Why Won’t You Just Love EA?

By Graham Smith on November 29th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

It's in the game?

EA were voted the worst company in America by the public two years in a row. Now in an interview with MCV, Patrick Soderlund now says the company just wants to be loved. “I don’t believe for a second that we are the worst company in America, but I do believe when something like that happens, you have to sit down and ask yourselves ‘Why are people saying these things?’”

Why? Why oh why oh why oh why.

Soderlund went on to advertise EA’s next-generation games (the reason he was talking), and promise that the company could do better. First, “We don’t want to be bad, we have no desire to be voted the worst company in America. On the contrary we want to be voted the best.” And then, “My goal is to be seen as the best in the business. I want people to recognise us for the games we make rather than anything else. Whether that is the Worst Company in America or whatever people don’t like. We need to be remembered and respected for the games we make.”

First, let me say that I agree that Electronic Arts are clearly not the worst company in America. They do not, as far as I know, manufacture their games in sweatshops, or hold canned food drives for their poorly paid employees while turning over billions of dollars in profits. They make games. They often make great games. I have written many positive things about EA.

Peter Moore also partly got it right when he said that some people were arguably voting for disagreeable reasons, like protesting the appearance of LGBT characters in EA (read: BioWare) games. There’s a lot of undeserving scorn heaped on EA.

All of that out of the way, there’s also a lot of legitimate reasons to dislike the company, stretching as far back as the destruction of companies like Origin and Bullfrog and as recently as SimCity’s always online requirement.

So let’s try this. Why do you dislike EA? Put it in the comments, and I’ll update this post later with expanded thoughts on the most common reasons. Let’s talk it out, friends, and start the healing process.

Update: 353 comments is probably enough, so let’s draw a line there. Thank you to all who commented, both for taking the time and for expressing yourselves both civilly and eloquently.

There were probably about a dozen complaints that came up again and again. I’ve read everything and pulled out what I think is a representative sample, and I’ve grouped similar complaints together as best I can. The two things to note are:

i) Most people didn’t have just a single reason for disliking EA to express. Most had five, six or seven reasons to hand in response to the question.

ii) I don’t agree with all of the complaints that came up. This list shouldn’t be thought of as necessarily being true, but as a summary of where EA’s reputation comes from, rightly or wrongly.

Anyway, thanks again to all who commented. Maybe we should do Ubisoft and Activision sometime, eh?

They bought and in some way diminished a number of beloved game studios.

I think this came up more than anything else, and far more than I was expecting. It seems that no one has forgiven EA for what they did with Origin, Bullfrog, Westwood and more.

From 88GJS88:
“I got into gaming because of the C&C series, so the way EA treated the IP after taking over Westwood upsets me deeply. And I’m fully aware that they’ve done similar to other beloved franchises.”

From Locque
“I am 29 years old. Growing up, I loved videogaming, during the severely restricted hours that I was allowed to play. I adored it, revered my games. With some games in particular, the experience was almost holy. Wing Commander. Dungeon Keeper. Theme Park. Command and Conquer.

EA is becoming the Wal-Mart of gaming (I’m Irish, so I’ve never been to a Wal-Mart. Anything I know about their business ethics is from reading and research). They bought Bullfrog, Origin, and Westwood, regurgitated some horribly pale imitations of their most loved games, and then buried them, killing all three companies with little hesitation after transforming their games into mangled parodies of what they were.”

From Evil Pancakes:
“First of all, EA always manage to buy great developers and run them into the ground. Origin, Bullfrog, Westwood, Pandemic.

Then there are the studios they bought that are still around but are a shadow of their former selves: DICE (remember when they made stuff other than just battlefield?), Bioware (last proper RPG they made was DA:O, while technically an EA game, it was mostly developed prior to their acquisition by EA.) Criterion (Burnout 3 and revenge were damn near perfect, now they just make above average NfS games, I want Burnout back dammit!).

Granted, none of the games developed by these studios are particularly bad, but they lost that something which made them special in the first place, making their games rather bland. Not to mention the great franchises EA bought and ruined.”

They put profits above all else to the detriment of games and customers.

As many of you pointed out, all companies – especially those with shareholders – will pursue profits. But almost everyone brought up DLC, yearly franchises, Origin pricing, a focus on multiplayer and on microtransactions, as examples of how EA’s sole motivation is all too obvious.

From ViktorBerg:
“They destroyed many good companies, they sit on IPs either doing nothing with them, or doing horrible things with them (Hello, mobile Dungeon Keeper!). They nickel and dime their customers, and their methods of doing that have been getting more and more nefarious over the years. “

From soxism:
“Their bloodlust for PROFIT over quality. (Microtransactions is a great example). Many a studio have proven that a quality game will create the profits. Simcity is a great example. Released amazingly broken game. Lack of features, and clearly a lot left to desire… Another is Plants vs Zombies. V1. Highest selling mobile game ever. v2 So many Microtransactions its a joke!”

They don’t take enough creative risks.

People respect EA for the initiative they took in 2007 in creating games like Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space and Skate. They want the company to endeavour to provide more new experiences..

From greywolf00
“Madden is a perfect example of their unwillingness to do new things. After they got the exclusive NFL license after meeting competition from 2K5, they proceeded to do nothing of value. In fact, it took them several years just to “add” (aka copy) features from 2K5. Why? Because no one was going to go buy a different football game.”

From smeghamr:
“They don’t make games anymore, they only make DLC.

Yeah, pretty bold statement? No it isn’t. It is absolutely true. Everything they release now from FIFA to Battlefield is essentially an addon from the last game they made. And the thing that makes that worse is they don’t really progress anything because for every major feature they add, something from the last version gets removed. Therefore never allowing them to make a perfect game. Because if you make a perfect game, then how are you going to sell the next game and get the shareholders their money?”

From Evil Pancakes:

“I remember back in 2007-2008 when they announced games like Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge and Skate that I thought they may finally be getting back to producing something interesting again. But then a few years later they fall back into the usual pattern of regurgitating the same old things again and again.”

They treat their employees poorly.

I expected this to come up a lot more, given the EA_Spouse controversy from a while back. I wonder if there’s a sense that this problem is industry-wide, rather than EA-specific.

From Ninja Dodo:
“A good reason to hate them is the EA spouse thing (treatment of employees), while it’s not clear to what extent they’ve really improved in that area, they are very much NOT alone in this behaviour, so any hate should go equally to many (most) other publishers and studios.”

They fail to admit mistakes.

From ZuiQuan:
“I don’t hate EA, but there’s one particular thing that I hate about them and many other big companies – bullshit a.k.a. sugar-coating of unpopular decisions in hope that their customers are dumb sheep.

The latest example – the Sim-City fiasco. To anyone with half a brain it was obvious that the always-online requirement was there for one purpose only – to fight piracy. I think that big companies should not be afraid to defend their reasoning for doing such things, instead of lying and being caught afterwards.

Find the guts, EA.”

In some cases, PC is not their top priority.

This came up less than I was expecting, and I think less than it would have done five years ago. I imagine that services like Origin and games like SimCity mean that gamers feel that they’re getting attention, even if it’s not the kind they’d prefer:

From Katar:
“Though so far no one has mentioned that for some reason they seem to think it’s okay to release completely different versions of FIFA on consoles to the PC. I don’t think anyone believes the BS about not being able to use the latest engine for the PC version as the userbase don’t have PCs powerful enough to run it.”

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359 Comments »

  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    I think being a “good” company while at the same time keeping your shareholders happy is not an easy thing. Even Google dropped the “do no evil” motto they used to have – now openly embracing the evil.

    Eeeeevil.

    • PedroTheHutt says:

      Which is why Valve is pretty damn clever to remain a privately owned company to this day rather than going onto the stock markets.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        Valve’s just pretty good at masking their evil. That and they know the biggest advantage they have at the moment is their reputation. The Steam Store is the biggest source of income for them and they need to keep their customers happy for that to continue. Even though you can’t sell Steam games and it’s been quite close to always-online for ages (the offline option has bugged out for a lot of people). That said, I doubt they’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to add game sharing as even XBone dropped it afaik. Still, they’re only acting nice because they benefit from it greatly.

        • basilisk says:

          “and it’s been quite close to always-online for ages”
          This must be the biggest exaggeration I’ve read all week. Steam, for all its numerous faults, isn’t anywhere near always-on. Has it ever kicked you out of a game because your connection randomly dropped? No? Then it isn’t always-on. End of story.

          • WrenBoy says:

            While I wouldn’t describe it as close to always online its certainly annoying when it prevents you from playing one of the games you paid for.

            GOG has obviously never done this and even go so far as to refuse to sell games whose publishers demand it, unlike Humble Store for instance.

          • bills6693 says:

            @Wren although its not like Humble lie about it. They tell you if its steam or origin only, so you’ve been warned. THIS GAME HAS DRM.

            For some people thats not a problem. For me its not, for instance.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Oh I think Humble are great don’t get me wrong.

            But the fact that GOG don’t even sell DRM puts pressure on publishers to change their habits. Humble sell DRM free where possible but I prefer GOG for going a bit further.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            I might be one of the very few people for whom Steam’s Offline mode works flawlessly. I appreciate that this does not help you personally but it does at least indicate that their assurances that Offline mode is bugged and not intentionally broken are sincere.

          • WrenBoy says:

            To be fair to steam its gotten better. The last time I had a serious issue was last Christmas. I can usually solve any issue I get these days by restarting.

            Even if it works flawlessly I’d still be against it on principle. But again to be fair its nowhere near as bad as origin or gfwl.

          • ankh says:

            Actually WrenBoy Origin is way better in that regard. Offline mode always works.

