How EA Can Regain Trust on the PC

How EA Can Regain Trust on the PC

I'm going to take EA's announcement at face value and assume it's a genuine expression of intent and not empty PR, and then offer my advice.

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If EA wants to get gamer's trust back, I think the thing they need to do first is to go back to their roots, and try to be the company they were founded to be, as seen in the old "can a computer make you cry" ad.

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Its too late EA - way too late. I don't want to trust you anymore. I want to watch you die and make way for better, newer studios.

You wanted more people playing multiplayer, but rather than making great multiplayer and allowing people to choose to play it, you made it so that single-player fans would need to play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to get the "best" ending of their single player game.

I can't source this - because the quote is somewhere in the Bioware Forums and I have no idea which thread I saw it in - but a developer said the multiplayer requirement for ME3's 'best' (if you want to call it that) ending was an accident. They'd intended for it to be available to all players, but messed up the maths on the War Assets. Hence why it got fixed in the free Extended Cut.

There's no justification for SimCity's online fiasco though.

I'm pretty sure I can remember a very similar statement from EA last year and a very similar article following.

That's why I'd rather be snarky than optimistic. It makes more sense. At this point the only hope I see for the IP being held hostage (and man, they have some really good IP) is for EA to go out of business.

I will give the devil it's due by saying Origin's had some pretty good deals in the past. It was their On the House thing that made me get an account to begin with. Mind you, it should be sad that they had to give me The Sims 2 and Dragon Age: Origins for free just to get me to use their service, but that's what it's been brought to. I have taken to buying EA games on Origin even when they are available on Steam, just because it feels like I should. I do the same with GOG; call it a token resistance against Steam's benevolent monopoly.

The last point Shamus made was interesting, since I feel like the reverse could apply to Valve and Steam. Over the past couple of years, Valve has been going from mistake to mistake; between paid mods, increasing shovelware, the decline of Greenlight and Early Access and the big security upset on Christmas, they've been making mistakes that rank right up there with several of the big fuck ups by the more "hate-able" companies like EA, Ubisoft, Konami, etc. But because they're so in tune with PC gaming, and responsible for several of the platform's biggest classics, people are willing to let them get away with an awful lot.

Well put,Shamus. I will refrain from guessing the outcome but EA has shown zero understanding of the gaming community, its actual business or the possibility that they might ever make a mistake. I do not buy EA products anymore. While that might not be too huge a loss for them it also means none of my children or grandchildren have gotten an EA product for years. Nor will they.

EA might turn on a dime and listen to your advice. But, I am comfortable saying I'll believe it when I see it. I have little faith that EA can do anything besides screw something else up. Maybe a new motto is due. EA, we can make you cry about our wasted potential.

I know I was forced into ME multiplayer, but it was the best multiplayer out til Payday 2 (until they wrecked that)

Nobody ever mentions Kesmai when describing EA's body count. Well I miss Kesmai. I don't think an updated Air Warrior would do too poorly against modern WWII dogfighters either. I mean, they had 300 people in large persistent maps and multiple player positions in bombers 30 years ago vs. today's lobby based F2P point grinders.

Can't say I really give a damn. I'd probably care if they had any IPs that I badly want to play. But they don't. Mass Effect? Yeah, it's alright. Bioware kinda went to shit. Dragon Age? Meh. Loved Origins, 2 had good combat, couldn't be bothered to buy 3. I can get my fantasy fix from The Witcher series. So what's left? Battlefield? Meh. Battlefront? Well, yeah, maybe if they hadn't fucked it up with the pricing and season pass. There's better and far more reasonably-priced multiplayer experiences easily found elsewhere on PC.

For a start they can stop charging as much or in some cases more for the digital version of games on Origin than the physical copy or a copy from someone like say Amazon. That and cut out all this season pass nickel and diming shit they are so fond of now.

Sometimes I wonder if some poor intern or lowly coffee fetcher at EA reads these articles and just shakes their head. They try to bring it up with management, but management just tells them, "Get back to work!" and thus they are left staring at something like this, thinking, 'He's so right...'

Shamus,

You listed number 5 twice. Not a big deal, but it kicked me in the O.C.D. when I saw it.

Thanks,

Foolery:
Can't say I really give a damn. I'd probably care if they had any IPs that I badly want to play.

To me the IP is less the problem than what EA would likely do with it.

