CliffyB: Microtransaction is Not a Dirty Word, EA is Not The Bad Guy

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See, for the most part I LIKE microtransactions.
I've probably payed over $500 to Riot for cosmetic skins in League of Legends and I don't regret that at all, I get nifty little extras and I'm supporting a game that I like playing.

I haven't shelled anything out for Path of Exile yet but I plan to, I think this is the first game I know of that sells bank space, yet gives you enough of the stuff so that only the most hardcore of players will actually need it.
Basically if you're playing the game enough that you have over 6 pages of items you need to store, you probably won't mind dropping $20 for 6 more pages, because at that point I can guarantee you've payed more then that for a game you've played a lot less.

The main difference here is that I'm not being expected to pay out $100 first (I'm in Australia and EA firmly loves the AU price-gouging, which is yet another thing Valve doesn't do much) and that these items don't actively affect gameplay.

Akalabeth:

Rachmaninov:

FIFA games.

How does an ios title affect AAA console gaming?

Wut?
http://www.ea.com/fifa-soccer-13

Funny, I don't see that being sold for the iOS, it's being sold on 'real' consoles as a full price AAA game. Along with all the other FIFA games.
(Sidenote: I actually remember seeing an iOS version of FIFA 13 so I'm decently sure one exits, but it's not even listed on EAs website.)

SoulSalmon:

Akalabeth:

Rachmaninov:

FIFA games.

How does an ios title affect AAA console gaming?

Wut?
http://www.ea.com/fifa-soccer-13

Funny, I don't see that being sold for the iOS, it's being sold on 'real' consoles as a full price AAA game. Along with all the other FIFA games.
(Sidenote: I actually remember seeing an iOS version of FIFA 13 so I'm decently sure one exits, but it's not even listed on EAs website.)

Oh I know FIFA is a yearly release, my qualm with his statement was that he was implying there were 58 of the same FIFA games on the consoles. Admittedly having a look, a lot of them do seem as though they're on consoles however at the same time a lot of them are different. Basically there's the regular yearly FIFA game, full priced or whatnot, then budget tournament games for UEFA, then a street version, and a managerial version.

Yes, lots of soccer games, but the series sells. If the series was stagnating, people wouldn't be buying them. Also how much can you really evolve soccer anyway. It's filling a necessary niche that people enjoy.

Stagnation is about the creative medium, when every shooter becomes grey and brown and uses the same mechanics. FIFA doesn't promote that haha. I know you weren't implying that but that's just continuing along the other guy's argument.

Watch people bend over backwards to discredit a guy who made some personal statements about flawed logic he sees in gamers (a group with what seems like more then its share of assholes and idiots).

Anyways, the guy has some valid points about gamers' blatant and unabashed prejudices. Gamers are full of bile and unending hate at many many things and it often gets so caustic that people go rabid in their attacks. Cliffy may have the aesthetic eye of a bad 90's comic artist but at least he's trying to stop people from having irrational hate-ons.

You know what I'M tired of? People trying to justify EA's blatant attempts to screw customers out of money and make the ways they do it become normal and expected by saying they have to make money somehow. EA is seen as a bad guy for a reason - it PIONEERS business strategies that result in less value for money, whether that be content, resellability, unfinished games that are completed after release, and it is a cancer on good games and studios. If these practices are necessary evils so people working for them can eat, why is Valve not implementing them? Valve don't expect people to buy and engagement ring for a ridiculous price, it's a f***ing novelty, the amount of revenue gained from that is negligible. EA expects people to buy resources in DS3, it's a gameplay mechanic.

Akalabeth:

SoulSalmon:

Akalabeth:

How does an ios title affect AAA console gaming?

Wut?
http://www.ea.com/fifa-soccer-13

Funny, I don't see that being sold for the iOS, it's being sold on 'real' consoles as a full price AAA game. Along with all the other FIFA games.
(Sidenote: I actually remember seeing an iOS version of FIFA 13 so I'm decently sure one exits, but it's not even listed on EAs website.)

Oh I know FIFA is a yearly release, my qualm with his statement was that he was implying there were 58 of the same FIFA games on the consoles. Admittedly having a look, a lot of them do seem as though they're on consoles however at the same time a lot of them are different. Basically there's the regular yearly FIFA game, full priced or whatnot, then budget tournament games for UEFA, then a street version, and a managerial version.

Yes, lots of soccer games, but the series sells. If the series was stagnating, people wouldn't be buying them. Also how much can you really evolve soccer anyway. It's filling a necessary niche that people enjoy.

Stagnation is about the creative medium, when every shooter becomes grey and brown and uses the same mechanics. FIFA doesn't promote that haha. I know you weren't implying that but that's just continuing along the other guy's argument.

"Also how much can you really evolve soccer anyway." is possibly the most level-headed thing I've seen said about the FIFA games, I can't say I was expecting sense out of you after some of those other posts. (That sounds mean... but I don't have a better way to word it)

"If the series was stagnating, people wouldn't be buying them." Unfortunately we both know that's not true... and it's a pretty big problem that there's no easy way to fix. "Using the same engine with only minor retouches" is how you can describe 90% of the FIFA games, there were a few engine re-writes and major graphical updates but all-in-all it's only minor tweaks and roster updates.

I can't say I really like Valve as game developers but Steam is a good service (regardless of what it used to be, it is currently a good service) and they don't appear as soulless as EA. I can accept the fact that EA gets hate regardless of whether it does good or bad nowadays, but it put itself in that position so I can't really feel sorry for it.

I think most people can agree on that much, regardless, I'm not going to get into an argument with you, as far as I can tell you've already been in a pointless one for the last few pages and to an outside viewer it just looks like "You're stupid." "No, YOU'RE stupid." "No YOU'RE STUPID!" with neither side going anywhere.

SoulSalmon:

"Also how much can you really evolve soccer anyway." is possibly the most level-headed thing I've seen said about the FIFA games, I can't say I was expecting sense out of you after some of those other posts. (That sounds mean... but I don't have a better way to word it)

"If the series was stagnating, people wouldn't be buying them." Unfortunately we both know that's not true... and it's a pretty big problem that there's no easy way to fix. "Using the same engine with only minor retouches" is how you can describe 90% of the FIFA games, there were a few engine re-writes and major graphical updates but all-in-all it's only minor tweaks and roster updates.

I can't say I really like Valve as game developers but Steam is a good service (regardless of what it used to be, it is currently a good service) and they don't appear as soulless as EA. I can accept the fact that EA gets hate regardless of whether it does good or bad nowadays, but it put itself in that position so I can't really feel sorry for it.

I think most people can agree on that much, regardless, I'm not going to get into an argument with you, as far as I can tell you've already been in a pointless one for the last few pages and to an outside viewer it just looks like "You're stupid." "No, YOU'RE stupid." "No YOU'RE STUPID!" with neither side going anywhere.

I don't see any reason to argue with you anyway, you obviously see both good and bad points about both companies and aren't afraid to say them both so your perspective seems balanced already. And I don't feel sorry for EA, I feel sorry for the people who hate something without being able to see the good points now and again.

I don't know about FIFA but I know the NHL games have had quite different control schemes for shooting the puck, and I also know that one of the NBA games, 09 I think took an evolutionary step forward in terms of content and game play so even if FIFA as a brand were stagnating, some of the other EA sports games are not. Oh wait, scratch that NBA 2K11 was the evolutionary step forward. Then EA took an NBA Live break and came back in 2013.

So there ya go, if EA's stagnating, need someone to step up and compete. I don't think the Pele games or whatever FIFA's rival are, are at the same level of quality.

Micro-Transactions are fine in F2P. Also, "they wouldn't do this if it didn't work". They wouldn't do micro-transactions if it didn't scrounge them money.