          • KhanIHelpYou says:

            I love steam these days (it was flat out terrible when it first came out though) but I have had numerous times where I’ve lost my connection and been kicked out.
            The last time was maybe a little over a month or so ago, went to play L4D 2 splitscreen and the steam login server was down, put it into offline mode and started playing then 15 minutes in it just kicks me out of the game saying it couldn’t log into steam.

            One awesome feature of steam I recently discovered when my system disk failed is that if you install steam and all your games on a different hard drive then when you reinstall windows all you need to do to start playing all your games again is click the steam exe once, it takes about 30 seconds to reinstall its self on the system and all your saves and everything are backed up. Really chuffed with that.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            ah, ankh! If only Origin would not spontaneously decide my games are not installed every few days.

          • mouton says:

            @SanguineAngel
            Valve has been working on it continuously, so it probably improved. Used to be pretty spotty once.

            Regardless the way it worked always felt like hassle – requiring to be online first and having to restart the whole damn client to be “offline” is ridiculous (or was, haven’t used it for a while). One of the biggest pros of Origin was always that for offline mode you just, you know, close Origin.

          • waltC says:

            It’s remarkable how many people claim to use Steam (a necessary qualification for talking about Steam), but have never heard of “off-line” mode. You can log onto steam, select “play offline”, and you restart Steam and all your games play with *no* connection to Steam/Internet–indefinitely–until you decide to go back online–to update a game, buy a new one, etc. (I once disabled my networking card just to test it–it’s legit.) Newell was quoted the other day talking about the improvements they are making to offline mode to enhance it’s offline usage even further. I’ve patched several Steam games with non-Steam patches and mods–they all work fine. There’s no “always-on” component about Steam–you decide whether Steam even connects with the Internet. But Steamworks is an Internet store with a cyberspace address and no physical address, so *naturally* you have to *access* Steam through the Internet. But that’s about it.

            EA is funny as in “amusing,” though, in keeping with the topic. After telling so many outrageous fibs, over and over, about SIMCity and most everything else EA sells, and blatantly telling those fibs with a straight face to people like me who positively know the difference between a ram chip and a mouse… why, oh why, would EA ever have to ask “Why don’t people like me?” That rubbish they spewed for weeks on end about how SimCity was “too demanding” a game to be able to run on local computer processing power–hence it has to be ‘always on’ to tap into the Great Processor in the Sky–was among the most unmitigated tirades of garbage talk I think I’ve ever heard…! The pity is…somebody at EA evidently believes the public is far too stupid and infantile to see through that sort of thing. Microsoft tried pulling that crap in the first xBone reveal and had its head handed to it–why would EA think the outcome would be different?

            Walt Connery’s definition of insanity: “Repeating the same old obvious, transparent, BS prevarication endlessly, while remaining perpetually baffled as to why no one believes it.” Think about that and then ask yourself if EA is insane….;) I think I’m on to something here.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            It actually has kicked me out of games when Steam’s servers flicker. I’m playing offline Payday 2 with bots, just killing a few police officers while I kill some time, and even though my internet connection was rock-solid, I can see Steam Friends go into offline mode on the second monitor because someone at Valve tripped over the cords or something, whatever it is that makes Steam Friends go down for a few minutes every day or two. Anyway, every time that happens, I get kicked out of my game. Same thing happens to me in Borderlands 2.

          • Wisq says:

            An online multiplayer game kicking you out of multiplayer when its connection to the authentication servers goes down is pretty standard across the board. It’s the most effective way to combat piracy, it’s the only way to enforce server bans and/or global cheating bans, it relies on the logic that you’re obviously online if you’re playing an online multiplayer game, and it predates Steam.

            The “always-online means kicking you out of the game” thing is for singleplayer games. Adding an internet requirement to an offline singleplayer game is the real offense here.

          • Mabswer says:

            No, because it wont let me play in a first place. “Update required, and all that bullshit”

        • Tams80 says:

          I concur. Valve is by no means a ‘saint’. At the end of the day, one of their main motives is to make a profit. In fact GOG are probably a ‘better’ company, which pretty much revolves around the lack of DRM.

          • basilisk says:

            Um, because GOG aren’t trying to make a profit?

          • The Random One says:

            They are, but they’ll refuse to profit from games that have DRM. So the most important thing for them isn’t making money, it’s making money from selling DRM-free games.

          • mouton says:

            @basilisk

            Yes, but they use their profit only to feed hungry children.

            Surnames of said children sure resemble surnames of the GOG staff, though.

        • LionsPhil says:

          A crucial thing with Valve is that the way they want to make a profit aligns with what we want them to do. This is pretty much capitalism working right.

          A lot of the “nice” things Valve do, like almost the entire social friends-are-playing here-are-their-screenshots side, help encourage me to buy more games. But I actually want to consider buying games my friends are playing, because their opinions are moderately influential, and in the multiplayer case I probably want to play those games with them. I’m sure that when they made the business decision on implementing game sharing, it was a point in its favour that sooner or later you’re going to grab a copy each in a sale.

          That we pay them, directly, for the things which we want, keeps them “straight” in comparison to—for example—Google or Facebook or such where their income is not actually directly from providing you a service.

          • Monkeh says:

            To me it seems Valve aren’t really in it for getting richer at this point and more for getting money to hire more awesome people and do more research. Though I have to admit being a bit blind to any of Valve’s evilness due to my steam-fanboyism.

          • Emeraude says:

            A crucial thing with Valve is that the way they want to make a profit aligns with what we want them to do.

            Except of course when it doesn’t.

        • pilouuuu says:

          Valve is not evil because they are making Half-Life 3. I mean, they are… Aren’t they? Please, tell me so!

        • NotToBeLiked says:

          So your point is that it’s bad if a company is good towards its customers, because that company just does it to make them happy buyers? That relationship in which everyone is a winner, is somehow bad? I wish ALL companies I deal with made an effort to make me happy. Most of them blatantly tell me they just want my money and for me to shut up. The fact that people hate EA is for the same reason. There are companies like Valve, CD Projekt,… that respect their customers. Do they do it because they are saints? Of course not, they do it because happy customers are good promotion. If a company like EA consistently demonstrates it doesn’t care about its customers at all, it will compare even worse to better companies. It’s not like telecom companies or banks, where ALL of them are complete scumbags and people just don’t have any alternatives.

    • Optimaximal says:

      I wouldn’t say ‘Google are openly embracing evil’.

      It’s more they dropped the motto because a) it’s impossible to live by it & remain a competitive company and b) they were being dragged through the mud when every decision was compared to it, often unfairly.

      • Humanji says:

        Well they’re happy to oblige governments demands to censor their citizens, they give all of your information to any government that asks for it, they’re actively trying to ingratiate themselves into every aspect of your life, they treat their staff like dirt and are engaged in worldwide tax evasion.

        They’re a volcano base away from a Bond villain.

        • All is Well says:

          While I’m struggling to remember exactly what (and why) those Bond villains were doing (kidnapping astronauts or something?) I’m pretty certain it was a notch or two above not paying enough taxes.

          • WrenBoy says:

            What Google are doing is bad enough, ie actively working to destroy users online privacy and to increase the reach of intelligence agencies, but what makes them dangerous is their ubiquity. Its really hard to to avoid using their services and this is set to get worse if they succeed in becoming our default internet provider.

            Weirdly they would have to do the exact opposite to become a Bond villain. Look at the Julian Assange-alike in Skyfall for instance. Bond is an asshole.

        • HybridHalo says:

          They’re also co-sueing the US government for forcing them to hand over civilian data – a process they disagree with but are legally forced to comply with if they wish to continue operating as a company.

          To lessen the damage this causes, they also began not only encrypting your information, but routinely deleting ad-based information stored on you (amongst other things) every 6 months. Google have no interest in spying on you and are not the problem – The problem is Governments enacting laws which require them to hand over your private data.

          Microsoft are suffering from the same problem, as are yahoo – and any other digital company that hold information of any sort.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Google have lied about the extent to which they cooperate with intelligence agencies. What you describe is a PR exercise to fool you into thinking they are on your side.

            Their whole business model is based around spying on you. Even if they were serious about protecting you from the state, and they are not, the fact that they gather so much information on you and are positioning themselves to gather even more poses a security risk as this data can be stolen as well as given or sold away.

          • programmdude says:

            What they could do, or any company under their position, is move out of america. If america demanded access to users personal data, ignore them. Or publicly tell everyone that that country is being a dick. If the american government asked for users data, and google told the whole world on their front page screen, then steps would have been taken a lot sooner to stop governments from stealing personal data.

          • tetracycloide says:

            You do realize they are legally barred from telling the full truth right? It’s called a gag order and it’s at the heart of what the lawsuit is about. If they’re truly do willing and eager to do the NSA’s bidding why did the NSA have to hack into their data center traffic instead of just asking for access? The heart if the issue remains that their are authoritarian governments demanding our data. Take that out if the equation and Google’s relationship with their users is quite transparent.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @tetracycloide
            I think if you reread my second paragraph you will see how their business model is inherently untrustworthy even if you are naive enough to believe that Google are just a bunch of well meaning people whose hands are tied.

    • Gap Gen says:

      The idea that a company should service shareholders’ rights as its primary goal, and hobble long-term goals and let your company culture fester to turn a short-term profit is idiocy. I mean, if you view a business as something that generates numbers in a bank account, then sure, do whatever.

      • skalpadda says:

        Publicly traded companies are legally compelled to service share holders above pretty much all else. This wouldn’t be a big problem if the old ideals of investing in a company to see it grow and build something valuable over time was still the main goal of investors, but that seems to rarely be the case these days.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Oh, for sure (didn’t realise it was a legal obligation, though!). I can understand why floating on the stock market is a good idea for financial reasons, but if you’re looking at building something, getting a horde of speculators to tell you to slash apart what you’ve built and feed it to them before they all jump ship at once as soon as your numbers falter seems less than ideal.

