With no thanks to the internet, the EA bandwagon of hate rolls on. EA, were once again to my astonishment voted the worst company in America; with no thanks to the internet. I can appreciate people’s passion for video games as it’s something I share, but what I don’t appreciate is undeserved criticism. Yes, EA have made mistakes, but more so than say the banks who have squandered away our money on risky investments? Or even the government due to the lack of quality health care? The point I am making is there is more important things in life to be annoyed about than a video game publisher who has made a few mistakes.
The whole Mass Effect 3 ending debacle was a complete and utter sham to me. Some idiot on the internet decided to blame EA for poor writing on BioWares behalf. This persons reasoning for this? EA rushed them to release the title. No! EA set a deadline for the title to be released like all other publishers due who fund the projects for the studios. Now if you wanted to vent your frustration at someone you should have vented it at Casey Hudson (Director of ME3) or Mac Walters (Lead Writer of ME3) for shoddy writing. I am sure Drew Karpyshyn was laughing in disbelief as much as the rest of us at the red, blue, green ending. The point of this is not to drag up the past though but to trace what triggered this ill feeling from the public towards EA.
Maybe it was the introduction of micro transactions into their games with people believing it would make their games, pay to win. Have we seen any instances of this yet? Not to my knowledge. Micro transactions in Dead Space 3 for example do not break the game but only add more content for people who wish to pay for it. You don’t need to pay for anything to complete this game. Now if they were to implement it into a multiplayer game then I could understand the issues as obviously it would give these players a vast advantage over others. I honestly don’t foresee EA doing this in the future. Why would they when Battlefield 3 and FIFA both won awards and have heavy MP aspects to their games. Why change a winning formula?
‘Always Online’ mode has come in for heavy criticism and deservedly so after the debacle of the Sim City release. This shows the way of not implementing a DRM system into your games. For years now PC/Mac gamers have had to put up with DRM within games or services they have used. Sure it can sometimes be frustrating but if you want to blame someone blame the people who pirate games for forcing developers/publishers hands. Sure it’s bad news for those people who don’t have a stable connection due to their geographical location but it’s just the way it is today with technology and networking moving forward as fast as it is. I won’t go in to the no refund issue as I believe EA to be in the right here due to them in a right about way asking for more time to fix the issue. I believe the public outcry to this was frankly pathetic with good journalists I respect even jumping on the bandwagon.
The industry wide war against pre-owned games. The measures put into place are perfectly acceptable as for too long now developers and publishers have had to foot the cost of the used games market when companies like GAME and Game Spot have more than had their fill. Paying £7 to allow me to play online with my friends really isn’t a deal breaker for me when I have paid less than half price for the game already. When Batman Arkham City was released you were only able to play as Catwoman if you had bought the game new now that’s story based content not MP but Warner Brothers were not chastised for this. Why?
Now onto what I believe to be indefensible. The closer of studios upon release of a game or the lay off of staff and putting it down to business strategy is one way to alienate yourself from your consumers. Consumers are now more in touch than ever with developers thanks to Twitter so when you actively hear about staff being laid off or a whole studio closure upon the release of a game it makes your heart sink a little. Redundancy is a terrible thing to go through I have personally been through it twice in the last two years losing a job it tears a part in you and people can relate to that. Don’t make your development teams so big if your going to have to make cuts once the game is shipped. Cut your cloth accordingly. I felt so bad for the guys at Visceral Games upon hearing of the layoffs immediately after the release of Dead Space 3. EA, need to look at this and think is this the right message to be sending out to developers and consumers a like.
How to be heard
If I have said it once I have said it a million times before going on a foul mouthed rant on YouTube, Twitter, Reddit whichever form of media takes your fancy is not the right and proper way to make yourself heard. It makes you look ill-educated as well as prat at the same time. This will attract the trolls of the internet to jump on the bandwagon and this is exactly how we get into the situation we find ourselves in today. If you wish to be taken seriously you can contact EA via there various social media outlets or you could even drop them an email. Remember to be constructive and factual as you won’t be listened to if you’re just bashing the product.
Let me state, I like the rest of you am a gamer and only want to see the gaming scene flourish and just because I predominantly play games on the Mac OS these days doesn’t mean I don’t play games on other platforms. The only way it will flourish is with harmony within the community. Say what you want about EA but they do not saturate the market with dross like Activision do every year with a cynical cash in on COD or like Ubisoft do with the Assassins Creed series. These are the types of publishers to be frustrated with stopping talented development teams working on the next big idea in search of a quick cash in.
I hope I have given many of you food for thought. I feel I have been fair in my assessment of the current situation both praising and criticising, EA.
C’mon people it’s time to be mature and honest; you need EA as much as EA needs you.
If you don’t agree with me, I am more than willing to have a civilised conversation with you in the comments section. I emphasis the civilised part of this statement.