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EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the leveraging-synergies-like-a-champ dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Geek.com: "Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Labels, has shown that business truly does come before gameplay with comments he made as part of a preview document for the CloudGamingUSA event happening on September 11-12 in San Francisco. Gibeau is very proud of the fact he has never green lit a single project that consisted solely of a single-player experience. He insists that every game EA publishes has an online component to it. His reason for doing this? Apparently EA has 'evolved with consumers (PDF)' suggesting he thinks this is what consumers want in every game. ... Forcing online into every game makes little sense. While it works for a Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Fifa or Need for Speed title, there's just as many games that don't need it to succeed, or even work for online play. A good example of this would be the forthcoming SimCity, which has upset fans of the series because it will require an constant Internet connection to play. That isn't a DRM measure, it's due to the tight integration of multiplayer and how all players impact each others games."
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EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:17PM (#41240361)
    "multi player only" is just code for "always connected to the internet", been there, tried that, no thanks.
    • by markdavis (642305) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:28PM (#41240519)

      Bingo. It probably is just an excuse to make more money.

      Personally, I can't stand ANY multiplayer games. Not sure exactly why, I guess I prefer to compete against fixed challenges and at my own pace. I am probably in the minority, but I certainly can't be alone.

      • by SirSlud (67381)

        To be clear, he just means all games will have an MP component, not that all games will required to be played online. The 'always on DRM' is falling out of favour with developers (Ubi has backed out this practice over the past few months) for all the reasons gamers dislike it.

        • by Your.Master (1088569) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @07:35PM (#41241303)

          An MP component forces certain design decisions though, which aren't always appropriate to a single-player game and are frustrating to encounter over and over, especially in certain genres. That, or you end up with two games, somewhat related but optimized very differently, packaged together in one box where most consumers are really only after one or the other playstyle.

          Multiplayer components to sim type games can be awful burdens.
          Multiplayer for sports/racing/fighting games is pretty much expected.
          Multiplayer for RTS or FPS is also a given, though it tends to enforce play-balance decisions. Blizzard steps much farther away from play-balance with the single player game, which is interesting but also frustrating when I'm waiting for my single-player SC2 experience because they need to endlessly rebalance the multiplayer (and I have played some original Starcraft multiplayer and enjoyed it, but it's not my main thing). Though I recognize that maybe SC2 wouldn't exist at all if not for the giant pot of gold that is SC2 multiplayer.
          Multiplayer for adventure games is almost uniformly stupid. I say almost because sometimes they find unique ways of being stupid.
          RPGs are so profoundly different with a multiplayer component that you typically hear of MMORPGs as their own genre with little crossover. Most RPGs I encounter that have both single and multiplayer are really action games with minor RPG components. You could probably do Fallout as a straight shooter if you pull out VATS, so there's the potential there, but it's not really the same game at all and it would make a shitty shooter. Neverwinter Nights being an interesting sort of exception.

          Blanket statements like that make it less likely that I'd get an EA game other than maybe an RTS. II don't like most of the genres that have multiplayer as a given anyway.

          • by Urza9814 (883915)

            Blanket statements like that make it less likely that I'd get an EA game other than maybe an RTS. II don't like most of the genres that have multiplayer as a given anyway.

            After the way they obliterated the Command and Conquer series, I wouldn't trust them with an RTS either...

            • You don't tell me this wasn't a given when you saw what they did to the Sim $topic line of products when they swallowed Maxis, do you?

          • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @09:36PM (#41242397) Homepage

            Time for a reality check. We all know what it really is all about. It's for short sucky single campaign so the marketing dicks can say but it's multi player. Basically when the keep using the same game engine over and over again it ain't even a new game, just a mod with new maps and they cheap ass even that level of development trying to rely on millions upon millions spent on saturation marketing. Asshats spend less money on marketing and more on developing better games and you will generate higher sales. Continue to think marketing can get you out of crap development just continues to prove you have no idea how the internet works and how it chews up and spits out marketing.

            • But then all you'd have to do is squeeze out a game every year with the same crappy gameplay, simply tack the year to the name of the game and ...

              Uh...

              Did EA copyright that? I sure hope so, then we can at least buy the games from the other studios before they catch on.

