1. Indefinitely? Yes, EA is a bunch of evil monsters who want their customers to parish. They totally aren't actively trying to resolve the situation, and just want to pile in the money and laugh at their customers ( http://www.joystiq.com/2013/03/07/ea-adding-more-simcity-servers-over-next-two-days/ )
2. You have a warranty / license agreement. If you brought your TV home, opened it, and installed custom software on it... you would void the warranty and would not be able to bring it back. Same scenario, he violated the terms.
3. Pre-order, $10 credit / off for 5 games. Again its an unfortante situation. But it was out of EA's hand, he should have read. He would have gotten a refund had there not been an activation.
None of that matters.
He pre-ordered a game to work.
EA fucked up and the game does not work.
He has a right to get a refund. He didn't install custom firmware or other ish to break or potentially break the device. That part of your #2 is frankly, stupid and no where in line with this discussion.
He should get a refund minus the $10 credit.
If I bought anything including games from a retailer. Took it home. Simply didn't live up to my expectations. I can return for a refund. If I got $50 gift card or some other shit with it and couldn't return that too... typically they just take that value out of the refund.
In this digital content version... its even easier as there is no impact to anyone. Nothing "open boxed" that must be sold for less later. Its a win-win.
Right now its a ... "oh sorry but fuck you. Deal with it and wait for us to get our shit together."