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EA Responds To Its Appearance In the 'Worst Company In America' Poll 208 208

beerdragoon writes "Electronic Arts CEO Peter Moore has responded to the company's appearance in the finals of the Consumerist's Worst Company In America poll. Moore accepts some responsibility for some of EA's past failings: 'I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity. We owe gamers better performance than this.' However, he ignores or contests many of the common complaints about the company — issues that earned it a spot in the finals for the second year in a row. Quoting: 'Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period. ... Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."
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EA Responds To Its Appearance In the 'Worst Company In America' Poll

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:38PM (#43373787)

    This isn't the first time they've received such honors and they're still complete and utter bastards.

    Don't like EA and where they're herding the gamers? Don't buy their wares.

    Simple,
    Steve (from beyond).

  • Strictly DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by David89 (2022710) on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:42PM (#43373815) Homepage
    There was plenty of proof that the Always Online was purely a form of DRM not necessary for the gaming aspect of the product.
  • Oh good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Experiment 626 (698257) on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:43PM (#43373823)

    "Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not."

    If the always-on thing isn't there as a copyright enforcement thing, a crack to remove it won't run afoul of the DMCA. Thanks for giving your blessing on that, EA.

  • Not...a DRM scheme (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:43PM (#43373829)

    "When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck" -James Whitcomb Riley
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_typing [wikipedia.org]

  • by jaskelling (1927116) on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:44PM (#43373837)
    In the end, it doesn't really matter what you say or how often you deny that it's a DRM scheme. It's how your customers see it now, it's how they react and interact with it, and that's what it will be. Your ineptitude & outright idiocy brought this on yourselves, so you can stop calling your customers liars & ignoramuses - and just fix your crap. You know, try to do something competent and classy to improve your image. Or you can just keep doing what your doing and see yourself on this same list next year and every year, EA.
  • He's got a point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:45PM (#43373849)

    This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history, the mortgage crisis, and bank bailouts that cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

    There is a lot wrong with EA, but saying they're the worst company is fundamentally bullshit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:47PM (#43373871)

    I bought SimCity in the preorder, and I've only been able to play twice. $71 for two hours of poor game play will piss off people enough to never buy your products again. By refusing to give refunds for what is obviously broken and unplayable, you have lost customers for life.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday April 05, 2013 @06:54PM (#43373951)

    They've had products with glaring bugs that exist for years, yet never seem to shame them into fixing. Their multiplayer games are hopelessly hacked and they only release rare patches. I was a big fan of BF2142 and while the game play was excellent, the 1st release was so bad you could only play 1 or two rounds in a row before the game crashed. The update system is so bugged, I couldn't even play it now if I wanted to.

    EA is like a guy who beats the crap out of his wife, but doesn't think it's a big deal because she hasn't left him...yet.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:08PM (#43374049) Journal

    It sounds like a psychopath saying "Sure, I'll admit there's some scuffs on my shoes, but the blood on my hands, I swear to God those people wanted to die!"

  • ... which is to blindly state that the public is wrong.

    Because now it doesn't matter if they are wrong.... they've completely screwed the pooch with the people who expressed their negative opinion on the matter.

    Eventually, of course, they'll have to rationalize the whole thing to themselves by concluding that these people's opinions simply don't matter to them anyways.

    Way to go there, EA. Awesome PR. You will, I'm afraid, be eating those words eventually. Unfortunately, probably not before a whole lot of people lose their jobs.

  • Re:Oh good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wildfire Darkstar (208356) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:26PM (#43374219)

    That was EA's claim, at least initially. They appear to have been lying, or at least overstating the case substantially. The only things that seem to absolutely require an active connection are resource trading (which a lot of players never do, anyway) and the cloud-based save system.

    As I understand it, the game has already been cracked to work offline. The only reason it hasn't gotten more attention is because the inability to save makes it less than perfect for regular play.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:28PM (#43374239) Journal

    Well, there is some good news for EA - Zynga is poised to take the crown from 'em at the rate things are going there.

    I mean seriously - ganking existing stock options out from under from employees, working them into the dirt, and then laying off a chunk of them almost at random?

    EA must look like a frickin' workers' paradise from that kind of viewpoint.

  • Down with DRM! We hate your DRM! We demand you use our preferred DRM!

    s/Steam/Good Old Games/

    (or any other non-DRM vendor).

    Steam is just another form of DRM. Can't play on two machines at once, even on different games, if they share Steam accounts. Can't resell or loan games. Can't play games without an internet connection to Steam (either current, or recent within the time limit on Steam's offline mode). Can't play games if Steam's service goes away. Can't play games if Valve decides they don't like you and kills your Steam account. Can't play games if somebody jacks your Steam account and you can't sign on anymore.

    Since the point at which I wanted to re-sell a game that I felt Valve had damaged the gameplay experience of beyond repair, and was unable to do so due to the DRM, I have refused to purchase any more Valve products and try to avoid even buying anything through Steam, because they get a cut of that and it shows support for a DRM scheme. Don't "buy" DRMed products! This isn't a new problem, yet for some reason people keep buying Steam stuff anyhow...

