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The 'EA Image' Tarnished 134

Posted by Zonk
from the it-was-really-great-to-begin-with dept.
Gamespot reports that Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson has gone on record saying that EA is wrecking its good name, with questionable business decisions and dropping game quality. From the article: "'Reviews of all of EA's annualized titles, its primary source of profit, have declined over the past two years,' Wilson noted. 'Although market share has not declined dramatically to date, in years such as 2007, which promises to have tremendous competition, it seems likely if quality does not improve. EA's aggregate review has also declined significantly in the past two years.'" 1up has the word that, in support of this, EA is still very proud of their 'paying for cheat codes' policy with Need for Speed.
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The 'EA Image' Tarnished

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  • Good name? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ToxikFetus (925966) on Friday December 01, 2006 @01:47PM (#17068574)
    The parent post has a minor error. Let me see if I can fix it.

    EA is wrecking its "good name"

    Much better.
  • Errr... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Swervy_a (934054)
    What good name?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rjung2k (576317)
      The one they had back in the days of Archon, Pinball Construction Set, Seven Cities of Gold, and M.U.L.E.

      'course, that was a long time ago...
      • I had all of those for my Atari 800! Yes it was a very long time ago ;) In those days EA was a name I looked for.
        • by TommydCat (791543)
          Exactly... and from my bad memory, the logo was "EOA" in the funky 3D line font, but I think it said "Electonic Arts" on the box. Does anyone know what the "O" (or what appeared to me as an "O") represented?
          • by TommydCat (791543)
            Guess I'll answer myself [wikipedia.org]

            That blows my mind - I thought the logo said "EOA" for years... must have been starting coffee at too young an age.
      • I had Pinball Construction Set for the Mac (128K/fat), but I don't recall the maker. Could that have been EA, or is this just a clash of names?

        Man how I loved those 'hardwarey' cling-clong sounds, so much better that modern blippety-bloop ones. :p

        Oops, showing my age. Sorry.
    • Re:Errr... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:22PM (#17069276)
      I hate to be a dink (well, honestly I don't hate it) but when someone says that EA doesn't have a good name they're essentially sitting in their ivory tower of video-game elitism like food critics before them. EA is the Large Chain restaurant of the videogame industry and doesn't get the respect they deserve. Sticking with the food analogy, EA produces a meal that looks good, tastes good, has good portions, had good service, and you don't get the shits after eating it; it may not be the best meal in the world, and you may not want to eat it all the time, but they still have a good reputation.
      • Re:Errr... (Score:5, Funny)

        by PingSpike (947548) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:26PM (#17069344)
        I take it you haven't played BattleField 2. It might taste good at first, but later that night when your ass is exploding you'll wish you'd stayed home for dinner.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          BF2 should be sold as a language development software instead of a game. I've strung together various new profanity phrases that's never been uttered before by myself and that have never occurred to me prior to its installation. Frankly, that's quite impressive.
          • I've wondered if any small companies have tried to use BF2 at the office to build teamwork skills. I think the kit you choose probably says a lot about the type of worker you are and the way you are most comfortable contributing.
            BR> For example, I do PC support at work and I find myself most often playing as an Engineer.
            • by svallarian (43156)
              Yeah, we tried that at work, but I kept having to play the "Tech Support" kit to try and fix all the crash to desktops.

          • by Greyfox (87712)
            Yeah when I talk about EA it tends to sound like I've got tourette's syndrome. I really don't think they could make me hate them anymore if they tried. I'm wondering if there's some potential profit in having millions of potential customers hate you -- A lot of companies seem to be very big on that these days. They also occupy a special place on my shit-list as the company that single-handedly destroyed many perfectly good MMORPGs.

