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Killing Floor 2's EULA reserves the right to ban you for being a jerk

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Yes, the user agreement for Killing Floor 2 asserts a right to ban you — even revoking all right to play the game — for being a dick. But you'd have to be huge dick for things to get to that point, the game's maker assures.

Tripwire Interactive has gotten attention lately for this paragraph in its end-user license agreement for Killing Floor 2, which launched yesterday. But the studio says it's been a part of their EULA for a few years now, and was put in only so they could assert final action if some truly uncontrollable menace was ruining their game.

"I think we've done this only once or twice," Alan Wilson, Tripwire vice president, told Polygon. "Someone found an exploit that had crashed the servers in Red Orchestra [Ostfront 41-45], and I think we banned them, something stupid, like 20 times before [taking final action.]"

Under the EULA, someone being that disruptive can not only be banned from Killing Floor 2's multiplayer, the key activating the game will be revoked. (And they'll "tell your mom.") While Wilson says it's a nuclear option meant to give Tripwire authority in an extreme case, the language specifying "'griefing', racist bigotry, sexism or any other forms of ‘cyber bullying'" turned heads in forums.

"We have no interest in getting involved in political debates about this stuff," he said. "We make games, we don't make policy, we just want people to have fun playing our games without garbage going on around them."

But that does not mean Tripwire will be micromanaging its players' behavior. "If someone is being a complete dick on a server, our view is ‘Please deal with this amongst yourselves, it's none of our business,'" Wilson said. "It's when it gets beyond the capability of those who are managing the servers, and the gamers, and the clans."

"we just want people to have fun playing our games without garbage going on around them"

"If you go to a movie theater, and someone is jumping up and down and screaming, eventually people are going to get pissed off no matter what they're saying," Wilson said. "It's not about being political, sexist or any other -ist, it's about maintaining an evironment to have fun."

Wilson said the EULA dates back at least to Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, which launched in 2011, though it has since been "amended slightly and beefed up a couple of years ago," to include the notation about cheating. On the whole, the language that got attention with Killing Floor 2's launch isn't really anything new — perhaps pointing to the eternal truth that no one ever really reads the EULA.

But, "we believe we should be upfront about everything, so that's why our EULA is up there for everyone to see," Wilson said. "It's not like, by installing our game, you secretly join some club you've never heard of."

And the best way not to get kicked out of it is rather simple: Don't be a dick.

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