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

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  • fargofalloutfargofallout Registered User regular
    The last game from EA that I could almost say I loved would be Dragon Age Origins, and that's more of a matter of timing than it being the game it is. I had never played a Bioware game before that, and had, in fact, never played a western fantasy RPG that had a legitimate story (the closest being Oblivion, but you don't play an Elder Scrolls game for the story). Also, I had just finished Final Fantasy XIII, after which I decided I was done with JRPGs forever, and the contrast between the two (in terms of characters and story) is astounding.

    Also, the most recent EA game I have played is Kingdoms of Amalur, which was genrally an OK game, but I don't anticipate playing anything else they make anytime soon. Maybe they'll blow me away with something when the next generation "starts," but I'm not holding my breath. They don't give their developers time to polish their games and/or give them something to stand out.

    I didn't realize this, but they're publishing Fuse (the next game by Insomniac). I'm hopeful for that, but only because it's Insomniac.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @cartigan
    Cartigan wrote:
    Where what EA does impacts a large number of people specifically as individuals and then gives people the finger when they complain.

    Are you saying the people impacted by Sim City is larger than the banking crisis? I think you might be forgetting that plenty of EA customers (like those who buy Madden or FIFA) are probably okay with them.

    I'm not saying they're even a good or an average company, just that they in no way compares to the likes of HSBC.

  • ArcaneTheWoofArcaneTheWoof Registered User regular
    Hopefully EA never realizes that if they shut down servers for old multiplayer games, they can force people to buy new multiplayer games whether they like it or not. I had thought no company would be evil enough to do it but it sounds suddenly like a move right up EA's alley.

  • BrymBrym Registered User regular
    It's not hard to remember the last EA-published game I loved. It's Mass Effect 3. Nor is it much harder if you exclude Bioware. I loved Battlefield 3 multiplayer. The idea that EA doesn't publish good games is silly. Didn't they publish Portal 2?

    It's true that EA ruined the Sim City and Dead Space franchises. But Activision did the same thing to Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and Diablo. Look at how Ubisoft has squandered to potential of the Assassin's Creed series, and how Splinter Cell has lost its way in an attempt to be more mainstream. I have seen little evidence that this is an EA problem. It seems to be a AAA video game publisher problem. EA is just the latest to have a big scandal (Sim City).

  • muppetsnapmuppetsnap Registered User regular
    There does seem to be a slight disconnect between his comments and reality, esp wrt removing the spark from some beloved titles (although, in fairness, titles like Dead Space are notoriously hard to follow up).

    But his microtransaction statement is dead on, whether the gaming intelligencia likes it or not. There is a significant (and often additional) segment of the gaming market that LOVES FTP games. They may be the antithesis of the crafted, one-shot masterpieces of our youth but that doesn't mean we can just pretend that everyone for whom they are a valid way to get their gaming entertainment is either irrelevant or wrong.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Eh, this article loses it when it starts talking about Activision as if they are the paragon of game crafting. This time last year, we were reading these same articles about Activision in reference to Diablo 3. EA just happens to be the current witch at our stake because of SimCity. Next year it will be another major publisher.

    What we as gamers are realizing is that these companies exist to make money, not make good games. Sometimes the two go hand in hand, sometimes they don't. Until we can become more comfortable with that, every year one of these new big publishers is going to be the "great evil that plagues gaming".

    Sagroth wrote: »
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    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • mrthewhitemrthewhite Registered User regular
    I remember a time when people loved EA and hated Activision.... aaaah, those were the days!

    Remember when it was Activisions CEO that was spouting asinine shit about loving money and hating games (I'm paraphrasing of course). Oh how the times change...

    I read many people, here and else where, talking about boycoting EA and such and it got me thinking. Have I been supporting this company without knowing it? I typically buy games based on the content and rarely investigate who published them.

    Turns out I don't have to boycott them because they haven't made many games recently I'm interested in. I think they're boycotting me, and other gamers already lol.

    Fun fact - the last EA game I bought was Mass Effect 3, the one before that, Mass effect 2, and the one before that, Mass Effect 1.

  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    Meh, if I were EA, I'd honestly just keep my head down until the rampaging brainless beast we can the Internet finds some other company to rail on.