        • by petsounds (593538) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:33PM (#41241905)

          To be clear, he just means all games will have an MP component, not that all games will required to be played online. The 'always on DRM' is falling out of favour with developers [...]

          Right...so explain then why EA's forthcoming SimCity reboot requires online?

          This is not about the customer, this is about forced obsolescence ("EA has announced the SimCity servers will sunset on Sept. 1. Thank you for playing, and pre-order SimCity 2 now!"), tracking user behaviour, and DLC. TL;DR - money, money, money.

      • by sqlrob (173498) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:34PM (#41240613)

        Nope, you're not alone. I'm the same way, have been for years.

        I play for fun, I'm not going to make it another job trying to arrange my schedule around raids or matches, or dealing with a lot of the cheating idiots.

        • by Zadaz (950521) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:09AM (#41244181)

          No mod points this week to mod you up so I'll just post this to say: Exactly!

          To me this is the equivalent of book publishers saying they'll only sell books to people who read them in book clubs.

          Well I hate book clubs. I want to read at my own pace, not the pace of the group. And I hate multiplayer games. I want to play on my own schedule. And I want repeatable experiences. Multiplayer games can't offer this.

          And add to it that now that my friends and I are all adults, finding time to game together is rare. And when we do have mutual free time we'd rather spend it face-to-face than face-to-screen.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:35PM (#41240627)

        For me it is that the players online are usually casual who play every so often or hyper skilled and know every intricacy and trick in the book. Therefore, the online difficulty is super easy or super hard. That is not a fun environment to play with. It is like playing chess against someone who just learned the rules or a grandmaster and not knowing who is whom ahead of time.

      • by Macrat (638047)

        Bingo. It probably is just an excuse to make more money.

        Personally, I can't stand ANY multiplayer games. Not sure exactly why, I guess I prefer to compete against fixed challenges and at my own pace. I am probably in the minority, but I certainly can't be alone.

        You don't like being killed after a couple of minutes over and over and over and over again? :-)

        • by markdavis (642305)

          >"You don't like being killed after a couple of minutes over and over and over and over again? :-)"

          LOL!!!! OK, that might be part of it too :)

        • by meerling (1487879)
          Especially when you're playing Solitaire and just got all the aces out. :)
      • by chilvence (1210312) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @07:01PM (#41240921)

        Personally, I can't stand ANY multiplayer games. Not sure exactly why, I guess I prefer to compete against fixed challenges and at my own pace. I am probably in the minority, but I certainly can't be alone.

        I think I may be able to add to your point of view, in the unlikely event that any game devs are reading:

        There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

        Some people become obsessed with online games, and perhaps I can see why it would be a diversion, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people are only interested in playing games against the people in their own existing social circle, and could not give a damn about massively multiplayer, always online bullshit - and that to lump every gamer in that crowd would be a disastrous folly. Networked games are a beautiful thing, when they are combined with a social, friendly and close knit group of friends, where all players are in hearing distance and it resembles something like a sporting event; but when exposed to the stark, impersonal world of the internet, they are about as good as a kick in the face!

        • by markdavis (642305)

          Well said

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:09PM (#41241639) Journal
          If I had mod points you'd be getting them, that was thoughtful and well said. I think that's why I've pretty much stopped getting games anywhere but Steam, all my family and friends are there so if I want to fire up a game like Saints Row 3 I can just pop off a message to one of my buds and say "Hey want to join me in some carnage?" and playing with or against them is actually FUN. Playing against some stranger (and for some reason I usually get the smartass that "talks" in SMS speak which drives me up a wall) is simply not fun, I'd say its worse than playing against the computer as i'm not getting LOLSpeak popups from the damned computer.
        • by danaris (525051)

          There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

          I would love to play, for instance, StarCraft 2 against people of my own social circle. Unfortunately, none of them are in the least interested in playing. (I used to regularly play WarCraft 2 with a group of my high school friends, but they have since all gone off who knows where, and we didn't really keep in touch at all.)

          Thus, I play on the ladder, against people I don't know, and try my best to improve my skill that way.