            Maybe someone could convince them to go into a field they'd be better at be

      • Re:Errr... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Perseid (660451) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:33PM (#17069456)
        If I dine at a fine restaurant I expect fine food. If I go to McDonald's I expect a Big Mac. I consider this OK. You know why? McDonald's is cheaper than the $50 a plate restaurant. EA's mediocre games are still $50, now even $60. EA's games(and, to be fair, games in general) are deteriorating in quality while increasing in price. This is bad.
        • And don't forget it you are on XBox Live EA will charge you for the ketchup
        • Is $50 that bad for a game? I mean, I remember in 1979 paying $49.95 for 'Thunderball', a game cartridge for the Magnavox Odyssey 2. I thought it was excessive then, but of course, that didn't stop me from wanting to play a pinball game on my O2. Take a look at the 3K cart today and you just can't believe how expensive that was - especially considering the fact that it was $50 of 1979 dollars!

          And yet, development time of the earlier games also took time. Just because today's data files are gigabytes instead
          • by Perseid (660451)
            To me it isn't about how many bytes the game is or how long it took to make it. It's all about how fun the game is. If you had fun with the little 3K Odyssey 2 game, then it may have been worth $50 to you. Some games are worth $50 today. Many are not.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rwven (663186)
        EA traditionally hasn't gained hate because of their game quality. A lot of people already hate EA, in the necessary evil sense, because of the absolutely putrid way they have been treating their employees over the past few years. The suffering quality of their games very probably has to do with that very fact.

        EA has turned out some of the greater games that we've all been playing over the past few years, but part of me feels guilty doing so, knowing the ways they've treated their employees to get that jo
        • This is most true. It's hard to entirely hate a company for their games. It's easy to hate them for evil business practices.

    • by kfg (145172)
      What good name?

      1985 called and wants its story back.

      KFG
  • Sure but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tha_mink (518151) on Friday December 01, 2006 @01:49PM (#17068610)
    Sure but, cmon, how much better can Madden really get without smell-o-vision? Seriously, I like the EA games, and have noticed less improvement over the years, but all in all, they're still great games that are fun to play. I even like their stupid "Big" games and wish they'd release them on PC.
    • Yeah, how can game quality really be called dwindling when its the same football game every year? If they aren't talking about the sports games, that's fine, but EA is definitely known for the sports games. Just the fact that I can imagine a better football game shows that they aren't thinking outside the box. For example, integrate a wii-powered wireless football for completing passes to your friends in the living room, not a shocking idea but we'd be talking a different story here.
      • but how would the wrist straps break and ruin my TV if I was meant to fire it across the room?
      • by gfxguy (98788)
        We need an updated Mutant League Football. I still remember, after a good hit: "His Momma used to call him sonny boy! Now she calls him 'Smudge!'" And you could late hit an opponent into a firey pit or a hole in the icy asteroid the game was taking place on. Good times.
    • Madden doesn't have to get better each year at this point, most of us would settle for it NOT REGRESSING. They're not even adding new stuff, they're removing features. I'd settle for it even staying the same with new names instead of removing things like coop play, and fantasy drafts, and everything else that they ripped out of the last two versions. That is why people are angry.
      • by tha_mink (518151)
        Madden doesn't have to get better each year at this point, most of us would settle for it NOT REGRESSING. They're not even adding new stuff, they're removing features. I'd settle for it even staying the same with new names instead of removing things like coop play, and fantasy drafts, and everything else that they ripped out of the last two versions. That is why people are angry.

        What are you talking about? Fantasy drafts are still there. PTFG.
    • 1. Online career

      2. More realistic career team management

      3. Draft

      4. Arms shouldn't pass through people's chests anymore

      5. Commentary shouldn't be asinine

      6. Consistent deep passes shouldn't be the best strategy.

      7. Strategic decisions in the middle of the play. Need a hole opened? Ask for one.

      8. A punting mechanic that isn't boring and gamey.

      9. A passing game that isn't "press X to bring up a menu, press Y to pass to player Y."
  • by amuro98 (461673) on Friday December 01, 2006 @01:49PM (#17068624)
    So...the huge employee-driven lawsuit against EA for its draconian work environment, unpaid overtime, etc. didn't tarnish their image?