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  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "Are you saying the people impacted by Sim City is larger than the banking crisis? I think you might be forgetting that plenty of EA customers (like those who buy Madden or FIFA) are probably okay with them."

    No, I'm saying it is completely different HOW they impact people

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @muppetsnap
    "But his microtransaction statement is dead on, whether the gaming intelligencia likes it or not. There is a significant (and often additional) segment of the gaming market that LOVES FTP games."

    Those are two entirely different statements. EA is NOT selling microtransactions for F2P games. Do they even have any F2P games? Microtransactions are not limited to F2P games. And EA has been milking the "game addon" market since the original The Sims by selling bits and pieces of digital crap to shove in your imaginary house. Addup all the Sims addons JUST for the last version released and see what it adds up to. Go ahead.

    Cartigan on
  • VergehVergeh Registered User new member
    As a victim of homophobia, I find the COO's statements deeply insulting. They're using homphobia as a scapegoat for their terrible business practices. They're trying to play the wounded martyr, suffering ridicule and derision in the defense of us poor helpless queers.

    But their statement only serves to hurt us. Homophobia is an ugly, terrible struggle that many people face in their day-to-day lives. While coopting it to make your company look better than it is is despicable in and of itself, the potential harm of this statement runs even deeper.

    They're saying tolerance is bad for business. Whether it is simply a precursor to another wave of misogynist, alpha-male titles they're going to release next season, or it is an inadvertent approval of other AAA companies that produce nothing but, they're turning the LGBT community into the problem. Mr. Moore, I hope you're ashamed of yourself.

    At one point I boycotted EA, but I don't really need to anymore. They're not making anything I want. But even if they turn things around and start making inventive, fantastic games again, I'm not giving them a dime. I encourage everyone else to follow suit.

  • Scars UnseenScars Unseen Registered User regular
    @Brym
    "It's not hard to remember the last EA-published game I loved. It's Mass Effect 3. Nor is it much harder if you exclude Bioware. I loved Battlefield 3 multiplayer. The idea that EA doesn't publish good games is silly. Didn't they publish Portal 2?"

    No. Valve published Portal 2. And as much as I liked ME3, I don't think that one could seriously say that it wasn't a huge honking billboard advertising the casual indifference and gross ineptitude with which EA treats both their games and their customers. As for BF3... meh. Yet Another Military Shooter. Possibly the only theme I'm more tired of is the Grizzled Space Marine. It probably doesn't help that I hate multiplayer in 9/10 cases.

  • Dark NexusDark Nexus Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @SCARS UNSEEN

    EA was the retail distributor for Portal 2, though.

    But I still wouldn't count it, since I doubt they had any input into the production at all.

    Dark Nexus on
  • billzombiebillzombie Registered User new member
    He has a point. It is also one that I try to drive home to my pals. If you don't want EA to keep doing what its doing, you have to STOP buying their games, VOTE with you dollar. Ever sale they make is a justification to their business model. Stop acting like you don't have a choice. You don't HAVE to play their games, there are tons of other games to play from more worthwhile publishers and developers.

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    "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."

    Of course not. I'm saying that the amount of good those companies do overall greatly exceeds the occasional well publicized mistake.

    As I said, 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. How's that for perspective?

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    I don't see how the fact that EA's mistakes are less likely to effect consumers in any meaningful way renders them a worse organisation than those whose poor decisions devastate lives.

  • droiddestdroiddest Registered User regular
    I liked Most Wanted. Damn that was a long time ago.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "If the banks disappeared (even just one of the large ones), your life would turn into a nightmare. How's that for perspective? "

    And your argument is.. what exactly? Because EA doesn't exist as a huge faceless corporation that affects the world on a scale, they shouldn't even be allowed on the "Shitty company list?" Perhaps you are looking for the Wall Street Journal's list of worst companies in America, not hte Consumerist's?

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    Thanatos2k wrote:
    As I said, EA could disappear tomorrow and no one's life would change.

    Agreed, but if nobody's life would change, how does that make EA the worst company in the world?

    As for banks, my bank went under due to the housing crisis and was bought out by Chase, so my life wasn't effected all that much either. If all banks disappeared, it'd be horrible. If HSBC disappeared (more accurately, if they were taken over if they lost their license to practice), life would move on.

