EA Calls Developer Mentally Ill

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EA Calls Developer Mentally Ill

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EA refutes Oddworld creator's claims that it tried to buy his team and suggests Lithium to help with his "paranoia and Tourette syndrome."

Lorne Lanning has been an exciting interviewee these past few days. Talking at the Eurogamer expo, the Oddworld creator heavily implied that EA had run into trouble with Russian gangsters over the title of Stranger's Wrath. Later, during an interview with Gamesindustry international, he recounted how he bravely turned down an acquisition offer from EA.

"When you say that to us we go 'fuck you very much', quite frankly. That's not a sustainable model, that's a hostile acquisition," Lanning said. "That's why we had to strive to get independent. Rather than get into bed with someone we knew was a horrible bed partner we said 'let's stay virgins for longer'."

Here's where things get exciting: EA says that never happened, and responded to Lanning's comments with a statement that some may find inappropriate.

"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome," said EA's corporate spokesman, Jeff Brown. "Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company."

Though popularly associated with a compulsion to blurt out random obscenities, Tourette's syndrome actually covers a wide range of neuropsychiatric symptoms including vocal and physical tics. Because nothing says "funny" like uncontrollable twitching.

Putting aside the wild insensitivity of using a mental illness as an insult, the underlying conflict is interesting: Is EA lying, or was Lanning just trying to boost his indie cred by aiming a few barbs at an acceptable target? EA's reputation for aggressive studio acquisition does little to help its case, but at the same time, Lanning's indie posturing is also rather hollow. He fired most of the Oddworld Inhabitants staff at extremely short notice following the release of Stranger's Wrath, and the company has been a shell of its former self ever since. It's now chiefly concerned with "directing" HD re-releases of its previous titles, all of which are developed by other teams.

Source: Gamesindustry

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And maybe EA can take prozac to calm them down so they think before blurting out bullshit.

EA's reputation doesn't really do it any favors here.

That being said, burden of proof always falls on the one making the claim not the one refusting the claim. In this case Lanning.

Oh God.

May I formally predict the brewing shittornado as I sprint for the shelters?

I may need to get some sleep as I initially read that as Mentally 3, and was confused at why you didn't just put the number.

And I'm tempted to side with Lanning just because I like his analogy more. Instead of, you know, using mental illness as an insult.

Eh, they were responding to a guy who told them 'Fuck you very much' and implied they were shit in bed. Clearly both parties here were being incredibly unprofessional, and they're arguing with each other on the same level. If you're going to call EA's behavior inappropriate, you have to say the same of Lanning.

Sucks to hear about how the staff where treated after the release of Strangers Wrath, that was a great game with an awesome world and atmosphere and great gameplay with its hybrid FPS/third person beat em up.

We'll see for how much longer Jeff Brown will keep his job. The rest of EA is most certainly not amused -- considering how they already have enough PR issues.

As to who tells the truth...I have no idea.

Whether or not EA is correct, using a mental illness as an insult is something I would expect to find in Youtube comments, not coming form a mouth of a spokesman for a large company.

Man, what an asshole.

Both this guy and EA, but I like this guy more because I like his comment better. Made me chuckle.

Bloodstain:
We'll see for how much longer Jeff Brown will keep his job. The rest of EA is most certainly not amused -- considering how they already have enough PR issues.

As to who tells the truth...I have no idea.

I'm not even sure. Retarded PR seems to be a company tradition. Remember they also had a hilarious slapfight with Activision over CoD vs. Battlefield.

But hey, it's two guys whose dignity and future employment I really couldn't care less about having it on in public - perfect opportunity to grab some popcorn, and enjoy the hilarity.

Not very professional but frankly, EA's got a right there to be a liiiittle bit touchy, because that is some nasty slander to begin with.

Grey Carter:
"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome," said EA's corporate spokesman, Jeff Brown. "Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company."

How about "integrity"? Do you remember that?

DVS BSTrD:

Grey Carter:
"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome," said EA's corporate spokesman, Jeff Brown. "Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company."

How about "integrity"? Do you remember that?

it is EA so probably not ...

ether way, nether side has a leg to stand on here, ones acting just as juvenile as the other

Is this the same EA that is haphazardly sponsoring miscellaneous socially-progressive causes in a ham-fisted PR campaign?

Yes it is...

EA, we both know you've done a lot of shit you'd rather we forgot, but you do not, you do not, bad mouth the creator of Oddworld.

...Lanning's indie posturing is also rather hollow. He fired most of the Oddworld Inhabitants staff at extremely short notice following the release of Stranger's Wrath, and the company has been a shell of its former self ever since. It's now chiefly concerned with "directing" HD re-releases of its previous titles, all of which are developed by other teams.

...Oh. Well screw that guy too then, I'm out!

EDIT: Also using mental conditions as insults is bad, mmm'kay?

Tahaneira:
Oh God.

May I formally predict the brewing shittornado as I sprint for the shelters?

Is a shittornado more or less damaging than Mortal Kombat's Soulnado?

To be honest, neither EA or Lanning have exactly been classy with how they've handled this. I'm kinda tempted to take EA's spokesperson and Lanning by the earlobes like an overbearing mother, and tell those two whippersnappers to take it outside.