    Lackluster re-releases of (American) football games after EA secured exclusive right to all things "NFL" didn't tarnish their image?
    • The average consumer not realizing any of these things happened...didn't tarnish their image.

      That, my friend is called 'spin' control.

      • by oc255 (218044)
        I dunno, I saw a comedian [wikipedia.org] do an impression of Madden (an amazing and 100% perfect impression) on 2006 Thankgiving football (primetime of sorts). It was brilliant, hilarious and jaw-droppingly good. He's replaced Madden on the radio and fooled me ala War of the Worlds (Why is Madden saying crazy things on the radio, has he gone mad?)

        He said something to the effect of:
        [Madden Voice]
        "Heh, umhh I'm just amazed that people uh *heh* pay money year after year uh *heh* for the same video game from me *heh*!"

        It wa
    • Normal people don't read or care about employees suing their employers, or exclusive rights contracts. They just want to play games, and as long as EA provides them what they want, EA won't get lower sales.

      You're stuck in Slashdot's reality distortion field, where people give a damn about game companies doing unethical things.
    • Nothing like buying a new game, only to find out that inside the shrinkwrapped box, there's a nice little card saying
      "Oh yeah, by the way, we're going to collect information about you to display in-game ads on the billboards. Nothing you can do about it if you want to play the game. Cheers, EA!"

      So I think, hell, it can't be too bad.

      So i'm flying around in 2142 and what pops up on a wall? An intel core2 duo ad. Not just in one spot on the map...Dozens. Nothing like having the suspension of disbelief broken b
    • Fuck EA, I haven't bought a single EA title since they bribed the NFL license. I think less of the NFL too for cooperating with them. They shot themselves in the PR foot by proving they cannot compete head on.

      Madden's lackluster is an understatement. I still consider Sega's 2k5 NFL game to be the greatest football game of all time. What's worse is that consumers now have less choices. I mean..... only 1 choice.

  • Westwood. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday December 01, 2006 @01:51PM (#17068658) Journal
    'nuff said.

    But because such a short post won't explain to the uninformed: The debacle that was C&C Generals should tell you just how bad EA's influence is on a proven game series. After all the great work that Westwood did defining the C&C series, EA released C&C Generals as a wannabe StarCraft with horrible netcode and next to no support.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)
      Well, here's one gamer who got everything you meant by "Westwood. 'nuff said." And I couldn't agree more. I'm still waiting for a successor to RA2. Sadly, I doubt I'll ever see one.
    • by PingSpike (947548)
      Westwood is just another notch on EA's bedpost. They've been buying companies and sucking the blood out of them before discarding their withered corpse as a matter of course for some time now.
    • Westwood still exists, just as Petroglyph Studios now (do yourself a favor and check the Star Wars RTS out). They may end up having quite a bit to do with C&C3, but thats still up in the air. C&C Generals was pretty craptastic to me too. Then again I worked at WW before they canned the Las Vegas office so my views may be skewed a little.
    • by Durrok (912509)
      The out of sync errors are inexcusable. Hey jackasses, kick the guy out who is out of sync, don't end the friggin game.

      Other then that though, my favorite RTS of all time. I like all the sides, I like the rush vs defense decisions you have to make, I like the maps, I like the units... overall a great series. If you didn't play it online again after the ZH expansion you are missing out.
      • by PFI_Optix (936301)
        I play it online a bit because it's one of the few games that everyone has at my LAN parties. Since they're "my" LANs, I have to keep my edge in the game so that I'm the best there. I've got hundreds of online games to my name, and dozens if not hundreds of LAN games.
        • by Durrok (912509)
          Wasn't trying to compete with your e-p33n, just saying my opinion of the game. That being said, I bet I could still whoop ya ;)
    • by Mex (191941)
      Well, you're certainly doing them a favor comparing Generals to Starcraft.