    A company that publishes video games simply can't be the worst company in the world for the very reason you mentioned, it clearly doesn't have the impact (financially, environmentally or politically) that other, much "worse" companies do.

  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    damn, ben. preach on, brother!

    I'm a lifelong gamer who now follows the news of the industry more than I play games. I think I'm in the majority when I say I hate EA for exactly the reasons you describe, namely the destruction of creative studios and the milking of their IPs. That said, I've bought more EA games in the past five years than any other studio or publisher.

    Why? Well, it starts with FIFA. I'm hopelessly and utterly addicted to FIFA and it's complicated brilliance. Year after year I'm willing to shell out sixty dollars because the game scratches my competitive, team-based itch. Say what you will about sports games, but FIFA has consistently improved its core gameplay since rebooting on the current generation. It's about as robust of a game as you can get; one that IMO rivals any MOBA or RTS on the scene right now. It also comes out each year a broken mess. Every FIFA diehard knows that right around December we'll get a major patch that fixes most of the issues, but not all. That's just the way it is.

    The other major reason is Bioware. I had a sinking feeling when EA bought Bioware, but that was temporarily assuaged by Mass Effect 2. There was a game that met EA halfway - the best of Bioware mixed with EA's mainstream appeal. It was brilliant, probably one of my favorite games ever. Unfortunately, Dragon Age 2 resumed my fears while Mass Effect 3 confirmed them. I have no confidence in Bioware's future. The torch of story-based western RPGS has been passed back down to Obsidian, inExile, and the crowdsourcing movement. Meanwhile Bioware has been reduced to a shallow giant of its former self, pumping out 'cinematic experiences' that are increasingly fine in production value yet retain little of the charm of past titles.

    I guess I'm a loyal customer and hater. As long as EA keeps pumping out quality FIFA games, I'll keep buying them. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but the street runs both ways.

    rchou on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    Cartigan wrote:
    No, I'm saying it is completely different HOW they impact people

    I'm confused, are you saying not being able to play Sim City due to the silly always-on DRM is worse than helping contribute to the housing collapse and a world wide depression/recession?

  • E-gongaE-gonga Registered User regular
    Of the 45 million Origin accounts created, I can proudly state that I own two of them.

    The first one I was FORCED to create in order to get technical help from EA. The career mode in FIFA 13 froze after an in-game year, a widely suffered bug caused by EA rushing the game to market before it was ready. After three weeks of being brushed off by automated responses which completely ignored the information I gave them (I can't delete my gameface! I just told you that I've never used it!) EA eventually released a patch which fixed the problem for NEW career modes only.

    No apology was ever issued.

    The second account was activated when my shop-bought FIFA Manager 13 insisted that I install Origin on my PC for... reasons? I'd forgotten my password at this point, so I asked EA to send me a reminder. This is a process that usually takes less than a minute with most companies. After an hour of waiting, I got fed up and created a second Origin account.

    The reminder came through the next day, though. So that was nice of them.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "I'm confused, are you saying not being able to play Sim City due to the silly always-on DRM is worse than helping contribute to the housing collapse and a world wide depression/recession? "

    That is not why you are confused and I doubt you are confused at all.

  • mumbly_joemumbly_joe Registered User new member
    One of the bitter ironies here is that the most recent disappointment I've had with EA has been over Star Wars: the Old Republic, a game where developers sold a bill of goods with regards to LGBT inclusion, then equivocated and hinted at future inclusion for two years now, and now indicate they are planning on dealing with this via the upcoming expansion, which promises a remarkably backhanded and inadequate afterthought of a solution.

    And part of that equivocation -with regard to SWTOR in particular- was, indeed, part of the very push-back against anti-gay criticism they're citing above. Cynics at the time suggested that, contra JC Penny and Starbucks, two companies that fell under *vastly more determined* attack from anti-gay groups (and yet, did not rise to the ignominy of "Worst Company Ever"), EA was hyping these attacks and their own LGBT-friendliness as a marketing ploy. In retrospect, and now with the added context of this latest response to vasty broader criticisms, it seems that those cynics were right on the money.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Cartigan wrote:
    That is not why you are confused and I doubt you are confused at all.

