What I Hate About Electronic Arts

Filed under: , , by: Jimmy the Greek

Quality of Games. This might be a moot point with the recent statement made by John Riccitiello saying they will ax at least one title a year. Now I've gotten that out of the way, let's find a particularly raunchy floating turd on the list of shittiness.

Superman Returns. I love the Man of Tomorrow just as much anybody, if not more, and there hasn't been a single good game with Superman in it. It's a testament to their arrogance to think they could actually make one. They tore a page out of the book of Spiderman 2, who tore a page out of the book of GTA, and tried to make it an open world game... based solely in Metropolis. This is a serious design flaw to begin with. I'm going to flex my nerd muscles and say Superman is the protector of Earth and a decent portion of the galaxy, but add shitty graphics and character models, physics problems, repetitive fighting, and no real distinguishable threat to Supes and you have a recipe for tripe.

You know what? I can stop right there. They've released several good games and milked best selling franchises but when I think of EA published games, I think of the broken buggy pieces of shit they've released based on movie franchises. The games that take great movies and in a blatant dick move, ruined my memory of them.

They killed James Bond. GoldenEye is considered one of the best games of all time and brought FPSs to consoles with panache. To this day I still enjoy popping it in my 64. The next Bond game to come out was Tomorrow Never Dies on the PlayStation. Sadly since GoldenEye was released it has all been down hill. At best it has been on a plain after TND. It went from the franchise everybody was playing in the mid to late 90's to "why the hell did I waste my money on that?" No amount of implied sex and space age gadgetry could save 007 from the horror wreaked on it by EA.

Sports Titles' Yearly Releases. NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, PGA, etc., etc. Are there really that many changes made in the PGA that merit releasing a Tiger Woods game every year? It seems that EA took the winning formula of Tiger Woods 06 and decided the best way to improve the franchise was to ruin it by changing the controls and needless additions of gameplay mechanics. Here's an idea that would cost less for EA and consumers. Stop releasing the same fucking game every year with only the number on the end changed. I can't reinforce that notion enough, STOP RELEASING THE SAME FUCKING GAME! Now that has been stated, make the updated rosters, teams, locations, stadiums, etc. available as downloadable content. If there's a company out there that loves milking money from it's consumers, it is definitely EA. Though DLC is not as expensive as a full blown game, they don't have to pay to print and distribute it and this model allows them to milk the DLC hind tit just a little bit more.

Exclusive NFL License. I'm not the biggest fan of directly competing against others because I usually lose. I can admit that, but it doesn't mean that the wrestlers who beat me so many years ago got the best of me. I have a well paying job, a beautiful fiancee, a nice car, and lots of cool toys. I can sleep soundly at night knowing in the long run I won, because they are now married to a witless slut, have dead end jobs, live on the wrong side of town, and have children that unsurprisingly look like the mailman, UPS guy, or their best friend.

Where was I going with this? Right, competition. Competition in business breeds innovation, lower prices, and quality products. I don't play Madden and never will, but I can still sympathize with its fans because if they want a football game, more specifically NFL, they have to buy Madden. Listening to friends who faithfully line up every year to buy Madden like lemmings marching off a cliff, the game peaked in 2005 and hasn't been all that great since. Am I wrong or was that the same year Take Two got a significant market share and instead of making a better product EA bought the license to eliminate competition?

They try to do too much. This one needs some clarification. Typically when EA publishes a title, they release it on everything, including mobile phones. There are very few developers who know how to program a great game using all the power of a single system, let alone several. To top this off they try to release each version simultaneously. That means that they have to dumb down the game engine for the Wii, so the fan base of the Wii don't mutiny when they realize they bought half the game for their half system, or one version is ready well ahead of the others and gamers have to wait for them all to be completed before it gets released. I understand giving equal choice for the game you want to purchase but couldn't they stagger the releases as each game in completed?

They bought Bioware/Pandemic. This was a smart business move on their part but that doesn't mean I have to be happy with it. Bioware has a cult like following and the same goes for Pandemic. Their merger sparked a unified cry of joy from the gaming community. We had one group of talented people over here and another group of talented people over there. Together we have one big group of talented people with enough capital to do greater things. Shortly after this, while we gamers were still smoking our collective victory cigars, it was announced that EA had bought them both. To me this was like smacking the victory cigar out of my mouth into a puddle of piss.

This complaint isn't limited to Bioware/Pandemic but extends to so many developers gobbled up by EA like white pellets to Pacman. Alone these developers might not have had multibillion dollar fiscal profits but they might not be closed because EA doesn't know how to expand their business model from within.


On November 6, 2008 at 8:14 PM , Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Maxis is another example that disappointed me.