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The PA Report - EA earned hatred with poor games, lack of vision, and contempt for the audience, not

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin

imageThe PA Report - EA earned hatred with poor games, lack of vision, and contempt for the audience, not homophobia

EA is close to once again “winning” Consumerist’s Worst Company in America poll, and this has again sparked debate over how silly it is that a video game company is even in the running. The decisions that insurance companies make on a daily basis lead to financial ruin, if not death, for many Americans. Many view our banking system as deeply corrupt.

Read the full story here


Dog on
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  • Gordeaux789Gordeaux789 Registered User regular
    Well said, Ben.

    to answer the question posed in your story:

    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved? "

    The answer is Mirror's Edge, and honestly, in light of what you've written here which mirrors my own feelings about EA, I hope they never make another one. I don't want Mirror's Edge 2 to pull a Dead Space 3 if you know what I mean.

  • Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    The last EA game I truly loved was The Saboteur. So, yeah.

    I wanted to love Mirror's Edge, but in the end I couldn't get past the frustrating indoor segments enough to love it, although it's still a game I regard quite highly.

  • KeyBlazKeyBlaz Registered User new member
    ""Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved? "

    The answer is Mirror's Edge, and honestly, in light of what you've written here which mirrors my own feelings about EA, I hope they never make another one. I don't want Mirror's Edge 2 to pull a Dead Space 3 if you know what I mean."-Gordeaux789

    Well said. I completely agree.

  • doublezetadoublezeta Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Consumerist's poll is pretty flawed in concept (and meaningless) to begin with. It makes no distinction between types of "badness" and invites comparison of apples and oranges; tech companies like EA and Comcast which are hated for shoddy products/services or poor customer relations are pitted against corporations which damage society or the environment. I think most people *know* that Bank of America (for example) is worse than EA. You don't need to be "involved in banks" or "involved in the economy" to be familiar with how bad somebody like BoA is, as opposed to how only somebody "involved with video games" might be familiar with EA. Saying they're awful doesn't really send any sort of message, I think. It's just obvious and well-known.

    The poll acts as a way for disgruntled consumers to let their voices be heard, and rather than waste it by pointing out the obvious, we're more interested in making a statement about those companies that have more directly offended us in the past year, that the general masses outside of a specific industry may not know about.

    And given how meaningless the poll is in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it's that big of a deal that EA "wins" even though it "shouldn't". Who cares? Do you really think BoA, or Wells Fargo, or those insurance companies or loan companies would actually turn their shit around if they came out on top? No more likely than it is for EA or Comcast.

    Also fuck EA. The last time I liked an EA game was NHL '96 on the Sega Genesis.

    doublezeta on
  • ATimsonATimson Registered User regular
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved?"

    Probably Dragon Age II. It has some flaws, but overall I was happy.

    I'd really have to dig to find a game that wasn't Bioware's, though. Probably one of their LOTR or Bond games for the last generation...

  • Conniption-FitConniption-Fit Registered User regular
    to answer the question posed in your story:

    Probably the last C&C red alert game.

  • TridusTridus Registered User regular
    Boo, logging in ate my comment. :(

    @doublezeta - The thing is that oil companies and banks can be hated without it mattering as much. They provided what is a fairly essential service. I don't need to like Exxon, so long as my car has gas I've got a limited number of options.

    EA is an entertainment company. Making people happy IS their business. They're doing a truly awful job of it. People are telling them that. They're so isolated and at this point flat out delusional that they don't understand there's a problem. In the long run, this is how you destroy brand value. Just after Simcity alone, how many people will never preorder another EA game?

    That's not the type of thing a company in this business can afford to do, particularly when they're not even #1. in the industry.

  • DerpadoodooDerpadoodoo Registered User regular
    I don't remember the last EA-published game I thoroughly enjoyed because they were never a factor in what made a game good, that's the developer's job. It wasn't until they had a clear detrimental impact on their games' quality that I really began to take notice of EA. The publisher should not be a name that draws me towards or pushes me away from a title, they should remain relatively transparent. I don't believe I've ever bought or avoided an album because of the label it was printed on.

    GG Crew
  • LoonieLoonie Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I'd say contempt for the audience is the moreso primary reason for the hatred. The other two reasons, sadly enough, don't matter as much because if they did I'd say Activision would retake the #1 hated spot. They might make money, but EA does at least still have an inkling of vision, even if they are abusing it. Activision has long since gone bankrupt in that regard, at least as far as I can tell.

