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BioWare fixes DA: O server failure

Angry gamers point finger at DRM.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Angry gamers have filled BioWare's forum with complaints after the PC version of fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins became unplayable over the weekend.

According to a report on Ars Technica, the problem was the result of Bioware's DRM authorization servers.

"Sometime on Friday morning, Dragon Age:Origins players who booted up the game for a session of single-player dungeon crawling were greeted with a nasty surprise: all of the downloadable content (DLC) that they had purchased for the game had been flagged as 'unauthorised', so their saved games wouldn't load," Ars Technica reports. "Again, these were vanilla, single-player saved games, representing untold hours of gameplay and investment, that users were suddenly unable to load."

Yesterday BioWare announced it had fixed the problem, but not before angry fans had their say in a spiralling thread packed with posts.

Dragon Age online producer Fernando Melo jumped in to explain what had happened.

"The short answer is that we were caught off-guard by this as a new issue for DAO players, believing initially that this was an existing issue that had a solution already available here on the tech forums," Melo said.

"Some of you may be familiar with it, but for those that were not, DAO has an existing (but low in numbers of affected players) issue with unauthorized DLC which can occur in certain cases - usually stemming from something related with the DA updater service that is either not correctly installed or not started with the game.

"Normally, we are pretty responsive to activity on the forums, but you may also be aware that our forums are staffed voluntarily - and while we do ensure that additional presence exists when launching patches or server updates, this weekend was not the case.

"The DA2 patch was not expected to clear QA until at least Monday, and most of the volunteer staff/moderators were focused on the DA2 threads currently. The higher than normal traffic in the DAO support thread was not caught.

"The delay and vagueness in information provided to you came from the fact that the issue ended up residing in servers outside our direct control elsewhere at EA -  and across time zones it took us a while (most of Mon and into early Tues) to go back and forth trying out different approaches to identify exactly what was causing the issue. 

"Once again my sincere apologies on the delay and the frustration factor for everyone wanting to play the game and DLCs over this weekend."

Dragon Age: Origins launched in 2009 to an 8/10 review score from Eurogamer. Its sequel, Dragon Age II, launched earlier this year.

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