EA owns (amongst other things), Crysis, Battlefield (and Bad Company), Dead Space, Sim City, Command and Conquer (+C&C Generals and Renegade), Burnout, Medal of Honor, Dungeon Keeper, The Syndicate, Titanfall and so on.

Any one of those could be used to make a great game. I would sincerely love a sequel to Crysis. The trouble is this EA we're dealing with, so it'll be rubbish.

If they'd like to make a sequel to Crysis, that picks up where Crysis (not 2 or 3) left off and actually continues that story then I'm in, I'd probably buy it twice (I did with Crysis after all). But of course that won't happen, because it's EA and they'll go off on some tangent that they think sounds good, then dream up ways to charge the absolute maximum possible, like they do with every game they release.

fix-the-spade:

Foolery:
Can't say I really give a damn. I'd probably care if they had any IPs that I badly want to play.

To me the IP is less the problem than what EA would likely do with it.

EA owns (amongst other things), Crysis, Battleifled (and Bad Company), Dead Space, Sim City, Command and Conquer (+C&C Generals and Renegade), Burnout, Medal of Honor, Dungeon Keeper, The Syndicate, Titanfall and so on.

Any one of those could be used to make a great game. I would sincerely love a sequel to Crysis. The trouble is this EA we're dealing with, so it'll be rubbish.

If they'd like to make a sequel to Crysis, that picks up where Crysis (not 2 or 3) left off and actually continues that story then I'm in, I'd probably buy it twice (I did with Crysis after all). But of course that won't happen, because it's EA and they'll go off on some tangent that they think sounds good, then dream up ways to charge the absolute maximum possible, like they do with every game they release.

That's a fair statement. The mishandling of the IPs is definitely the issue. I just got tired of their shenanigans quite some time ago, and I don't really see them changing.

What I wouldn't give for another (good) Mercenaries game, Or even just a HD remaster of the first one. Not the second one though that was a piece of shit.

As I've said before, I'll give a damn if they ever give us a GOOD Dungeon Keeper game. Until then it's only so many empty promises and shattered dreams.

Fuck you, EA. Fuck you very very much.

The_Darkness:

You wanted more people playing multiplayer, but rather than making great multiplayer and allowing people to choose to play it, you made it so that single-player fans would need to play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to get the "best" ending of their single player game.

I can't source this - because the quote is somewhere in the Bioware Forums and I have no idea which thread I saw it in - but a developer said the multiplayer requirement for ME3's 'best' (if you want to call it that) ending was an accident. They'd intended for it to be available to all players, but messed up the maths on the War Assets. Hence why it got fixed in the free Extended Cut.

There's no justification for SimCity's online fiasco though.

There was no reason at all for your ending to be influenced by multiplayer. The only reason they added that system was to force people who didn't want to touch MP to play MP.

I think anything EA tries to win PC customers is just going to be crippled right out the gate by origin. They can release the best game at the best price, but I don't have origin installed, do you, dose anyone? Odds are I won't notice most games EA puts out on PC because I'm not looking at origin.

The_Darkness:
I can't source this - because the quote is somewhere in the Bioware Forums and I have no idea which thread I saw it in - but a developer said the multiplayer requirement for ME3's 'best' (if you want to call it that) ending was an accident. They'd intended for it to be available to all players, but messed up the maths on the War Assets.

Even if true, that doesn't make it any better. Quite contrary, it's a sign that EA pushes their games on the market without proper quality control.

I'd put, "Stop buying and liquidating beloved studios" on this list, but honestly I don't think there are many independent studios left, so that advice doesn't really apply anymore.

I think this is part of the reason why when EA started to try to make a pass at the "indie" scene, many people's responses was a fire-breathing "F$%& YOU!!!!!!"

There may not be many independent studios left, but if the little guys are left alone, some of them might become something more recognizable as a studio. If they're left alone.

In the broad sense, I think most of EA's troubles can be boiled down to: what has being a fan of [franchise] gotten you?

What has being a fan of Battlefield gotten you? A buggy, unstable game that wanted more of your money.
What has being a fan of Dead Space gotten you? Being told that 4,999,999 more of you needed to buy what many consider the weakest game of the series if you ever wanted to see it again.
What has being a fan of SimCity gotten you? A demand you log into EA's inadequate servers so you could experience product branding and traffic congestion from badly planned AI.
What has being a fan of Command & Conquer gotten you? A series that faded with a whimper into a bad attempt at multiplayer e-sports and a continual undead moaning from an alleged online-only spinoff.
What has being a fan of Plants vs. Zombies gotten you? The abandonment of the original platform for mobile freemium money, the unceremonious dismissal of the game's creator, and a series of mediocre third-person shooters.

