EA has said it will bring back its Origin service to Myanmar after players discovered that the digital platform was no longer available in the Southeast Asian nation. The outage, which was widely reported on Reddit, prevented local Origin users from playing any of the games they purchased on the digital service, reportedly receiving a messaging that read "Access Denied" instead.
"I own about 20 games on Origin, and have spent hundreds of dollars on the platform," Reddit user trivial_sublime wrote. "I've bought the full editions of all the Battlefield games up to this point, with their season passes. I was trying to log into Origin a few days ago, and I got a bizarre 'Access Denied' message. I googled it, and found that 'Origin is no longer available in Myanmar.'
The user included a link to a help request filed with EA support in late September when local IP addresses reportedly first started getting blocked from Origin.
"We are working to restore access to Origin for our players in Myanmar," EA said in a statement. "We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we'll share updates on timing as soon as possible." The company did not specify the reason why users were blocked or how long it would take for access to be restored.
A Reddit user named EA_Alex noted that economic sanctions placed by the United States against the Myanmar were responsible for the ban.
However, earlier this month, President Barack Obama issued an executive order lifting the trade sanctions that were in place for nearly two decades, effective from 7 October, saying the country had made significant steps to promote democracy.
"The short answer here is that this occurred due to the US government trade embargo on Myanmar," EA_Alex wrote. "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 appears 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."
An Iranian player also reported that they found they were unable to access their Origin account two weeks ago.
In response to a support thread, an EA community manager wrote: "In compliance with US embargoes and sanctions laws, Origin is not available in Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine." The thread was later updated with a post saying EA is currently working to restore for players in Myanmar, but did not specify how long it would take to do so.