    But really, it'll just be a matter of time until another 'EA Spouse' pipes up, EA's PR turns apologetic and the company 'changes for the better' like it obviously *didn't* during the past 5 years, Activision PR makes a mistake...and then *they'll* be the most hated ones. Until 5 more years down the road when they grow quiet and EA steps back in these shoes.

    So the cycle of unpopularity continues while good guy Valve can do no wrong, even if they do, in fact, pull off the same EULA crap as EA does and performs a very questionable firing salvo of whose reasons they will remain mute.

    Loonie on
  • TridusTridus Registered User regular
    As for the last non-Bioware EA game I enjoyed? Simcity 4.

    Maxis has fallen a very long way since.

  • FTomatoFTomato Registered User regular
    Ben, I agree with some of your points. However:

    The idea that Real Racing 3 shouldn't exist is ridiculous. Yeah, it's not a game most core gamers will enjoy, but there's room in the market for both free to play and traditional games. If people really are paying for it, then EA is more than justified for making it. Not every game is for everyone, and even if you think the development time could have been better spent on a traditional game doesn't mean that EA is "evil." Furthermore, there's nothing wrong with experimenting with new game models and seeing what sticks. EA has done a lot of experimenting in recent years and I applaud them for that. It's pretty obvious from the reception that this isn't a model that can be applied to core games, and I doubt it will be. Real Racing 3 may superficially look like a game for core gamers, but it's target audience is relatively casual mobile gamers and there's nothing wrong with that. If they're making money on it, they really shouldn't care what gamers not part of the target audience think.

    Regarding the LGBT thing: You'd be right that in normal polls the amount of people for whom that's a valid reason to vote EA is low, but when outside sites catering to anti-LGBT audiences links to a poll and asks people to vote for that reason, statistics gets thrown out the window. There's no way to tell how big an impact that had on the poll. Even if that's not why EA was nominated, that doesn't mean that's not why a potentially large group voted for it: saying it's not the reason due to emails received before the anti-LGBT push was started is an utterly ridiculous argument.

  • Glenn SetoGlenn Seto Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Are you fucking kidding me? These guys are part of the same diversity-averse industry that does absolute jack to give LGBT or female characters a leg up, because of their precious focus groups and sales projections and now OUTSIDE bigotry is to blame for their declining popularity?!

    Glenn Seto on
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    The problem is that a lot of the "Oil companies are bad!", "Banks are bad!", and "Insurance companies are bad!" comments is that there's a lot of politics and propaganda involved. The Exxon station down the street is a great place to get relatively cheap gas. Wells Fargo holds my mortgage, with a very low interest rate, and it was easy to refinance to get a lower one. Currently, United Health Care is paying every single cent on the doctor's bills for my wife's second pregnancy. In my mind, these companies are great. And these markets are hyper-competitive, so you ALWAYS have a choice of who to bank with, get gas from or buy health insurance.

    EA, however, is a terrible company designed to suck the soul of out everything it touches, and replace it with a empty sludge of micro-transactions and poor quality. There's virtually no gamer out there that can put a positive spin on ANYTHING EA does.

    nVyomi1.png
    Proud member of Unrepentant Gaming! Pantless gaming at its finest.
    Check us out in Neverwinter.

  • PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    @FTOMATO

    Except that if you click through to the Consumerist article linked by Ben, you'll see that they went out of their way to make sure that those 'anti' sites weren't a factor. The fact that not one person that nominated EA or voted for them in this bracket mentioned LGBT issues should prove that it's a smoke screen argument.

  • TaznakTaznak Registered User regular
    "We hate them because they release poor games."
    This is the argument I take most issue with. Now, this is a little dated, but EA actually was crowned as the best publisher of 2012 based on the metascore of their titles by Metacritic: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/game-publisher-rankings-for-2012-releases

    This may be from before SimCity and the latest Army of Two game, but it does mean that EA is releasing a lot of good games as well. And they're still losing money. How can that be? I like Shamus Young's explanation in the third article of his excellent 3-part series on EA: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/10252-How-to-Fix-Electronic-Arts

    "The problem with EA is that it's an entertainment software company and the majority of the EA leadership doesn't have a background in software or entertainment. (...) Basically, these men are out of their depth and out of their area of expertise. These guys don't work in software and don't play games, yet they're running a company that requires a keen understanding of both. They're trying to reach consumers and shape public opinion, but they don't have a firm grasp of gaming news or the culture that surrounds the hobby."

