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EA Games: Guess Your CD Key

Electronic Arts (EA) has apparently misprinted the serial numbers needed for activation. The proper code should be 20 characters long, but it accidentally printed codes 19 characters long. The good news is that it managed to accidentally drop the last character in the string.

EA is working cooperatively with its customers by offering replacement codes if you are willing to photograph your current serial number and email it in. If you are not able, or unwilling, to photograph your serial and mail it, EA suggests you try ‘guessing’ the last character of your product code since there are only 36 possible entries to try – 0 to 9 and A to Z. This is what EA originally suggested on their support page.

There is currently a work around that may allow you to bypass this issue. Since you have the first 19 characters of the code already, you can basically try "guessing" the last character. To do this, simply enter your existing code, and then for the last character, try the letters A-Z, and then the numbers 0-9. You should eventually get the right combination, and be able to play the game.

The above quote has since been removed, but still available through Google’s cache feature. The EA support page now reads the following:

If you are trying to install Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 and the code is only 19 characters long, then it is missing the last letter or number. This was due to a misprint on a small number of manuals and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Even though guessing 36 characters is not a big task, it poses a huge problem. What if your original key was to end with ‘8’ and someone else had the same key, but ending in ‘0’. Oops! This is probably part of the reason why EA has removed their original suggestion from their site.

  • jqk
    solution! Don't play or buy EA games until they learn how to work with serial numbers. This includes losing the virus they install with their games to enforce a 5 install limit after you paid $50.
  • chaohsiangchen
    No wonder they report 300 million lost recently.
  • boop334
    lol i like EA's solution
  • i paid for crysis from ea and I cant even play it, says I need to wait for a different install to expire but every time ive installed its on my only computer. Now i have to use a cracked exe to play the game i paid for AND the cracked exe doesnt work with the newest version in 64bit. I will never buy a game off ea's online service again.
  • that_aznpride101
    Hahaha.... EA Games really botched this release..

    Oh, do you know what would really be messed up? If EA Games limited the amount of times you can guess the CD key, as a way to limit piracy, so by the time you get to the letter 'G', it's over. lol
  • Just another reason I no longer buy EA games for PC.
  • nekatreven
    tcr071Just another reason I no longer buy EA games for PC.
    wait... you mean we haven't run them out of business yet? well damn! ;)
  • ram1009
    I don't understand what the problem is with keys ending in 8 or 0.
  • crimsondynamics
    EA sure tries hard to please us - they've even turned the installation process into a game!
  • Blessedman
    That situation would never occur I cannot see a GUID ever coming up wtih the same exact 18 first digits...