I can't tell you how much I'd prefer to ignore brandter, in which corporate Twitter accounts pretend to be people with terrible senses of humour. Alas, in this instance I cannot. Yesterday EA tweeted a terrible meme and related it to single-player games, and in the process drew the ire of several current and former game developers at studios owned by EA.
Here's the tweet:
They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games— Electronic Arts (@EA) June 30, 2022
"They're a 10 but they only like playing single-player games", it reads. "They're a 10 but" is a snowclone that's been doing the rounds, and it's already shit tier patter both because it's a tired meme and because it's about rating human beings on a numeric scale.
In this instance, it's the "but they only like playing single-player games" that got people riled up, because it was seen as EA insulting single-player games. That's the EA who both make several single-player games and who have a reputation for killing single-player games if they can't be turned into live service loot box machines.
Here's the response from Vince Zampella, who is the founder of EA-owned Respawn (who make singleplayer games like Titanfall and the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Survivor) and who also looks after the Battlefield and Medal Of Honor series for EA:
🤦🏼♂️— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) July 1, 2022
Former creative director on Dragon Age (developed at EA's BioWare) Mike Laidlaw called EA's tweet "tone deaf", while Dragon Age writer David Gaider tweeted that, "As usual, EA jumps on a trend, misses the point, punches itself in the face."
In fairness, I've also seen some more charitable readings of the tweet which argue that the reference to single-player games is only meant to imply that this fictional "10" wouldn't play games with you, and so is therefore somehow unreachable. But this corporate defence supposes EA are positing a world in which humans can only interact with one another by playing videogames, which would merit criticism all its own.
The harshest criticism of the tweet came from Zach Mumbach, former developer at Dead Space developers Visceral Games - until EA shut the studio down.
Also, if you break game rating scores down to a 10 point scale most @ea games are a solid 6 or 7. Not because the developers are bad but because ea the corporation forces them to rush games out. EA corporate leadership wouldn’t know what a “10” looks like in terms of video games.— Zach Mumbach (@zachulon) July 1, 2022
When EA closed Visceral, the studio were working on a single-player Star Wars game under the leadership of Uncharted creator Amy Hennig. At the time, EA said that the project was a "story-based, linear adventure", but that "fundamental shifts in the marketplace" meant they'd need to "pivot the design" in order to make a game "that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come." It's this statement that perhaps most created the modern perception of EA as a studio that doesn't care for single-player games.
In any case, EA responded to the criticism the only way a brand can - with yet more brandter.
Nothing was learned.
Roast well deserved. We’ll take this L cause playing single player games actually makes them an 11. https://t.co/PNg4FKOgfB— Electronic Arts (@EA) July 1, 2022