    EA is widely hated and is losing money, despite releasing a lot of great games. If the products are good and the end results are bad, then the business model is rotten.

    GG Crew
  • simlandsimland Registered User regular
    The only way to make a difference is to speak with our wallets. There are more important causes to rally behind, but I certainly wouldn't mind getting the word out to stop buying EA games. People like my brother-in-law who buy Madden every year don't understand that things could be better if they just held off buying for one year.

    It's too bad that the people who would be hurt the most are white collar grunts trying to feed their families.

    GG Crew
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Illinois???Registered User regular
    i play real racing 3 almost every day and I've not paid a cent. it's a pretty decent mobile game

  • metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved?"
    Yeah, actually: Dead Space 3. I put over 60 hours into that game, including co-op and solo. Does that mean EA gets a pass? No.

    But lets be realistic. Despite their horrifying business practices and mind-blowing arrogance toward their customers, EA is still "just a video game developer and publisher". Yes, their habit of buying up and killing off studios puts a lot of people out of work, but that's about the worst anyone can say of them. In the end, all they're doing is screwing with our favorite pastime.

    And despite Consumerist's doubts, I have no difficulty believing that a surprising number of people dislike EA for incredibly petty reasons.

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
  • zacgreyzacgrey Registered User new member
    "Electronic Business" I think is a more appropriate name for them. The "arts" havent been a concern in a while. They are a sequel machine whose new ips come from buying popular development studios with proven marketability then raping their vision milking the money teet till its dust then closing the studio or "combining it" with one of their sweatshops. Having a vision for the future of games involves risk, and risk isnt something a publicly traded company the size of EA is interested in anymore. Vision and innovation is what gamers want. We want the arts. EA is just too much suit and not enough zoot.

  • XaotikdesignsXaotikdesigns PittsburghRegistered User new member
    The problem isn't EA. We're the problem. We are the ones playing their games and giving them money for them. Why should they change if we are going to keep paying them?

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    I'm getting sick and tired of people whining that other companies "ruin lives" and that's why they're worse than EA.

    Banks, Insurance Companies, Oil Companies and the like provide essential services for hundreds of millions of people in America. On the whole they do far more good than harm.

    EA could disappear tomorrow and no one's life would change.

    If the banks disappeared (even just one of the large ones), your life would turn into a nightmare.

    So spare us the indignation about "ruined lives." Sure a mistake happens here and there but it's rarely malicious.

    EA's business decisions can't be called anything other than malicious against the consumer. That is why they are the Worst Company in America.

  • SirsonSirson Registered User regular
    How is EA worse then any other giant video game publisher? It seems silly to call them the worst company in America just because you don't like some of their games. How are they any worse then an Activision or Ubisoft?

  • davidhbrowndavidhbrown Registered User regular
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved? "

    Archon ;-)

  • wedgeskiwedgeski Registered User regular
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved?"

    Who cares?

    I buy stuff I have a strong expectation of liking, or which has been reviewed well, or which I just fancying buying and damn the consequences. Some are great, some are bad. Some inspire, some disappoint. Some are published by EA, some are not.

    I don't have a damn score-board on my wall. I'm not running a three-strikes rule. Boycotting a video-game publisher is akin to boycotting a film studio because you didn't like their last release. Ridiculous.

    While you bemoan EA's record of buying up studios you love and ruining them, remind yourself that there were two parties to all those deals. From Bullfrog to Bioware, no-one forced those guys to sign on the dotted line, and NONE OF THEM should have been under any illusion about what coming under the umbrella of a mega-publisher would do to their freedoms.

    And as for micro-transactions, DRM, and all that jazz: these are the realities of the modern video game business. EA hasn't invented those rules, they've been defined by the market over the course of the last ten years. You don't like it, don't buy into it. Unfortunately, millions and millions of gamers across the globe don't give a shit, about micro-transactions, about DRM, or about you. #Dealwithit

  • MachinesMachines Registered User regular
    Mirror's Edge was the last EA game I really, really liked. It's probably in my top ten for this generation too.
    I quit dealing with EA some time ago though, it's just never worth the hassle, especially if you're on a PC and subject to their arcane DRM schemes.

