Some good news from EA’s support desk for “Ben” the Irish Battlefield 1943 player who was denied his Irish identity by games publisher Electronic Arts, the full story which we first published here touched such a nerve amongst Irish gamers that it even made it to the pages of the gaming website Joystiq. The controversy all stems from this reply to Ben from EA…
“We sorry to inform you that we can’t edit your game profile as your country “Ireland” is not listed distinctively and is included in Great Britain.”
…when he requested that the flag displayed on his player profile was changed from the Union Flag to the National Flag of Ireland. Ben insisted to us that he’s a resident of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and that he’s signed up to the Irish PSN store, not the UK one. Since we broke the story a number of other players have told us they are all in the same boat… one no doubt with the White Ensign of the UK’s Royal Navy!
Ben emailed us tonight to thank us for highlighting his bizarre predicament earlier this week and to tell us that he’d now received a much more considered reply from EA:
“It looks as though the issue you have submitted is more complex than it seemed initially.”
(As concise a summary of Anglo Irish history as you’ll ever hear!) Writes an EA rep… who has since presumably broadened their knowledge of Irish history by reading Wikipedia’s page about the Republic of Ireland in addition to the page on Northern Ireland which they were basing previous support tickets upon. Let’s hope that they manage to not only amend his profile but also all of those other players in the Republic of Ireland forced to play under the Union Jack. Unfortunately I don’t hold out much hope for those of you in Northern Ireland who are entitled to dual citizenship and wanting to display the Irish tricolour, though of course it wouldn’t hurt to email EA and let them know your thoughts on the matter!