Overview Of The Origin / EA Account System (version 2)
This is the second version of this information that I have put together.
Here is an overview of the Origin / Electronic Arts (EA) account system. I know that this would have helped me.
Below is an Origin / EA article that is related to this post. It is rather short and only covers a small sliver of the information that is in this post. With that said, I thought it appropriate to mention here.
Note that Sony has converted all PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts to Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) accounts. This was a recent change. I will continue to refer to these accounts as PSN accounts. However, over time, Sony will probably phase out the use of “PSN account” in favor of “SEN account”. Incidentally, SEN accounts can be edited on the http://www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/ website.
On the PSN, you must give an email address for each PSN online identification (ID) that you establish. Once more, the PSN does not allow you to use any email address over again. Hence, if you have multiple PSN online IDs, then you have multiple PSN accounts each with a different email address. I’m not sure how the Xbox and Wii work since I don’t own those.
A console is one of the main systems you use to play video games with. It is NOT a personal computer (PC). It is NOT one of the handheld portable gaming systems. Current generation consoles include the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), the MicroSoft Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii.
A persona is an online ID that you use for playing games. On the PSN, this is simply known as your PSN online ID. On the Xbox LIVE network, this is often referred to as your gamertag. With the Wii, this is your Wii identity. If you play an Origin/EA game using a PC, then your persona is the online ID you use for that. For example, my persona is meticulousdragon.
Basic Account Information
Origin and EA are the same company now. So, your Origin account is exactly the same thing as your EA account. They are one and the same.
Also, your Origin ID is the same thing as your EA ID. These IDs are one and the same. Sometimes the EA ID is referred to as your master EA ID.
Your Origin/EA ID is what is used to identify you when you play Origin/EA games online using a PC. It is also used to identify you when you make posts on the forums of Origin/EA. In addition, it is the ID shown on the battlelog website (which is the http://battlelog.battlefield.com/ website).
If you are a console player, you may not use your Origin/EA ID all that much. However, you may still be forced to choose one for your Origin/EA account. In my case, I simply setup my Origin/EA ID to be the same as my PSN online ID (both are meticulousdragon). They can be different if you want.
The most important thing to realize is that your Origin/EA account is totally separate from your PSN account or your Xbox LIVE account or your Wii identity account. In order to play any Origin/EA game online, Origin/EA requires you to have an account with them. To the best of my knowledge, they are the only video game company that requires this of console players.
This point is so important, let me say it again. Your Origin/EA account is entirely separate from your console account. Understanding this fundamental point will help you greatly.
Since these accounts are separate, they CAN have different email addresses and different passwords (and still work perfectly fine). A myth has arisen that these email addresses and passwords must be the same. That is completely wrong. I know from personal experience that these can be different (and everything will still work perfectly fine).
One Origin/EA account can list several personas. This includes listing all of your personas from the PSN, the Xbox LIVE network, and the Wii network (all together under one Origin/EA account). This one Origin/EA account could also include the online IDs that you use to play Origin/EA games online using a PC.
The username for an Origin/EA account is the ONE email address you put in for that account. Hence, this one email address for your Origin/EA account can be linked to many personas. When you login to an Origin/EA website, such as the battlelog website, you login using that email address from your Origin/EA account (and your password, of course).
The very first time you ever played on Origin/EA game online (as in with the very first Origin/EA game that you ever played online), you created an Origin/EA account. The game would have prompted you for an email address and password. When you put these in, it created an Origin/EA account using them. By default, when this screen comes up, it shows you the email address from the console account you are playing with (given that you are playing from a console system).
Many people don’t realize this. They think they are being prompted for their console account information again, and they simply use the same email address and password that they use for their console account (even though they don’t have to).
Every time you play an Origin/EA game online for the first time (as in the first time for that particular Origin/EA game), you are prompted for your Origin/EA account information. This means the email address and password for your Origin/EA account. By default, when this screen comes up, it shows you the email address for the console account you are playing with. This screen shows this default email address from the console account EVEN IF THAT IS NOT THE CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS FOR YOUR ORIGIN/EA ACCOUNT.
These email addresses can be different for many reasons. For example, you may have several accounts. Recall, as mentioned earlier in this post, that the PSN does not allow you to use the same email address for different accounts. So, imagine you played your first ever Origin/EA game online using your first PSN account. So, you created an Origin/EA account at that time (whether you realized it or not). For the sake of this example, let us say you went ahead and used the email address from your first PSN account to create your Origin/EA account. Then you created a new PSN account (with a different email address). Then you used that second account to play a new Origin/EA game online (it actually could be the same Origin/EA game, since as far as Origin/EA is concerned that particular persona had never played online before). Regardless, the Origin/EA game prompts you for your Origin/EA account information. By default, it shows the email address from your second PSN account WHICH IS NOT THE CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS FOR YOUR ORIGIN/EA ACCOUNT (since that came from your first PSN account).