          Dan Aris

          • by maugle (1369813) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @09:09PM (#41242195)

            I would love to play, for instance, StarCraft 2 against people of my own social circle. Unfortunately, none of them are in the least interested in playing. (I used to regularly play WarCraft 2 with a group of my high school friends, but they have since all gone off who knows where, and we didn't really keep in touch at all.)

            Thus, I play on the ladder, against people I don't know, and try my best to improve my skill that way.

            Dan Aris

            I really dislike ladder-style multiplayer: you're always playing to win and advance to more difficult opponents, and after a point that just stops being fun. Whereas, when playing with my friends, we can do fun stuff like "everybody build up for 10 minutes, then our armies face off in the middle of the map".

            Similarly, when I played Halo 2 on XBox Live against strangers, I became too experienced. After a while, I was so much better than my friends that playing the game with them stopped being fun for anyone.

            • by Sparton (1358159)

              I really dislike ladder-style multiplayer: you're always playing to win and advance to more difficult opponents, and after a point that just stops being fun. Whereas, when playing with my friends, we can do fun stuff like "everybody build up for 10 minutes, then our armies face off in the middle of the map".

              In a similar vein to an above comment, it's great that you enjoy that experience of only playing within your social circle, but your preferences (and circumstances) aren't shared by the rest of us. Hell, I'd love to play the new Transformers against a bunch of my friends... but I know exactly 2 guys who have it, and I haven't had a chance to sync up with them online to play even a single match. Getting about a dozen of my closest friends online to play that game is an impossibility, as awesome as it would b

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by WSOGMM (1460481)

          There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

          I very much disagree. I like having a consistently large player pool with which to compare my play. Many of the people you play in online games have already gotten good enough to beat or compete with the best computer opponents. Facing a human player, in my experience, provides a new and unique challenge, even if you can't see their face.

          There are also often large gaps in skill between friends that play games. The discrepancies between friends gets taken away when you play against a large player pool. Who

        • Whether you are aware of it or not, a human opponent will usually be a more interesting challenge than a computer. It may be that a computer would be better, and win more often, but it will be more balanced versus another human player, and the opponent won't just be following a script based on some rules. For example, Counterstrike: I can trounce the bots like cheddar but once in a while I come up against someone who actually gives me a run for my money instead of watching as I shit all over them, like they

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        You are not alone friend, as while there are a couple of games I'll play online co-op with friends or family (Saints Row 3 and we're looking forward to Torchlight 2 so we can go dungeon crawling together) I frankly have NO desire to run like a chicken with its head cut off blasting everything that twitches.

        Once in awhile I'll fire up a little Bioshock II MP but that is more of a friendly team thing since it always ends up a race to either find the Big daddy suit or get together and drop the guy who grabbed

      • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:09PM (#41241637) Journal
        Fallout 3. Game of the year [wikipedia.org] for several years by several groups. Massively successful. And a completely single player game. For the first time since Mech Warrior, I actually want to see a game I play/played put online (but inside I know it would likely fuck it right up). Many people obviously enjoy single player games. You aren't alone.
      • I like multiplayer for FPS games, but when it comes to strategy (real time or turn based), I very very rarely play against people. RPGs I tend to mostly play on my own, but its sometimes fun to have friends play too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slashmydots (2189826)

        Personally, I can't stand ANY multiplayer games. Not sure exactly why, I guess I prefer to compete against fixed challenges and at my own pace. I am probably in the minority, but I certainly can't be alone.

        Nope. Here's, let me prove it. Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Well if it was like Bioshock II, where you could completely ignore it if you wanted? i don't see a problem with that. With Bioshock II you could completely ignore the MP if you wanted, it was just there if you wanted to spend a few minutes blasting other players but really didn't matter, same with Bulletstorm. But if you have to be online always? No thanks, even Ubisoft abandoned that crap.

      Is it really any surprise that EA is on the selling block with stupidity like this though? They have been puking ou

  • not too surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:18PM (#41240395)

    EA, for a while now, has been spooked by Facebook and web games' rapid rise in market share, and desperately worried that they're eking out legacy profits on a sinking ship. To make matters worse, their last gamble on a designer-led Maxis game, Spore, didn't turn out to be very profitable. So I'm not too surprised by this position, even if I don't like it artistically.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:44PM (#41240731)

      Spore didn't suck because of Maxis or developer involvement. Spore sucked because of EA and EA's business decisions.

