Gamers Uncomfortable with Change, Says EA's Peter Moore

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Gamers Uncomfortable with Change, Says EA's Peter Moore

Peter Moore

EA's COO Peter Moore believes core gamers don't like the change that comes with industry growth.

Peter Moore, the Chief Operating Officer for Electronic Arts, recently provided some insight into why he believes gamers react negatively to new models in the game industry, like multi-platform experiences and free-to-play games.

"I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming... there's a core that doesn't quite feel comfortable with that." He doesn't get frustrated, "... but I scratch my head at times and say, 'Look. These are different times.' And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They've got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we've chosen to embrace them."

He does become a little nostalgic, "It's not the way it used to be. I used to put my disc in the tray or my cartridge in the top, and I'd sit there and play. And all of these young people coming in, or God forbid, these old people coming into gaming!"

Back in 2011 EA announced they were taking a more offensive approach to their business strategy, which was dubbed as the 'games-as-a-service' business model. Essentially EA would continue to work rigorously on games even after they launched, to provide customers a continuos and deeper experience to their titles--and Moore has been a strong advocate of this approach. A part of that model entailed more DLC, free-to-play and mobile games, and microtransactions.

Moore also expressed how with the evolving nature of the game industry, the company continues to adapt by reading and responding accordingly to customer feedback. In fact, during E3 Moore was on Twitter reading fan reactions to the EA press conference, "Half the people loved the fact that we were showing well into the future. And then the other 50 percent were basically calling BS because it was conceptual prototypes (which is how we build games, by the way). So you're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't."

Despite the core demographic's fear of change, Moore is very optimistic of what the future entails for EA and the games industry.

Source: GamesIndustry

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No Mr. Moore, we have no problem with change. We have a problem with being lied to, being squeezed for cash and we have a problem with companies like EA and Ubisoft treating us like we're completely stupid. THAT is what we have a problem with.

I would actually agree gamers have a problem with change. But that doesn't mean that's the issue EA is facing.

It's not.

Gamers definitely have a problem with change. However that doesn't mean all change is good.

Change that involves better representation of females and minorities is good.

Change that involves stripping as much content from a game as possible to later sell as DLC is bad.

whatever Moore; I would believe this sentiment if you had actually done anything to start catering to other demographics so you could expand the gaming audience. Currently you're just circling the drain, pandering to the same audience you always have and if anything are becoming MORE exclusive. Not a good idea for any business.

Rather, "Gamers are more uncomfortable with an incompetent COO in charge of one of the largest publishers".

You can't just blame negative reactions to horrendous business practices on "The Times They Are A-Changin'", that's bulls**t. As soon as you guys stop pulling stuff like Dungeon Keeper Mobile and treat both the free-to-play model and the consumer with respect, then you might be able to comment on people's reactions to these new models.

Also nice photo. Very "The Devil's Advocate". I wonder who would be the Keanu Reeves of EA.

Damn. Poor me.

I guess I just don't bother to move with the times.

Isn't it a shame that I prefer my games not to be still ridden with bugs 7 months after the Dev team were forced by public outrage to acknowledge they released an unbelievably buggy game (Battlefield 4) after, I might add, they blamed beta testers for playing the game wrong when those sorts of bugs were reported!

Isn't it a shame prefer my games to be actually playable on release, not kicking me out of the server connection because of faults on the developers side - a constant connection that the developers lied to us was necessary. (Simcity)

Isn't it a shame I don't agree with adding deliberately frustrating and time consuming game mechanics to provide a lesser experience for your customers, then providing the ability to pay real money to remove the roadblocks that are only hampering my enjoyment of the game because EA placed them there (Plants verses Zombies 2)

I guess my desire for morally and ethically upright practices in the videogame industry is just because I don't like change.

Back in 2011 EA announced they were taking a more offensive approach to their business strategy,

Offensive being the operative word.

It's a shame that Mr Moore evidently interprets the words change and growth the same way most of us see the words exploit and abuse. I suppose it should be obvious that as games grow to rival the other 'big' entertainment industries they would adopt the same aggressive and exploitative behaviour towards their customers and creators, but it's still disappointing.

oh fuck you peter moore.

i have nothing else to say.