          • Emeraude says:

            I can understand why floating on the stock market is a good idea for financial reasons

            It’s not actually – for companies. Most analysis of data points out at becoming a publicly traded company stiffening and limiting the financial opportunities of companies – especially as far as investment is concerned.
            A prime example of ideology shaping policies in contradiction to facts.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Ha, well then.

        • Sugoi says:

          This is often repeated, but completely untrue. There is no obligation to maximize shareholder profits codified in the laws of any industrialized country. Further, until the early 80s, when the Chicago school of thought began to take hold in many corporations, shareholder equity was often considered to be a much lower priority, behind other concerns such as responsibility to employees, their community, and long-term market positioning.

          The idea that stock price should be the primary concern of a corporation is both short-sighted and fundamentally self-destructive. It only rewards day traders, executives, and HFT — to the detriment of institutional investors and others who are actually invested in the long-term success of the company.

          Please stop perpetuating this lie.

      • His Dudeness says:

        “The Corporation” http://youtu.be/s6zQO7JytzQ

        Essential viewing/reading on the subject.

    • Berzee says:

      Don’t be evil

      “The motto is sometimes incorrectly stated as Do no evil.”

  2. Hecktar says:

    I dislike EA because they have a track record of preferring a quick profit over supporting games, developers of players. The way they eroded the Command & Conquer brand with mediocre games. They bought Origin, one of the greatest game companies of the 90′s, and dragged it through the mud. And many more sins, to numerous to list.

    • WarOnGamesIndustry says:

      Yep RTS games require a huge amount of balance and dev support and EA’s policies are not conductive towards RTS games.

  3. ViktorBerg says:

    They destroyed many good companies, they sit on IPs either doing nothing with them, or doing horrible things with them (Hello, mobile Dungeon Keeper!). They nickel and dime their customers, and their methods of doing that have been getting more and more nefarious over the years. They refuse to admit their mistakes unless shit REALLY hits the fan (like Sim City). Their customer support is horrible, with a lot of outsourcing to India etc (thus having customer support barely understand English, and be of no help at all).

    There’s plenty of reasons to hate EA, and none of them have anything to do with their stances on sexual minorities.

    • c-Row says:

      You have my vote.

    • Setroc says:

      Sure, but have you dealt with support from other companies? In my mind, EA’s is by far the best, whether it’s outsourced to india or not. Steam’s support once tried to tell me that I couldn’t cancel a pre-order. They also took over a week to tell me that, and then another week to change their minds. When I had a similar problem with origin, I was incredibly surprised when they responded to me literally within one hour. Ubi’s support took just under a week to respond to a redeemable code problem that I was having.

      • SaVi says:

        EA and Ubi have the benefit for almost only selling their first party titles, with a few new exception this year. I recon that this cancellation process is for Valve quite more complicated, unless we are talking Portal 2 and the likes. Just asuming that though, Can’t say if that is a real reason.

      • Taraskeskro says:

        EA best customer services for making one hour to respond ?
        What about blizzard ? 30 minutes in some hard hours. Ok, they have flaws too but not on customer services. Last time, it took me 2 months with EA to get a solution about on issue on Origin.

      • h_ashman says:

        That might be because Origin, unlike Steam doesn’t charge you immediately for a pre-order. I’ve noticed that steam store has reworded it slightly to ‘pre-purchase’. Makes it a lot more complicated with regards to refunds.

        In general I found EA support quite helpful, and have solved the problems quickly. Also I’m not horrified by the idea of Origin, which some people I’ve spoken to are. After all, without competition Valve have less incentive to innovate. Then you end up with an IE6 situation

      • Cinek says:

        “Sure, but have you dealt with support from other companies?” – I did. With several (including companies not related to gaming, like Microsoft or Adobe). And by my experience – EA was by far the worst one.

      • TormDK says:

        I have nothing but praise for EA’s front line support.

        They are easy to reach, and have always provided me with a first contact resolution for the things I have contacted them about.

        • DestroyYourEgo says:

          “I have nothing but praise for EA’s front line support.

          They are easy to reach, and have always provided me with a first contact resolution for the things I have contacted them about.”

          ^Sounds like some trifling corporate bullhonkey, to me. This could be true if you were only contacting them for a Username/Password reset. I guess it all depends on who you talk to, but I am like the rest- most of my problems with game support have come through Origin- Steam and Microsoft considered.

          I mean, come on- “SimCity is too powerful to run off of one PC”? And they dumbed down the scale from previous SimCity titles? You had to have missed the last 20 years due to coma to believe that mess.

    • Baltech says:

      I wouldn’t know about their customer support but the way they handle their studios, turning them into production grindhouses or closing them entirely (EA Spouse, what happened to Origin, BioWare etc.) rubs me the wrong way.

      Or like, when they said we’d need cheaper games and then go ahead and make Origin and sell games for full prices, long after they’d been released.

      Sometimes it just seems like they don’t know what they are doing anymore. They’ve lost the plot, they don’t care about the games, only the short term gain. Seriously, Dead Space 3? WTH?

      • Emeraude says:

        I wouldn’t know about their customer support but the way they handle their studios, turning them into production grindhouses

        That’s an industry-wide problem though, not something EA specific, they just got more bad publicity out of it than others.

        I remember reading a piece on the fall of 38 Studios, and one of the execs from another company, interviewed to speak about the matter, was saying, of course, with Curt Schilling doing ridiculous things like giving his employees basic health-care, the company could only go bankrupt.
        Because fuck giving employees decent working conditions, right ? The industry cannot survive this !

    • 88GJS88 says:

      I got into gaming because of the C&C series, so the way EA treated the IP after taking over Westwood upsets me deeply. And I’m fully aware that they’ve done similar to other beloved franchises.

      But I live in the UK and have heard about the way Walmart “feed” their staff. I’m fully aware that a significant contributor to financial crisis was American banking and investment companies. McDonalds and similar are having terrible effects on the Amazon rainforest. And as the original post says, most of what EA make is made in America with fully paid employees rather than in far east sweat shops. Objectively, they CANNOT be the worst company in America, and they’ve got a long way to go to be even considered for it.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        It doesn’t sound like the greatest place to work at.

        http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/274.html

        • mouton says:

          That’s an old story – from 2004 ffs. They reportedly improved after that but don’t take my word on that. And anyway, game development is notorious for bad working conditions all across the board apart from the Valve Steam-powered hippie utopia.

          • Gap Gen says:

            I think an article linked in a recent Sunday Papers (sorry, can’t be more specific than that…) claimed that the improvements were rolled back in part once media attention waned.

          • mouton says:

            But again, I keep hearing it is not even remotely exclusive to EA. The whole industry tends to be a brutal sweatshop.

          • howdyzach says:

            they have improved. I work at Redwood Shores at Visceral and it’s a pretty great place to work with very nice work/life balance.

          • Sharlie Shaplin says:

            I don’t take anyones word as gospel. It was just one of the many events that has happened, leading up to EA’s current PR predicament. The rest of the industry may be like this I don’t personally know, but only EA provoked a reaction this strong.

    • newguy2012 says:

      +1.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Thisthisthisthisthis. Is Graeme suffering from Amensia? Because EA is a machine for devs.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      I used to like EA back in the 90′s, but I began to dislike them when they started buying up devs, and then shutting them down and sitting on the IP when they had broken them. I also feel they are just using the LGBT issue as a shield against valid criticisms. I don’t remember Bioware being voted as worst company, they have had gay and lesbian characters in their games, pre EA ownership.

    • Leb says:

      EA has one of the only services (other than Games For Windows Live/Xbox) in which I have to call customer support to get my newly purchased games to work.

      This + their idea that “customers love microtransactions!” mentality is a real set off.

  4. Hyperion says:

    bad business practices. as usual. comes with having idiots for board of directors and shareholders.

    Had a friend who was unfortunate to be employed by them. as soon as they bought out a company they axed him and 16,000 others. And, much like Activision, once they buy out someone they turn the acquired IPs into mush.

    I’m going to stop there because I had a couple paragraphs to say about Origin but really. tl;dr and its nothing anyone else here hasnt heard.

    • kabukisteve says:

      Can you elaborate on this? Which games company that EA acquired had over 16,000 employees? EA itself only has 9,370 employees (latest Wikipedia estimate, 2013) and they’re the largest games company in the world. This is just plain old bullshit.

      • drinniol says:

        It was Imagination LLC. Based in Fantasyland.

      • teije says:

        Actually, it was a friend of a friend. And it was 16 employees who didn’t get this Christmas bonus that year.

      • Hyperion says:

        Acquisition of popcap. I’ve spent a while looking for the “correct” figure but everyone seems to have a different number of layoffs (on ea side). 10000, 9000, 2000,12000. Also yes sorry for the weasel words but at least he got another job with Sony.

  5. GernauMorat says:

    Micrortransactions, especially in full price games.

    • mouton says:

      That’s not exactly an EA thing. It’s practically everywhere.

      • DestroyYourEgo says:

        It IS practically everywhere, yes. But EA has more money than Michael Douglas and God put together- why do they need to have micro-transactions? Greed, that’s why. It has nothing to do with “keepin’ up with the Jonses” (whoever they are) It’s plain and simple greed. They don’t need micro-transactions to compete with everyone else that’s doing it- they just want micro-transactions because they want to make more money from you when you purchase one of their full-priced games.

        Sorry, but “well, everyone else is doing it” was never a good enough excuse for my parents, it’s not a good enough excuse for me. Then again, my parents took the time to raise me right, and to be able to call a turd a turd when I see shit smeared all over the walls.

        EA: “All of your micro-transactions are belonging to us!”

        • mouton says:

          Actually no, EA does not have all the money. AAA games have huge budgets and are quite uncertain to make it back and failures can often result in layoffs and studio closures. Also, if you are looking for games not made for money, why you are looking at AAA?

