EA Owes Its Success To Its Failures

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gigastar:

Grey Carter:

Raiyan 1.0:
Too bad the likes of Bullfrog and Westwood never had the chance to learn from their mistakes.

That mistake being "don't get bought out by EA?"

I like to think thats one mistake no one will ever make again.

Though if it wasnt by EA, chances are they would have ended up enslaved to another publisher anyway.

Better to die by EA than to be enslaved by Activision and forced to produce mediocre and lifeless sequels to your once brilliant success...

EA thinks they haven't failed since the early 90's? That's rich, and maybe a good sign of hubris.

nikki191:
one of the saddest things ive seen recently was a photo of one of EA's old print adverts "we are a group of electronic artists" you could see they founded EA as a place to foster creativity and originality.. and now look at what they release and whats important to them

Another thing I find rather sad is that Activision was founded by former Atari programers who wanted to create a company where designers actually recieved credit for their work. Now look at how well they treat their employees...

So you're telling us that it's ok that you fucked up this Bioware, it's the next Bioware that'll have everything right.

Rich Hilleman:

There are two real cases in EA where I think we made bad choices...

Don't flatter yourself, Rich.

Thoric485:
What about running Origin, Westwood, Bullfrog, Mythic and Pandemic into the ground?

Damn right.

xxcloud417xx:
Better to die by EA than to be enslaved by Activision and forced to produce mediocre and lifeless sequels to your once brilliant success...

BioWare is next ... Which end would you prefer?

(options are Red, Green and Blue)

Pfft, if by 'failures', they mean 'sucking the life out of every dev team they buy until all the creativity is gone, then proceed to liquidise said company so that big poppa EA is hit as little as possible'.

The yeah.

'Failures'.

CardinalPiggles:

Raiyan 1.0:
Too bad the likes of Bullfrog and Westwood never had the chance to learn from their mistakes, eh, EA?

Such a sad part of gaming history, I'll probably never see another Dungeon Keeper game again.

The way things are going, you probably will. It'll just be a FPS or a flight sim or whatever the hell the most popular genre is at the time.

Hey EA, make System Shock 3. Or sell the IP to someone who's willing to make it.

Whats bad for us is great for a company. People forget they make games for profit and not just to entertain the public.

SonOfVoorhees:
Whats bad for us is great for a company. People forget they make games for profit and not just to entertain the public.

Was actually thinking of this.

A failure in a game-conneseurs eyes isn't necessarily a business failure.

True but I wonder if the acquisition costs of companies like Bioware are repaid by the few games they can release before they inevitably fold.

Deluxe Paint was my first EA game ;)

But seriously, that was like the only piece of third-party software my dad ever bought for his Amiga. In hindsight, God only knows what he bought that $1000 hunk of plastic for in the first place. It (the $1000 hunk of plastic) also came with a disk from EA called "Kaleidoscope" that had a silly graphics toy called PolyScope and a slide show of all of their real games at the time. It's funny to learn, just now, for the first time, that all of those games ended up bombing. PROBABLY BECAUSE PRETTY MUCH NOBODY EVER BOUGHT AN AMIGA.

Xenowolf:

nikki191:
one of the saddest things ive seen recently was a photo of one of EA's old print adverts "we are a group of electronic artists" you could see they founded EA as a place to foster creativity and originality.. and now look at what they release and whats important to them

Another thing I find rather sad is that Activision was founded by former Atari programers who wanted to create a company where designers actually recieved credit for their work. Now look at how well they treat their employees...

It's true what they say. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

The sad thing is that EA used to be good. I remember the 8-bit and 16-bit eras when EA genuinely were a creative company who at least gave a shit about more than just milking people dry.

Captcha: words of wisdom. Captcha is starting to freak me out.

Got a few of them under your belt haven't you EA?

I kid, I totally love like two thirds of most games they put out :3

Waaghpowa:

Grey Carter:

Raiyan 1.0:
Too bad the likes of Bullfrog and Westwood never had the chance to learn from their mistakes.

That mistake being "don't get bought out by EA?"

A very costly mistake indeed...

Bioware seem to be discovering that now. If DA2, Old Republic and ME3 are any indication.

RIP Westwood. <Gives a 21 gun Mammoth Tank salute>

And also: Origin, Bullfrog, Mythic and Pandemic. Anyone else I need to add to the wall of those we have lost? =(

Most of the recent quotes from this guy are from a very self serving interview with gamasutra.com that is not really worth reading. His level of clue was obvious from his views on Minecraft and the business of Minecraft. He really doesn't get gamers and good developers that want to make games they want to play.

Focus groups, focus groups, dance to the pr music.

Bleah.

Darkness665:
Most of the recent quotes from this guy are from a very self serving interview with gamasutra.com that is not really worth reading. His level of clue was obvious from his views on Minecraft and the business of Minecraft. He really doesn't get gamers and good developers that want to make games they want to play.

Focus groups, focus groups, dance to the pr music.

Bleah.

Really that' what you took from the interview?

It's a very US-centric view granted (especially about the crash, but then again Richard is from the US), but it's still informative and an eye opener as to the design process from someone who does have a big say in the future of gaming and how it will probably evolve. His comments about service lead design are interesting as an eye opener, especially in the day and age of "entitlement in gaming". He sounds like he's advocating more attempts to address players needs.