Floppertje:
No Mr. Moore, we have no problem with change. We have a problem with being lied to, being squeezed for cash and we have a problem with companies like EA and Ubisoft treating us like we're completely stupid. THAT is what we have a problem with.

Exactly. Considering the changes he names core gamers being uncomfortable with are changes which, when embraced by EA, are little more than shameless cash grabs, barely functioning pieces of software, or suffer from any number of other issues I could name right now, it's not change that's the problem. It's companies that utilize these new models in the most shamelessly exploitative ways imaginable.

In other words, the problem is EA.

I love how nobody even takes EA's PR lies seriously at this point anymore. EA makes a statement like "gamers fear change," and everybody hears "EA fears change, blames gamers."

Worst Company In America, etc. etc.

Oh, wait. No, I'm sorry. My bad. I get it now. EA's PR statement apparently assumes that the people who pay sixty bucks every year for the Madden roster updates are gamers.

Captcha: Choco Lazer Boom. I wish, Captcha. I wish. There's no way EA would support a game with a title like Choco Lazer Boom. It sounds too much like it might be fun. You must be thinking of Nintendo. Or possibly Dejobaan.

Hero in a half shell:
Damn. Poor me.

I guess I just don't bother to move with the times.

Isn't it a shame that I prefer my games not to be still ridden with bugs 7 months after the Dev team were forced by public outrage to acknowledge they released an unbelievably buggy game (Battlefield 4) after, I might add, they blamed beta testers for playing the game wrong when those sorts of bugs were reported!

Isn't it a shame prefer my games to be actually playable on release, not kicking me out of the server connection because of faults on the developers side - a constant connection that the developers lied to us was necessary. (Simcity)

Isn't it a shame I don't agree with adding deliberately frustrating and time consuming game mechanics to provide a lesser experience for your customers, then providing the ability to pay real money to remove the roadblocks that are only hampering my enjoyment of the game because EA placed them there (Plants verses Zombies 2)

I guess my desire for morally and ethically upright practices in the videogame industry is just because I don't like change.

Considering EA wants to push out new games every 6-12 months and then close them down 24months or less later by turning off the servers they require to run I can see why little things such as quality and value for the customer are seen as unnecessary. No wonder EA is upset, us gamers are stuck on the past holding onto old ideas such as respect and quality rather than accepting that were just walking wallets that should shut up and eat their shit.

/sarcasm if it wasn't clear enough :-P

No Mr Moore, we just don't like how you and EA want to change things. We have nothing against change, we love change, we love the new ideas and games it can bring.

What we hate is the way you and yours dictate what that change should be and no matter how hard you try to force it, we still wont like it.

gamers do indeed dislike change, many to an unhealthy extent, and they cling to their nostalgic yesteryear like a tick to a deer, but you're gonna have a hard time trying to spin the disdain gamers gave for your policies as being the fault of the gamers.

Nice try, though.

"gamers get so angry when we milk them with yearly releases, on disk DLC, microtransactions and unfinished products at launch. i dont get it, i make millions upon millions of dollars, shouldnt they be happy for me?"

I like change, good change mind not DK mobile, SimCity online or Sims minus features that where present in previous games type change. But I guess I'm just old fashioned apparently. Although I imagine the only change EA is concerned about is the change in my back pocket.

Yep...because the one thing you should always do as a business is blame your customers. What's next week on Jimquisition?

*glances at the endless stream of copy-paste games that sell millions...looks at his own DOS game collection that gets more play than his collection of recent games*

...I think I can see this man's point.

Floppertje:
No Mr. Moore, we have no problem with change. We have a problem with being lied to, being squeezed for cash and we have a problem with companies like EA and Ubisoft treating us like we're completely stupid. THAT is what we have a problem with.

And this pretty must sums it up.

I personally LOVE f2p models. There are several F2P models that are working now. I would list reasons why some of these f2p games are working, but something tells me that anybody needing this insight probably wont be reading or care.

