Gamers in Myanmar have recently discovered that their access to EA’s digital Origin service has been blocked, with a huge number of players unable to access their EA PC games in the Southeast Asian country.
The ban has been reported in a big way on Reddit, with Origin users in Myanmar completely unable to play any of the game’s they’ve purchased – including new releases such as Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
Many players have mentioned facing an ‘access denied’ message, with one user apparently being told that ‘Origin is no longer available in Myanmar’ while another claims that a customer service rep blamed U.S. law for the regional ban.
Frankly, the whole things seems pretty damn shady – but the long and short of it does seem to be down to a US government trade embargo that was only recently lifted.
The good news is that an EA rep responded to the issue on Reddit, and it looks like a fix is one the way:
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.
On a similar note, Kotaku reached out to EA. They were also told that the company is working to restore access for the good folk of Myanmar, so while nothing is confirmed, we can probably get away with cautious optimism.
Still, it’s worth noting that if this hadn’t been resolved, there likely would have been a lot of gamers who lost a shit ton of content with no clear way of getting a refund – and that’s dodgy as hell.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.