      • The Random One says:

        I can’t think of a non-EA non-free game that uses F2P microtransactions, which I define as “you can grind a lot to get this stuff, or pay to get it now/faster”. Squeezing my mind I remember that the FFVII rerelease had it, and that’s it. Am I forgetting a lot of stuff?

    • ExitDose says:

      This was a huge one for me. I’m fine with little things here and there, but I felt like most of the push to play multiplayer within ME3 was the hope that you’d play their slot machine, and it was downright disgusting is the last SSX game. I’ve heard that things were pretty bad in Dead Space 3, but can’t really speak to that one, since that’s after I decided to take a pass on their products.

      Finding out that Mass Effect 3 had day-one DLC that added an entire character that I’m told added a lot to the story was also disheartening.

  6. staberas says:

    LEAVE EA ALONE !!!!

    Anyway,lets see EA my(and my friends recommendations) to love you again:

    No more overpriced dlc’s & microtransactions
    NO MORE STARCHILDS
    No more repeated underground corridors? (dead space 3, DA2?)
    NEW IP’s and stop killing good franchises
    Leave indie studios alone and dont merge them.
    ??????
    PROFIT

  7. RobinOttens says:

    Mostly the destruction of acquired companies; Mostly their bad influence on Bioware. I barely touch any of EA’s other games aside from Bioware’s output now that I think about it. It kinda sucks that their big initiative to create new original IP started and ended at Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. It’s also weird that they don’t sell their games on steam anymore.

    But aside from that, there’s little reason for me to actively hate the company. I don’t care for most of their games in the first place. The last few years all EA’s been doing is chase after Activision, whose games are even less interesting.

    • N'Al says:

      Not selling on Steam isn’t weird at all; obviously they’re trying to push their own distribution platform – Origin. Still sucks for people who want to stick to Steam (or, at least, just one distribution platform rather than billions).

      • schlusenbach says:

        Yep. Since they forced Origin on their customers, I haven’t bought anything published by EA (same goes for uplay). Steam is DRM and it works. I see no reason to accept anything else.

        • mouton says:

          Forcing a platform on people! Sounds horrible, thank God Valve never did that.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Origin works really well, too. Since Origin came out I haven’t purchased a single game published by EA.

          • mouton says:

            That’s how Uplay works for me.

          • Faxmachinen says:

            Yep. I own zero Origin titles, a single UPlay title and a single GFWL title, and do not plan on owning any more. This means I’m missing out on ME3, but oh well.

      • Cinek says:

        I doubt “not publishing on steam” can ever be considered an issue.
        However “forcing people into other 3rd party crap” definitely can.
        How many programs do I need to run in order to play stupid BF? 3. Origin, web browser (with some huge obscure plugin that needs to be installed on a browser compromising security), and the game itself. What a joke.

      • mouton says:

        “Not selling on Steam isn’t weird at all; obviously they’re trying to push their own distribution platform – Origin. Still sucks for people who want to stick to Steam (or, at least, just one distribution platform rather than billions).”

        Yes, because a few platforms are “billions”. Guess what, all those games ARE in one place. On your PC! You can even make shortcuts on your desktop. Technology!

    • HadToLogin says:

      What he said, but also Valve showed they were greedy just as much as EA. Valve said “give us money from DLCs”. EA said NO. Valve said “money from DLCs or GTFO”. EA said “ok, we GTFO”.

      Funny how most people forget it was Valve who thrown EA away.

      • Islander says:

        Well If I’m going to distribute, sell and advertise your product I think it’s normal that you ask something in exchange no?

        • bills6693 says:

          Exactly.

          Do you think steam is free to run for valve? Think of the costs of running steam:

          Servers for downloading, the shop, community, and everything else, around the world
          Support
          Development costs (ongoing development of the platform)
          Transaction fees (minimal but still there)

          Plus, they’re a company, they’re to be expected to make a little money from their services.

        • Cinek says:

          And than you realize EA can distribute, advertise, and sell DLCs on their own. Even if the game is sold on Steam.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Except Valve were demanding that any EA game sold through Steam with attached DLC had to offer that DLC directly through the Steam Store. Valve wanted their cut one way or the other.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Am I saying it’s wrong Valve gets their 30% from games?

          But Valve’s greed made them want more so they used their monopoly to force that. And EA in their greed didn’t want to give them more.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          That’s fine if you had the choice. When Valve introduced F2P games onto Steam they changed the T&Cs so that DLC had to be offered on Steam regardless of whether there was already a method for DLC distribution.

          Essentially Valve introduced a DLC tax. Even if you have an in-game DLC store or a website to sell your DLC through and you advertise it yourself if you don’t put it on Steam and give Valve their 30% cut your game is kicked off Steam.

          • Technofrood says:

            I like what valve have done in regards to DLC, mostly due to one of the last EA games I purchased, Burnout Paradise, which I partially got because of the movie cars DLC which I was more than happy to pay for right until I got into the game to find EA had disabled the DLC store. If the DLC was on steam I would possibly have been able to purchase it (unless EA had asked them to remove it).

      • kevinspell says:

        Yeah, because asking to get paid for distribution of expansion pack for Bad Company 2 was really a dick move by Valve. While hiding the expansion pack in a “patch” and hoping to run away with all the profits it is just not something EA would ever do.

      • NotToBeLiked says:

        That’s EA’s side of the story. As far as I understand, Valve just wants all DLC for games on Steam, to be purchasable through Steam to make sure Steam users can buy all the available DLC. Which of course increases their income somewhat, but also protects Steam users from a) not being able to buy certain DLC (like on consoles some DLC has become console exclusive), and b) making sure that sold DLC is actually always downloadable as long as Steam exists. I have bought DLC once outside of Steam, for Dragon Age. Because of EA/Bioware’s horrible implementation of it, I could no longer play that game each time some weird online check determined I didn’t own that DLC and therefore could not load a savegame that had that DLC enabled. That didn’t happen ‘sometimes, because some heavy server load’, that happened more often then not, and resulted in me not even able to play the content to completion.

        Accusing Valve of being greedy is just crazy. They don’t even charge companies for Steam codes at retail, even though people will download that game from Valve’s servers…

        • Emeraude says:

          They don’t even charge companies for Steam codes at retail, even though people will download that game from Valve’s servers…

          They gain something from it: It expands their market penetration.
          As for downloading: well yes, since you don’t really have a choice in it, cant’ just install from disc (at least in my limited experience, I once was the witness of a friend installing DE:HR from retail, only to see Steam start a full download that hadn’t been required before allowing access to the game).

          • guygodbois00 says:

            That full download happened to me with Civilization V also. I’m now buying 99% from GOG.

      • dorn7 says:

        Valve wasn’t being greedy. They saw a loophole in their contracts and wanted to close it.

        Imagine if EA started selling their games for a dollar on Steam and made all the content DLC. Try telling me EA wouldn’t seriously do that.

    • mouton says:

      Bioware, while competent, was never a brilliant company and many of its works under EA were pretty great. DAO, for instance.

      Before that? Their best game was Baldur’s Gate 2, I suppose. Kotor was like Mass Effect while BG1 and NVN were nothing to write home about.

      • Bull0 says:

        Kotor was more NWN2 with lightsabers than Mass Effect.

        …and it was magnificent

      • iniudan says:

        What are you talking about NWN is the greatest RPG video game to have ever existed, has it is the only one to actually offer a true sandbox RPG, the aurora engine is so flexible you can basically create your own MMO from it or create your own multiplayer campaign setting that you lead has a DM, or simply just a regular single player campaign.

        But will admit the original official campaign for the game is not the greatest thing. =p

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        DAO is not representative of EA owning Bioware, it was in existence many years before the buyout. Dragonage 2 however, nuff said.

        • mouton says:

          Dragon Age was released in 2009, Bioware was acquired in 2007. That’s two key years of development under EA. Looking at in terms of black and white would be silly.

        • Sharlie Shaplin says:

          I am not sure what you mean by “black and white”. I was just pointing out that the game was in development long before EA got involved, which is entirely true. It was first announced in 2004. When a company is aquired by another, it takes time for big changes to occur.

    • DestroyYourEgo says:

      “The last few years all EA’s been doing is chase after Activision, whose games are even less interesting.”

      This statement is more true than “the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west”.

  8. Bull0 says:

    They’re at the forefront of sticking microtransactions in premium games, annual sequel culture, and charging the console levy on PC games because of reasons. So yeah, they can fuck straight off.

    • DestroyYourEgo says:

      I also feel EA gives the Console Gamers a false sense of superiority when they have to dumb down their games to run on consoles.

  9. Raztaman says:

    They have made some quality games in their time but maybe if they spent a lot less resources on almost yearly-released sports titles (especially when they’re the exact same games with a few tweaks), they might be able to chew out some more memorable, lovable games once in a while.

    I don’t agree that they’re THE worst company but they definitely do highlight a lot of what’s wrong with the games industry today. Input equals output, but throwing more money at games doesn’t necessarily make more money. Put some freaking thought in to your games EA, stop giving us the same repetitive bullshit. Ta.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Maybe not THE worst company but the worst gaming company? Probably.

      If not then who?

      • Cinek says:

        Ubisoft. Though they certainly got better in recent times. I can’t see any improvement in EA.
        BF4? Still uses web browser instead of proper in-game menu.

        • WrenBoy says:

          Worth a debate I’d say. Blizzard are dicks as well of course.

          There should be some kind of evil competition to recognise the worst game companies in the world complete with different weight divisions.

          Stardock must rank pretty high on a pound for pound scale on the back of the sexual harassment case alone. Phil Fish should have a category all on his own, its belt unclaimed awaiting his comeback.

          • Cinek says:

            Oh yea. The worst persona of gaming world should be a category too.