Seriously, that's just bad PR on both sides.

... God dammit, Jeff Brown. No matter who's right or wrong here, you can't just insult someone by saying they have a serious mental disorder!

I don't care if the Oddworld guy is lying or if EA is lying, though EA's reputation doesn't do them any favours, Brown's comment was seriously out of line. To be fair, though, Lanning wasn't exactly a gentleman either. "Fuck you very much," indeed.

My jimmies are SO rustled right now. Like, what the hell?! EA could have at least responded without resorting to ad hominem. Then they'd only be suspected of lying, not suspected of lying and known to have insulted their challenger. And Lanning didn't need to use expletives, either.

I'm outta here, and I'm taking my cookies and tea with me.

To quote or paraphrase probably several comedians: WHY THE FUCK IS THIS NEWS?!

More On Topic: Dude, you don't say that about anybody. It makes you a dick. Okay, in this case, MORE of a dick.

I do hope nobody's going to say "I'm siding with X" in this thread. Both parties are behaving like 13-year-olds over Ventrilo.

Grey Carter:
snip

Using mental illness as an insult is nothing new. No matter how "professional" you expect EA or Lanning to be, we've heard worse from politicians to newscasters to even some articles on this website(the cam-whore comment that was edited due to bad taste in a recent article about the Philippines).

My point is Lanning was unprofessional first, yet the title of this article slams just EA. Come on now, EA's rep is pretty bad but not judging Lanning in the title as well seems to give a slanted view right off the bat.

At least Lanning's lackluster decisions have been made to light in this article. Seeing as how Stranger's Wrath HD finally came to Steam almost a year after its console counterparts, I can't really say that Just Add Water is doing well with or without EA owning them.

But that will be ignored because most people take any chance to bash EA as a buffet.Helps them sleep better at night.

Someone swears a bunch and someone else makes an offhand comment about him having tourettes. I'm sorry, but so what? They weren't using tourettes as an insult, they were making the comparison of 'guy swears a lot, like someone with tourettes or something' (which yes, isn't true all of the time, but it's how it's viewed by a large portion of society, which no, isn't good and better education is needed. Hell, I'm schizophrenic, I know what it's like for everyone to get your illness wrong, but to call EA out of it, rather than, you know, everyone, is just bull)

Are you telling me you've never referred to something as 'crazy', 'retarded' 'the ref must be blind' or something along those lines? Or you heard your friend say something along those lines (or even someone cursing having tourettes, this isn't an EA invention) and didn't care because it's a complete non issue? This is such a pandering case of trying to make a story out of nothing. Hey, EA is quite hated, let's trawl through everything they say to find something we can stretch into a headline and desperately grab some page hits.

Really, all you can argue is unprofessionalism, but the comment that started it was 'fuck you very much', so it clearly isn't a professional conversation.

But basically, this really doesn't seem like news. It's horse race journalism. And it's pointless and petty.

tl;dr: It's political correctness gone mad!!!

supersupersuperguy:
... God dammit, Jeff Brown. No matter who's right or wrong here, you can't just insult someone by saying they have a serious mental disorder!

I don't care if the Oddworld guy is lying or if EA is lying, though EA's reputation doesn't do them any favours, Brown's comment was seriously out of line.

My jimmies are SO rustled right now. Like, what the hell?! They could have at least responded without resorting to ad hominem. Then they'd only be suspected of lying, not suspected of lying and known to have insulted their challenger.

I'm outta here, and I'm taking my cookies and tea with me.

They responded to rudeness with rudeness. To me it seems like dialogue from your average Family Guy episode. If Lanning didn't drop the word 'fuck' and imply bed-wetting, I doubt EA would have responded the way they did. Can't say what they did was right, but ignoring the catalyst of the response is kind of silly, no?

Bobic:
Someone swears a bunch and someone else makes an offhand comment about him having tourettes. I'm sorry, but so what? They weren't using tourettes as an insult, they were making the comparison of 'guy swears a lot, like someone with tourettes or something' (which yes, isn't true all of the time, but it's how it's viewed by a large portion of society, which no, isn't good and better education is needed. Hell, I'm schizophrenic, I know what it's like for everyone to get your illness wrong, but to call EA out of it, rather than, you know, everyone, is just bull)

Are you telling me you've never referred to something as 'crazy', 'retarded' 'the ref must be blind' or something along those lines? Or you heard your friend say something along those lines (or even someone cursing having tourettes, this isn't an EA invention) and didn't care because it's a complete non issue? This is such a pandering case of trying to make a story out of nothing. Hey, EA is quite hated, let's trawl through everything they say to find something we can stretch into a headline and desperately grab some page hits.

Really, all you can argue is unprofessionalism, but the comment that started it was 'fuck you very much', so it clearly isn't a professional conversation.

But basically, this really doesn't seem like news. It's horse race journalism. And it's pointless and petty.

tl;dr: It's political correctness gone mad!!!

Pretty much this. Everyone in this thread who seems to be on a high horse about EA making fun of mental illness has laughed at South Park, Family Guy, and comedians such as Doug Stanhope, guaranteed. The title of this article boggles my mind as it sets the tone that only EA was rude here. Clearly not the case.