      The huge buzz caught the attention of executives and they decided to take their high-concept property and rape it's corpse for all it was worth, even before it launched.
      Pencil dick middle managers smelled another sims, and with dreams of endless expansions, tried as hard as they could to turn spore in to a product they could sell the public incrementally over many years.

      Well, you know the rest. The game sucked. Every bit of awesome creative vision was dashed out at the hands of the clueless goons that pat themselves on the back for running EA.

      Today, here we are again hearing clueless shit from some shirt who would not know fun if it was beaten in to him with a rusty pipe. We know why EA's game suck. It's not the developers, its the useless layers of executive staff and management parasites that define the modern American business.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        The huge buzz caught the attention of executives and they decided to take their high-concept property and rape it's corpse for all it was worth, even before it launched. Pencil dick middle managers smelled another sims, and with dreams of endless expansions, tried as hard as they could to turn spore in to a product they could sell the public incrementally over many years.

        FYI, there's a game now that's using the stuff from Spore (Spore Engine?). It's called Darkspore, and it's actually fun to play (for me at least, and unlike the original game). However, it has nothing to do with the concept behind Spore itself, it's just apparent from the unique creature style (and the creature editor for upgrades).

        The only problem I have with it is that even though I bought it on Steam (when it was on sale), I have to sign into my EA account every time I want to play it, even when I only w

      • some shirt who would not know fun if it was beaten in to him with a rusty pipe.

        I smell another blockbuster idea here. Beat the Shirt!
        Now on iPhone and Android!

    • To make matters worse, their last gamble on a designer-led Maxis game, Spore, didn't turn out to be very profitable.

      To be fair if they had taken the more obvious lessons [cad-comic.com] from that failure Madden 10 would have been a very unique departure from the previous games.

    • Newsflash to managers: Computer game players that are interested in single player games don't give half a shit about Facebook and similar social crap.

      Example: Tropico 4. Take a look at any review from a player and show me a single one where someone praised the Facebook option. If mentioned at all, it's more along the lines of "T4 is just T3 with a pointless option to put your achievements on FB" (which is, sadly, quite true).

  • He isn't saying that they're shoehorning multiplayer into every game. He's saying that every game should include an online component of some sort, as he says right here [kotaku.com]. They're not saying that games should all have multiplayer involved. They're saying that they should involve the internet in some way. There is nothing wrong with this. For example, take optional high score challenges in Mirror's Edge. The Sim City example, where online is required, is a bad example because that's just one game and the game

    • by blahplusplus (757119) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:22PM (#41240439)

      LOL The reality is he wants to use the internet to normalize DRM one small step at a time. Everyone has seen diablo 3's success and the are CHOMPING AT THE BIT to do the same to every other game. See through the PR matrix.

      • by Sabriel (134364)

        I've bought the game, so I'll play the game, but *damn* I'll be wary of anything else that isn't a true MMO but still "needs" to be welded to an online server.

        The repeated downtimes from patch, after scheduled maintenance, after hotfix, after unscheduled maintenance, ad nauseum... the horribly inflated/distorted auction houses thanks to shoehorning the game into being an ersatz MMO whilst failing to implement a proper MMO economy accordingly... none of this would be an issue if the damn thing wasn't welded

      • Diablo 3 was a pyrrhic victory. It burned an INSANE amount of Blizz cred.
        • "Diablo 3 was a pyrrhic victory. It burned an INSANE amount of Blizz cred."

          6 million + in sales says what gamers say and what they do are two different things. Most gamers are addicts. They will bitch and buy anyway. If you have an audience like that then the publisher/devs are just going to milk that. That's what has traditionally happened when companies get that kind of power over their audience.

          People complained about the lack of LAN in SC2 but 5 mill+ bought it anyway. Complaining isn't enough for

          • Do you parse what i said? Pyrrhic victory is still victory, but at what cost? They will NEVER be able to hit that number with Diablo 4 (whenever that may be). D3 is a lesser son of greater sires, and the line is now tainted.
        • by Magius_AR (198796)

          Diablo 3 was a pyrrhic victory. It burned an INSANE amount of Blizz cred.