            For me Cevat Yerli is a winner. Each time he opens his mouth – shit comes out of it.

          • DestroyYourEgo says:

            “Phil Fish should have a category all on his own, its belt unclaimed awaiting his comeback.”

            Phil Fish was NEVER relevant in the gaming world. He made one game- good for him. The only good contribution Phil Fish has ever made to the gaming world is the millions of meme’s and comments based on him- it’s transcended the little bit of work he actually put into the industry. Phil Fish ain’t shit- never was, never will be. I can’t wait until people completely forget about him- even this paragraph was too much attention for him.

        • mouton says:

          Ubisoft, Activision, Microsoft have pretty dire reputations in various aspects. Most of other major developers/publishers have quite spotty reputations at best.

          • Emeraude says:

            Bethesda is up there too.

            In fact I have a hard time thinking of any big publisher in the industry right now that do not have a spotty reputation at best.

          • gi_ty says:

            Will you elaborate your reasons why Bethseda? The only thing I can think of is the horse armor, which they promptly learned their lesson from and have only made large “expansion” style dlc since.

          • Emeraude says:

            Look out their practice of withholding milestones while Zenimax lends money to force companies working for them into debt then into buyouts – supposedly what happened with Arkane.

            Also look out for what happened with Human Head Studios and Prey 2.

    • ankh says:

      Do you actually play any of those yearly released sports titles? I play one of them and I can tell you that I don’t mind the yearly release at all and if it wasnt for the yearly release the game would not be nearly as good as it is currently.

      • DestroyYourEgo says:

        “Do you actually play any of those yearly released sports titles? I play one of them and I can tell you that I don’t mind the yearly release at all and if it wasnt for the yearly release the game would not be nearly as good as it is currently.”

        Yes, you would say that, because you play it. The REAL gamers roll their eyes when NBA2k is a launch title for next-gen systems. This time- you can see the sweat bead down their neck… oh, innovative!

        To me, sports games are like porn- entirely pointless to watch- I’d rather actually be doing it. You want “next-gen” sports games? Pick up the phone, call your friends and arrange a time and go outside and play the sport you’d play on Console/PC. I promise you will get the most realistic sports experience you can get doing it this way- both graphics wise AND gameplay wise. And- free bonus for you here- you won’t have to wait every year for one or two new tweaks.

    • mouton says:

      Yearly releases is something AAA game houses just do. Consider Ubisoft and Activision, for instance.

      • DestroyYourEgo says:

        Just because the courts say you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should, you know what I mean? Looking at you, Call of Duty.

  10. Anthile says:

    Not only Origin and Bullfrog but also Westwood, and that I cannot forgive. These were pretty much the most important (PC) developers of the 90s but instead of letting them make more genre-defining games they are dead now.
    Give me my Magic Carpet remake and we can talk.

    • Jonfon says:

      Pretty much this. They act like the sterotypical BigBusiness, ie like a sociopath with little regard for anything other than generating money.

      They’re not the worst company in the world by a long shot but they embody a business run by suits who don’t particularly care about games, it’s just a source of revenue which should be exploited and squeezed. They’re not alone in this, Activision & Blizzard fall into the same bracket (I haven’t considered a Blizzard game in years once I saw the way they were headed).

      Zynga are even worse, at least EA & Activision don’t go out of their way to actively steal & copy other peoples ideas so blatently.

      • Cinek says:

        @Zynga – perhaps, but they don’t buy legendary companies just to wipe them out. Not to mention the fact that they focus around some meaningless small games focused around their own meaningless franchises. So whatever they do – it’s important only from a perspective of casuals, not gamers.

    • frightlever says:

      Was there much “Westwood” left to close down when EA pulled the plug? I thought the core of the company jumped ship after the buyout. Might be my bad memory though. I’d still say that if you want to blame someone you should blame the guys who sold Westwood out to Big Money. There’s nothing magical about game studios – people found them, run them, and if they get success they make the decision to either keep going or sell out. Ultimately, most of them sell out. It’s all about the Benjamins.

      Financially successful traditional independent PC game studios are notable because they’re a rarity. When you take into account MMO/MOBA it looks slightly different but I’m sure there will be more consolidation there as well.

    • Cinek says:

      “Give me my Magic Carpet remake and we can talk.” – it will be an FPS shooter with lens flare effects all over the place and build-in auto-aim. Oh – and the menus in web browser.
      But fear not! If you will still like it – they’ll disable authentication and multiplayer servers after a year so that you wouldn’t have to play it any more.

      • solidsquid says:

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        Congratulations! You unlocked a new spell! Visit our store to purchase it for only 99c

    • gi_ty says:

      I know this will sound heretical to you original C&C fans, but I have played every game in the series and my favorite was Generals. I really enjoyed the close to present style. I also felt they did well with a new type of economy. The factions were unique and balanced and loaded with typical C&C humor. That being said I 4 and this newest blasphemy that was cancelled is depressing. I just don’t feel its fair to consider Generals under the same banner as those other two.

  11. Brother PaciFist says:

    Hello, my first EA game i bought was Ultima 6 in 1990. I bought countless games of EA since then. We could say it got pretty serious in our relationship. But Electronic Arts never send a birthday card or a Christmas greetings. I am pretty disappointed after 20 years. I get the feeling they do not care about me.

    Have a nice day

    • Moorkh says:

      Ultima 6 was not an EA game.
      Back in ’90, Origin were independent and self-published their games. They collaborated with third parties for distribution, though.

  12. nrvsNRG says:

    The micro transactions, e.g, look at the ridiculous amounts of content you could buy on day 1 of Dead space 3. it makes me sick, and it will keep happening.

  13. rustybroomhandle says:

    Main gripe is that thing they do where they buy a company and then just treat it like acquired assets, not people/ideas. They take the phrase “human resources” way too literally.

    There’s also the relentless milking of every single thing they release.

  14. goettel says:

    Recent hate: pushing BF4 out of the door to beat CoD Ghosts to market, resulting in crash, crash, CRASH!!! The kind of start yielding that special EA feeling where you want to just stomp on shareholders’ faces with a virtual boot, forever and ever.

  15. N'Al says:

    If we take dislike to mean that I’d prefer them to do things differently rather than out-and-out hatred:

    I dislike EA because – whilst generally well polished – the games they develop/publish nowadays are generally exceptionally unambitious. They do have a few titles that are slightly out of left field (e.g. Brütal Legend, Shadows of the Damned, Mirror’s Edge), but the rest is just endless iterations of Need for Speed or Fifa. And when they do get hold of studios with slightly more ambition (e.g. Bullfrog) they just grind them to dust.

  16. GallonOfAlan says:

    Origin.

    The annoying twat who says ‘”EA Sports – It’s In The Game’ in a strangulated manner.

  17. Raztaman says:

    Not so much an opinion but more of a suggestion: Let’s get Soderlund an RPS account and see what he has to say to any and all of the valid comments made on this article. And of course watch him squirm, that I would like to see.

    What I’d like even more to see is EA actually take some fucking hints from their customers for once.

    Fair enough DA3 is looking good right now but that doesn’t speak for any other future titles.

  18. intutama says:

    I hate them part because of what they did to SimCity (not the always online stuff, which I do not mind in principle): they made a facebook game and sold it as a city simulator, the regional game is still not working, the game was insanely broken at release, things you can see after 30 minutes playing the game (traffic for example). Too bad everyone (including RPS) was too busy complaining about the always online requirement to realize the game was more or less a scam.

    Second thing I hate is Origin, because it never worked well for me. For example I wanted to buy a game which needed an age identification, so you’re supposed to give your ID card number. The problem is that since I live in Germany, they’re waiting for a German card. So what do you do when you’re not german and therefore have no german ID? Bonus “rage” points because they also accepted Austrian and Switzerkand ID numbers…

    Or I have like the half of Origin in German, the rest in English, cause most of what they display is based on your location, so even if you want to see everything in English well too bad.

    So anyway all those things are handled the same way by EA: corporate bullshiting. And after years of corporate bullshit that result in disasters like SimCity (which would have been a great 20€ game, not 60€), I understand that so many people hate them.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Or I have like the half of Origin in German, the rest in English, cause most of what they display is based on your location, so even if you want to see everything in English well too bad.

      Yep. I laughed out loud when I saw they finally added a language selection button to the bottom of the page. “Sprache: Deutsch”, which I can change to…Deutsch. Thanks guys, really helpful.

      Apple and Amazon and others will happily treat me as a US customer so long as I have a US credit card. Everyone else, please do that.

  19. SaVi says:

    Halelulia, the chaps at EA are going to sit down and think what is going wrong, wishing for things like being considered the best and stuff. Here is a great idea: How about they start acting on those pretty words, and not just keep blubbering out of their arse holes while they close studios and kill franchises on the left, and mistreat their customers with bans and broken on launch games designed to pilfer our pockets with microtransactions on the right? Refunds in the Origin Store for first party titles is a good start, but still far from surprising us with great service like Valve does, and if comes to games, these were above average at best.

  20. frightlever says:

    I’m fine with EA. They just don’t, in general, make many games I care about. I find Origin’s DRM pretty innocuous – it adds nothing to my gaming experience but it doesn’t take anything away either. I like Steam, so Origin isn’t a big stretch. It’s mildly annoying having to use two services but no biggie.

    Ubisoft I still hate because they actually make games I want to play and they’ve made many stupid DRM decisions.

    • Cinek says:

      Just wait till they buy one of the developers you do care about. It’s bound to happen.

    • fakenam says:

      I guess that’s why EA get away with all the real problems people do have with Origin, the way they treat employees, customer support, and the like. It’s because of people like you.

  21. puppybeard says:

    EA do occasionally annoy but worst company in the USA? That just proves that answering polls online has an inverse relationship with reading the news.