...And on. And on. And on.

You know that scene in the movie where the bad guy says "You will learn the price of your loyalty...!" before crushing someone's windpipe? The crushee is supposed to be someone on the good guys' side, not one of their own henchmen. That's, like, Villain 101.

EA has spent the last decade and a half or more showing their own customers that the price of loyalty was punishment.

I would like to see them get out of the habit. (EA has made good games in the past, and they may well in the future.) But I am no longer even a little bit willing to take that on faith. Expressing that I am not going to passively put up with their business policies by way of not buying their products has actually become something approaching moral high ground.

Unpopular opinion time!

I actually like that BF4 was broken, and that Hardline and Battlefront are haemorrhaging players.

Desperation does wonderful things for a game.

BF4 has been massively improved with lots of free new content, Hardline has something like 15+ free weapons and few free maps, and for Battlefront I am just waiting to see what EA is gonna do to try and bring back players.

nomotog:
I think anything EA tries to win PC customers is just going to be crippled right out the gate by origin. They can release the best game at the best price, but I don't have origin installed, do you, dose anyone? Odds are I won't notice most games EA puts out on PC because I'm not looking at origin.

I have Origin installed and it's a nice client these days, I actually prefer the UI it has, with the box art for the games better than the list style of Steam. There are certainly ways for it to improve however, I'd love a screenshot function built in for example. Plus they give away from good free games with the On the House promotion.

There really is no reason however not to have Origin installed these days, unless you are one of those folk who are "I won't buy a game unless it is on Steam" of course. Which is madness in itself as Valve can hardly be called a consumer champion either.

For me EA could regain trust by giving the studios they buy more creative control. I don't believe for a moment for example that Bioware wanted to add multiplayer into Mass Effect 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition (at least not the Horde mode RNG versions that are there). This would not only help PC gamers but those on a console too.

votemarvel:

nomotog:
I think anything EA tries to win PC customers is just going to be crippled right out the gate by origin. They can release the best game at the best price, but I don't have origin installed, do you, dose anyone? Odds are I won't notice most games EA puts out on PC because I'm not looking at origin.

I have Origin installed and it's a nice client these days, I actually prefer the UI it has, with the box art for the games better than the list style of Steam. There are certainly ways for it to improve however, I'd love a screenshot function built in for example. Plus they give away from good free games with the On the House promotion.

There really is no reason however not to have Origin installed these days, unless you are one of those folk who are "I won't buy a game unless it is on Steam" of course. Which is madness in itself as Valve can hardly be called a consumer champion either.

For me EA could regain trust by giving the studios they buy more creative control. I don't believe for a moment for example that Bioware wanted to add multiplayer into Mass Effect 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition (at least not the Horde mode RNG versions that are there). This would not only help PC gamers but those on a console too.

It's not a hardware issue. (Well it kind of is in my case*) It's more of a store front issue. I browse humble and steam because I find games there. There is just a ton of verity. Last time I looked at origin, I see battle front, the sims**, and fifa... They need more games and they need to give other games more billing

*I have origin installed on my laptop, but it doesn't let me log in. (If it's installed but broken what dose that count at?) There is some issue that I haven't bothered to fix because I haven't needed to.

**I really hate how there isn't a all in one bundle for the sims 3. The bundles they have are complex and so much is left out or overlaps.

Hiring even one person who knows the hobby and culture could have saved you millions, It won't stop you from making mistakes.

You know.
I have a REALLY hard time believing that absolutely no one at EA in general or especially at Maxis specifically didn't see the fiasco with SimCity coming.

I just doubt the execs cared to listen.

votemarvel:

nomotog:
I think anything EA tries to win PC customers is just going to be crippled right out the gate by origin. They can release the best game at the best price, but I don't have origin installed, do you, dose anyone? Odds are I won't notice most games EA puts out on PC because I'm not looking at origin.

I have Origin installed and it's a nice client these days, I actually prefer the UI it has, with the box art for the games better than the list style of Steam. There are certainly ways for it to improve however, I'd love a screenshot function built in for example. Plus they give away from good free games with the On the House promotion.