          Like it matters. Have you forgotten the suing of bnetd into oblivion? Or how about the lack of LAN play in Starcraft 2? Or the requirement of an online account for Starcraft 2? Blizzard has been "burning cred" for years, but no one seems to care. Their games still sell like hotcakes. So they'll keep doing it.

          • Well, we'll see how the sequel of the games you mention will fare. The players who enjoy StarCraft are not necessarily the same that play Diablo, hence the Diablo crowd didn't get burned by the SC2 debacle.

            Whether or not they lost their "cred" with their players and whether they burned the franchise will show with SC3 and D4.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:34PM (#41240601)

      He isn't saying that they're shoehorning multiplayer into every game. He's saying that every game should include an online component of some sort, as he says right here [kotaku.com]. They're not saying that games should all have multiplayer involved. They're saying that they should involve the internet in some way. There is nothing wrong with this. For example, take optional high score challenges in Mirror's Edge. The Sim City example, where online is required, is a bad example because that's just one game and the game was designed to be multiplayer-centric from the start. There are many, many single player games, like Mass Effect, that don't require the multiplayer or online functionality whatsoever. This is just FUD. EA isn't the best company around, sure, but including online features in single player games is definitely possible and it can't always be a bad thing depending on how it's implemented.

      Mass Effect is a great example. Thanks for bringing it up. When the series began, Bioware wasn't part of EA and there was no online component. EA's Mass Effect 3, on the other hand, requires players to either pvp or play an awful iPhone game to improve the effectiveness of their forces and unlock the most positive ending. This is the sort of shoehorning EA demands.

      • by GammaKitsune (826576) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @07:15PM (#41241081)
        That's simply not true. In Mass Effect 3, the online component is completely optional. You can use the multiplayer component or the iPhone game to get the better ending if you want, but it's entirely possible to get the best ending in the game entirely through single player, without ever touching the online components. Furthermore, the multiplayer is cooperative, not PvP. In fact, there is no PvP option in ME3 that I'm aware of. I'm not EA's biggest fan by any means, but at least get the facts right.
      • by svick (1158077)

        1. As far as I know, you don't actually need to play the multiplayer or the iPhone game to get the best ending. But to get it without those, you need to play more singleplayer missions that you would otherwise.
        2. The Mass Effect 3 multiplayer is not PvP (Player vs. Player). It's cooperative, you fight with a bunch of other people against waves of AI enemies.

        Personally, I don't usually play multiplayer in games, but I thought that ME3 multiplayer was quite fun and not shoehorned in.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      He's saying that every game

      No, he's saying every game *EA* publishes should have multiplayer. Paradox does strategy and historical games, EA is all in on a 'multiplayer customer relationship' for want of a better way of putting it. If you want a single player game you don't have to publish it with EA, and if you don't like strategy games you don't have to ever buy anything from Paradox. Valve is pushing very hard for every new game to have achievements because that's part of what they think their customers want from the experience

    • They're saying it's easier to control consumers, attempt to kill used game sales and force people to quit playing games when it has to call home.
    • by meerling (1487879)
      I wouldn't say exactly that. Shoehorning in some kind of internet functionality, especially into a game where it is utterly extraneous, is extra time, complexity, bug issues, and costs. It does effect the final product, and when it's shit slapped on just because the CEO said to, it makes the final product worse, not better.

      (You don't really think they allocate extra money, devs, testing, or time to a project for an unnecessary bolt-on just because the CEO wants that extra whatever now do you?)
  • by addie (470476) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:21PM (#41240429)

    I'm going to avoid the DRM/always-online part of this, but I'm thrilled SimCity is going online. Cities do not exist in a vacuum, and it's about time the game really tries to simulate a regional economy.

    It's a game that doesn't have to be online, but I'm glad it will be!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Online play should be optional. How else will I be able to opt out of being trolled?

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      It's a game that doesn't have to be online, but I'm glad it will be!

      Naturally then, because you like it, everyone else will too. Other similarly bad arguments: Love it or leave it, you're not a game developer so your opinion doesn't count, you don't love it as much as I do, you're not part of [Favored Group] so you can't understand, and my personal favorite: If we listened to you, this kind of thing wouldn't exist!