  • Fixer40000Fixer40000 Registered User regular
    When ME3 was released. I was buzzed. It was released later in the UK than the states so I completely blacked out the internet to avoid spoilers.

    Two days of solid play, loving almost every part of it. Then the ending hit, the biggest disappointment ever.
    It wasn't just that the ending was terrible though, it was Bioware/EA's response to criticism.

    Gamers were the enemy. They were always wrong. Bioware/EA were always in the right.

    It wasn't that the ending was nonsensical, contradictory to previous established lore, badly written, stupid (one of the options you give us is the one so braindead we literally got a guy to shoot himself in the head for believing it was an actual option not TWO MINUTES BEFORE) and probably rushed because of a deadline.
    It was because "whiny entitled gamers couldn't understand it or handle a sad ending."

    If you treat your customers like dirt and deflect blame for your own failings onto them, repeat sales aren't going to happen.

    Have left PA forums.
    If this community believes that hating someone based soley upon their gender is acceptable and understandable, I have no interest in being a part of it.
    Geth
  • TaboriHKTaboriHK Registered User regular
    It's your money Wedgeski, and they're gonna need it.

  • Scars UnseenScars Unseen Registered User regular
    And let us not forget the source of this poll. They aren't the Ecologist. They aren't the Economist. They are the Consumerist. Naturally, destroying Wallstreet, people's lives and the environment is worse than destroying Pandemic or Bioware, but none of those are consumer issues.

    When dealing with consumer issues, screwing with a person's leisure is going to be something that grabs his attention, so it is only natural that an entertainment company that fails make entertaining a priority is going to rate high on people's consumer shit list.

  • FTomatoFTomato Registered User regular
    @primeghost They said none of the nominations mentioned LGBT issues, which is obvious since the campaigns were after voting started. And obviously every voter lets them know exactly why the vote was made. Their mentioning of analytics is technologically dubious at best.

    I'm not saying that it's the reason they "won", but it may have been a factor and dismissing it - especially in the title of an article - is wrong.

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    "While you bemoan EA's record of buying up studios you love and ruining them, remind yourself that there were two parties to all those deals."

    Uh, most of the people responsible for making good games at that studio aren't the ones making those kinds of decisions.

    The result is important developers then LEAVING those studios because the publisher is crap (like the people leaving Bioware in droves). The deal then ends up not being good for anyone, especially not the consumer. And thus EA is to blame.

    Thanatos2k on
  • ripmcripmc Registered User regular
    I don't think Moore's statements were aimed at anyone who clicked on this article. They know they're not going to magically reclaim our admiration. his blurb seemed to me like it was meant for the people who matter most to him: the investors. They're the ones with the most power and the largest chance of changing the direction of EA

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @Tridus
    Tridus wrote:
    The thing is that oil companies and banks can be hated without it mattering as much.

    Causing the international housing crisis v. oils spills destroying the gulf coast v. not really liking Dead Space 3 because of micro transactions.

    So of those three things, the banks and oil companies don't "matter much", yet micro transactions in Real Racing 3 do?

    EA isn't a great company by any stretch, but how they rank even in the top (or bottom whatever's worse) half of "worst companies" is beyond me.

  • yuttyutt Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @FIXER40000

    You make a great point. Thinking of any other successful game companies, they often have real relationships with their fans. That doesn't mean they always agree with the masses, but they respect that the fans can be just as passionate about the game, often moreso, than the developers. I'm thinking of Double Fine, Blizzard, Valve, Unknown Worlds, etc. here - though there are dozens of examples.

    EA is much more a detached monolith. They seem to think PR trumps everything. They drop subpar games from on-high and overreact in confusion and disgust when they aren't well received. It is a completely different culture. I'm sure there are loads of passionate people working there, but there is no culture or incentives to support them.

    yutt on
  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "And as for micro-transactions, DRM, and all that jazz: these are the realities of the modern video game business. EA hasn't invented those rules, they've been defined by the market over the course of the last ten years. You don't like it, don't buy into it. Unfortunately, millions and millions of gamers across the globe don't give a shit, about micro-transactions, about DRM, or about you."