If it's free to play then chances are it's gonna be around for a long time because it probably won't have a sequel overshadowing it. However, EA wants people to spend $100 (Australia here) on a game then a hundred more on micro-transactions that become worthless after the next game comes out. So yeah, EA are a pack of cunts, and Cliff is an idiot.

Akalabeth:
Why bother? Nothing I say would convince you in any case.
*snip*
Hey that's a good excuse for not providing evidence. The other people in your camp should use it too.

Holy hypocrisy, batman. Refusing to provide evidence and then ragging on me for refusing to provide evidence mere sentences later. That's a record that'll be hard to beat.

Akalabeth:

An Episodic Game is not equal to a full Game. The Half Life Episodes for example, are 2/3rds of a game, not even one full game. The fact that it's stand alone doesn't make it a full game.

So, length dictates whether or not something is a "full game" in your eyes? Then, what about BF3, with a campaign like five hours long? Is that an episodic game too, or does it pass through a loop you reserve for games published by EA or because of multip~

Akalabeth:

A multiplayer only game, is not equal to a full game.

Oh, well I guess that's that excuse out of the window. Pretty controversial opinion, you've got there, too. Since some of the most influential games ever to exist have been multiplayer only...

Akalabeth:

You know what game DOES have 5 games? In fact has 6 games? Plus 6 expansion packs?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer:_The_First_Decade

Published by EA by the way. And only 20 dollars. Wow 6 games at 20 dollars, plus 6 expansions that's like 2 dollars a game! EA is amazing! Screw Orange box eh?

20 dollars now, 7 years after it was released. What old boxed set of games is now 20 dollars too? The Orange Box.

And yet more hypocrisy from you. Two of The Orange Box games "don't count" because they're "old" and yet they're a whole decade newer than most of the contents of this.

Akalabeth:

Yeah, and they admitted to "blowing it" with Westwood and Bullfrog.
You think this is deliberate or something. EA buys companies to make money. They don't buy them to screw them over. You're painting them as being bad for doing it instead of being incompetent. They seem to be doing better with say Bioware so maybe they've learned their lessons.

Oh no, please forgive me if I made it sound deliberate. I know EA aren't buying these people deliberately to run them into the ground. I know that it's incompetence rather than malice. But that doesn't make it okay, especially when they continue to do the same.

They're just taking longer with BioWare, because BioWare's products were already a massive success before EA bought them out, and in this new era of mainstream gaming, as opposed to the comparatively minor success of Westwood and Bullfrog.

Or maybe they are learning their lesson. I hope they are. It'd mean less developers careers cut short in the incompetent pursuit of profit.

Akalabeth:
Also I note that you gloss over the fact that you misrepresented it here as "5 NEW games"

I'll own up to making a mistake here. I should have said "three new games, one 1 year old game and one 2 year old game." but you're still comparing it to a comparatively ancient set of games above.

Akalabeth:

Portal was 2.5 hour game. That's not exactly long. It's intellectually dishonest to put Portal in the same class as say Half Life 2 (or Dead Space 3). Portal 2 is more akin to something like Bastion or Limbo, it's a game but not a AAA game. Something you would see on XBL for 10 or 15 bucks.

I'm assuming you're talking about the original Portal, rather than Portal 2.

Is your only measure of a game's worth it's length? Could something not be acknowledged as a "whole game" just because it provided a completely fresh, new idea? It's unsurprising you think that EA isn't stagnating the game industry, when you're keener to praise a game for being "long" than actually having fresh ideas.

Akalabeth:

Three episodes of an episodic game? What so now in your reality Episode 3 has been released as well?

Nope. Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode One and Half Life 2: Episode Two. In your reality, are they not part of the same series? Does failing to meet your arbitrary "length" requirements make the first half of their titles a lie? (that being the Half Life 2 part).

Akalabeth:

You do know the difference between a studio having a deadline, and a game being rushed out right? Having a deadline means getting things done.

Of course. It's just that EA sets deadlines for before a game is actually finished, and then refuses to let them be pushed back. For example, they even went as far as to mention in a press release how they were using BF3 to take market share from CoD, and then, low-and-behold it is released just before CoD, with promised features missing. That is not how you release a complete game. Games, like all art, are ready when they are ready and unless you move deadlines a lot, you'll always end up releasing them unfinished.

Valve is the perfect example of this. They're infamous for postponing games, like Half Life 2: Episode 3, which just never happened. But because they're not shy about it, the games they release are actually finished.

Akalabeth:

Let me guess, you're one of those people who praises bioware for the good things about Mass Effect and blames EA for the bad right? You blame EA for the ME3 ending? etcetera. Even though EA of course are publishers more than devs.

Since EA are publishers more than devs, it's entirely reasonable to think that ME3's ending might be their fault. After all, EA set deadlines in stone, and if ME3 was running over on its development time, it's quite possible that BioWare would have had to have rushed the end.

That's not to say I don't blame BioWare equally. And all the other bad bits of the games I lay squarely at BioWare's feet.

Akalabeth:

If EA buys a place, it's THEIR company, then can do what they want with it. None of these takeovers have been hostile from my understanding, the companies consented to it.

The company owners consented to it, and that does make the company "THEIR" company, but it doesn't make the employees "THEIR" disposable slaves.

No one cares that Westwood as an business ceased to exist. They care about the developers who made Westwood what it was, and who had their careers cut short.

Are you honestly telling me that you think, if someone buys a company, with the consent of the CEO of that company, that you'd think it was completely okay for the new owners to incompetently run that staff ragged, make them release unfinished products, and then sack them all for the unfinished products' failure? Surely not?

Akalabeth:

How does an ios title affect AAA console gaming? It doesn't. So why are you alleging that it does?

No one who complains about the stagnation of AAA gaming talks about sports games. At worst they complain that it should be every two years with roster DLC updates in the intervening years. Is it EA's fault that everyone's copying Call of Duty? That other people are copying God of War? Or diablo?

Rule out the iOS-only titles, if there even are any in that list, and you'd still end up with 50+. Why are you pretending that is somehow okay? There are more important facts here than whether or not my count included a couple iOS games, if you could try not twisting away from the point, for once.

It's not EA's fault that everyone's copying other titles, no. But did they release any non-Facebook/iOS game in 2012, which wasn't a sequel? You praised how many games they released just earlier in this thread. Tell me, how many of them were original IPs? The only one I can find is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Because that's all EA do. Buy successful studios who have a good idea, and then tell them to keep remaking their good games. Like Rock Band. Remember when people weren't totally sick to death of EA and Activision pumping out sequel after sequel of plastic instrument games? I do. Now where are they? Dead.

Akalabeth:

So are you alleging that you know the current employment status of hundreds of former employees of EA-acquired companies? And you're stating for fact that some or many of them aren't employed with EA? Because, you're talking out your ass if that's the case.

Because if some of them somehow got re-employed by EA, that would definitely absolve EA of making developers work as much as 100 hours a week, and shutting down whole studios. Just so long as they employed a few of them back, that'd completely make up for it.

And by the way, good job asking unanswerable questions. That definitely makes your point look stronger. How do you know that the CEO of EA isn't whipping his devs as we speak? You don't. Does that make me right?

EA's current CEO has even acknowledged their behaviour before 2008 was wrong. So why can't you?

The man's exactly right.