      • by addie (470476)

        You have the same platform here as I do to express your opinion. If that opinion is that you don't think SimCity should go online, then by all means say so.

        I said I was happy it will be online; I'm not sure how that suggests everyone else has to feel the same way. But perhaps you just want to be confrontational hmm?

        • If that opinion is that you don't think SimCity should go online, then by all means say so.

          I don't think it should or shouldn't. I think that the game's design and the designers should make the decision as to whether or not a feature or aspect of gameplay should be developed or included. What's happening here is that a manager who is far-removed from the creative process has, without much knowledge or understanding of the product, its expected user-base, or the market itself, has dictated terms to the design team. Sometimes this is a non-fatal mistake, but usually when management does this (in an

          • by addie (470476)

            Fair enough, if that was the case.

            But who's to say that SimCity wouldn't have gone online without such interference from management? I can think of a number of ways a SimCity experience could be improved (albeit with complications) by bringing it online. Can't we assume there are game designers who may agree? Who are we to assume that the current SimCity design team doesn't agree? I can't comment on the Sims, as it never appealed to me, but since SimCity 2000 I have wanted to be able to play a persistent se

    • by dido (9125)

      Well, if they're going to do that, well, a logical step to take would be that that they'd make it so that you can declare war on rival city-states and attack them and conquer them. At which point it stops being Sim City and turns into Civilization.

    • I would love to tie my cities to other cities of people I like to play with.

      I would hate to be forced to tie my cities to cities of trolls that game the game and whose only goal is to ruin your experience.

      See the difference?

  • Such a Shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:29PM (#41240543)
    They've bought their fair share of studios that were previously oriented around a great single-player experience, and have proceeded to suck the life force out of many of them. Bioware is one such studio that comes to mind. After seeing what they did to Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3, it's likely I won't buy another EA game again for a long while. It's really sad seeing these once-great studios killed by the plague that is EA Games.
    • Re:Such a Shame (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zlives (2009072) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:33PM (#41240585)

      DA2 was my limit.
      that's why I for one fund things like Wasteland2

    • Whilst I feel some anger towards EA for this Exec's blatant greed ('this is not DRM' - yeah, right), I take a more 'market driven' approach towards this problem. Good games will always sell - and they'll make lots of money. Studios that cultivate good single-player games won't work with EA, and another publisher will win the profits. EA botched Mass Effect 3 (slowest boot up ever), but that wasn't bad enough to destroy the game. If/when they're inflexible business policy does destroy a game, it just won
    • by gweihir (88907)

      Completely agree. In particular, Bioware is a real loss. It is a pity that cretins without vision or intent to do anything right can amass so much money and can destroy so much others have built.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      The last EA game I played was Command & Conquer 4 and I got that for free. Even then, I played it for a while and gave up.
      It just wasn't FUN in the way every previous C&C title was.

      Lately I have been replaying the Ghostbusters video game and the Tron 2.0 game (both of which provide a FUN experience) and may well pick up my Diablo 2 character (Like EA, Blizzard took the good stuff out of Diablo 3 when they decided to make it into essentially an MMO without the persistent world)
      I have considered conti

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:33PM (#41240591)

    Seriously, what the fuck?

    If you asked me to name one thing that pisses me off more then most other things today, I'd say that it's this "forced-socialization" everyone is jumping on.

    I deal with people all day, I'm a consultant for some seriously niche and highly proprietary technology. Sometimes I deal with nice people. Sometimes I deal with smart people. Sometimes I deal with stupid people, and sometimes I deal with complete and utter fuckwads. I do this every day, five days a week. I usually spend one day on the weekend hanging out with friends and family, which leaves me one day to forget about reality and escape to the far reaches of some magical galaxy where I can have a nice private adventure in the comfort of my own living room.

    The last thing I want is to be forcefully shoved into a virtual room with a bunch of vulgar screaming 12 year olds who think they're "the shit" while I'm simply "shit".

    I don't play games to deal with people. I play games to get away from people. I deal with people enough during the day.

    Why the fuck can't game companies understand this?