      Starcraft, beyond having very refined gameplay mechanics, had a very compelling story to keep you playing singleplayer. Generals doesn't even bother with that.
    • by Sigma 7 (266129)
      In my opinion, the series went out the window earlier - at Red Alert 2.

      Here's my opinion:
      - In Tiberiun Sun (and Firestorm), even though the AI is weak, it gave the illusion of being strong enough to withstand everything other than a massive zergling rush. There are debates about game balance - of course, these can't really be fixed in the main code without having a potential disruption to gameplay. While it may be possible to nibble away the base with long range attacks, it either takes a while or there's
    • For me, the whole Generals thing comes down to one element: The only thing it has to do with C&C is that they're both RTS games.

      Nothing else! Not the interface, not the mechanics, not the units, not the music (oh gosh, how can you dump the music?) not the story, NOTHING!

      Calling it C&C Generals was just a marketing ploy, and an insult to C&C.
  • by Mandorus (948130) on Friday December 01, 2006 @01:52PM (#17068672)
    I think almost a decade has passed since EA actually had a good name.
    • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:03PM (#17068894)
      More accurately, I think almost a decade has passed since EA has had a good name with those who pay attention to the industry

      The vast majority of gamers don't care. All they know is that on a lot of the games they play, they have to sit through the same 30 second logo at the beginning. Almost no one goes to the store to specifically buy (or not buy) a game from EA or any other developer. They go to buy a title or series.
      • I think it's wrong to say the vast majority of gamers don't care. I know a number that don't pay attention to the industry who lobbied me to boycott EA after they found out on their own about EA spouse and later the microtransaction fiasco. The vast majority of gamers are uninformed or ignorant.

        If they don't care, that would indicate they were aware the EA was making and selling piss poor products but had accepted that as okay.

        Semantics I know, but it's an important distinction I think. I doubt that if you
        • If you can tell me what I'm going to do, I will give you a million dollars.
          You are going to tell me that my prediction was incorrect (exact wording may vary.)
          • The joy of the situation is that I both must and cannot give you a million dollars, as your prediction is simultaneously correct and incorrect.

            Sophisms and paradoxes... so fun.
      • by Jartan (219704)
        Almost no one goes to the store to specifically buy (or not buy) a game from EA or any other developer.


        No offense but that's obviously false. A few companies like Blizzard and Bioware can get a lot of people to show up to buy a game just because they made it. People give them the benefit of the doubt.

        I'll agree EA never had such a status to "lose" though.
        • > I'll agree EA never had such a status to "lose" though.

          Yes, they did. They simply lost it a long time ago. As others
          have pointed out, back when EA made titles like Pinball
          Construction Set, Archon, M.U.L.E., Yeager's Flight Simulator,
          and so on, it was a name to be looked for.

          Chris Mattern
        • No offense but that's obviously false. A few companies like Blizzard and Bioware can get a lot of people to show up to buy a game just because they made it. People give them the benefit of the doubt.

          I'll agree EA never had such a status to "lose" though.

          Dont' forget Square-Enix, the guys at Valve and bungee. Ubisoft is no slouch either.
      • by Ant P. (974313)
        Does "paying attention to the industry" include people that notice 95% of their games are little more than full-priced service packs?
  • by doi (584455)
    I know you can't polish a turd, but I can't see how you could tarnish one either. Unless they change EA to mean Extraordinary Assholes. That would polish it somewhat.
    • by tepples (727027)

      I know you can't polish a turd, but I can't see how you could tarnish one either.

      EA, back in the box-ball-cone [wikipedia.org] days, used to stand for quality. Now it stands for McMediocrity.

  • What other shocking truths will these crazy journalists uncover next! I hear they're working on a piece regarding new evidence that water is apparently wet. Mind-blowing!
  • Can you? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by HiredMan (5546)
    I thought you couldn't polish a turd.

    Oops, that's says tarnish ... same principle though, really.