    They are far too willing to force their customers to jump through hoops though. I played BF3 on Xbox and never set up the EA online crap, it just annoyed me. I already WAS using a profile to play the game, why would I use two.

    The first time I went to buy BF4 I got hit with all this Origin stuff and, nah. Still haven’t bought it.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    I want people to recognise us for the games we make rather than anything else.

    To achieve that, you need to stop making the “anything else” get in the way of the games, which are sometimes quite good apparently.

    For example, kill the DRM. Kill the nickel-and-dime microtransactioning. Kill the developer-abusive business practices which overshadow and ultimately impair their work.

    • houldendub says:

      That’s the thing! Battlefield 4 actually IS quite good! The shooting reminds me somewhat of Black (best “gun game” ever, those sounds, man), strangely, people actually do seem to work together, the graphics are just phenominal and although there’s no mindblowing maps, they’re actually alright.

      Buy why, oh why, oh why, oh WHY, do I have to a) Click “Play”, b) Open web browser, c) go through the horrible UI of Battlelog (why can’t you choose your front page jesus christ!), d) update the plugin (after multiple tries because the website is incapable of refreshing itself or being pushed to update), e) finally wait for god knows how long before the .exe runs (and pray to GOD it doesn’t crash at this point), wait even more for the game to load through, f) get into the game and hope that it doesn’t crash before the game ends so I can get some points.

      This is absurd! Battlelog is such a pointless, pointless addition, whichever monkey put forward the idea for this needs to be culled.

  23. soxism says:

    Where to start. Thats the question. Yes i agree they are a horrible company. But not the Worst.

    Their bloodlust for PROFIT over quality. (Microtransactions is a great example) Many a studio have proven that a quality game will create the profits.
    Simcity is a great example. Released amazingly broken game. Lack of features, and clearly a lot left to desire. Including their silly desire to “Protect” their game. Pirates will always win.

    Another is Plants vs Zombies. V1. Highest selling mobile game ever. v2 So many Microtransactions its a joke!

    They love to buy up studios, Fire a heap of people, and destroy IP’s. *Cough* Westwood*..

    The Origin Store Debacle. When people found out that they were scanning your files, Hardware etc without your consent.

    The List simply goes on. They are everything that is wrong with the Gaming Industry. Thus they ARE the Worst Gaming Company in the World.

    Oh lets not forget the ridiculous amounts of money they make. For what? Try helping out some of your poor Staff or the world for that matter.

    • Cinek says:

      Oh… They did the same with PvZ what they did with Real Racing 3?
      EA at it’s best.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Steam scans your hard drive too and it’s not optional. All it’s doing is checking your hardware for automatic settings and looking for games it can add to your Origin and gives feedback like Steam does.

  24. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    1st-Because, much like Activison, their spearhead franchise is basically a glorification of american imperialism and propaganda for the military industrial complex.

    2nd-They are a pioneer in creating new forms of abusive DRM.

    3nd-Origin is a bloated software that spies on you.

    4st-Their shameless executive meddling destroyed games that could otherwise have been awesome such as Spore and Shadows of the Damned.

    5st-Microtransactions

    6st-DLC milking (specially with The Sims series)

    7st-Franchise milking (with all their sports games)

    8st-That shitty Sim City remake.

    9st-Dragon Age 2

    10st-They didn’t made a single good NFS since Underground 2.

    11st-Dead Space 3

    12st-Their games are overpriced as hell.

    13st-That shitty Syndicate reboot.

    14st-Medal of Honor (thank god they put this one to sleep)

    • mlaskus says:

      Dead Space 3? Admittedly I hadn’t played 1 or 2 but I’ve had plenty of fun with Dead Space 3.
      It’s a fantastic coop shooter with a very fun weapon modification system.
      It peters out due to constantly decreasing difficulty but most of the game is really fun.

      I do have to join the Origin hating, it’s an awful mess. It constantly loses save files, CTDs most games, does not let my choose the display language… Every time I play an EA game I run into some issue with Origin, often into game breaking ones.

      • solidsquid says:

        I think the complaints about Dead Space 3 were mostly a combination of the micropayments (which EA themselves said were intended to be a core part of the game experience) and the fact it went from atmospheric horror to standard formula shooter, so a lot of people who played the first two were really disappointed because they were expecting something else

    • prodigy84bg says:

      “10st-They didn’t made a single good NFS since Underground 2.”

      They actually made at least 5 NFS games that are better than Underground 2.

  25. Freud says:

    EA and every other major publisher/developer are in the business of making money. They do it sometimes by making good games and sometimes by some of the more cynical practices of the industry (day 0 DLCs, micro transactions).

    I have no problem with it. I always vote with my wallet. It’s the one language they are fluent in.

    • mouton says:

      Whoa, a sensible post, finally.

      That’s the point – they are a soulless corporation, just like most other AAA publishers. Even Valve, despite being privately owned, has become progressively more cynical in their business practices as they have grown. Designating EA as “the worst” is emotional and has little basis in reality.

    • blackmyron says:

      Sensible? Not in the slightest. I’m a consumer, not a shareholder. I know how corporations work, and I don’t give a damn about corporate profits, policies, and other garbage. It boils down to this:

      Do they make products I enjoy?
      Is the process of purchasing or using their products a nightmare?

      Guess what, Valve passes those those tests. EA doesn’t. That’s it, that’s the bottom line.

      • mouton says:

        First, you are exaggerating. Purchasing EA products is not a “nightmare”. If it is to you, then you have bigger problems.

        Second, it’s not about liking EA. It’s about not demonizing it and calling it “omg teh worst company ever”.

      • blackmyron says:

        No, it’s about the tiresome “EA isn’t terrible because Valve isn’t as good as everyone thinks.” It’s also about ‘forgiving’ EA because, hey, they’re a big corporation that cares about profit so OMG stop complaining.

        That’s garbage. As many, many posts here have mentioned, there’s a whole host of reasons as a consumer that EA is a terrible game company.

  26. grimdanfango says:

    There are three massively obvious things that EA could do to win back the belief of the gaming public:
    1. Stop trying to exert control over your customers.
    2. Stop prioritising “monetization” over game design.
    3. Finance new ideas, in addition to their established franchises, and continue to finance them even if they don’t bring in instant and consistent returns.

    …and ultimately, the reason why all of this will amount to hollow lip-service if not blind-faced lies is – they have zero intention of changing any of those things, as they perceive that their entire business model relies on them. So they’ll have to resort to pleading with, and tricking their audience into thinking they’re making real efforts to change, while in reality only going to ever increasing lengths to disguise those things better, and to convince people that they actually benefit the consumer.

    I have absolutely no faith that EA will change. It will employ ever more desperate measures to pull money in, before eventually crumbling under its own greedy weight.

    • alw says:

      That’s pretty much what I was going to write. I stopped buying EA games some years ago. If I remember right, the final straw came after playing Test Drive Unlimited and noticing how intrusive the “paid options” were becoming. It struck me how many EA decisions were basically exploitative – that is, they were focused on what’s good for EA in the short term, rather than what’s good for the game. Now, I understand that they are a business and they need to make money, but its the lengths that they are willing to go to do that which put me off them (I won’t go through them all, there are plenty of posts here that already do that).

      I guess it’s ultimately a respect thing. They seem to have a real lack of respect for their customers and products and they don’t seem to have a problem making decisions which harm either, providing it increases their bottom line a bit more.

    • Emeraude says:

      To be fair, I understand why they’re doing 1): Valve left them little choice.

      Everyone is having a raging hard on right now about the DD future, and all big publishers are scared to see Valve become the new Gamestop (which it almost already is technically), down to having them by the balls.

      So they *need* to find alternative solutions. And sadly, DRM free, which would be a fitting, obvious choice, is more than probably a hard sell on investors.

      • grimdanfango says:

        The reason Valve got into the position they’re in is precisely because they treated their customers with respect, and genuinely sought to provided services that benefited them.

        I’m not suggesting EA go DRM-free. I’m just suggesting that they stop trying to exert all-encompasing control over their customers – by which I mean stop engineering games from the ground up to dictate the precise allowed conditions under which they may be played, specifically to make games as difficult as possible to mod, specifically so that they have a captive audience to whom they can attempt to sell an endless stream of DLC.

        SimCity is the perfect example of all that is wrong with their approach. A game which was intentionally crippled by-design, with DRM woven into every game system, imposing limitations on those systems, and dressed up to appear as much as possible as an actual benefit to the consumer. The entire thing was designed from the ground up primarily as a locked-down paid-content-delivery-system, with secondary consideration given to actually designing the game itself.

        As I said, I don’t expect them to change. They have absolutely no wish to, despite the drivel they’re coming out with now. They only wish to find a way to mitigate this PR nightmare they’ve caused for themselves, and they’ll do it only by attempting working out how to disguise their attempts to exploit their customers more effectively.

        It won’t work, they’ll keep blaming market slowdown or whatever other skapegoat they muster, and eventually they’ll wither and die.

        I certainly wish it was otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t wish for that many talented developers to lose their jobs, but I fear change for the better is too far beyond EA’s capability.

  27. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I wouldn’t say I hate EA but I don’t buy their games, just like I don’t buy Activision Blizzard games or Ubisoft games and the reason is they have no respect for their customers, the reason PC Gamers gave Valve the keys to the kingdom is because they clearly respect their customers. EA could never succeed with Origin like Valve did with steam because they do not.

  28. karthink says:

    I don’t dislike EA, but they have worked very hard to make me apathetic towards them and their games.

    I could attribute some things about their (better) games I do find frustrating, like day one DLC, to EA. But that’s a more common problem and they just appear to be oriented in the direction the wind’s blowing right now. It’s also not clear how many of their games’ problems (awful writing, for one) are explicitly EA’s fault and not their dev studios’.