/salute

EA is like a twisted mirror reflection of Valve

Valve has mastered the idea of "games as service" with titles like TF2 and counter strike going on, and on, and on, well after release, thanks to free update and timely patches NOT fucking paid DLC that only fragments the playerbase and kills the game earlier

the free to play models of Valve's games are always fair and provide the free user with almost as much if not the same amount of content as the paying user, they also make paying for virtual hats fun

hell Valve has even made microtransactions in non-free to play games bearable, look as CS:GO, part of the money from microtransactions goes to fund tournaments, users can upload their own weapon skins to be approved by the community and they get a cut out of every sale, and normal users can sell and trade their cosmetics, so even if you are not into the gut hats business you can still get something out of it

Gamers are definitely a lot that are not interested in change and also fail to accept or understand when necessary change comes in forms that they aren't in 100% agreement. It's easy to complain about things like DLC, pre-order bonuses and subscription plans but then still buy the games that involve them and fail to understand why they're implemented in the first place. It's easy to chalk all decisions up to conspiracy theories and the big bad of "anti-consumerism." Heck, we have an entire company that pretty much exists purely on offering the same comfort food that it's been making for 25+ years and many gamers lap it up.

Of course, change purely for change's sake is not good either, and even change with reason is not always right.

Peter Moore I don't think you get it. Gamers LOVE change. They want to see change. It is the reason COD gets so much heat. EA's problem is that the changes that they are making involve micro-transactions in $60 titles, Pay-to-win systems, content being cut just to be sold later, and beloved series being shat on.

As a matter of fact, I am only threatened by change in the real world. I'm all for change in the gaming industry.

Fuck you. We don't have a problem with change, we have a problem with being fucked over.

EA is projecting its own phobias, according to gamers.

"It's not the way it used to be. I used to put my disc in the tray or my cartridge in the top, and I'd sit there and play."

Yeah it used to be that when you bought a game you got a full game, not part of game with the rest sold back piecemeal. It used to be that when I bought a game I could just pop in into my system and play, not jump through hoops and be always logged on just to prove I'm not a thief. It used to be that a certain game company was formed with the goal to make great games that made people happy...and that certainly has changed, isn't that right EA.

No, no Moore, you misunderstand: People are uncomfortable when YOUR company makes changes. As it will undoubtedly screw them up.

Heh, this guy could be the antagonist in both Watch_Dogs AND Far Cry 4.

I can agree up to a certain point. Just look at what happens when a small change is made to Call of Duty's multiplayer. Death threats? Yeah, there are gamers out there who have a real problem with change.

However, when change means more money for less content, or Xbox One's 'always online' system that they were trying to force down everyone's throats? That's gamers not having a problem with change, but having a problem with greedy companies. The change needs to benefit the consumer, not punish them, and then gamers will accept change with open arms. Just look what happened with the Wii.

"And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They've got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we've chosen to embrace them."

No EA, you've chosen to exploit them.

What I got from this was:

"You are not our target demographic. Go away and stop whining."

Back in 2011 EA announced they were taking a more offensive approach to their business strategy, which was dubbed as the 'games-as-a-service' business model. Essentially EA would continue to work rigorously on games even after they launched, to provide customers a continuos and deeper experience to their titles--and Moore has been a strong advocate of this approach. A part of that model entailed more DLC, free-to-play and mobile games, and microtransactions.

This was a cynical strategy though. Basically they would release a product that would be generally inferior on launch, while keeping it at 40 ($60) and then complete the game down the line for extra money through DLC, all the while shoving microtransactions in there for good measure. It's worse than the Early Access bullshit going on right now.

He's kind of right, core gamers don't like change, but when people are getting screwed over it's the core gamers that bring this shit down upon them because they are the most cynical watchful consumers. They are the ones that get the hate train rolling. Sometimes EA, you fucking deserve it.

Oh, you mean like Dungeon Keeper and Simcity and Battlefield 4? Those sorts of changes? Yeah I definitely hate change. Luckily some things never change, like yearly Madden releases where the only difference is the number on the box. Oh wait, I hate those too. Maybe I don't hate change. Maybe I hate something else....

So basically: "Screw you old core gamers. We'll be rid of you as soon as we get new suckers."

Peter Moore:
"And all of these young people coming in, or God forbid, these old people coming into gaming!"

What an expertly spun line this is, because it takes any criticism of EA and dumps it on the core gaming market doing the criticizing. "Oh things are different now and you just can't change with the times."