It's amazing how pretty much everyone just instantly jumped on the fact he mentioned TF2 and use that as some kind of win-all argument. So yeah, maybe mentioning TF2 was a wrong move by him, but it DOES NOT INVALIDATE HIS POINT. Microtransactions are a working business model. Off the top of my head a few games (other than TF2) I enjoy that do it. Lord of the Rings Online, World of Tanks, League of Legends, DotA 2, Blacklight Retribution. List goes on. Instead of getting hung up on the fact he mentioned nothing else but TF2 - please point out how microtransactions in and of themselves are somehow bad and how all these companies (individually, please) are ripping off the customer and ruining the games industry. That was one of Cliffy's arguments, and I can't find a reason he's wrong. Some good, some bad, certainly - but a "dirty word"? Shouldn't be and people know it.

He's right about the Origin-vs-Steam bit too. Steam was a pile of arse in the beginning, and it took ages to get anywhere. People comparing Origin and Steam are like those people who compare a game like WoW to some hypothetical MMO currently in development. One has years and years of development and upgrading and fixing behind it, while one's barely out of the box. An oversimplification, sure, and I can't wait for someone to apparently refute that entire argument simply because of that one line of text.

Personally I enjoyed the new non-Westwood Command and Conquer games (this is the one people are always so fond of mentioning as something EA 'destroyed'), except for Tib Twilight - which I didn't buy. I enjoyed and still enjoy BF3 and the DLC that's been added time after time. I enjoyed SWTOR and paid for numerous months of gametime until I moved on to other things. I enjoyed Dead Space and Dead Space 2, but looking at Dead Space 3 with the co-op and the action-game-like feel I didn't buy it. See those words there? DID NOT BUY. I enjoyed some things EA published, and bought them. I didn't enjoy something they published, and didn't buy it. Recently I made the mistake of preordering Colonial Marines. Now I've decided I won't be buying games from Gearbox, but I'm not going to start rampaging around the internet preaching about how Gearbox is the devil. Borderlands and Borderlands 2 are no worse because of Duke Nukem Forever or Colonial Marines.

Long post, a bit of a rant. It's very early in the morning and I'm laying off going to sleep. These damn holy crusades people keep going on against individual developers are just so daft. It's like some kind of personal vendetta to some people, and it's getting laughable. I fully agree with Cliffy on one thing if nothing else - I too am getting pretty tired of hearing about how EA is the devil. Not that they haven't done a lot of stupid shit in their time, and I've done exactly as the article states: Voted with my wallet.

Enough with the crocodile tears. Half of the stuff in these threads is completely baseless fabrication at this point. This forum is becoming the Fox News of gaming as far as the comment sections are concerned.

Good night.

Twilight_guy:
Watch people bend over backwards to discredit a guy who made some personal statements about flawed logic he sees in gamers (a group with what seems like more then its share of assholes and idiots).

Anyways, the guy has some valid points about gamers' blatant and unabashed prejudices. Gamers are full of bile and unending hate at many many things and it often gets so caustic that people go rabid in their attacks. Cliffy may have the aesthetic eye of a bad 90's comic artist but at least he's trying to stop people from having irrational hate-ons.

Sorry to break it to you, but what is happening to the gaming industry has already happened in near mirror examples in the music and movie industry.

Greed gets the better of people, and the product becomes more about money than art.

So I guess it's not just gamers with more than its share of bad people, it's the whole world.

But I really don't think hating EA is so irrational, since literally every step they take is to make more profit, for profits sake, and provide less in return. EA and their ilk are running AAA gaming into the ground by remaking the same games over and over. When Call of Duty dies, the rest of the AAA gaming industry goes with it. And it'll be half EAs fault, and half Activisions, for spewing out sequel after sequel after sequel, and charging people full price for a game only to implement microtransactions and expensive DLC down the line.

A time comes where you've got to draw the line, when people like EA are just increasing prices for the sake of more profit to fill their already-bulging pockets, and offering nothing extra in exchange.

Zombie_Moogle:
While CliffyB seems to be ignoring the vast difference in how EA & Valve handle DLC & microtransactions, I have to applaud him for one statement that I've been banging on about for a while now:

"If you don't like EA, don't buy their games,"

As much as gamers love to bitch about EA, often with good reason, they sure don't seem to mind making them rich for doing the things gamers seem to hate.
I take issue with many things in Origin's EULA, which I express by not using Origin
You want publishers to stop nickel'n'dime-ing us with DLC? THEN STOP BUYING THE DAMN DLC!

Ranting about it on forums doesn't change the fact that you keep giving them dump trucks full of money

You're forgetting that EA is a publisher, not a development studio. People might love and wish to support the games produced by a particular studio, but what if EA is producing those games? Do they let a beloved studio crash and burn, never to see some of their favourite games again, or do they play ball and feed the evil machine in hopes of a sequel?

The only real solution is for developers to stay away from publishers like EA, though with AAA games being so bloated and costing "100 million dollars" they don't have much of an option if they wish to compete on that stage. Even with crowd funding you're just not going to get 100 million bucks to make your game. Studios have to decide whether to seek a publisher for a AAA game (and put up with their bullshit) or refocus their efforts on smaller projects (which would include layoffs and likely significantly less revenue).

The whole industry is a mess.

Rachmaninov:

Twilight_guy:
Watch people bend over backwards to discredit a guy who made some personal statements about flawed logic he sees in gamers (a group with what seems like more then its share of assholes and idiots).

Anyways, the guy has some valid points about gamers' blatant and unabashed prejudices. Gamers are full of bile and unending hate at many many things and it often gets so caustic that people go rabid in their attacks. Cliffy may have the aesthetic eye of a bad 90's comic artist but at least he's trying to stop people from having irrational hate-ons.

Sorry to break it to you, but what is happening to the gaming industry has already happened in near mirror examples in the music and movie industry.

Greed gets the better of people, and the product becomes more about money than art.

So I guess it's not just gamers with more than its share of bad people, it's the whole world.

But I really don't think hating EA is so irrational, since literally every step they take is to make more profit, for profits sake, and provide less in return. EA and their ilk are running AAA gaming into the ground by remaking the same games over and over. When Call of Duty dies, the rest of the AAA gaming industry goes with it. And it'll be half EAs fault, and half Activisions, for spewing out sequel after sequel after sequel, and charging people full price for a game only to implement microtransactions and expensive DLC down the line.

A time comes where you've got to draw the line, when people like EA are just increasing prices for the sake of more profit to fill their already-bulging pockets, and offering nothing extra in exchange.

Also happened to the game industry before, caused a big crash. Killed gaming until Nintendo brought it back.

I like talking to developers. They're good guys who love to make games and are willing to go through crap in order to make games (long hours and not particularly high pay). I wish that love for games was more present in the production and executive side but I know it can't be (developers would give games away and bankrupt their company in about a week).

I've seen many stories that don't even involve EA's business, just some guy at EA makes a statement and there is immediately 2 pages of posts blasting him as an idiot, no matter what he says. Even on stories where EA does something nice most of the posts are at best backhanded compliments. The EA hate has gotten so strong that if EA is even mentioned (seriously there are stories where EA is only mentioned as making a side comment or something) people will attack them. There are rabid people here people that go beyond thinking Ea is bad company and going into Nazi hating levels of bile. There is voicing your opinion to try and change something you see as wrong and then there is the kind of zealous hate usually reserved for burning crosses.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

An Episodic Game is not equal to a full Game. The Half Life Episodes for example, are 2/3rds of a game, not even one full game. The fact that it's stand alone doesn't make it a full game.

So, length dictates whether or not something is a "full game" in your eyes? Then, what about BF3, with a campaign like five hours long? Is that an episodic game too, or does it pass through a loop you reserve for games published by EA or because of multip~

I don't give a shit about giving EA a loophole.

Episodic gaming is episodic gaming, here are the examples:
Sam and Max
SiN Episodes
Half Life 2 Episodes
Walking Dead

Each of these were released with the intent of smaller bits, more frequently. They were intended to get around the whole "long development cycle". That's an episodic game. They're also intended to be cheaper. HL2 episodes were 30 bucks cap.