    -AC

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:39PM (#41240659)

    Look EA, these days my problem isn't a lack of good games, it is a lack of time. I have so damn many games it is insane. There are a lot of companies in gaming and though a lot of crap comes out, a lot of good stuff does as well. So I don't need your games. I want them, but I don't need them.

    If you force always online for a game that doesn't need it, or force me to play multi-player in a game where I want a single player experience (like Dragon Age 3) then I just won't buy it. I'll get other games instead.

    I don't at all mind multi-player games, I have many. However any good multi-player or single player game almost always is good because they focus on it. If there is stupid shit bolted on that you have to play to play the real game, it will diminish things.

    As a good example, compare Battlefiled 3 and Mass Effect 3, both EA games. BF3 has phenomenal multi-player. It is a ton of fun. The single player is crap though, it was clearly bolted on to the game as an afterthought and really shouldn't be there. However, it isn't required so it is fine.

    Mass Effect 3 is a single player game, that is what the whole series has been and that is how it is made. However it has some shitty multi-player bolted on. Not RPG multiplayer, just a bad shooter. If you have a real shooter, it is amazing how bad it is comparatively. However worse than that you have to play it to get the "best" ending in the game (I use the term loosely since the ending is garbage). So you bought a game for SP and they want you to have a shit MP experience.

    Well lesson learned, I won't be buying a game like that again. I want a game that focuses on what it does well.

    A good example of one that does is Tribes Ascend. It is a multi-player shooter. It does have SP, but only in so far as practice levels. You can free roam any map to learn it and practise cop routes, or try out weapon loadouts on a test map against bots that do various things (stand still, walk in lines, jump, etc). They didn't try and put some cheesy SP in the game, it is an MP game, they just put in something to serve the MP better.

  • by Riddler Sensei (979333) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:42PM (#41240701)

    This somewhat tangentially reminds me of the Onion's jab on HP and the cloud [theonion.com]. That is, it sounds like Gibeau wants to move the company blindly in a direction and he barely even understands why. Being able to slap "online multiplayer" on the box was a cool thing...ten years ago. After many successes and many failures of applying online multiplayer to different types of games I think we these days have the information to apply it judicially. Some games benefit, others don't. Requiring online multiplayer takes out a HUGE chunk of your potential content, and thus customers. Either that or it bogs down what would otherwise be an excellent game with onerous multiplayer development and support.

    • Either that or it bogs down what would otherwise be an excellent game with onerous multiplayer development and support.

      Indeed. Arcanum [wikipedia.org] is an example of a game which may have suffered somewhat from extra effort necessary to support rarely used multiplayer features. It was and remains a good game in my opinion, but it could have been excellent if not for a few UI issues and some rather annoying quest bugs. As you said, some games benefit and others are harmed by these features. It takes a gamer and designer, who's played many different types of games over the years, to have the wisdom and knowledge necessary to tell the dif

  • Rural Gamers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nexion (1064) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:45PM (#41240737)

    I miss solo games. I purchased Diablo once I finally had a high speed internet connection (because dealing with logging in over satellite would have sucked). Yup, PAID for it. No desire to go multiplayer and my inability to play it up at the ranch prevented my initial purchase. Sad too... there isn't much to do in places where your best option for internet is satellite. Seems like the area, while sparsely populated, should be a great market for game studios. Downloading a multi gigabyte torrent is unthinkable over satellite. Thing is... it would require game makers take the time to publish DVDs that don't have a hundred outstanding bug fixes that would require a multi gigabyte download. So, no games for you rural world! Fear of piracy and complacency in QA pretty much make studios incapable of serving you.

    I do so love my apartment in the city. A shorter commute and the joy of broadband.

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:55PM (#41240841)

    I really like that the industry no longer wants to sell me games; I've saved hundreds of dollars not buying must-be-connected-to-the-internet games, and a couple of thousand not upgrading my PC to run them.

    The difference has gone into an exploration of finer Scotch and Irish whiskies that would otherwise have been out-of-budget.

    • I feel the same way these days. I would say however the industry stopped selling games the moment they started leasing them with limited installs and always-on internet. At least consoles are for the moment free of these shenanigans, although things like OnLive are a publisher's wet dream and once this becomes common place I'm just going to have to opt out all together.

