Dead Space 3 features an exploit which allows players to circumvent the game's microtransactions by acquiring infinitely spawning items. While Electronic Arts has no intention of removing the feature, an intellectual property expert says the practice exists within a legal grey area and might be considered stealing.
"If you go into a baker's to buy a bun and they give you the wrong change and you walk away knowing you have been given more change than you handed over in the first place, that's theft," solicitor Sara Ludlam told the BBC last week.
"So, arguably if you go into this game knowing you are supposed to be paying for these weapons and you notice a glitch allows you to accumulate them without paying, that's theft as well," she said. "But it is arguable because it's a new area."
While EA is unlikely to pursue a case on these grounds, there could be implications for those that abuse or publicize similar exploits should precedent be made equating resource farming to in-game purchases.