Battlefield 3? Is a multiplayer game with SP tacked on. I don't think it's worth 60 dollars either. Games like that should be 40 bucks. Cut out the SP, charge 40 bucks, sell map packs. I bought it, played it for about 5 hours, then traded it in with MW3 and Gears3 in exchange for Deus Ex and Dark Souls. Deus Ex btw is a better game then MW3/BF3 and Gears3 put together.

BF3's depth is in the multiplayer specifically, but the quality of the graphics and so forth is top notch and the gameplay seemed good just didn't appeal to me.

Akalabeth:

A multiplayer only game, is not equal to a full game.

Oh, well I guess that's that excuse out of the window. Pretty controversial opinion, you've got there, too. Since some of the most influential games ever to exist have been multiplayer only...

Yeah, and with the exception of Unreal Tournament and MW3 I didn't play any of them.

That aside if you compare Half Life 2 to TF2. Half Life 2 has a 12-16 hour long campaign with multiplayer on top of it. TF2 is just multiplayer. If you think about all the additional AI, dialogue, scripting, etcetera that goes into something like a lengthy single player experience there's not much comparison.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

You know what game DOES have 5 games? In fact has 6 games? Plus 6 expansion packs?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer:_The_First_Decade

Published by EA by the way. And only 20 dollars. Wow 6 games at 20 dollars, plus 6 expansions that's like 2 dollars a game! EA is amazing! Screw Orange box eh?

20 dollars now, 7 years after it was released. What old boxed set of games is now 20 dollars too? The Orange Box.

And yet more hypocrisy from you. Two of The Orange Box games "don't count" because they're "old" and yet they're a whole decade newer than most of the contents of this.

It's not hypocrisy it's proving you wrong. You stated EA doesn't do anything of that nature. I proved that they do.
And it's your beloved westwood as well.

Can you not even concede that the C&C pack is a good deal? From your despised EA?

See. That's what you don't have. Balanced perspective. You can prefer a company, and find fault with them, and you can despise a company, but like some of the things they do. I like Valve in some ways, not others. I like some of EA games, not others. Etcetera.

Rachmaninov:

They're just taking longer with BioWare, because BioWare's products were already a massive success before EA bought them out, and in this new era of mainstream gaming, as opposed to the comparatively minor success of Westwood and Bullfrog.

Command and Conquer is a minor success? One of the longest running RTS games in the golden age of RTSes? What?

Rachmaninov:
I'm assuming you're talking about the original Portal, rather than Portal 2.

Is your only measure of a game's worth it's length? Could something not be acknowledged as a "whole game" just because it provided a completely fresh, new idea? It's unsurprising you think that EA isn't stagnating the game industry, when you're keener to praise a game for being "long" than actually having fresh ideas.

Let me put it this way. I don't like Half Life 2. But I really enjoyed the Episodes. Despite really enjoying the Episodes I know that the Episodes are not full games, even when you put them together. They're full experiences, but they're not full AAA games.

Similarily I had a decent time with Bastion, but I know that Bastion does not have the depth or breadth of Diablo. Diablo is a AAA game. Bastion is not. Triple indie maybe. But not AAA. So Portal is to DS3 or HL2 as Bastion is to Diablo.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

Three episodes of an episodic game? What so now in your reality Episode 3 has been released as well?

Nope. Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode One and Half Life 2: Episode Two. In your reality, are they not part of the same series? Does failing to meet your arbitrary "length" requirements make the first half of their titles a lie? (that being the Half Life 2 part).

Half Life 2 isn't an episode. Half 2 is Half Life 2.
The episodes are basically half life 3, and people at valve have said as such. Not Gabe but the other guy I think.

Rachmaninov:

Of course. It's just that EA sets deadlines for before a game is actually finished, and then refuses to let them be pushed back. For example, they even went as far as to mention in a press release how they were using BF3 to take market share from CoD, and then, low-and-behold it is released just before CoD, with promised features missing. That is not how you release a complete game. Games, like all art, are ready when they are ready and unless you move deadlines a lot, you'll always end up releasing them unfinished.

Funny, other art-based industries don't have problems making their deadlines, why does gaming?
If they don't make the deadline it's because of a few problems. Not enough budget, not enough organization, not enough planning. But if you have a deadline, you have a deadline. Get it done.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

Let me guess, you're one of those people who praises bioware for the good things about Mass Effect and blames EA for the bad right? You blame EA for the ME3 ending? etcetera. Even though EA of course are publishers more than devs.

Since EA are publishers more than devs, it's entirely reasonable to think that ME3's ending might be their fault. After all, EA set deadlines in stone, and if ME3 was running over on its development time, it's quite possible that BioWare would have had to have rushed the end.

Whereas if Bioware had planned thier shit properly and met their early and mid-project goals they wouldn't have had to rush anything.

Rachmaninov:

The company owners consented to it, and that does make the company "THEIR" company, but it doesn't make the employees "THEIR" disposable slaves.

No one cares that Westwood as an business ceased to exist. They care about the developers who made Westwood what it was, and who had their careers cut short.

Are you honestly telling me that you think, if someone buys a company, with the consent of the CEO of that company, that you'd think it was completely okay for the new owners to incompetently run that staff ragged, make them release unfinished products, and then sack them all for the unfinished products' failure? Surely not?

Games industry is contract work. People bounce from one company to another. Who's to say all these people didn't get relocated to other parts of EA or found employment elsewhere? In Vancouver, BC right now a bunch of game studios are closing down, and meanwhile in montreal studios are opening up. People move. Get new jobs. New companies.

Rachmaninov:
It's not EA's fault that everyone's copying other titles, no. But did they release any non-Facebook/iOS game in 2012, which wasn't a sequel? You praised how many games they released just earlier in this thread. Tell me, how many of them were original IPs? The only one I can find is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Because that's all EA do. Buy successful studios who have a good idea, and then tell them to keep remaking their good games. Like Rock Band. Remember when people weren't totally sick to death of EA and Activision pumping out sequel after sequel of plastic instrument games? I do. Now where are they? Dead.

Portal 2
Dota 2
Counter Strike Global Offensive

Criticizing EA for making nothing but sequels is a bit silly unless you hold Valve just as accountable.

And as for Kingdoms of Amalur. Yeah. New IP. No one bought it. Who's fault is that? EAs?

Rachmaninov:

Because if some of them somehow got re-employed by EA, that would definitely absolve EA of making developers work as much as 100 hours a week, and shutting down whole studios. Just so long as they employed a few of them back, that'd completely make up for it.

And by the way, good job asking unanswerable questions. That definitely makes your point look stronger. How do you know that the CEO of EA isn't whipping his devs as we speak? You don't. Does that make me right?

EA's current CEO has even acknowledged their behaviour before 2008 was wrong. So why can't you?

Whippping his Devs?
Dude.
I live in VAncouver canada.

Every story I've heard about EA Canada, located in Burnaby a suburb of Vancouver, is that it's an easy job. They have great facilities, they get great benefits, they're well paid, etcetera. The work is boring, painting grass textures for stadiums, touching up faces in photoshop of players, but if you don't mind it you've got a decent gig.

I haven't heard people complaining about unreasonable hours. In fact the few stories I did hear were people getting finished on tuesday, and surfing the web for the rest of the week.

Maybe that's not true of every company of EA, but it certainly appears to be case here.

EA's not Ionstorm. At least not from what I've heard

Ahhh Cliffy you're always one to make me laugh whenever those lips of yours flap and out comes the noise of static and nonsense.

