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As soon as the EULA of the Human Terms of Use raises privacy concerns, the developers react

As soon as the EULA of the Human Terms of Use raises privacy concerns, the developers react

What you need to know

  • Once Human is a new free multiplayer survival shooter from developer Starry Studio and publisher NetEase.
  • The game launched on Tuesday afternoon and received “mixed” reactions, with most of the negative reviews coming from players concerned about the game’s End User License Agreement (EULA) and NetEase’s privacy policy.
  • The policy points out that NetEase may collect personal information such as ID cards, mailing addresses, social media friend lists, and other things that have raised eyebrows among players.
  • In response, Starry Studio and NetEase attempted to allay concerns with a post on the game’s Discord server, promising that they will “only use your data lawfully and reasonably, and in accordance with local legal requirements.”

The highly anticipated open-world survival shooter Once Human finally launched on Tuesday afternoon after several beta tests over the past few months, but it’s had a somewhat rocky start – and not because of any issues with the gameplay. So far, most of the negative reviews rating the free-to-play game on Steam as “mixed” actually refer to the game’s End User License Agreement (EULA) and publisher NetEase’s privacy policy.

As part of this Privacy Policy, Once Human collects various types of personal data from its players, such as names, game information, preferences, marketing data, details about the device you use to play, and other information. The list of data collected is quite long and extensive, but most This does not seem particularly unreasonable or different from what other publishers are experiencing.

What Are What has raised some eyebrows, however, are sections of the privacy policy that note that NetEase may collect things like government-issued IDs, social media friend lists, geolocation data, and mailing addresses. After these were discovered, many players left negative Steam reviews for the game, with some directly accusing it of being “spyware” and being used for identity theft.

In Once Human, multiple players open fire (literally!) on some enemies off-screen. (Image credit: NetEase)

In the wake of these claims and complaints, developer Starry Studio and NetEase responded on the official Once Human Discord server, attempting to allay concerns by assuring players that data would only be used when there was a “legitimate legal basis” and explaining that you don’t have to use NetEase’s Loading Bay launcher to play the game if you don’t want to (many players don’t trust it).