Another reason the default email address could be wrong is simply because you changed it. So, imagine you played your first ever Origin/EA game online using your first PSN account. So, you created an Origin/EA account at that time (whether you realized it or not). For the sake of this example, let us say you went ahead and used the email address from your first PSN account to create your Origin/EA account. Then you got a new email address. You went ahead and changed the email address on your PSN account to this new email address. You didn’t change the email address on your Origin/EA account, either because you forgot, didn’t know how, or didn’t even realize you had an Origin/EA account. Then you buy a new Origin/EA game and play it online for the first time. The Origin/EA game prompts you for your Origin/EA account information. By default, it shows the email address from your PSN account WHICH IS NOT THE CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS FOR YOUR ORIGIN/EA ACCOUNT (since the Origin/EA account still has the old email address).
The bottom line here is that the default email address shown may not be the correct email address for your Origin/EA account. Proceeding with the incorrect email address can have devastating consequences.
If you proceed with the incorrect email address for your Origin/EA account, then your persona will be switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. If an Origin/EA account already exists with the incorrect email address (this can happen), then the persona is switched to that Origin/EA account. If such an Origin/EA account does not exist, then it is created. Regardless, the persona you are playing with gets switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. There is no warning given before this occurs. There isn’t even a notice given that a switch has been made. It is simply done.
When a persona is switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account, there are often problems. Statistics are often reset (think of your score, rank, and unlocks, for example), downloadable content (DLC) is sometimes lost, and sometimes online passes stop working. If you're online pass stops working, it can be VERY problematic. If an online pass has already been downloaded to a PSN online ID, then the PSN will (currently) not allow you to download another online pass (for that same game) to that account. So, you are stuck with an old online pass that will not work.
My son had an online pass that stopped working after his persona was switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. So, I can attest to this from firsthand experience. Both Sony and Origin/EA looked at the problem. It took about four months to fix.
Once Origin/EA fixed my son’s online pass, I asked about what problem had caused it. I was told by Origin/EA that the problem was extremely rare, perhaps even unique. So, I can’t say that this happens all of the time.
From looking at forum posts (on many different forums), I can say that many people report connection problems with Origin/EA games. I have seen many cases where these occurred after something was done that did (or could have) switched their persona from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. This seems to, at times, cause connection problems (even if for a different technical reason than the one that afflicted my son’s account).
Online pass problems that result from such persona transfers can be rather deceptive. When you try to connect to an Origin/EA game online, you get a connection error message. If you contact Origin/EA about this, they assume it is your internet connection. They then put you through several layers of suggested actions, many of which take hours to go through, and none of which solve your problem. Origin/EA thinks the problem is your internet connection, but in reality the problem is with the Origin/EA account system. Note that many (probably most) connection problems are truly related to a person’s internet connection. With that said, some are actually related to the Origin/EA account system.
As for statistics (stats) becoming reset, I was told by an Origin/EA Game Advisor that stats are commonly reset (as a glitch, not on purpose) when a persona is switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. They were giving me that warning before switching my son’s persona from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. Also, I have seen many forum posts complaining about just that. As for my son, all of his stats remained intact. This was true for every Origin/EA game that he has. So, this doesn’t happen all of the time.
I have seen forum posts from people who reported no problems occurring when their persona was switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account.
I think that it is fair to say that problems SOMETIMES occur when a persona is switched from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account. These problems can be relatively minor, such as having your stats reset. They can be relatively significant, such as not being able to play your favorite game online for four months. I think it is fair to warn other players about these potential problems.
In summary, I would offer the following pointers on Origin/EA accounts.
1) Realize that your Origin/EA account is separate from your console account.
2) Keep track of your email address and password for your Origin/EA account.
3) Know that when you play an Origin/EA game online for the first time (the first time for that particular Origin/EA game), you will be prompted for your Origin/EA account information. Make sure you put in the correct email address and password!
4) If at all possible, avoid transferring a persona from one Origin/EA account to another Origin/EA account.
Looking Up Your Origin/EA Account Information
The https://www.ea.com/profile/ website can used to check your Origin/EA account. You can clearly see all of the personas that are linked to your Origin/EA account, as well as lots of other information.
You can also use the https://profile.ea.com/ website to check your Origin/EA account. These two websites are not EXACTLY equivalent. Each has a few things that the other does not. With that said, I personally prefer the first one I gave.
I hope this helps players to better understand their Origin/EA account, and what is going on with it.