    I’m mostly disappointed at the wasted potential of the humongous sums of money EA spends in making games.

  29. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Their customer service is shit.

  30. Astalnar says:

    Always online requirement in single player games, DLC in any kind and form. If you think it needs to be in game, then release a patch, don’t sell us a feeble excuse how it is optional. You do not see George Lucas wanting extra for the additions he made to original trilogy. And he thought this would help the film. And microtranscations. This is just plain wrong. It is milking the customer. Yes, people that engage in it are stupid, but how does that make you look. EA ends up being the one taking advantage of the retarded kid. Not cool.

    All in all, they are asking the wrong question. The question is not, why do people not love us? The question should be, what did we do to deserve this hatered?

  31. somnolentsurfer says:

    They make (limited amounts of) stuff I want to buy, but don’t sell it in stores I want to buy from.

  32. Stardreamer says:

    Reasons. Oh so many reasons Where to start???

    The destruction of legendary PC developers.
    The classic IPs allowed to rot.
    The classic IPs resurrected as freakish abominations (Sim City, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate).
    Their wholehearted embrace of all the worst forms of DLC.
    The overwhelming drive towards ever greater monetisation.
    The lack of respect for their consumers, or the games industry itself, evidenced by every other point made on this thread.
    The outright lying (Sim City needs to be online, servers doing calculations)
    The barely-iterative annual franchise releases.
    The “EA Indie bundle”, a sign of them desperately trying to appear to be the thing we genuinely love in a ridiculously transparent attempt to ingratiate themselves.
    Their being one of the main drivers towards the cynical, risk-averse AAA development model, that has driven so many developers to Kickstarter and other Indie channels that allow them to do the thing they love.
    Their stance on PC piracy: DRM, activation limits, software as a service, etc (which were all severe at first, beaten back to more reaosnable by complaints, but still end up worse than before they started)
    Micro-transactions in everything, now even traditionally priced games.
    Their cynical, aaggressive use of EULAs for games.
    their cynical, aggressive use of forums rules.
    Their part in the “PC is dying, move to consoles” direction the industry took.

    EA is a soulless, malignant, devouring cancer in the industry driven EXCLUSIVELY by its need to keep shareholders happy, and this is coming from someone who DOESN’T hate them. They’re just…not on my side as a gamer, so not worthy of trust, respect or anything but the most grudging monetary contributions from my wallet.

    Worst company in America? Don’t be ridiculous. Worst Games Publisher? Very probably.

  33. kael13 says:

    Nothing to add that hasn’t already been covered in the comments, but with a lack of any up-voting system I feel I have to exclaim my disgruntled ‘yeaaaaaah!’ into the chamber.

  34. varangian says:

    To come at it from a slightly different angle for me the lack of love for EA, though driven a little by what I’ve read of some bad things they’ve done, is more because of their structure. They’re basically just your generic anonymous corporation and the words ‘new EA game’ will never stir any particular emotion. It may be a good game or not. Sometimes it will be a good game spoiled by commercially driven baggage like microtransactions. Companies like, say, Valve and Paradox aren’t incapable of making mistakes but when I hear there’s a new game on the way from the likes of them I’ll be interested enough to find out more and, if it’s my kind of thing, might even pre-order it or buy it on release. My perception, although probably not entirely accurate, is that such companies have a core philosophy (something on the lines of ‘let’s build the games we’d like to play’ perhaps) and standards that will make their games noteworthy more often than not.

    Games from the likes of EA OTOH I just let float by and wait to see what the world at large makes of it and if it turns out good I may buy it, but I know that EA works to a different paradigm. If they could make bigger profits by releasing a poor game instead of spending more money and making a better game with less profit they’ll go for the former every time. It’s all about shareholder value and little else motivates them as, for whoever is currently running the show, the short term profit trumps any long term damage. Such an attitude will never engender much in the way ot trust, let alone love.

  35. Keasar says:

    To name a few things:
    Rushing games out the doors making them horribly unplayable on launch (Battlefield 4 being a recent example).
    Online Only in games that don’t need it and try lie about its requirement (SimCity).
    The constant onslaught of day one DLC, pre-order items and whatnot.
    Putting microtransactions into everything, which I consider personally almost a blight upon good game design.

    And that is just a couple of examples.
    I think this post on NeoGAF summarizes my feelings really well: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=91610548#post91610548

    Now, that is not to say that they are the worst company in America, there are many that does way worse shit than they. However, there is a lot of criticism they just flippantly disregard anyway.

  36. Gap Gen says:

    I’m actually not sure they genuinely care, or that they care enough to reform their corporate structure away from maximising profits at the expense of their relationship with their employees and customers. Talk is cheap, and I suspect they know how they could improve customer relations if the people with power in the organisation really gave a crap.

  37. Squirly says:

    Origin – an attempt to supplant Steam, half-assed because they can’t even look at what Steam does well that they can imitate. Case in point – pricing. Which leads me to:

    Lying – EA wants games to be cheaper which is why they want digital distribution and then when they get it … they’re still the same price.

    Buying dev houses, gutting them by forcing EA’s mentality on their games and their release schedule – end result, game gets ruined, dev house gets shut down and absorbed/laid off. Goodbye Bullfrog, Westwood etc.

    Lack of initiative and new ideas. Look at what EA has started over the last few years and note how everything is an imitation of someone else who did it first and/or better. Whether we’re talking digital distribution platform, yearly release of successful IPs, shoe-horning multiplayer into games that don’t benefit from it. They have no clue what they’re actually doing, which is why they constantly imitate those who have success, except they can’t go the whole hog and do it properly. They always want their cake and eat it too, like adding microtransaction F2P style, to a non-F2P game. Fuck that shit.

    EA isn’t the worst game publisher, but they don’t have to be because those that are worse are called Zynga.

  38. Locque says:

    Not like this is anything that hasn’t been said already, but I was born in 1984. I am 29 years old. Growing up, I loved videogaming, during the severely restricted hours that I was allowed to play. I adored it, revered my games. With some games in particular, the experience was almost holy. Wing Commander. Dungeon Keeper. Theme Park. Command and Conquer.

    EA is becoming the Wal-Mart of gaming (I’m Irish, so I’ve never been to a Wal-Mart. Anything I know about their business ethics is from reading and research). They bought Bullfrog, Origin, and Westwood, regurgitated some horribly pale imitations of their most loved games, and then buried them, killing all three companies with little hesitation after transforming their games into mangled parodies of what they were. Now, there are exceptions – C&C 3 was actually pretty great, and the expansion for it was absolute quality, and Red Alert 3 went in a slightly different direction in terms of aesthetics and flavour, but they weren’t bad, and it was certainly not a bad game.
    However, generally speaking, everything feels really homogenous, dumbed down, focus-tested to the point of erasing creativity, titles are pushed out the door only half-completed (but you bet your bottom those gorgeous CGI cinematic trailers were ready aeons in advance). You can see their influence on the once-revered Bioware starting to sour things with another of my most loved developers.

    There are plenty of other good points out there regarding DLC, annual re-releases of what is basically the same title with another number on it, etc, but in the end it comes down to this:
    EA doesn’t respect its customers, employees, or the intellectual properties it ruins, so why should we respect it? This may shock you all, but there was a time, once, long ago, when EA was one of the good guys. Maybe those days will never return, we all know there are shareholders etc to appease, but it really wouldn’t be hard for them to at least stop being the Satan of gaming either.

  39. ZakG says:

    As with many longtime games companies EA used to be cool, we’re talking back in the ‘M.U.L.E’/'One on One’/'The Bards Tale’ era, then you had that great run in the ‘golden age’ of gaming, with stuff like the ‘Ultima’ series, ‘Road Rash’/'PGA Tour Golf’/'Jungle Strike’/'Wing Commander’/'System Shock’/'Theme Hospital’ and the early Madden titles plus many more real classics.

    Then i guess they became a victim of their own success?

    Now they have a rep for some of the worst working conditions in the industry, and rightly so. A reputation for milking their ‘fans’ for everything they can get, and basically have lost sight of the companies original ideals and goals. They deserve what they get as it is all off their own creation and i can’t remember the last time i bought an EA game, probably ‘Shogun: Total War’. Nothing i have seen coming from the company, either games or ‘ethics’ (DRM, working conditions, IP trashing etc) is looking likely to bring me back. They had their time in the sun, they were once a fantastic games publisher, but that was all a long time ago.

  40. tellrov says:

    They hide behind the homophobe comments because it’s an easy way to shield yourself from criticism. Make a shitty game, then say people complain because of the gay character and the bigot-shouting hordes got your back. If anything, gay people should be offended to be used as a shield like that.

    And to counter the usual argument of “there are a lot worse companies than EA”. People vote for what’s close to their heart. EA will have a more direct hand in this worldwide compared to a bank only operating in the US, especially on an online poll.

  41. Drake Sigar says:

    I don’t like them because their business model is self-destructive, contains very little long term thinking, and they have such an antagonistic relationship with their customers.

    Bad is one thing. Bad and stupid is something I cannot abide. And these are the people leading the charge into the next generation of gaming. The decisions made in recent years are what a company does when they’re about to go belly up – grab as much as possible and pull the ladder up.

    I give them props for FINALLY having a sale, and raising a large amount for charity, but it looks like they’ve gone right back to old ways.

  42. Don Reba says:

    What is this EA everyone is talking about? I just took a look on Steam, and it seems they have not released anything but Sims DLCs in the past two years.

  43. greywolf00 says:

    Oh where to start. Of course they aren’t the worst company, but I’d easily give them worst game publisher. They really changed into a company who cares more about $ than gamers and it shows.