    No, I am. I have no idea what you point is and as usual you'd rather look for a fight then actually explain yourself.

    Here is what you wrote:
    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.

    When I asked for clarification you wrote:
    No, I'm saying it is completely different HOW they impact people

    All of which explains nothing.

    First, when EA screws up, it also affects a subset of people as well, which happens to be a lot less people than when the banks screw up, or BP or Google stealing personal data. Not only that, when companies like BoA (foreclosing the wrong homes), Google (stealing data off of WiFi), BP (Gulf Coast), Exxon (Alaska and now Arkansas) messes up, the scope of how it impacts people's lives are a heck of a lot worse than anything EA can do.

    So either your point is that the banks, oil companies, etc. have better PR (which they don't) or that somehow how EA has more of an impact on people's lives than that of the other companies listed which is a load of crap.

    Rather than getting all defensive, just explain what you mean.

    Siddown on
  • BrutusBrutus Registered User regular
    People don't like Free-to-Play, they like FREE. Free-to-Play is a bullshit name for a bullshit business model that's dead and doesn't know it yet. You know what real Free-to-Play is? A friend loans me their copy so I can play the game without buying it.

    Psychologically manipulating your customer by hiding the cost after they're playing is damn close to a drug dealer saying "The first hit's free." It's been shown that some people are more easily manipulated than others and that giving a pellet of food for a non-achievement is detrimental. You get people hooked on playing then you say, you want to keep those endorphins flowing? Give me a buck. Look to the news stories of people dying because they wouldn't stop playing WOW. I've heard stories from friends who say it nearly ruined their lives or did ruin aspects of their lives.

    A drug dealer can also say "Well, meth might be frowned upon but the market shows that people are loving it!"

    As far as EA goes, they're terrible, but I also don't buy bad games. Dead Space and Mirror's Edge were the last games they published that I loved.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    "No, I am. I have no idea what you point is and as usual you'd rather look for a fight then actually explain yourself."

    Try not to throw flaming stones in strawhouses. You did not ask to clarify, you said this:
    "Are you saying the people impacted by Sim City is larger than the banking crisis?"

    The banking crisis affects people on a global scale, not an individual one. EA ONLY impacts people on an individual scale - 1 game, 1 person. One death is a tragedy; a thousand is a statistic. Banks appear to mess up on the individual scale, but not really.

  • Somber-chanSomber-chan Registered User regular
    Also their calling their costumers thieves doesn't help ease the hate. With Insane Drm methods, and calling people who buy their games used delinquents. They also love to short you the project 10$ key out of an unopened box and call you a liar when you call their support line about it.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    "The banking crisis affects people on a global scale, not an individual one."

    This makes no sense.

    An individual losing their home is an individual. Another individual upside down on their home's mortgage is an individual. Banks (or insurance companies or practically every other industry) affects people on an individual level.

    I'm trying to understand your point of view but I have a feeling you don't even know what it is.

    Siddown on
  • anathosanathos Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @Siddown At the risk of putting words in Cartigan's mouth, I'll take a crack at explaining. When you don't enjoy your experience with a video game, there's only one group to blame (the developer and/or publisher), and they're involved directly with failing to meet your expectations. When you're upside down on your mortgage because of the drop in property values or you have no job because inadequate demand is impacting your former employer's profits responsibility is a lot more diffuse. As a result, it's much easier to blame EA and forget BoA's crimes because EA "wronged" you in a more direct way than BoA did.

    anathos on
  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    The point is that banking crises is above the level of care of a single individual. A single individual might be affected by fallout, but what's happening isn't at the individual level. What EA does is at the individual level. There is no greater impact; it's every customer, individually. The housing crises was a market crisis; it wasn't targeted at individuals as individuals. Individuals may have been affected but what happened had nothing to do with them.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Unless BP is coming and spilling oil directly in your yard for the purpose of spilling oil in your yard, then what EA is doing is 100% different. Perhaps you want the Wall Street Journal worst company in America analysis and not the Consumerist worst company in America consumer poll?

    The Consumerist's poll is very clearly about companies that fuck consumers. Companies that are bad on a market-impact scale is an entirely different ballgame.