Meanwhile at Valve I bought myself AVP 2010 for 20 and the Sniper Elite: Zombie army for 10.

Oh and I bought TF2 for around 20 on sale a few years back and now it's F2P hasn't changed my mind at all or made me hate them if at all.

However I still see BF3's DLC is still fully priced at 40 and will remain a no sale from me.

And as a last note I do see the good and bad from all sides of the spectrum, I just choose to throw my money at the side that isn't as evil as the other and doesn't kill off studies I once loved and grew up with.

Hate to break it to you Cliffy, but that used market you chastise, is us voting with our wallets. I didn't want to support Capcom's decisions with Resident Evil 6, so I waited a while and got it used for $25 none of which goes to Capcom. If I didn't buy the game at all Capcom would be in the same situation, with perhaps the issue that a major distribution channel is making less money. I'm sure some folks at THQ tried to do whatever they felt like and let fans vote with their wallets as well. Let's ask how that's doing for their bottom...oops. I really find it funny how often people put out "vote with your wallte" like they really want us to take out business elsewhere pushing them into bankruptcy.

Just another batch of whining about how no one love you enough to shower you with compliments and cash for minimal effort. I've seen more than a few businesses and even industries fall on a stubborn insistence on an unpopular business model. Just look at how well comics books did by pandering only to the people that game them money for any piece of crap in the 90s.

PS, on a really stupid note, exactly how much marketing does the average AAA game need? Was the world completely unaware Mass Effect 3 was due out, hence multiple commericals. Is the world now unaware a new Tomb Raider is out this week? If you want to cut some of those bloated budgets, how about less being spent on games that market themselves with the francise name and internet hype alone.

Karathos:
The man's exactly right.

It's amazing how pretty much everyone just instantly jumped on the fact he mentioned TF2 and use that as some kind of win-all argument. So yeah, maybe mentioning TF2 was a wrong move by him, but it DOES NOT INVALIDATE HIS POINT. Microtransactions are a working business model. Off the top of my head a few games (other than TF2) I enjoy that do it. Lord of the Rings Online, World of Tanks, League of Legends, DotA 2, Blacklight Retribution. List goes on. Instead of getting hung up on the fact he mentioned nothing else but TF2 - please point out how microtransactions in and of themselves are somehow bad and how all these companies (individually, please) are ripping off the customer and ruining the games industry. That was one of Cliffy's arguments, and I can't find a reason he's wrong. Some good, some bad, certainly - but a "dirty word"? Shouldn't be and people know it.

The games you mentioned (dont know about LotR) are FREE TO PLAY. That is the main difference here. DS3 costs $60 for the US and $100 for AUS, yet they're still trying to scum money off customers. People don't mind that F2P games have micro-transactions because those games have almost no other way of making money.

I mean, how would players feel if WoT suddenly costed 60-100 bucks on top of the micro-transactions, or Blacklight, or League? It'd be absolute rubbish.

Oh CliffyB

I recall when you werent whiteknighting for EA...Now here you are...worshiping them for a possible job...

Sell Out!

I have no problems with this statement.

Well, except one.

Yes, Steam took a long time to become as good as it is. It had no model to follow, because it was the first service of its kind (I believe), and it had to do some poking around to get to where it is today.

What's EA's excuse? They have a perfectly good template, but they didn't come up with a better product in any shape or form. So why should I have to have any respect for the latecomer that isn't as good as what's already there?

Rachmaninov:

EA's current CEO has even acknowledged their behaviour before 2008 was wrong. So why can't you?

Oh and to address this specifically, as a someone who plays video games I care about one thing: playing games.

I don't care who EA buys and closes down. I don't care if EA has shitty hours in one of their studios. And why?
If you're an employee, and your company closes down, get another job.
If your work place sucks, get another job.

I work in a branch of the film industry. My work is all contract work, from anywhere from 4 months to a year at the conclusion of which I need to find a new job. In just a few years I've worked at 4 different places, two of which have closed down, and also had the opportunity to work at two others. Some of those companies have at times had hundreds of employees, then shrunk down to less than a dozen, then up again to a hundred or more.

It's just the nature of the industry. Games arne't that much different. More stable from what I understand, but people still hop around all the time. Open up their own studio, closed it down, go back to work for someone else, etcetera

So if a person is in games, and they need to get a job and they're good, they'll probably get one. Hopefully within the same city, maybe they'll have to relocate, etcetera.

As for companies. Don't really care.
Ultima IV was one of the core experiences of my childhood, but Origin Systems is gone. So what. Richard Garriot is still around, just waiting for him to make another RPG. Hopefully not multiplayer crap.

Played Magic Carpet by Bullfrog, loved it, Bullfrog's gone. But Peter Molyneux is still around, being crazy.

Lucasart used to make great games, Tie Fighter, etcetera now dunno what they even do.

Point is things change, companies close, people find new jobs but you still have those experiences anyway, you can still fall back and play those same games again. Just find new companies and new IPs to enjoy.

People complain that games are too expensive. I almost never buy games until they're 40 bucks or less.
People complain about DLC. I wait for Game of the Year editions.
People complain about COD and similar shooters. But I put 9 days worth of gametime into MW3, I got my money's worth, I moved on. There are games of another nature to suit my tastes available, either new or old (still need to play System Shock 2).

Am I good consumer from the point of the game companies? Probably not. But at least I don't buy used games.
Either way I don't give a shit, game companies exist to provide me with entertainment. What they do should benefit me. If EA puts MT as an option in DS3, it's potentially a benefit. If EA makes me enter some stupidass code every time, it's not. Similar if Valve doesn't make HL2 game of the year but instead lumps HL2 and HL2E1 into the orange box with a couple new small games, and sells it at 60 instead of 40, then you know it's potentially a decent trade off. But if Valve's games require steam to be installed on my computer. It's not a benefit to me. Because it's not an option.

You know, companies have good points and bad points, all I care about is what's available to me.

If a game grows stagnant, quit buying. Gears 1+2 were fun, Gears 3 was kinda boring so I traded it in. Didn't pick up any DLC or the expansions.

Similarly, as Steam is a storefront, I for example buy a lot of my games from Best Buy because the prices are fairly decent and unlike EB Games you know pretty much that no one has opened the bloody thing and taken out the disk. But at the same time, Skyrim is rarely below 60 friggin dollars, managed to catch it at 40 once but some games don't come down too often. There's trade offs to everything.

What's important is to look at what benefits you, the consumer. Your only loyalty should be to yourself and what's best for you.

Akalabeth:
...

At this point all I seeing from you is "hurr durr ignorance ea fanboi"

You keep on using arguments long since disproven and keep on spouting bullmanure at anyone who reports facts to you. Please stop being so ignorant and accept the fact that your straws disguised as arguments that you are clinging to have already been shredded.

If you are doing this on purpose then you are a VERY bad troll!

doggie015:

Akalabeth:
...

At this point all I seeing from you is "hurr durr ignorance ea fanboi"

You keep on using arguments long since disproven and keep on spouting bullmanure at anyone who reports facts to you. Please stop being so ignorant and accept the fact that your straws disguised as arguments that you are clinging to have already been shredded.

If you are doing this on purpose then you are a VERY bad troll!

You need to work on your metaphors guy, people don't shred straw.
As for quoting facts, offhand only one (edit - TWO) person has actually provided me with a link, they were the reasonable ones with the reasonable responses. We didn't debate because they actually knows that companies have good and bad points. Most everyone else has simply provided opinion while ignoring fact.

As for fanboys. I can count the number of EA games I own on one hand, that's how much of a fanboy I am. I have what, Mirrors Edge, Dead Space 1? Is Mass Effect 1 published by EA? Doesn't matter, got bored of it after 5 hours.