Also wouldn't say his comments about Minecraft are either critical or derogatory, indeed it sounds like he's a fan. Certainly he has praise for Notch in that interview.

And he worked on Chuck Yeager, now that was a game.

Steve the Pocket:
PROBABLY BECAUSE PRETTY MUCH NOBODY EVER BOUGHT AN AMIGA.

I think you'll find they did. If they had not there would be a lot less game's being made today.

yeah, well, you tend to fail REALLY, REALLY hard before you learn from it, so i dont think i can really appreciate the practice. of course its nice that they do EVENTUALLY learn from their mistakes and occasionally do some good for the industry, but the sheer mass of dirty business tactics and consistent failure in between outweighs that im afraid.

of course, beacuse the world is such a shitty place, all i can really say is "at least theyre not activision".

make many mistakes.
claim that the worse mistake "taught them stuff".
free PR stunt.
success.

and thats why they are keen to create more failures?

Fuck EA forever... bye.

Mayhemski:

Darkness665:
Most of the recent quotes from this guy are from a very self serving interview with gamasutra.com that is not really worth reading. His level of clue was obvious from his views on Minecraft and the business of Minecraft. He really doesn't get gamers and good developers that want to make games they want to play.

Focus groups, focus groups, dance to the pr music.

Bleah.

Really that' what you took from the interview?

It's a very US-centric view granted (especially about the crash, but then again Richard is from the US), but it's still informative and an eye opener as to the design process from someone who does have a big say in the future of gaming and how it will probably evolve. His comments about service lead design are interesting as an eye opener, especially in the day and age of "entitlement in gaming". He sounds like he's advocating more attempts to address players needs.

Also wouldn't say his comments about Minecraft are either critical or derogatory, indeed it sounds like he's a fan. Certainly he has praise for Notch in that interview.

And he worked on Chuck Yeager, now that was a game.

I have read better features on Gamasutra regarding the crash and his felt selve serving to me. EA used to be a great gaming company but his whole "the industry needed the crash" was BS. The crash was related to many things but it wasn't the reason we have the new computer gaming focus. That was happening already. He just didn't know it. Consoles were just horribly limiting and their distribution media was a large part of it.

His Minecraft comments are that there is a lot of it in his household, so he has children and maybe plays himself. His views on the future success was definitely out of touch with a gamer/developer making a good game that connected with the audience. Specifically, "the long term that the money that will get made in Minecraft will not be about Minecraft, but will be about the services and products that get introduced into it" was the actual quote. He is concerned about Monetizing it! Time for Project More Dollar for Minecraft!

Yeager was in 1991, btw. Very good for the time and a solid six plus years after the crash. Glad you liked it. Ran on DOS as I recall. From the EA of long ago that was a favorite game company of mine.

Currently he works and beats the drum for the EA that exists today. The EA that has given us: Dead Space 2 ad campaign; Origin - the bad copy of Steam; Project screw the little guy for ten more dollars; Plus the popular "Don't Forget To Leave The Net On" or your game won't play; No private servers when we shut ours off; Bioware as a freaking LABEL; Sue Notch because of Scrolls; Monetize For Success. That is the EA he works and spouts for now. Not the worst game company but racing towards the bottom.

You couldn't get a Yeager out of this crowd with a mandate from God (whatever you perceive Him to be, hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin).

Darkness665:
SNIP

Well when I wrote that I hadn't just read the announcement about the new Sim City and the online check bit. Now I'm still thinking that online checks will continue and will be a part of gaming for the foreseeable future sadly. My main gripe relates to the bit where I said:

"He sounds like he's advocating more attempts to address players needs."

The whole playing against others is not something I want or look for from Sim City and has never really been part of the idea (for I accept reasons that it wasn't technically feasible in previous iterations). If EA's trying to identify new ways people play and cater for them fine - but don't forget how many others already play the game. That announcement seemed to go counter to what he was saying.

As for Minecraft well while the "monetize" word is a dirty one I agree I think it's still a fact that Minecraft will still look for ways to make more money, but as Notch seems to focus on gamers who like his games I pretty certain it won't be that harsh an implementation (I hope so for the many that love it).

As for the crash I'm from the UK and well I was a young'un at the time and it kinda past me by, but you know crashes happen and I agree many better write ups about it exist.

Has got me thinking though about the generation gap that seems to exist at the moment between devs who came through the 80's & 90's and those who are emerging now. The tech back then was so limiting that it really comes across as more what bits of our design can we do not what bit's don't we have time to do that appears to be the main decision now. The only problem is that the older generation don't seem to have as good an understanding of how the new "social" aspects of gaming work really and while they've always wanted this the implementation can be cak handed at times....I'd add that I'd also apply that same argument to players as well probably.

Anyway rambling now and hmmm muffins....

CrazyBlaze:
Just goes to show that all failures are experience to use to learn for the future. Though I'm sure there are a lot of people who wished that those failures had closed EA.

Well as somebody who grew up with the Genesis, I'm not one of them. Although given their track record more recently, I can understand the point of view.

Whatever, "Jungle Strike" still resides square in the middle of my list of "favorite games ever". So they were doing SOMETHING right back then.

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