    =tkk
  • by Great Beyond (872699) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:16PM (#17069158)
    I weep for the early to mid 80's, where *EVERY* single title coming out of Electronic Arts was pure gold. M.U.L.E., Mail Order Monsters, Dr J vs Larry Bird, Racing Destruction Set, The Seven Cities of Gold, Archon - the list of quality, addictive games coming from them kept me and my Commie 64 busy for ages and ages.
  • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:22PM (#17069272) Homepage Journal
    Good idea: Offer players new and exciting content to download through online services, allowing your video games to generate extra revenue without having to develop an entirely new game that will vanish off the $60 shelves and into the $30 bargains in three weeks.

    Bad idea: Gut half of your $60 game and redistribute it claiming that your customers will want to pay extra for what they originally got for free.

    When I interact with a company I want to feel as though we are mutually benefitting each other. I give them my hard earned money, and they give me a product born of their own sweat and toil. I don't want to feel like I'm some resource they're trying to find new and more fiendish ways to exploit.
    • Re: Good idea (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450)
      If you look elsewhere, you will find that Valve is doing the Good Idea (except for the have-to-hope-Steam-won't-shut-down factor, which I still dislike). So it can be done. If EA is too stupid, tough luck ;-)
      • by Duggeek (1015705)

        Werd.

        From all of the Quake-clones, only a few really stand out. Unreal branched to make their own engine, ( recently licensed by EA Games [ea.com], in fact--NOTE: link downloads PDF file) so did Half Life (the first) [valvesoftware.com]. (partly responsible for the industry movement to "skeletal" modeling [wikipedia.org]) Of the two, Source engine is truly the more powerful. (even if not the more ubiquitous)

        Steam resembles a constant hack-in-progress, and the "Content Servers" are what get my goat every time. (2 megabit pipe and I'm still download

    • by Brunellus (875635)

      I wish gamers would quit whining about micro-transactions and simply stop funding them. Someone is buying those "extras," and so long as they can be sold at a profit, they will continue to be offered. Upset by micro-transactions? Then DON'T BUY THEM. Don't buy the games, buy the micro-transactions, and complain.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      If you can tell me what I'm going to do, I will give you a million dollars.

      You're going to post to slashdot some time in the next 12 months.

      • I'll give you a point for capitalizing on a overly general statement. Let me respond by assuring you that I will give you a million dollars. Unfortunately I can't give you an estimate on when at this time. But rest assured that at any moment, I could appear on your doorstep with a million dollars in hand.
  • 'Although market share has not declined dramatically to date, in years such as 2007, which promises to have tremendous competition, it seems likely if quality does not improve...
    What competition? I thought they'd finished buying and gutting every company that had a semi successful title in the last 5 years. And when they couldn't buy them, they obtained exclusive franchise licensing so they could torpedo their ships before they even left port.
    I have no idea what the future holds for EA. But I wouldn't be
    • by hurfy (735314)
      That does bring up a point.

      Their marketshare is not declining much sounds like it has dipped a tad.

      Would this not be a bad thing since they bought half the competition by now?? If you get rid of competitors and still don't gain any ground on who's left you failed. So they spent a bunch of extra $$ buying out people to simply hold their ground. Sounds like when there is noone left to buy up they will be in deep doo-doo to me.
  • RIP Westwood Studios (Score:2, Interesting)

    by liak12345 (967676)
    Watching EA run my favorite franchise into the ground was all the evidence I needed. It took EA about 9 months to come out with a patch for C&C Generals which could have been done with about 15 lines of code involving unit changes. I always hoped for more games like Red Alert.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hubbell (850646)
      No offense, but Red Alert was one of the prime introducers of the bane of RTS's, tank rushing. It's true that the C&C games up until Generals were fun, but by no means groundbreaking or original other than C&C95. If you want a truly original and good RTS, try Total Annihilation. [wikipedia.org]
  • this isn't the start (Score:3, Informative)