The only company I'm a legitimate "fan" of is Ninja Theory. And maybe Eidos Montreal. Because Enslaved and Deus Ex HR were fucking great.(EDIT - Oh and maybe Bethesda, because I also love the new Fallout games)

NoeL:
You're forgetting that EA is a publisher, not a development studio. People might love and wish to support the games produced by a particular studio, but what if EA is producing those games? Do they let a beloved studio crash and burn, never to see some of their favourite games again, or do they play ball and feed the evil machine in hopes of a sequel?

I'm glad someone said it.

EA interfere with games they publish, and the games suffer, so we're supposed to "vote with our dollars" and not buy the game. But the end result there is that EA just carries on with the rest of its library, and the innocent developers lose their jobs.

I love the Battlefield series, for example. I would like to give DICE my money, for making a game series that I love. But EA are so intent on stealing market share from Call of Duty that they add an unnecessary, tacked-on single-player mode, and rush the game out before features so basic as in-game voice chat (which was included in the previous games) could be added.

So, what am I supposed to do in protest? Not buy the game? Attempt to doom a publisher of games I love, just because I disagree with EA's horrible business practices?

You put it better than I can. More succinctly. But you get the point.

Twilight_guy:
Also happened to the game industry before, caused a big crash. Killed gaming until Nintendo brought it back.

I like talking to developers. They're good guys who love to make games and are willing to go through crap in order to make games (long hours and not particularly high pay). I wish that love for games was more present in the production and executive side but I know it can't be (developers would give games away and bankrupt their company in about a week).

I've seen many stories that don't even involve EA's business, just some guy at EA makes a statement and there is immediately 2 pages of posts blasting him as an idiot, no matter what he says. Even on stories where EA does something nice most of the posts are at best backhanded compliments. The EA hate has gotten so strong that if EA is even mentioned (seriously there are stories where EA is only mentioned as making a side comment or something) people will attack them. There are rabid people here people that go beyond thinking Ea is bad company and going into Nazi hating levels of bile. There is voicing your opinion to try and change something you see as wrong and then there is the kind of zealous hate usually reserved for burning crosses.

Actually, I agree with you after all.

If there is a reason to dislike anything, some people will dislike it simply because someone else dislikes it. It becomes like a meme. I've seen it before, whenever anyone mentions Call of Duty, people emerge from the undergrowth to regurgitate things other people have said, with no consideration to the meaning, or whether or not they actually agree.

So of course that would extend to EA. I can very much imagine every mention of them being met with bile even by people who haven't given the reason for the bile a moments consideration to see if it's deserved or not.

It's just a shame that it provokes reactions like CliffB's, polarizing a lot of people either into a "hate EA, and don't think about why!" or a "defend EA, and close your eyes if they do anything bad" situation.

Akalabeth:
Each of these were released with the intent of smaller bits, more frequently. They were intended to get around the whole "long development cycle". That's an episodic game. They're also intended to be cheaper. HL2 episodes were 30 bucks cap.

Okay, I can agree with defining them by intent. But even if we section off Episode One and Two as "not full games" does that really make Dead Space 3 and The Orange Box equal?

Don't get me wrong, I actually own DS3. I like it. But if TOB and DS3 came out on the same day, and I had $60, and didn't own either, I'd know where my money would be going. Half Life 2 and the two episodes that followed set a new standard for single player FPS games. Portal brought a new, revolutionary concept. TF2 brought some of the most critically acclaimed multiplayer gaming around.

I really don't think it's fair to compare the two. And that's not just because I like Valve and dislike EA. Dead Space 3 is debatably the weakest entry of the series, while The Orange Box raised the bar for three different genres, all for the same price.

And I completely agree about Deus Ex being a better game than MW3/BF3/GOW3 rolled into one.

Akalabeth:
Can you not even concede that the C&C pack is a good deal? From your despised EA?

I can. But my massive Steam library is packed with similar deals, except on hundreds of new and old games alike.

So okay, maybe EA does some sales. But if you've ever used Steam is the summer sales, I think you'd know that there's a big difference. For example, I bought RPG Maker VX Ace on Steam a few days after it was released... like a week later, it was half price. Now, as annoyed as I was, you have to appreciate when a company makes something which is moderately successful already half price so soon after its release, just because of periodic sales. I've bought at least 30 games at 1 each, and most of them are good, some are even classics.

But whether or not you were proving me wrong, telling me that games "don't count" because they're old, and then offering a comparison of even older games that supposedly do "count" is hypocrisy.

I do have a balanced perspective, and you simply haven't asked the right questions to find out. You shouldn't assume. Some things Valve does are bad, like promising support for L4D, only to quickly release L4D2. But they made up for that. Some things EA does are good, like risking publishing games I love, like Mirror's Edge. Then they mess it up by leaving that IP buried for ages. I associate EA with a generally high level of quality, too, even if over-strict deadlines sometimes result in some missing pieces.

Akalabeth:

Command and Conquer is a minor success? One of the longest running RTS games in the golden age of RTSes? What?

Westwood's success with C&C was big at the time, but comparitively to the success of Mass Effect, it is small. This is because a lot more people are playing games these days. Since Westwood, C&C has remained successful, but I was talking about Westwood's success with it, in particular.

Akalabeth:

Funny, other art-based industries don't have problems making their deadlines, why does gaming?
If they don't make the deadline it's because of a few problems. Not enough budget, not enough organization, not enough planning. But if you have a deadline, you have a deadline. Get it done.

To your first question; the answer is obvious. Gaming is unique in its requirements. No other art-based industry requires so much testing and feedback. Not even close.

That "Get it done" mentally isn't compatible with game development. if someone is making a game, and I give them the money and a deadline, who's to say I have set the deadline correctly? And even if I did, when that deadline comes around, what's more important; that we release an unfinished game, or delay it to finish it? EA say that releasing it is more important, which is why they release unfinished games. And in the case of Westwood, those games floundered because of it.

Akalabeth:
Whereas if Bioware had planned thier shit properly and met their early and mid-project goals they wouldn't have had to rush anything.

Assuming absolutely zero guilt on the part of EA? And you're accusing me of not having a balanced perspective? I've acknowledged guilt on the part of BioWare, because even if they had to rush it, they could've rushed it better, haha.

Akalabeth:
People move. Get new jobs. New companies.

We're not talking about people moving. We're talking about people being made to work completely insane hours, to unreasonable deadlines, and then being sacked because the rushed game wasn't a success. Stop equating EA with a force of nature. They're people, and they're insistently messing up other peoples lives through their incompetence. Go read EA or Westwood's wiki page if you still don't understand.

Akalabeth:
Criticizing EA for making nothing but sequels is a bit silly unless you hold Valve just as accountable.

Did you really type that with a straight face? I hope you didn't.

I asked you for non-sequel EA games. They made plenty of games in 2012, by your own admission. What was that number you mentioned earlier? 29 games, was it? How many of that long list weren't sequels?

Because Valve release much fewer games, it's not a fair comparison. Not to mention that Portal 2 wasn't 2012, and DOTA2 isn't even out yet, which makes two parts of that list wrong. Valve have 9 IPs and if you don't include multiplayer games or episodes as "full" games, none of those IPs have more than two games. If you do include those types of games, then Half Life has four and so does Counter Strike. So, Valve made a sequel last year... so what? How many of those 29 games you mentioned were sequels? I'm betting it's 28.

Go on, stun me by telling me you can't tell the difference between releasing one game that just so happened to be a sequel and releasing 29 games which were almost all sequels. And while you're at it, why don't you look up EA's upcoming releases for 2013... see if you can find 2013's 30 sequels. Like for example, next Battlefield game, which is most definitely not the fourth, despite the number in the title, and is in fact closer to triple that number.

