Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EA Doesn't Want To Be Hated

EA wants to put it out there that they do hate being labeled as the Worst Company in America 2 years running. So Frank Gibeau, EA’s President of labels, sat down with the BBC (a non-American news organization that has no influence on The Consumerist or anything EA U.S. related) to talk about it. In general, employees at EA seem to like being at EA. Oh, and they’re “not tone deaf.” So they see the reaction from customers regarding their business practices and want to handle it.

On the subject of Generic Games: Gibeau says EA is a scapegoat because it is the largest company out there. Which okay, I admit I do blame EA on a lot of things such as the homogenization of today’s content. However EA owns a lot of companies. If you purchase anything at a store or online, there’s a pretty good chance you’re getting an EA game or one of its companies. It’s difficult to not make the comparison that EA can be responsible for a lot of the “generic” games that are out there.

It has also become standard issue to have DLC with games, starting on day one, along with online passes, and all of that crap (i.e. paying more for a game you’ve already paid for). While EA has recently made changes regarding their online passes, there is still DLC, micro-transactions, and the like, all of which the company defends as part of the growth of the industry.

For New Products: I’m going to summarize what was said in the article. EA wants to make new products, but there isn’t a market outside of the top games for new ideas. They want their products to reach as wide of an audience as possible. So you’re going to get sports games every year, another Halo, another Call of Duty, etc. because they sell. So really, they’re not really about making new games, just satisfying the mass market that wants the same stuff over and over again.

EA and the Wii-U: While EA will not be announcing new titles for the Wii-U, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the partnership is going to end. It’s just the newer stuff with the better software won’t be on the Wii-U. They are watching, waiting, and seeing what the Wii-U develops into.

The final segment of the piece was, well, amusing. The BBC linked a newspaper article from EA back in the 80’s asking the question “can computers make your cry?” So the BBC proposed that to  Gibeau. His response?

"I think we're right about there. Certainly the Mass Effect 3 ending caused a few people to cry, so I think we achieved some level of emotional impact towards the end of the last cycle."

Um, I’m pretty sure that people were crying at the end of ME3 because of how horrible the conclusion was. The emotional response you were looking for was more out of anger at the company, not the game itself. But nice try.

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