    by krotkruton (967718) on Friday December 01, 2006 @02:41PM (#17069554)
    EA lost their direction a long time ago. I used to play Ultima Online until EA bought it out. EA realized that getting two new customers was more profitable than keeping one veteran customer. That's true in the short run at least, which seems to be all they are thinking about.
    They seem to adopt this policy to non-subscription based games, although it is slightly modified: selling two almost completely similar (or two shitty) games is better than selling one original (or quality) game. The 2007 annual sports game lineup that EA released were barely an upgrade from 2006 (and 2006 wasn't that much better than 2005, but I'll give it credit for being relatively significant). They should have just put it off until they worked out their issues with the next-gen consoles, or pulled their heads out of their asses. If they started thinking more about what the customers want instead of maximizing profit in the short run, they might do a lot better. I know a lot of people are going to get into the "companies only care about money" rant, but a lot of the time, caring about your customers will lead to more money.
    • EA lost their direction a long time ago. I used to play Ultima Online until EA bought it out.

      Which of course has the order of events exactly reversed... Because EA bought Origin Systems [wikipedia.org] in 1992, while Ultima Online [wikipedia.org] was launched nearly five years later - in 1997.
      • I was unaware of that and was obviously mistaken. I just remember getting an update one day and then seeing the EA logo appear as I loaded the game, so I assumed it was bought out by EA at that point. After reading the wiki page, I think the time I am referring to is right around when EA cancelled most of Origin's products and Richard Garriot left. To me, that was the point that "Ultima was bought out by EA", although its more like EA took over Ultima in Garriot's absence.
  • by L-Train8 (70991) <Matthew_Hawk @ h o tmail.com> on Friday December 01, 2006 @03:11PM (#17070152) Homepage Journal
    The article says that reviews for EA games have been getting worse since two years ago. That's about when EA started signing exclusive licensing agreements with professional sports. Without an NFL 2K7, why does Madden 07 have to be any better? If you want to play as your favorite NFL team, you have to go wtih Madden.

    The article also cites alot of movie and comic book license games as proof of declining quality. But again, EA has the inside track on a lot of that IP. They are one of the few companies big enough to lock up the pricey licenses. There is a reason that Rare never made another James Bond game after their biggest hit, GoldenEye. EA is a giant, multi-platform developer who could pay Universal Studios a lot of money for exclusive rights to James Bond.

    And when a kid goes to the store, he doesn't say "That game is an EA game, so it must suck," he says, "That is a Superman game, so it must suck." EA's reputation doesn't get tarnished when Superman Returns sucks. What gets tarnished is the reputation of Superman games (already pretty bad).

    Right now, EA has the money and clout to get a lot of exclusive licenses. They can sell a lot of mediocre games with a great license, especially if they are the only ones in town with a game of your favorite series.
    • I've personally made it a goal to never buy another EA game, no matter how much I've been looking forward to it. Once you buy an EA game it doesn't matter how much you complain, you've already given them your money. However, there are plenty of great games out, old and new, and I don't have the money to buy all of them... therefore I'm not going to support EA with the money I do spend.
  • by TheBouncer2006 (978273) on Friday December 01, 2006 @03:21PM (#17070362)

    My friend is a big Superman fan and pre-ordered "Superman Returns" the video game direct from the EA store. This was in April, the game then got pushed back to a November release date. In the meantime he had already been charged for the game. The game was supposed to be released on November 20th. As of November 24th my friend still did not recieve his game.


    The only way to contact someone at the EA store if their is a problem is by logging in and sending a support e-mail which they say someone will get back to you in 24 hours. Three days later my friend still heard nothing after sending a support email and asked if I could help him somehow. I tried to find a phone number for the EA store - no luck, checked their main website etc... still no numbers got the address for EA games and googled it which gave me the corporate HQ number and location in the U.S. Called long distance to California to try to get it sorted out and the secretary instantly put my friend into an automated computer response system that did not have any options for the problem he was experiencing it then took a survey from him and hung up on him.