    Cartigan on
  • doublezetadoublezeta Registered User regular
    The oil companies, banks, and insurance companies are absolutely far more evil and destructive than a video game publisher. But voting for them in some sorta social media internet poll run by a consumer advocacy blog doesn't really say anything. It's pointless. That's why so many people focus their hate at the tech companies and retailers. If EA is named the worst company of the year, they notice, their investors notice, and people who may not normally pay attention to video games notice. I don't think this would be true for the people involved in international fraud, political corruption, and environmental destruction.

  • iamnamelessiamnameless Registered User regular
    "It seems that no EA executive can even pretend to care about the massive backlash the company is facing from gamers who feel ripped off."

    Why would they? Seriously. Why would they care about long term? Video game market is infamous for being insanely unstable. Great titles made with love and inspiration (Planescape: Torment for example) barely sell. Rip-offs like those endless CoD sequels break selling records. The market is unpredictable and volatile, there is no sense in investing in long term for a game publisher.

    We might hate them for killing off great studios, but there are great studios dying left and right simply because their great games don't sell, and it has nothing to do with EA. Why would they invest in studios, when there is no guarantee that a studio would ever release another successful game?

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @Cartigan and @Anathos, while I'd hope even if it's the Consumerist pole that people would be a little more thoughtful about the company they chose, I do see your point.

  • ThisidforThisidfor Registered User regular
    I find many of your points valid, but I will say I heavily enjoyed BF3's multiplayer, and I believe D.I.C.E to be a very passionate and skilled team in that regard. Also.. an interview with batlefield executive producer Parick Bach http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-10-24-battlefield-3-interview-rolling-the-dice-interview

  • anathosanathos Registered User regular
    @Siddown Trust me, I agree 100%. EA's greatest crime is producing products that people are excited about but sometimes don't live up to their expectations. In any rational analysis that pales in comparison to even the least of the evils perpetrated by BoA.

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    "I don't see how the fact that EA's mistakes are less likely to effect consumers in any meaningful way renders them a worse organisation than those whose poor decisions devastate lives."

    People's lives are rarely "devastated" through no action of their own. Again - those companies do far more good providing essential services for hundreds of millions of people than the occasional mistake. And how many of those "devastated" lives are through a simple error that is eventually corrected (oddly you never see news stories when that happens).

    Thing is, I own a credit card that was taken over by Bank of America. They haven't done anything to me that I would describe as evil. They have done nothing to effect me. EA on the other hand has screwed me over multiple times over the years.

    They are worse by far, to me.

    "I'm confused, are you saying not being able to play Sim City due to the silly always-on DRM is worse than helping contribute to the housing collapse and a world wide depression/recession? "

    The contest is "Worst Company in America" not "Worst Company in the World" (Monsanto is conspicuously absent you'll notice).

    Again, measure the good those companies do in America vs how they treat the *consumer.* Remember, that's what this is about - consumers.

    EA is profoundly anti-consumer, and they treat their paying customers the worst. What other company does that? What other company makes press releases mocking people that complain about them? I never saw Comcast do that. I never saw Ticketmaster do that. That is why they are a bad company. That is why they are the Worst Company - they refuse to see their own problems and correct them. Comcast has been trying for years to improve their customer service and image. EA just says #DealWithIt

    Thanatos2k on
  • NosfNosf Registered User regular
    I've always looked the comparison between these apples and oranges companies as - "just how terrible are they in their respective field?". BoA might be terrible, but judged against their peers are they really that much worse? Is EA really a standout when it comes to terrible business practices as judged against their peers? Naturally, a game company nickel and diming or shipping the same flavorless pablum games doesn't compare against a company that's working hard to tear down the American dream one middle class family after another. Rather, you view them as competing against their respective industry contemporaries and how they're better / worse in their field.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    People's lives are rarely "devastated" through no action of their own

    Yes, that is very true, but that doesn't stop people from blaming others for bad things that happen to them. Also for the multiple times you've been screwed by EA, none of those times involved shutting down your heat and power, losing your home, destroying your credit rating, etc.

    So despite their arrogance when EA screws up it has on an a minimal impact on your life.

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