Copies of Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 on PC have been sold with broken serial keys. So what's the work-around that EA offers? Just "try guessing". No, really.
That's the advice given to unhappy gamers who found that the serial key in the game's manual is 19 digits long instead of the required 20.
"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," says EA.
But the fix isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. "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," explains EA.
In case you don't quite get it, EA's customer support page goes on to explain: "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. If this does not work, you can follow the instructions below."
Could be a ball-ache if you have to the whole code out each time. But once you know it you can write it down in the manual and that's that.
But if you're not happy, you can request a new code from EA over on the site's Contact Us page.