    We called back a second time and got the same secretary again who transferred us to some guy that just went by the name of "Mike" he would not give his ufll name badge number nothing... I asekd him how my buddy could just get a refund since he went out and bought the game at the store since no one had gotten back to him. The guy said "Their is no one you can contact at the EA store the only way to contact someone is through their webmail form" I asked for a supervisor he said "I don't have the name of one to give you" I asked well who do I contact if this is not resolved ? He had no answer. I asked for his information in case this wasn't taken care of he just gave me his first name and refused to give me any other information and just kept saying it will be corrected I have let a supervisor know.


    The morale of this story I would NEVER BUY ANYTHING DIRECT FROM EA EVER.

    - He paid ahead of time

    - They have no customer service except for email

    - They have a don't call us or contact us if you have a problem policy

    - They have a VERY SHADY way of doing business with customers.

    - You can't talk to anyone live if you have a problem. Unless you call corporate HQ in which case you might get a Janitor for all anyone knows named "MIKE".

  • by Avatar8 (748465) on Friday December 01, 2006 @03:23PM (#17070400)
    For years gamers have known that EA was on the decline. Like a bad sequel to a movie, they just kept pumping out the same crap with new bells and whistles; no real development or innovation in sight.

    Now that a business analyst looks at it, we see evidence that EA is rotten to the core, not just bruised on the surface. They're apparently doing everything wrong, game-wise, development-wise and business-wise. The only thing they seem to do correctly is take over, assimilate and ruin a game studio in just such a manner as to manipulate the market share and keep their piece of pie the same size.

    I'll never forgive EA for how it has ruined numerous studios (Origin was my favorite), several (former) employees' lives and the games that we loved to play.

    ...in May EA told investors that it was "prioritizing game quality higher than making that date,"
    Something familiar about those words....

    Oh, yeah. That has been Blizzard's policy for a decade now. "It's done when it's done." Go figure that it only took EA 10 years to adopt the one practice they should have been doing from the beginning.

    Too little, too late. I feel extremely sorry for all of the lives it would affect, but I seriously hope EA bites the big one, goes down the toilet and either gets bought by a REAL game company or is taken apart and sold for scrap.

    • by Duggeek (1015705)

      Can you say VaLVe [valvesoftware.com]?

      Revolutionary 3D engine. Online direct-to-drive purchasing and net-play platform. Open door to the community to modify their products, and turn-key partnering for smaller developers to release new and innovative titles. (2D/3D/RPG... you name it)

      Often remembered for their "just in time" releases, they have always put quality at the forefront.

      If EA has any lessons to learn, they could far worse than learning from VaLVe's example.

  • by Workaphobia (931620) on Friday December 01, 2006 @03:38PM (#17070690) Journal
    There is one reason why I have not yet dumped my EA stock: Spore. I'm not expecting it to save the company or anything, but I feel like I'd be a fool to sell before it's released.

    Actually, the only reason I even bought EA shares several years ago was because I was a Will Wright fan.
    • by rdwulfe (890032)
      I completely agree with this one. However, I worry like mad that EA's going to absorb Maxis completely before Spore comes out, and the beast will consume all of the potential that is there before it bears fruit. Wulfe
      • by Fulminata (999320)
        EA has absorbed Maxis completely. They shut down the Maxis offices a couple of years ago and moved everyone but Will over to the other side of the bay onto their main campus. Several Maxis employees decided that changing from a twenty minute to a two hour commute wasn't for them and left shortly after. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Will is the only one left from pre-EA Maxis.
  • I totally agree, I can't believe what's happened to EA over the years. I think Battlefield 2 was the beginning of the end, endless map exploits and game bugs, followed by late patches that came in at 400-500MB's a piece. Give us a break EA, do you think we're going to buy 2142 after all the bullshit you put us through? Unfortunatly, every game I play these days has the 'ol EA tramp stamp of approval when you load up.. BAH! DIE! DIE DIE DIE!
  • Electronic Arts have been the scourge of the gaming industry for years. Every single time I've seen an article on here talking about a "current slump," I've found myself thinking, "Look no further than EA for the reason why, guys."