There really is no reason however not to have Origin installed these days, unless you are one of those folk who are "I won't buy a game unless it is on Steam" of course. Which is madness in itself as Valve can hardly be called a consumer champion either.

For me EA could regain trust by giving the studios they buy more creative control. I don't believe for a moment for example that Bioware wanted to add multiplayer into Mass Effect 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition (at least not the Horde mode RNG versions that are there). This would not only help PC gamers but those on a console too.

Just an FYI, you totally can show the box art in Steam, theres an option called grid view on the far right of the library screen. Its like 4 squares like the Windows icon.

The_Darkness:

You wanted more people playing multiplayer, but rather than making great multiplayer and allowing people to choose to play it, you made it so that single-player fans would need to play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to get the "best" ending of their single player game.

I can't source this - because the quote is somewhere in the Bioware Forums and I have no idea which thread I saw it in - but a developer said the multiplayer requirement for ME3's 'best' (if you want to call it that) ending was an accident. They'd intended for it to be available to all players, but messed up the maths on the War Assets. Hence why it got fixed in the free Extended Cut.

There's no justification for SimCity's online fiasco though.

I don't understand this argument. I played through ME3, my War Assets were very high (can't remember the figures), I got the option to choose between 3 colors at the end, and I never played multiplayer. Or was there something else I missed?

nomotog:
It's not a hardware issue. (Well it kind of is in my case*) It's more of a store front issue. I browse humble and steam because I find games there. There is just a ton of verity. Last time I looked at origin, I see battle front, the sims**, and fifa... They need more games and they need to give other games more billing

I imagine it is harder for EA to get third party games on their service, if they want them of course, because people at publishers/developers may also fall into the "if it's not on Steam..." mindset that many gamers are trapped in.

Zipa:
Just an FYI, you totally can show the box art in Steam, theres an option called grid view on the far right of the library screen. Its like 4 squares like the Windows icon.

When did they add that? It's brilliant, thanks for the information.

Jute88:
I don't understand this argument. I played through ME3, my War Assets were very high (can't remember the figures), I got the option to choose between 3 colors at the end, and I never played multiplayer. Or was there something else I missed?

If your war assets were high enough you would get an extra scene at the end of the Destroy ending showing someone in N7 armour taking a breath. It's often referred to as the best ending because it is the only one where Shepard has the possibility of survival.

When Mass Effect 3 was originally released there were not enough war assets in the game, even with a 'perfect' trilogy run, to unlock that scene without playing either the multiplayer or iOS apps. That was because without them the value of your war assets was halved by Galactic Readiness being at 50%.

They lowered the needed amount of war assets for that scene with the release of the Extended Cut DLC.

What are they going to do? Buy firaxis and release a civ game where you play as a soldier in a multiplayer only action rpg setting, include no map generator so they can sell maps for extra, require you to use origin to enable the use of swords, and then close the studio because the game failed, ending one of the most iconic pc titles of all time?

Thats what i immagne when i read your announcement ea.
Fuck you ea.
Remember westwood studios!

votemarvel:

nomotog:
It's not a hardware issue. (Well it kind of is in my case*) It's more of a store front issue. I browse humble and steam because I find games there. There is just a ton of verity. Last time I looked at origin, I see battle front, the sims**, and fifa... They need more games and they need to give other games more billing

I imagine it is harder for EA to get third party games on their service, if they want them of course, because people at publishers/developers may also fall into the "if it's not on Steam..." mindset that many gamers are trapped in.

It can't be that hard to get games. Just offer them a bigger cut them steam. The games might not come, but they could go find the games. They don't even need all the games they could set themselves apart by only selling the good quality games. Heck they could simply sell steam games like humble store.

votemarvel:

nomotog:

[quote="Jute88" post="6.933863.23502134"]

If your war assets were high enough you would get an extra scene at the end of the Destroy ending showing someone in N7 armour taking a breath. It's often referred to as the best ending because it is the only one where Shepard has the possibility of survival.

When Mass Effect 3 was originally released there were not enough war assets in the game, even with a 'perfect' trilogy run, to unlock that scene without playing either the multiplayer or iOS apps. That was because without them the value of your war assets was halved by Galactic Readiness being at 50%.

They lowered the needed amount of war assets for that scene with the release of the Extended Cut DLC.

Ah! Okay, that explains it. Thanks for clarifying.

 

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