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Friday April 05, 2013 @07:58PM (#43374447)

    "'Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not."

    BULLSHIT.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday April 05, 2013 @08:13PM (#43374563)

    The root problem with the new SimCity is not the always-on DRM crap (regardless of what it might actually be), its the fact that they took the game that basically created the god-simulation genre and ruined it by making it multiplayer-only with limited city sizes and other crap.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:52PM (#43375315) Homepage

    Then it's DRM. Period. We can't be any clearer on this.

    EA management's chronic inability to understand such basic things is truly remarkable.

  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Friday April 05, 2013 @09:58PM (#43375371)

    No, that just gives them ammunition. They can see download counts, look for unauthorized server connections, etc. From this, they deduce that the reason their titles aren't selling well is because of piracy, not because of the way they're designing their games and treating their users. And what does that lead to? More extreme anti-piracy measures, of course!

    Don't play them at all. Just avoid them altogether. Instead play games from companies that Get It. Then they'll have nobody to blame but themselves.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:29PM (#43375593)

    No, it works fairly well. The registration procedure is modest, you can recover your logins, you can play offline, and you don't need to keep original media lying around. You can download when you want, on as many computers as you want. You just can only play on as many as you bought licenses for the game. There's no rootkit, the application is lightweight and unobtrusive and robust, and there's an enormous and growiing variety of older and low cost games still available.

    This is what DRM should be. It limits your use, but it gets you good support and free installations as needed.

  • by bdwebb (985489) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:14PM (#43375865)
    How about direct employee perspectives: http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Electronic-Arts-Reviews-E1628.htm [glassdoor.com] Also, while you work for a competitor and don't really know what conditions are like in the many divisions of EA, I have two friends who do work for them in separate divisions and both say that the working environment is one of extreme stress, constant worry about your job, and requires that you work between 60 and 80 hours a week non-stop without overtime. If you complain about the hours, tough titty...you want to keep your job. While this may not necessarily be a real sweatshop as in children assembling shoes for $1/day for 12 hours (it's called a metaphor), even working for a competitor you have to pity those studios who have been bought up and absorbed into the giant shit machine that is EA. Talk about a night and day paradigm shift.

    You don't like their games? Don't buy them. You don't like the games my employer makes? Don't buy them. But sweatshops are sweatshops. I strive to be a great developer on great games for people that love games, but the sanctimoniousness tone of gamers these days with an outside perspective on how our industry really ticks makes it increasingly more difficult.

    I have a fair perspective on how the industry ticks and I'm saying, without sanctimony, that working for EA (maybe not in all divisions) sucks ass - from the mouth of the employees themselves. You may make awesome games...I'm not insulting you.

    And don't worry, you shouldn't have illusions about your boycott - there are enough folks like you who paint massive companies or countries or organizations with broad brushes that they actually do have an impact. So you can be happy your scatterbombs do impact the performances of games and get well meaning studios closed and reopened elsewhere (rebranded, because apparently, this is very confusing for people like you.) You might not take down EA, but you can be glad you'll probably be very very slightly responsible for an EA studio here and there to get shutdown for under performing just because of the monolithic brand they were operating under even though you wanted to play such and such a game.

    Wait...didn't you just say to not buy their games if i don't like them? I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said I'm already doing. You want to blame me for getting studios shut down because they are part of a giant mismanaged corporate entity?? Who's being sanctimonious now? Ultimately it is probably better for them because they can find a job at another developer like yours where they have a good work environment, can make some money, and can take pride in what they do as you do. As I said, and you reconfirmed - I have no illusions that my impact on their sales means a damn thing. The whole reason I don't purchase their games is because each one that I've tried in the last ~6 years has been garbage or riddled with issues regardless of how excited I was to play it or how much I wanted to like it.

    I just think it's fucking retarded to claim you're into games and think that railing against EA as a whole will lead to some kind of corporate meritocracy in the industry. You think you're playing games? You're the one who's being played.

    Again, I have no illusions that some meritocracy will form out of my protest. I'm didn't claim I was pulling a Gandhi and going on a hunger strike dude...I have been disappointed with their games repeatedly and so I don't buy their games anymore. I said, in a nutshell, that it was their mismanagement of their giant corporate machine that kills their games and that it would take their developers leaving for greener pastures to force some real change at the company. Your last statements are just silly but I have this to say: If you think that the conditions at EA are just something that you have to deal with to be a developer in your industry, and if your employer treats you like EA does its employees, then you work in a soulless environment that saps all of your creative drive and you are the one being played my friend.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @02:16AM (#43376647)

    http://imgur.com/a/gW7F9 [imgur.com]

    Does EA's CEO have any response to the fact that SimCity's "simulation" is so trivial that optimal play involves have 100% residential zones, no taxes, and no services of any kind?

    A 5th grader with a pencil and a piece of paper could come up with a more realistic simulation that this.

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