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Art can not and must not be produced on an assembly line. EA's biggest fault is their attempting constantly to do this. Their other enormous problem is that the *only* thing they as a company (or at least the management) care about i
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Art can not and must not be produced on an assembly line. EA's biggest fault is their attempting constantly to do this.

      I'm a former EA developer myself, and I poured a lot of my own blood, sweat, and tears into titles that I never had much faith in to begin with -- but that is the nature of being a small cog in a very large machine. The bolded point up here is very valid, though. By tying so much of EA's commercial viability into pre-existing IP like movies
      • by petrus4 (213815)
        This is a huge corporate monolith, there's no doubt about that, but to think that the company is operating from an "us against them" perspective is fairly inaccurate.

        I need to clarify. My point was a belief that EA's sole reason for existence (at least in the minds of its' upper management) was to literally generate more money than any individual member of said management could hope to spend in their lifetime. I only feel that they are in opposition to anyone to the extent that if they feel that creativit
      • by Avatar8 (748465)

        how they treat employees is a conclusion being drawn far more from conjecture than any real-world experience.

        I live in Dallas and I had several friends who lived in Austin and worked at Origin Systems. A portion of my hatred of EA comes from their experience when EA acquired Origin. They were given the choice of move to CA or find a new job. Those I spoke to who chose to move informed me that their pay was not increased enough to compensate for the cost of living difference from TX to CA. From what I gat

  • I vowed to never buy another EA game after Battlefield 2. Thier draconian, broken copy protection, lack of support, and general lack of insight into the industry have poisoned the well for me. They expect the game industry to bow to them rather then listen to thier customers. They've become too big, no longer innovate, and care solely about the bottom line and not the art of making video games. In short they've become the Microsoft.
  • Sure they are ruining their image.

    Look how crap they game boxes are in Brazil:

    BF2 cds came in a plastic bag, and need for speed carbon (collectors edition) came in a cardboard with glued fubber pin.

  • My last purchase with EA was a BF2 booster pack through their newly christened download service. Didn't work, tech support doesn't know why and will only give me the same answer repeatedly despite telling them their canned answer doesn't work. I looked around, and this problem is experienced by numerous other users besides me but isn't addressed by EA. So of course, that taught me not to buy any more EA products. BF2142 being one I would have bought if not for my problems with the previous iteration. E
    • BF2142 being one I would have bought if not for my problems with the previous iteration.

      I skipped that one aswell due to problems with BF2 and reported bugs and spyware [slashdot.org] in 2142.
  • Again, we have to give EA credit for creating the best Golf series ever. Tiger woods is awesome.
  • You get the Need for Speed Carbon Collectors' Edition. 8 hours later you've finished the game (WTF? that was quick!). But you haven't even unlocked all the cars yet as you were meant to get the EA Downloader Edition to get the Pagani Zonda. What is my friend meant to do who bought the game on PS2? That 50+ car list isn't looking so good now, is it?! EA, stop crippling your games. Too late for me though, you won't get another cent out of me ever again.
  • by Kuvter (882697)
    Don't worry Spore will bring it back for a little while. It probably will be the only EA game I buy too.
    • More likely, EA will manage to kill Spore by either charging a monthly subscription fee for those who want to download content. That's if we're lucky.
      If we're unlucky, they'll charge each time Spore wants to go out and find new content to fill a niche: every time a new lifeform is needed, up comes the credit card prompt.
      Imagine how that would look to the suits: People pay to buy our game, generate content for it for free, and then we get to turn around and sell that content too! Every Spore customer
  • I was in Hong Kong two weeks ago, which happened to coincide with the PS3 launch and EA's new public space at the top of the Peak Tram route in the new building looking over Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.
    So you have thirty PS2s, xbox360s and PCs.
    No PS3s.
    No Wii.

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