    Madden is a perfect example of their unwillingness to do new things. After they got the exclusive NFL license after meeting competition from 2K5, they proceeded to do nothing of value. In fact, it took them several years just to “add” (aka copy) features from 2K5. Why? Because no one was going to go buy a different football game. Why waste the time/money copying it in one year when you can stretch it across 5 or 6 for more $? Yes I’ll grant that 2012 was a step in the right direction but it was undercut in 2013 with them copying 2K’s basketball setup.

    Then of course there’s the transition from DA:O to DA:2. The latter was clearly pushed out the door quickly as evidenced by the absurd number of reused art assets. Why? More $. It did at least seem to bite them. Not to mention, as the Mass Effect series went on, not only did the time between release decrease (which there’s some logical arguments for), but they turned it into more of a shooter and less of an RPG. If I want to shoot stuff, I’ll just buy a shooter.

    They have a very annoying habit of buying out developers and ruining franchises or just letting them fester.

    SimCity always online (yes Blizzard does it too with D3 and I’ve lost tons of respect for them too, I also avoid Ubisoft like the plague because of their horrible DRM). Not too mention just how broken it was at release. All these features that “require” internet connection don’t work so we need internet connection why? “It can never play without talking to the server” and then someone proved them wrong. Be honest and open with gamers for a change, it’ll do wonders to improve your reputation with people you want money from.

    Tons of DLC, mostly pointless money sucking stuff including Ultimate Team card collecting games in their sports series which plays on the same principals as slot machines.

    Origin scanning CPUs without it being clearly presented (everyone knows almost no one reads the agreements before clicking accept) was a big no no and still hurting them today. I find it inferior to Steam in every single way, especially pricing.

    They constantly talk about how much they care about gamers and then hand us a garbage product. Lip service only gets you so far, you have to do something on a regular basis at this point to change opinions.

  44. wrokred says:

    Let me summarize this comment thread and offer a guide.

    “EA are evil, for many indescript reasons.” Throw in some dramatic sounds words to emphasise this point; heres a few: nefarious, villainous, corrupt, malevolent, atrocious, destructive, etc..

    “They bought X game, then made X game II and it was not as good…”

    Now talk about how much you hate microtransactions, day one DLC, DRM. Talk about how bad Origin is, especially if you haven’t tried it in a few months / refuse to use it on principle.

    Finally mention the companies they bought, then closed. Use a phrase like stripping, or gutting, to make this seem like a more emotional decision on their part.

    Overall try not to qualify your statements with researchable facts and be comfortable in the knowledge that EA are evil, and by not buying their games (much) you are saving the world from that evil.

    • Raztaman says:

      Did you just read everyone else’s comments to come up with that guide? Impressive, but not an opinion ser.

    • Groove says:

      “Now talk about how much you hate microtransactions, day one DLC, DRM”

      That point is pretty straight up and you don’t seem to have a way to make it seem like an overrecaction. EA are a market leader in attaching invasive DLC and DRM to premium games (literally every game they release). They’re also developing a strong line in turning premium games into freemium attrocities (PvZ 2, holy balls).

      • wrokred says:

        The only reason I didn’t was because it ran on and ruined the tempo of the post.

        Day one DLC makes sense. You can have 2 teams working, or have one team working while the disks get printed. Pay extra / get the premium edition.

        The only DRM issues I’ve had are for sim city 5 and spore. In general DRM makes my life easier; my games are in one place, my old CD keys work as activation on origin. I find the issue with DRM is the game on the train / plane argument. Mostly from people that don’t travel much, and mostly about expensive games those people can’t justify the costs of to themselves, so it must be someone else fault. I mean that not as an insult, more just looking at the cause of much discontent. I have an anecdote, but this post is LONG.

        And finally micro-transactions. That is a matter of perspective. If it avoids a grind that is natural to the gameplay it’s useful. If it gives me shiney things my friends don’t have / all have it’s cool and fun and helps pay the team that adds new stuff during the games life.

        The only issue (and it’s a BIG issue) is the temptation to manipulate the gaming economy (as forza have) to make it almost necessary if you want a complete experience of the game. Yes you CAN get all the items in the game if you play 12 hours a day for 12 months. In general I think that in game economies, online and off, should be better regulated to meet certain standards if they include micro-transations. Playtime vs repetition of events for example.

        TL:DR – Added work and added value are fine, DRM makes life easy, micro transactions inside in game economies could do with regulation.

        • Emeraude says:

          In general DRM makes my life easier; my games are in one place, my old CD keys work as activation on origin.

          That has nothing to do with the DRM per see though: you could have all those advantages without the mandatory online activation, just make them available to people who *willfully* chose to register. Let those that don’t keep the integrity of their games, but not get the added services.

          As for DLC, of course it makes sense. But the same way ubiquitous patching has had, in my experience, a tremendous influence on the scheduling of software, making software that would once have been improper for release get green-lighted because it can be patched later, DLC has an influence on the content that can go in a game.
          There’s no arguing that content that once was part of the game is now being sold separately – if only cheat codes.

        • mouton says:

          Day one DLC is not about two teams, though. It is about having the main team do something while the base game is going through all that certification console bullcrap and final teesting.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Yeah, a lot of people are passionate about this because it is their pass-time and in many cases their livelihood. They care about the games industry. Naturally they attach a lot of emotion to their perception of events.

      I don’t believe EA are villainous. I suspect that board meetings do no consist of cackling laughs, twirling moustaches and the concoction of dastardly plans to tie gamers to rail-roads.

      I think you are right in your implications; EA are not making emotional decisions. I think many people here DO understand that EA are Just Trying To Make A Profit as is their responsibility.

      I think that is what those who ARE passionate about the industry find frustrating. There is a perception that they have a massive influence on the gaming industry but they just don’t care about it and are willing to do things which could be viewed as damaging to the the integrity (not sure if that’s the right word) of the industry to turn a profit.

      They just don’t like it.

  45. Raztaman says:

    I can almost guarantee EA will continue to ask why they’re so criticized even if they got around to seeing all of this. Ignoramuses…. Ignorami? Origami?

    …..Ignorant bastards T_T

  46. SanguineAngel says:

    I don’t like EA because they care far more about maximising profit than about publishing great and worthwhile games. The perception I have about them is that, as an entity, they have no passion for games whatsoever. Gaming is a means to an end.

    I have heard a lot of horror stories – first and second hand – about the way in which they treat their developers and the disregard they have for the quality of their projects.

    I guess I just don’t really like the effect a limited company has. For me, a business should be more concerned with what it does then how much money it makes.

    Ultimately, though, based on my impression of them and more importantly their recent track record I just do not have any faith their ability to handle franchises and bring us good games.

  47. bateleur says:

    I don’t hate EA. But they do frequently make me sad, because their position in the industry empowers them to do so many good things… but they don’t.

  48. Turkey says:

    EA is really weird compared to the other big publishers. They interfere enough to ruin the games their developers work on, but they don’t make up for it in quality control.

  49. Jackablade says:

    As a developer I wasn’t personally screwed by EA as a I was by Activision’s colossal bejeweled member, THQ’s crooked pecker or Bethesdah’s small but tenacious prick, so they’re ok in my book.

  50. Katar says:

    Most of what EA does wrong has been said already in these comments. Though so far no one has mentioned that for some reason they seem to think it’s okay to release completely different versions of FIFA on consoles to the PC. I don’t think anyone believes the BS about not being able to use the latest engine for the PC version as the userbase don’t have PCs powerful enough to run it.

    • iainl says:

      I’ll say it, then: Most of EA’s FIFA fanbase probably aren’t playing on monster machines, just like they claim. Origin does at least as much hardware surveying as Steam does, so I find it hard to believe they don’t know what boxes to target.

      After all, they’re quite happy to have DICE shove out Battlefields that supply bells and whistles that make a PS4 look like a PS3, and they publish Crytek’s stuff. So they’re not averse to offering stupiid numbers of graphics in genres that they think it’s wanted in.

      It would be nice for the people that play it if PC FIFA had lots of shiny as an option, but not offering a game that at least runs on Intel graphics wouldn’t work well for them, I suspect.

      • h_ashman says:

        Fifa is actually the same as the PS3/360 editions. They could have released the super new game on the brand new engine, with lots of extra gameplay features. Though sadly they decided against it, it’s probably more that they chose to release PC in September. After all you don’t want to release the new version on a PC 2 months before the next-gen, nor at the same time as the next-gen as it was one of the launch bundle titles for both consoles.

        Though if NFS rivals is anything to go by it might not be a bad thing, given everything would be locked at 30 fps and the physics engine will be tied to that.

        I actually wish they had a few more sport deals, the Ashes 2013 debacle (video game not England in the real one) reminded me just how good cricket 07 was, and by cricket game standards, was actually pretty innovative with the control system too.

      • Katar says:

        Given that they did the same thing for 09, 10, 11, and 12 the argument loses some of if credibility. They’ve basically killed the game on PC by treating their customers like dirt over the years, so even if it was true they caused the problem.

        I don’t know why they would even bother bringing FIFA to PC if they are going to do such a half arsed job. Well I do know why and it’s why they are a terrible publisher. Definitely not the worst company in America, but a piss poor games company.

    • RiffRaff says:

      On the subject of fifa, they have also been caught out selling the same game two years in a row and pretending its brand new so they can sell it at full price. its not even the usual small changes excuse, fifa 13 is literally the exact same game as fifa 12 (on certain consoles), just with a few different sprites.

      • h_ashman says:

        Not literally the same game, the engine is identical, but they have made changes to how a couple of systems work. For example 14 has a redesigned tackling system and various types of shooting have been adjusted (e.g. so much harder to score with a chipped shot compared to older versions). That said, at least 90% of that could have been achieved in a patch rather than an entire new game. It also looks like they’ve lost a lot of licenses for international teams in recent years (didn’t have Italy in 12, and Brazil in 13) which sucks.

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