I thought my view of EA couldn't possible be made any worse than it already was, but that rude inapropriate insult towards Lanning did the trick.

What a bunch of assholes.

And after their fire that spokesman as a scapegoat to take the fallout, he probably shouldn't embark on a new career as a pharmacist; lithium is an anti-psychotic and anti-depressant and used for treating bipolar disorder, especially the manic or hypomanic episodes.

If you're going to toss insults at someone, at the very least don't come across as totally ignorant.

DVS BSTrD:

Grey Carter:
"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome," said EA's corporate spokesman, Jeff Brown. "Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company."

How about "integrity"? Do you remember that?

"Integrity? Sounds expensive. Can we sell it?"

Standing at the side line, there is not any reason for me to stand behind on of these guys. They both made silly comments on bases that are shady at best. Both are really being unprofessional and this shows that developers also can be assholes.

AzrealMaximillion:

Bobic:
Someone swears a bunch and someone else makes an offhand comment about him having tourettes. I'm sorry, but so what? They weren't using tourettes as an insult, they were making the comparison of 'guy swears a lot, like someone with tourettes or something' (which yes, isn't true all of the time, but it's how it's viewed by a large portion of society, which no, isn't good and better education is needed. Hell, I'm schizophrenic, I know what it's like for everyone to get your illness wrong, but to call EA out of it, rather than, you know, everyone, is just bull)

Are you telling me you've never referred to something as 'crazy', 'retarded' 'the ref must be blind' or something along those lines? Or you heard your friend say something along those lines (or even someone cursing having tourettes, this isn't an EA invention) and didn't care because it's a complete non issue? This is such a pandering case of trying to make a story out of nothing. Hey, EA is quite hated, let's trawl through everything they say to find something we can stretch into a headline and desperately grab some page hits.

Really, all you can argue is unprofessionalism, but the comment that started it was 'fuck you very much', so it clearly isn't a professional conversation.

But basically, this really doesn't seem like news. It's horse race journalism. And it's pointless and petty.

tl;dr: It's political correctness gone mad!!!

Pretty much this. Everyone in this thread who seems to be on a high horse about EA making fun of mental illness has laughed at South Park, Family Guy, and comedians such as Doug Stanhope, guaranteed. The title of this article boggles my mind as it sets the tone that only EA was rude here. Clearly not the case.

Comedians pull stunts like that to be funny, its their job.

Jeff Brown is EA's corporate spokesman, the 'voice' of the company if you will. He (and by extension EA) used it as an insult, something that I have stated before you would expect form a youtube comment, not from a large corporation.

I'm not going to debate whether or not it was justified, I will argue that it was petty, childish and unbecoming of Jeff Brown and EA.

EA PR, only you can act like a total schizophrenic asshole and a constipated retard at the same time!

CAPTCHA: "BEEN THERE"

Agreed; I've been through this song and dance before.

Both of these groups are equally untrustworthy, and both are probably partially right and are now trying to stretch the truth to make it appear as though their side is correct while the other is lying and exploiting the children for their own benefit. EA probably made some offer of acquisition, but probably didn't offer a jet and a ferrari.

I'd say I'm more suspicious of Lanning but yea, both people here are being rather immature and I'm voting both get knocked off their jobs one way or another.
Captcha: "Allergic Reaction." Ouch. Even the Captchas have allergic reactions to EA threads. I know the forums tend to get some serious inflammation, but I didn't know it was that commmon. *awesomeface*

Where in the name of God does EA find these so-called spokespersons?

:EA Interview Process:

"Erm, Hello Mr., uh, Smith. Thank you for coming in today to interview for haha.. interviewing for... Buahahah... for Muahahaha my sides!!!!

...spokesperson. What are your qualifications?"

"I yelled at a kid once for hitting the front of my lifted truck with his head at thirty miles per hour."

"Excellent! Can you insult adults too?"

"well, did I fuck your mom last night like no one's business?"

"And how do you feel about professional conduct in the work place?"

"I steal office supplies regularly and slap the intern's asses."

"You're hired! Welcome to EA!"

when people start saying shit like that with "we" attached in the name of a public company...

ah screw it...what's the point?...i was never gonna buy anything made by EA ever again anyway if i could find any way to possibly avoid it.

the fact i am actually mentally ill and don't like it being tossed around as a put down is just another straw on an already flattened camel.

these "publishing" monoliths are by-products of the start of an technologically based entertainment industry not the final end game: they'll go the same way as "The big Hollywood studios" and "The Big Six" record companies in that they'll inevitably lose control of the content of the market they misguidedly seek to dominate and become more akin to traditional Publishers.

A Public Spokesman used a mental illness as an insult in a PUBLIC STATEMENT? How... STUPID do you have to be? The public backlash is going to CRUSH them.

When both sides start throwing shit, I'm more likely to go with the one that didn't spew canned Youtube comments section insults.
I mean, hell, those Autism jokes were never funny. I have a friend that's diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and it's not something that should be joked about and less used as an insult. It just shows the immaturity of EA.

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