As for the hours that EA makes people work, if you go to their wiki, you'll find the section that mentions it, which I believe has sources if you're interested. I'm glad the people are your local EA place have a good gig, and I'm sure not all EA subsidiaries are awful, but EA's general mantra, which you too seem to subscribe to, about deadlines being more important than a finished product, treats people like a means to an end, and that will inevitably lead to some mistreatment.

The best digital distribution service on the net is GOG fuck Steam and fuck origin.

When I buy something I fucking keep it, not you.

Valve started TF2 as a standard class based shooter, then created additional content for free, then included a way to expedite receiving cosmetic gear and weapons (all game affecting items and 99% of cosmetic items still obtainable entirely for free) by paying for them as a way to continue funding additional free content their game for years after initial release, while cutting substantial checks to the content creators. Then, as microtransaction sales exceeded game sales multiple times over, they transitioned the game into an entirely different free to play model, allowing everyone access to the main game without paying a penny. At some point after streamlining the process for user sumbitted content across their entire client, a user submitted a novelty engagement ring item and it was accepted as a sort of joke/status symbol. Also, who wouldn't be interested in finding out if someone would spend $50-$100 on a virtual engagement ring?

EA takes games and removes minor to major portions of them, then sells them off in little pieces charging anywhere from a couple bucks to well over a hundred dollars for pieces of content that should have easily found themselves in the game. Then they are insulting to their audience, and pretend to be misunderstood good guys.

Point of comparison: both are quite obviously evil. Point of contrast: only one is a genius.

Akalabeth:

Oh and to address this specifically, as a someone who plays video games I care about one thing: playing games.
*snip*

I'm not sure how you can knowingly be so cold. When someone makes art that you like, are you not grateful? Are you not excited to see what else will be created by those same minds?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you surely care, if bad business practices cause those people you're grateful to to lose their jobs, and for the opportunity for expansion upon the original art to likely disappear forever.

At least, I'd hope you'd understand why someone else might care. It's not so simple as just "find a new job". In a business like this, losing your job often means you lose the IP you were working on. It means you need to find somewhere new to work, where they'll already have their own project, or start your own business, but without access to your previous work or ideas. When Westwood lost their jobs, they lost C&C. They couldn't just go somewhere else and make another C&C. You take an over-simplistic, albeit optimistic, view.

We both enjoyed Mirror's Edge, right? Wouldn't it bother you in the least, if you read tomorrow that the Mirror's Edge team were sacked, and that the possible sequel has been cancelled?

doggie015:

Akalabeth:
...

At this point all I seeing from you is "hurr durr ignorance ea fanboi"

You keep on using arguments long since disproven and keep on spouting bullmanure at anyone who reports facts to you. Please stop being so ignorant and accept the fact that your straws disguised as arguments that you are clinging to have already been shredded.

If you are doing this on purpose then you are a VERY bad troll!

Uhhhhh.... how?

I'm seeing the exact opposite. Where are these "shredded arguments"?

Rachmaninov:

Okay, I can agree with defining them by intent. But even if we section off Episode One and Two as "not full games" does that really make Dead Space 3 and The Orange Box equal?

Don't get me wrong, I actually own DS3. I like it. But if TOB and DS3 came out on the same day, and I had $60, and didn't own either, I'd know where my money would be going. Half Life 2 and the two episodes that followed set a new standard for single player FPS games. Portal brought a new, revolutionary concept. TF2 brought some of the most critically acclaimed multiplayer gaming around.

Yes but you're talking with teh perspective of hindsight. When the Orange Box came out no one knew or cared about Portal. They would've bought it for TF2 and HL2E2. And if they bought it for Episode 2 they probably already had HL2 and Episode 1. So would Deadspace 3 be equal to Orange box? Yes. UNLESS, the guy who bought it didn't have HL2 and E1 in which case OB would be the better value.

But regardless this is fairly irrelevant in any case. The question is not whether the two are of equal the value, the question is about MT being applied to what is not a free game. (TF2 and DS3). The value of the games is subjective.

Dead Space 3 also has for example single player plus which would extend the life of the game, unlike say Episode2. Of course TF2 has benefitted from new content as well (but not on xbox), but that over a number of years. SO, different situations.

Rachmaninov:

I do have a balanced perspective, and you simply haven't asked the right questions to find out. You shouldn't assume. Some things Valve does are bad, like promising support for L4D, only to quickly release L4D2. But they made up for that. Some things EA does are good, like risking publishing games I love, like Mirror's Edge. Then they mess it up by leaving that IP buried for ages. I associate EA with a generally high level of quality, too, even if over-strict deadlines sometimes result in some missing pieces.

See now you're talking sense.

Rachmaninov:

To your first question; the answer is obvious. Gaming is unique in its requirements. No other art-based industry requires so much testing and feedback. Not even close.

Testing and Feedback can be integrated into the scheduel. They've been making games for years. They should know how long this stuff is going to take.

Rachmaninov:
Assuming absolutely zero guilt on the part of EA? And you're accusing me of not having a balanced perspective? I've acknowledged guilt on the part of BioWare, because even if they had to rush it, they could've rushed it better, haha.

No, I don't blame the quality of the game on the publisher. Certainly don't blame the writing for it. That's not the domain of the publisher. Unless EA specifically asked for a shit ending. Or they specifically push up the deadline. Or if the deadline is unreasonable with the budget and quality demanded.

I blame the publisher if it isn't advertised properly. Which EA is guilty of if I'm not mistaken.
I blame the publisher if it has launch problems (Diablo servers).
I blame the publisher if they make me enter some dumbass code to play the game.

As for long hours, crunch time is a part of the industry. Someplaces is worse than others. Again if your job sucks, go somewhere else.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:
Criticizing EA for making nothing but sequels is a bit silly unless you hold Valve just as accountable.

Did you really type that with a straight face? I hope you didn't.

I asked you for non-sequel EA games. They made plenty of games in 2012, by your own admission. What was that number you mentioned earlier? 29 games, was it? How many of that long list weren't sequels?

Games published by EA that do not appear to be sequels:

Jet Set Secrets (Facebook game)
Kingdoms of Amalur
Outernauts (Facebook)
Plants vs Zombies (Android port?)
The Secret World
Syndicate (reboot sorta)
Warp
Zuma's Revenge (iOS)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Electronic_Arts_games

So yes, not many, but more than one.

But yes I hold to what I said.

Rachmaninov:

Go on, stun me by telling me you can't tell the difference between releasing one game that just so happened to be a sequel and releasing 29 games which were almost all sequels. And while you're at it, why don't you look up EA's upcoming releases for 2013... see if you can find 2013's 30 sequels. Like for example, next Battlefield game, which is most definitely not the fourth, despite the number in the title, and is in fact closer to triple that number.

The thing is, I don't care. Valve makes a bunch of sequels, Epic makes a bunch of sequels, EA makes a bunch of sequels, Blizzard/Activision make nothing but sequels, it's all the same.

You complain EA is stagnating things, but what is Valve doing? Tired of COD shooters? Where's the next evolution of FPS from Valve? I mean they're rolling in money from what I understand, why aren't they providing competition.

I gave NBA 2K11 as a comparison. The 2K brand from what I understand generally lags behind EA in quality, then they release 2K11 and it blows NBA Live out of the water. Then NBA Live takes a break until NBA Live 13. You see competition. Forces EA to go back and get their shit together.

If you're tired of EA making sequels, then what the hell are the other guys doing? Oh, wait, they're making more sequels. Or they're not making any new IP they're just selling hats to a 6 year old game. Make some new friggin content man.