    While sock-puppets/trolls are surely entertaining, that's demonstrably false. Not complaining about it is not the same as "not caring." See EA winning the worst company in American poll. Again. Or anything having to do with air transport. Moreover, just because microtransactions and DRM EXIST doesn't mean they HAVE TO BE USED. See, everyone not using microtransactions or DRM.

    PS. For the love of God, can we get the initial post window auto-adjusting code fixed already?

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    "Causing the international housing crisis"

    People who didn't pay loans they took out caused the international housing crisis. The banks just helped. They sure as hell didn't want it to happen.

    "oils spills destroying the gulf coast "

    You think BP *wanted* to spill oil, losing millions of dollars of their product, causing billions in damage and opening themselves up to lawsuits for decades?

    EA's decisions are intentionally anti-consumer and as Moore has shown - they're PROUD of it. It doesn't get worse than that.

    Thanatos2k on
  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "EA isn't a great company by any stretch, but how they rank even in the top (or bottom whatever's worse) half of "worst companies" is beyond me. "

    Because of how those groups impact people. They operate outside the scope of the individual and if something goes wrong, it only impacts a subset of individuals. Moreover, they have really good PR firms. Where what EA does impacts a large number of people specifically as individuals and then gives people the finger when they complain.

  • GermaximusGermaximus Registered User new member
    Last EA game i enjoyed the living crap out of was Alice: Madness Returns, one of my absolute favorites. Bulletstorm one of my favorite shooters ever. =) And Battlefield 3's campaign was an incredible experience!

  • wedgeskiwedgeski Registered User regular
    "While sock-puppets/trolls are surely entertaining, that's demonstrably false. Not complaining about it is not the same as "not caring." See EA winning the worst company in American poll. Again. Or anything having to do with air transport. Moreover, just because microtransactions and DRM EXIST doesn't mean they HAVE TO BE USED. See, everyone not using microtransactions or DRM."

    A-ha. A dissenting opinion, and therefore I'm either a sock-puppet or a troll. Gamer community logic at its purest.

    As in many things, the solution fits the problem. Micro-transactions support a casual ecosystem where the only way to get people to play your games is to give them a nobbled version for free and hope they like it enough to pony up the cash. I don't like that either...but then I remember the fifty or so Rock Band and Dance Central songs I've bought. Or the hours I've sunk into Jetpack Joyride, or Dredd vs Zombies, or yes, even Angry Birds, or the hours my wife has sunk into Sims Free, all for nothing. Zero pence. Then I think, hmm, maybe that's not so bad.

    DRM is an answer to software piracy, perceived, real, or otherwise. It's an attempt to solve the software ownership conundrum. Really though, I doubt any dialogue we strike up here about that issue will end up anywhere good, so let's not even start one.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @thanatos2k
    "People who didn't pay loans they took out caused the international housing crisis. The banks just helped. They sure as hell didn't want it to happen."

    They also didn't care about the bubble until it burst. Otherwise, what's the excuse for robosigning?

    "You think BP *wanted* to spill oil, losing millions of dollars of their product, causing billions in damage and opening themselves up to lawsuits for decades?"

    You realize that only counts in places like the US or Canada or most of the EU? You might want to look up "Nigeria" and "Royal Dutch Shell." They don't give a shit unless they can be punished. Losing product is irrelevant because it really isn't worth that much.


    The difference between BP & Big Banks and EA is EA doesn't give two shits about PR.

    Cartigan on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @THANATOS2K

    Clearly your hatred of EA has clouded your judgement.

    HSBC admitted to laundering close to a billion dollars for Mexican drug cartels. This wasn't an accident, this wasn't a one time thing, they intentionally did it (documenting it the entire time) and refused to stop doing it.

    Lehman Brothers knowingly sold fraudulent securities to their own customers in attempt to profit during the housing crisis.

    Google was caught illegally tapping into everyone's wifi in the US, said it was a mistake....then it was shown that they did it on purpose and yet they still won't acknowledge if they deleted the data.

    BP (or Haliburton, depends how you want to look at it), caused a massive oil spill in the gulf and lied about it. A drunk driver doesn't get a pass for killing someone just because they didn't want to do it.

    All of these are so beyond anything EA has done it's not even funny.

    The banking, insurance, finance, oil industries in general are not evil or bad by any stretch, but that doesn't excuse the behaviors of the individual companies with in it.

    Next time EA launders money for a drug cartel, get back to me about how evil they are.

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