  What would you do?  Today's laws prevent you from being able to return opened computer software because of piracy, so now you're stuck with the game.   After just spending $50, I'd be pretty pissed off.

So lets just assume that is the case, how much time would you be willing to waste attempting to install this game?

I wanted to share with you what EA considers their workaround:
If you are trying to install Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 and the code is only 19 characters long, then it is missing the last letter or number. This was due to a misprint on a small number or manuals and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

There is currently a work around that may allow you to bypass this issue. Since you have the first 19 characters of the code already, you can basically try "guessing" the last character. To do this, simply enter your existing code, and then for the last character, try the letters A-Z, and then the numbers 0-9. You should eventually get the right combination, and be able to play the game.

So if you go that route, there's a 1 in 36 chance you'll get the combination right.  Now I personally haven't tried this out for myself but I want to speculate what usually happens when you get codes wrong...  The boxes automatically clear themselves resulting in you having to type the whole damn code again.  And in most cases they divide the code up so that you have to 5 boxes containing 4 characters each, further complicating the process.

The other route you could go is to contact EA:
In order to get a replacement code, please click the "Contact Us" link on the left side of the page, and attach an image of your code to the incident.

If you do not have access to a digital camera or scanner, you can fax us a copy of the back of your instruction booklet, along with a copy of your receipt, to (512) 949-4994.  Please include with your fax your First and Last name as well as your incident number.

If you would like, once you have created your incident, you can also contact us by phone using the number found on page 28 of your manual.

I just find it sad in general that a major publisher like EA didn't catch this problem before releasing the game.  I can understand, mistakes do happen.  But something like this that prevents the user from being able to even install the game is a pretty serious issue.

Way to go EA.