I mean, God forbid anyone criticize your company while you're trying to exploit the newcomers' naivete', right?
Wouldn't want to give them the impression that some standards used to be higher.

"I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming... there's a core that doesn't quite feel comfortable with that," Moore said. "Your readers, the industry in particular. I don't get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, 'Look. These are different times.' And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They've got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we've chosen to embrace them."

Maybe it's because we have good reason to not change with the times.

Maybe it's because those of us in the know don't want to cope with these new models gimmicks.
Like your obvious less-for-more DLC content pricing schemes.
Or your company's penchant for flat out lying to customers to generate hype.
Or your desire to turn every game into an online centric DLC rental service.
Or just Freemium garbage in general (a shit game model all round).

"It's a completely different approach in the way we're listening to gamers and the way they want to consume games."

I know what selective hearing is, Mr. Moore. Focusing on support service for gamers sounds terrific until you realize that you're producing fewer games, at a higher cost than you used to. This isn't something you should be bragging about, because if recent controversy is any indicator, the quality sure as hell hasn't increased.

Article:
Moore said all of these innovations are working to broaden the audience of gamers, and that's seen as unappealingly disruptive to a core audience who liked the industry just the way it was. But as threatened as that crowd might feel, Moore sees a greater threat in not changing at all.

The need to appeal to a broader audience doesn't just alienate your existing audience; the process absolutely REQUIRES either brilliance or a systematic dilution of the elements that make your gameplay appealing.

Case in point, truly great gameplay is all but extinct now in EA products because they've oversaturated the core market by copying only what the popular games are doing. In doing so Mr. Moore, you sacrificed your own works' identities and reputations in the process. (like Dungeon Keeper, SimCity, and Battlefield)

Naturally, things have become so bad that you're giving up on the old marks and are instead searching for new marks.

"I don't think anybody has to like it," Moore said. "I think that's where it goes. It's like me; I get grumpy about some things, but if the river of progress is flowing and I'm trying to paddle my canoe in the opposite direction, then eventually I'm just going to lose out. From the perspective of what needs to happen in this industry, we need to embrace the fact that billions of people are playing games now."

It is unavoidable. It is your destiny.

Actually, I refuse to end this with that tired meme.

Yes, Mr. Moore, some people futilely paddle upstream until they finally tire and give in.
Those people are fools. They're fools because when going directly against the flow is futile, they never think to paddle sideways until they can just leave the damn river.

We don't have to jockey for your games or compromise. We can just outright reject your offer you know, no matter how enticing it may seem to you. Leaving the market, or at least the part of the market that has no intention of listening to its customers is an option, and one I took with your company years ago Mr. Moore.

Consider this: If "progress" requires sacrificing a basic securities, functionality, and reasonable value, then why should I or anyone bother? Change for change's sake is just plain foolish.

I know it's already been said but I figure I'll add onto it...

The 'masses' of gamers are indeed afraid of change. That's why we see Call of Duty, Madden, Halo, Gears of War, Uncharted, etc etc etc released with an endless number of sequels and prequels and side stories because, let's be honest here, the masses are often too stupid/uninterested/not invested/sheeple who need to be guided on a purchase to try something different. And as a result, they react with hostility towards something unfamiliar... That's why Overstrike's heart was yanked out of its body and thrown in the trash and replaced with some mechanical abomination. Thank god Insomniac managed to dig that heart out of the trash and utilize it in Sunset Overdrive.

But please, don't try and suggest that anything beyond that is why gamers react with hostility to some of the stuff they've hated as of late. I am apparently in the minority of the people who DID like the prototype footage I saw for Mirror's Edge (Only for my hope for the game to be smashed in that post-E3 update about the more combat heavy focus the game is supposedly taking...) so I'm not referring to that. I'm more referring to how the concept of online passes evolved from Project Ten Dollar, the overkill of Microtransactions as a means of gating content or slowing the progression and consumption of game content OR being ANYTHING that ISN'T cosmetic changes... And most importantly, the idea of scumbag lowlife shovelware developers releasing games into early access or onto Steam Greenlight that are either clones, unplayable or just absolute pieces of shit.

The problems legitimately plaguing the gaming industry at the moment have nothing to do with gamers discomfort with change.

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