Give EA a Break Already!
For years now, the internet has been a location that even the smallest voice can be heard around the world. We now have ways to speak directly to developers, designers and the very artist that deliver our music, movies, and video games. There comes a point when those voices become far too loud, and rather than being filled with encouragement and praise, they are doused with rage and entitlement. The gaming industry is starting to take some immoral turns in going too far with its outspoken habits.
Gamers have bombed forums and social media with tons of hateful comments all targeted towards the very craft that they claim to love. The biggest target lately has been on the back of Electronic Arts; although the criticism is well deserved for multiple reasons towards EA, the instant hate, discrimination, and prejudice that is affiliated with their name is not often enough countered with the praise that EA deserves.
Electronic Arts is a veteran name in the gaming industry. If you were born in the 80’s They were a large part of our childhood. Thanks to EA we got “Skate or Die”, “NBA JAM” and “Populous”. The entire sports simulation genre evolved because of titles like Madden. Just try saying “E-A- Sports” out loud one day and count how many people say “It’s in the Game”.
This console generation EA gave me “Mirror’s Edge” which influenced me to research and even take up Parkour. “SSX” blew my mind with some of the most insane tricks I could come up with, not to mention the soundtrack changed my taste in music almost overnight. I have so much to be thankful for from the minds at EA. I don’t want us as an industry to forget about all the good that they have done.
Let me just say this right now, YES EA has screwed up plenty of times.
- Insane Viral Marketing Attempts
- Marketing M Games to wrong crowd (Check out a Fantastic Video From Extra Credits)
- One of the Worst Software Launches in History
- Over Charging for Downloable Content
- Some of the highest termination and layoff records to date in our industry
I list all of those short comings with a very large “Sigh”; It’s not a comedic tone, it’s a disappointed one. I know that these are choices that the company may or may not come to regret in the future. I’m not the one sitting in the board room on a weekly basis making choices that effect billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. I just can’t judge the choices that a company makes because we simply don’t know all the circumstances. Unless you know all the details and fully understand a choice made by companies this big, I say keep your criticisms light.
I feel that we need to find some maturity if we’re going to support this industry the way it needs to be nurtured in order to grow. It’s already a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and it has plenty of room to grow. Yet the gamers themselves and their sense of entitlement could damage that very easily. To immediately condemn upcoming projects just because they bare the “EA” Logo is absolutely absurd and disrespectful. I am referring to the recent news of EA gaining exclusive rights to develop future Star Wars Games.
The commentary regarding the topic has been hit with loads of negative comments about the acquisition. There are airs of concern and worry about what EA may do with the beloved franchise. I find the comments undesirable and rude. It’s a slap in the face to people who put their very best into the work they do. I feel that the excitement that studios like Dice and Visceral felt knowing that they now have the opportunity to create games for the Star Wars universe have now been spoiled by the instant backlash from the community and it’s truly embarrassing.
I myself and many other industry professionals haven’t cast out EA the way the general gaming public has. I truly don’t believe the management team at EA is sitting on a throne made of skulls manically rubbing their hands together deciding how many people they can fire next week and then charge for each bullet in Battlefield 4. I refuse to assume they are going to mismanage one of the most influential and well known franchises in the world. They are a business, and they have done what they have to do as a business in order to survive. By chance if you haven’t heard recently, game development for AAA titles range from $18-$68 Million. This cash has to come from somewhere, although not every title needs to run at top of the line industry specs.
Thanks to the Indie Community, we are slowly starting to see the necessity for those types of huge budgets recede. For the last couple of years titles like “Mark of the Ninja” & “Shank” prove that we don’t need millions just to release a spectacular experience ( Be sure to thank EA for those as well). However, if you want your Battlefield’s, Mass Effects and NHL Titles we must recognize what it costs to produce them. That means paying those designers, programmers, artists, marketing and sales. They are employed. They need to feed their families. They need to pay the bills, and this is how they get it done.
You may not respect EA as a publisher, and you may want to rip apart many of their structures, but at the very least give the creative minds and the hard working individuals that have the potential to make the greatest experiences in history the credit that they deserve.
Those are the individuals who truly “Challenge Everything”.
TygerWDRMay 9, 2013, 3:47 amFeatured Contributor*raises hand* yeah, hi. I'm a gamer. You know, one of those lowly guys down here who can't speak in code nor knows why E3 is even a thing... yeah hi. Umm, lemme just drop this into the pool of thought here.
A few months ago, I was banned from EA's "Need for Speed World" over a tweet. What did I say? I complained that the password recovery EA set up sucked. I received a notification within 10 minutes that I was banned from EA servers and, what do you know, I was. SWtoR, NfS, all EA companies, bam. Banned. Because of a tweet. Complaining about customer service.
Now I'm nobody. I'm nothing in the gaming industry. I make a small show that nobody watches and isn't hyped. I'm unimportant. And yet, the EA response to criticism, vulgar or not, is to ban the customer. That's responding to a tap on the shoulder with a thermo nuclear device.
If this is how they treat me, a nobody gamer on the bottom of the food chain, then how do they treat everyone else?
EA has no love lost over any decision they've made recently. In the past, sure, they had some great titles. that was then, this is now. And now, they have zero respect for their customers on any level. Hell, why don't you quote how EA led it's press release about being named the worst company in america? "The tallest trees catch the most wind." That sound you just heard is EA spitting in my face.
So yeah, I'm a gamer down here getting crapped on by EA, and then you ask me to love the programmers and hate the company? If the guy I worked for smacked people around you better believe I'd catch all sorts of hell for it and probably lose friends. If a paycheck is more important than basic human decency, then fine, keep working for them. It may become a non-issue, however. I'm not buying any EA games because I was banned for a tweet. I'll sit back and enjoy watching Rome burn.
RothalackMay 9, 2013, 10:56 amMaster O' BugsHoly crap... That's insane... I can't believe they would do that... Wow EA...
Jamie KMay 9, 2013, 1:11 pmFeatured ContributorWow...that is crazy...and ridiculously stupid...everyone knows that if you don't treat customers well, eventually you won't have any.
McLain AndersonMay 7, 2013, 5:13 pmColumnistI have to agree that EA has made a ton of bad decisions, but I still have faith in them. They have such a vast track record of games, that every so often, the good ones do come out :) Think of Battlefield and Dead Space. Both are excellent game franchises! I am still made at them though for the whole Sim City always online debacle...
RothalackMay 7, 2013, 11:16 amMaster O' BugsEvery business everywhere has made bad decisions. Every business can't have a perfect track record. EA is an example of this. They have made a spectacular line up of games for a long, long time. Just because they have made mistakes recently does not mean we can overshadow their great successes and not give them a chance to bring back that magic. I don't agree with everything they have done, but they still have great potential to come back. It reminds me of what their CEO said in regards to winning the worst company in the world award. "We can do better. We will do better, but I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create and the people that play them."
I completely forgot that SSX was EA. SSX is one of my all time favorites.