Gamers in Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma, wanting to play EA’s latest shooters to hit Origin Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 are out of luck after access was denied to the country.
Reddit user /u/trivial_sublime woke up to find himself unable to log in to Origin and instead got an “Access Denied” message. In the Reddit post trivial_sublime stated that he had 20 or so games on Origin and couldn’t access any of them due to the change in access permissions. An EA representative had told him
With the Origin 10 update, US laws (which is where EA is based) forced them to block certain countries. Unfortunately you live in one of those countries. I’m sorry but there is nothing we ca do here to allow you access again.
It turns out that EA has blocked Myanmar due to US sanctions against the country. Those sanctions were, in turn, lifted on the 7th October.
On Myanmar’s US Embassy website it states
As circumstances in Burma have changed since 2012, U.S. economic policy has accordingly been revised to ensure we are effectively supporting democratic reform efforts on the ground. Currently there are very few restrictions remaining; U.S. investment, imports of Burmese products into the United States (except for jadeite and rubies), and the use of the Burmese financial sector are allowed.
It isn’t all lost though as an EA representative stated
We are working to restore access to Origin for our players in Myanmar. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we’ll share updates on timing as soon as possible.
Another EA representative, /u/EA_Alex posted
Hey all, The short answer here is that this occurred due to the US government trade embargo on Myanmar. In accordance with US law, EA is legally required to restrict online services to residents of countries that are embargoed. This isn’t an EA-specific issue — it’s an issue that impacts all companies offering services that are covered by trade embargoes.
As the OP has noted, the embargo on Myanmar appear to have been lifted earlier this month. Accordingly, EA is internally reviewing the situation and looking into whether and when service can be restored to Myanmar residents.
It’s unclear to me whether we can do anything for residents of other countries that are still similarly embargoed, but I’ll bring the topic up for discussion internally.
This whole series of events throws into light the discussion around what you do or do not purchase when getting digital copies of media. If you buy a game on disc, you purchase a license to play the game in question, when buying digitally, however, it looks like you purchase the rights to access the license which lets you play the game