EA temporarily blocked Origin for everyone in Myanmar.
Reddit user trivial_sublime, a Myanmar resident, posted that his attempt to log in to his Origin account was met with an “access denied” message, and subsequently discovered that EA’s digital platform was no longer available in the country.
Some have speculated that the block has to do with EA complying with economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and also known as Burma.
The timing is certainly suspicious: on 14th September, President Barack Obama said the US would lift the sanctions program in place against Myanmar after nearly 20 years. Reports that Origin had been blocked in Myanmar emerged shortly after.
The economic sanctions were lifted on 7th October, and Myanmar residents say other digital platforms, such as Steam and GOG, are currently available. Perhaps EA failed to notice?
A user on Reddit by the name of “EA Alex”, who represents Origin, blamed the block on the US government trade embargo.
“In accordance with US law, EA is legally required to restrict online services to residents of countries that are embargoed,” EA Alex said. “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.”
Trivial_sublime reacted in anger at the block, which left him unable to play the games he had bought on Origin. He used the situation to declare: “why you shouldn’t take digital distribution for granted”.
“None of us has been offered a refund – not even a ‘sorry, all your games are gone’,” he wrote.
In a statement posted to Reddit, an EA spokesperson said it would restore Origin access in Myanmar.
“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.”