Rachmaninov:

As for the hours that EA makes people work, if you go to their wiki, you'll find the section that mentions it, which I believe has sources if you're interested. I'm glad the people are your local EA place have a good gig, and I'm sure not all EA subsidiaries are awful, but EA's general mantra, which you too seem to subscribe to, about deadlines being more important than a finished product, treats people like a means to an end, and that will inevitably lead to some mistreatment.

If the place sucks, get a new job. From what I've heard, from people who have talked directly to people that work at EA I've not heard anything about long unreasonable hours above and beyond what is standard for the game industry. But maybe they didn't talk to the right people, who knows.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

Oh and to address this specifically, as a someone who plays video games I care about one thing: playing games.
*snip*

I'm not sure how you can knowingly be so cold. When someone makes art that you like, are you not grateful? Are you not excited to see what else will be created by those same minds?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you surely care, if bad business practices cause those people you're grateful to to lose their jobs, and for the opportunity for expansion upon the original art to likely disappear forever.

At least, I'd hope you'd understand why someone else might care. It's not so simple as just "find a new job". In a business like this, losing your job often means you lose the IP you were working on. It means you need to find somewhere new to work, where they'll already have their own project, or start your own business, but without access to your previous work or ideas. When Westwood lost their jobs, they lost C&C. They couldn't just go somewhere else and make another C&C. You take an over-simplistic, albeit optimistic, view.

We both enjoyed Mirror's Edge, right? Wouldn't it bother you in the least, if you read tomorrow that the Mirror's Edge team were sacked, and that the possible sequel has been cancelled?

Well, THAT'S an about-face.

EA's business practices are anything but "bad". In fact, they're some of the most effective and sustaining business practices in the industry. EA keeps experiencing growth and is never in danger of shutting down, because they know how to handle themselves.

What YOU want is for a daring publisher to publish big-budget titles you want to play while being as "benevolent" as possible. Sorry, that's not fiscally possible. High-end industry does not give a rip about individuality, excellent service touches, or how "good" the job is, they care about efficiency. That's because efficiency is what allows those industries to exist with collapsing under miles and miles of bureaucratic tape. Such is the great conflict between the AAA industry and the indie scene. You can have your cake, or you can eat it. Not both. So make up your mind: Do you care about high production values and quality execution in your games, or do you care about the workers in the industry? Akalabeth picked the first one, I pick and choose on a case by case basis (I gave up trying to find the holy grail a while ago), and now it's your turn.

Valve comes kind of close to getting both, but they release too infrequently to rely on (and the Steam backlash is starting to pick up).

Akalabeth:

And as for Kingdoms of Amalur. Yeah. New IP. No one bought it. Who's fault is that? EAs?

KOA didn't really sell horribly.

People are too quick to justify the "it didn't sell like Skyrim/Call of Duty, so it sold poorly" mentality.

Rachmaninov:

Akalabeth:

Oh and to address this specifically, as a someone who plays video games I care about one thing: playing games.
*snip*

I'm not sure how you can knowingly be so cold. When someone makes art that you like, are you not grateful? Are you not excited to see what else will be created by those same minds?

I'm grateful for the experience but I don't care who made it. The people who made it are just thousand people scrolling down a credit's list. I do them the honour of letting the list play and not skipping past it, just as I do movies the honour of often not leaving until the credits are finished, but I don't feel personally indebted to any of them.

You know, if I create art, I hope the person enjoys it and takes something from it. But I don't care if I get recognition from the consumer just so long as the person consuming it is affected positively. And if I lose my job or the company goes under I don't expect people to shed any tears for me. That's just the business I'm in. If I don't like it I should switch careers.

Rachmaninov:
At least, I'd hope you'd understand why someone else might care. It's not so simple as just "find a new job". In a business like this, losing your job often means you lose the IP you were working on. It means you need to find somewhere new to work, where they'll already have their own project, or start your own business, but without access to your previous work or ideas. When Westwood lost their jobs, they lost C&C. They couldn't just go somewhere else and make another C&C. You take an over-simplistic, albeit optimistic, view.

Yes but they could go somewhere else and make another RTS.
Being shackled to an IP would be a burden, not a blessing. Can you imagine working on the same universe for like 10 years? The only way losing an IP would be a pain is if the people who took that IP screwed it up. But, as long as I had told the original story I wanted to tell I wouldn't much care. If I pitched an IP and they wanted me to change it drastically before I got to do my first idea I would likewise be pissed and probably just head elsewhere.

I get bored with things easily and want new challenges so working on the same thing for years on end would be the exact definition of hell.

Rachmaninov:
We both enjoyed Mirror's Edge, right? Wouldn't it bother you in the least, if you read tomorrow that the Mirror's Edge team were sacked, and that the possible sequel has been cancelled?

Sure, but I still got Mirror's Edge. That situation is out of my power, I'm not going to worry or get mad about something I can't control. I worry about the things that are within my power, and the things I can change, I would rather devote energy caring for a friend and helping them out than worrying about some dude in another continent who probably already has a new job.

Zachary Amaranth:

Akalabeth:

And as for Kingdoms of Amalur. Yeah. New IP. No one bought it. Who's fault is that? EAs?

KOA didn't really sell horribly.

People are too quick to justify the "it didn't sell like Skyrim/Call of Duty, so it sold poorly" mentality.

Eh, well didn't Studio 38 or whatever it was called defraud on some loans to the government or something? Ie, not having money to pay back what they owed. Had some sort of state-incentive to mov there and didn't hold up to their end of the bargain. Sounds like a lack of sales to me.

Akalabeth:
Tired of COD shooters? Where's the next evolution of FPS from Valve? I mean they're rolling in money from what I understand, why aren't they providing competition.

They're too busy trolling their userbase by not releasing Episode 3.

Akalabeth:

Zachary Amaranth:

Akalabeth:

And as for Kingdoms of Amalur. Yeah. New IP. No one bought it. Who's fault is that? EAs?

KOA didn't really sell horribly.

People are too quick to justify the "it didn't sell like Skyrim/Call of Duty, so it sold poorly" mentality.

Eh, well didn't Studio 38 or whatever it was called defraud on some loans to the government or something? Ie, not having money to pay back what they owed. Had some sort of state-incentive to mov there and didn't hold up to their end of the bargain. Sounds like a lack of sales to me.

There was more than low sales involved. You don't owe people $150 million because your game didn't sell very well, you owe that much after some insane and possibly illegal things happen.

For the record, it sold one and a half million units. Not spectacular by AAA standards, but not "$150 million in debt" level of failure either.

Akalabeth:

Eh, well didn't Studio 38 or whatever it was called defraud on some loans to the government or something? Ie, not having money to pay back what they owed. Had some sort of state-incentive to mov there and didn't hold up to their end of the bargain. Sounds like a lack of sales to me.

And if logic is not an issue, attributing the results of management issues to lack of sales sounds perfectly reasonable.

Look, even EA called KOA's sales a success. Sales were not the issue with the company's failure.

lacktheknack:

Akalabeth:

Zachary Amaranth:

KOA didn't really sell horribly.

People are too quick to justify the "it didn't sell like Skyrim/Call of Duty, so it sold poorly" mentality.

Eh, well didn't Studio 38 or whatever it was called defraud on some loans to the government or something? Ie, not having money to pay back what they owed. Had some sort of state-incentive to mov there and didn't hold up to their end of the bargain. Sounds like a lack of sales to me.

There was more than low sales involved. You don't owe people $150 million because your game didn't sell very well, you owe that much after some insane and possibly illegal things happen.

For the record, it sold one and a half million units. Not spectacular by AAA standards, but not "$150 million in debt" level of failure either.

Thank you for proving that the trend of 'knowing stuff' isn't dead.

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