      Myself, I've been rediscovering boardgames and TCGs to fill the PC gaming void together with the odd indie game.
  • For a a (longer or shorter) while, multi-player may be fun, but at some point I have always run into too many morons eventually. In a real MMORPG you can at least limit exposure by finding a guild, but in all the others, you can just forget about it. People that do not understand basic game-play but tell everybody what to do, cheaters, etc. Hence, my interest in these games is basically zero.

    That said, besides MMORPGs, all my best gaming memories are single player games. If EA does not want my money, fine.

  • It sure is terrible that EA is trying hard not to go down the tubes. The cost of modern games is enormous, a lot of them never even recoup their losses, and yes EA is trying to eke out every penny from games that do succeed. That way, they can be in business one more year.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      If EA wants more money from their games, they should listen to their customers instead of forcing misfeatures on them.

    • by tsotha (720379)

      You succeed by listening to your customers. One of the reasons the cost of modern games is enormous is the studios think every game has to be a Swiss army knife. Many of his customers, if not most, will be perfectly happy buying games without a MP component, which would save a lot of design, programming, and test time. And if EA thinks they're going to build the next Warcraft from yet another me-too FPS by including an online component they really are on their way out of business.

      IMO games have been get

  • EA seems to focus its creativity into innovating new and increasingly subtle ways to nickel and dime players. You really have to hand it to them, that is one area where they shine.

    It's not just in multiple levels of payment options for new content or in enhanced gameplay. They've taken it to the level of the psychological effect that branding has to mask the sensation that they're sucking money out of your pockets. Pick any game in the "Play4Free" universe, and see just how far you can actually get "playi
  • I bought Sims Medieval just last year, not long after it was released. It has absolutely no multiplayer component that i am aware of.
  • Your boycotting EA is not going to change the fact that the always-connected DRM model is going to be significantly more financially successful than the securerom one.

    Put all the code on the servers, ship only the art, watch the money flow in. That is what Blizzard taught everyone.

    • by Rennt (582550)

      Your boycotting EA is not going to change the fact that the always-connected DRM model is going to be significantly more financially successful than the securerom one.

      That's a dubious "fact" there. It assumes more effective DRM = increased sales... A content-industry fantasy that has not been observed in the real world.

  • Simcity isn't going multiplayer because it's "better for gameplay and the consumer" -- it's FORCING online play to attempt to pad EA's wallet with microtransactions. And on another front -- most likely putting some of the game logic on the server side only, much the same way that Diablo3 only has art assets and the engine on your PC, and the rest is all done on the server side.

    If they really felt multiplayer was best, they would give you the OPTION to go online, or the OPTION to use the global commodity mar

  • This is the exact reason I haven't bought an EA game since Dragon Age: Origins.

  • Remember back when Civilization had no multiplayer mode, and Sid Meier infamously said that his games would never have multiplayer because his customers didn't have friends? How the times have changed.
  • PopCap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grouchomarxist (127479) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:51PM (#41242051)

    Last year EA bought PopCap, the producer of a number of simple, but well done single player games, including Plants vs. Zombies. Although they've added multi-player elements to their games, the core experience is a single-player one. Recently they laid off about 50 people, including the designer of Plants vs. Zombies.

    It seems to me that EA doesn't care much about game play, just raking in more profits.

  • is a technological trap, so they can shut down master servers when new releases arrive for more sales incentive.
    Has anyone learned from their Madden series?
  • I'm in the male 25-35 demographic. I have disposable income. I don't play multiplayer games.

    Guess which gaming company doesn't get my money...

  • There are rumors that BioWare is working on a modernization of the Baldur's Gate saga, beginning with the 1st game and it's expansions. A game like Baldur's Gate is an entirely different proposition than a multiplayer online shooting game. It makes essentially zero sense to waste time adding multiplayer to the Baldur's Gate games because the characters, dialog and story are meant to be savored, like a good novel or a fine wine, at one's leisure. If people want stupid minors and their juvenile pranks, they w
  • Dear EA CEO,

    Do you play your company's own games? If not, you should be fired and replaced with somebody who does.

    How can we expect a company to make good products and good business decisions about their products unless they are a fan, themselves? Well, we can't.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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