E.A. is destroying the gaming business?

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Of course they aren't destroying the gaming business, that was already fucked up to begin with.

They are just scraping by, and well...it works. Sure it's disgusting how they suck everything good from one gaming company and throw the empty husk away later, but at the end of the day they just want to earn money.

I personally don't buy their stuff anymore, after couple of their major fuck ups with Bioware that is.

Captcha: "that hurts"

Lets break this down a little bit

4RM3D:
There is a general consensus that EA is doing more bad than good to the gaming business.

Quite a few arguments have been made against EA (in no specific order):
-

The forced use of Origin (a broken system)

- You compare it to steam, which is really the best system on the market, while Origin isn't as good as steam, its much better then Ubisoft and other "mass freemium" deliver systems. Also think about Actiblizz's "always online" BS, or Ubisofts terrible DRM.

-

The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)

- I feel these three are closely tied together as Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are constantly brought up for "wrecking" the series. Not an opinion I share, but I see and understand their concerns. EA makes money, period. If they didn't make money there would be many more studio's/games shutting down to stem "loss". A big part of EA's problem (besides this idiotic push to add facebook and twitter integration into everything) is they rush their games through development cycle to try and hit same day releases as other titles. This is QUITE apparent in their latest blame shift on Medal of Honor: Warfighter. If they had taken the right amount of time (read 6-8 months more development and polishing) it would have been a much better game... but that is getting off topic.

-

EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)

- Everyone looks for the easy cash grab, this is not a "EA trait" specifically, while still valid, I don't personally believe its a point you can single out into EA alone

-

(EDIT) Rolling out yearly installments of the same game (e.g. EA Sports)

- This is another "general game industry" trait, not specifically held to EA. Any sports franchise, Wrestling, Call of Duty etc.

...And the list probably goes on.

My question is two-fold:
- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
- Do you still buy games from EA?

I ask because I still see a lot of people pre-ordering / buying games from EA and at the same time see a lot of people complaining about EA. So, why don't just stop buying their games altogether?

On a side note, I should mention that the shit storm that was the ending of Mass Effect 3, did show the incredible influence Bioware holds over people and in turn that gamers can rise and stand up.

EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Capcom, these are the big 4 "villans" of the industry, as they all do stupid shady tactics because they are trying to make money. They don't care about you, or me, or even all of us who frequent the escapist forums as a whole. They care about $$ because they HAVE to care about $$ for their stockholders.

Personally, I purchase games not because they are EA, or any of the other Publishers. Frankly, its not even about the developers (unless its a developer known for the particular genre and they are stepping out of it) Its about the games. I want to play games, and while not all of them are the "perfect 10" that people lately seem to expect, I have enjoyed pretty much every game I have gotten to play over the last 5 years (minus Diablo III).

Long winded, sorry about that..

One thing I've been surprised by with EA is how much their Sim series of games still feel like it is being made by the original Maxis team. They still have that unique Maxis charm that I always liked.

It's like hanging out with an old friend who has a boyfriend you don't really care for.

Maxis: Hi! I'm still me, and quirky, and enjoy my llamas and other strange oddities! Oh, this is my boyfriend, EA.
EA: Buy our stuff.
Maxis: *laughing nervously* Oh you! Don't mind him. Let's have fun!
EA: And buy things.
Maxis: Well, only if you -really- want to.
EA: Whatever.
Maxis: Whee! Fun!

I don't particularly hate EA any more then another publisher, nor do I blame them for shortcomings that I feel are out of their control. For example, I honestly have not been overly impressed with Bioware's writing since the first Neverwinter Nights. Even their best expansion of the game, Hordes of the Underdark, was still only -almost- as good as Baldur's Gate. This was long before EA bought them. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, (I hated the original NWN campaign, the two expansions were okay, as was Jade Empire,) but the cracks were showing.

As for the other companies EA ate, I can't say much about them, as I never got into them super much.

To get back to the original topic, no I do not think EA is killing anything. I think they are simply doing what sells. They are delightfully mercenary, and will change habits/tactics as soon as what they are doing stops working for them. Might not be really ethical, but it's smart, and it will keep them 'in the game' for a long time.

4RM3D:
There is a general consensus that EA is doing more bad than good to the gaming business.

Quite a few arguments have been made against EA (in no specific order):
- The forced use of Origin (a broken system)
- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)
- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)
- (EDIT) Rolling out yearly installments of the same game (e.g. EA Sports)

...And the list probably goes on.

My question is two-fold:
- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
- Do you still buy games from EA?

I ask because I still see a lot of people pre-ordering / buying games from EA and at the same time see a lot of people complaining about EA. So, why don't just stop buying their games altogether?

On a side note, I should mention that the shit storm that was the ending of Mass Effect 3, did show the incredible influence Bioware holds over people and in turn that gamers can rise and stand up.

Do EA Games have a habit of taking on practices gamers hate? Yes
Is this harming the games industry? No

All it means is that EA Games is doing what they consider to be profitable, it's annoying but I doubt it'll have any harmful effects and as the faults you've put forward

- "The forced use of Origin (a broken system)"
If it's a broken system then Origin will eventually shut down, services like Steam have nothing to worry about. Steam offers a better system and more people use it

- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
Wrecked is debatable. EA is the publisher and it's hard to tell what choices were pushed by EA and what choices the Development teams wanted to go for, blaming EA is like blaming a book publisher because the writer's stories suck. Same goes for Activision

- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
I wouldn't say constant fire. They've had their share of controversy, I'd say with Mass Effect 3 it was people making a mountain out of a molehill, I mean big deal the ending wasn't that great. I can give you an entire library of games with crappy endings.

- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)
See my problem with this fault is that it's implying you know how the games publisher thinks. Until the CEO of EA Games comes up and states "We at EA are simply looking for cash grabs" I really can't take that fault seriously. Maybe they are looking for a quick cash grab, I know Jim Sterling came out against EA for it's use of Micro-transactions in a game like Dead Space 3 where you've already paid $60/40 for the damn game and I agree that is selfish but it always sounds like their making EA out to be some evil super-villain

- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)
Ok good point, EA Games are annoying with this but come on a lot of games companies do this such as Sega with their "It's not that our games suck everyone is suffering to sell well!" Right Sega hence why every other game is selling well

- (EDIT) Rolling out yearly installments of the same game (e.g. EA Sports)
Again the same argument applies to other companies such as Activison and again that doesn't mean it's not a valid point.

- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
Well yes and no. Yeah I know what I said above but hear me out here. I think some other companies take on similar practices to EA but ultimately this is because they've been known to some degree to work but at the same time how is EA to blame for what other companies choose to do? I don't see how they are accountable for the bad moves of other companies, it's the old "If he told you to jump off a cliff would you do?" scenario.

- Do you still buy games from EA?
That depends on whether I liked the game. I'm not buying a game because it's made by EA Games neither am I choosing to boycott one because it has a certain publisher. I don't buy from Activision but that's not a boycott (anymore) they just don't make any games that appeal to me.

In conclusion though I'm not saying EA Games don't use questionable tactics in their pursuit of our money because they do but I also don't think it'll be the end of the gaming world if EA Games makes a lot of money out of this. Their a bad company but not that bad to accidentally cause a market crash.

Lugbzurg:
Wait, what? Unlike that of Origin, Steam staff actually treats people like human beings, the system functions extremely well, there's excellent support for all kinds of games of any size or department, software other than games is also allowed...

So a buddy bought a $2.50 game off Steam, but the next day he lost his card. No problem, phone up the bank, get the old one canceled and send a new one in the mail right?

Oh wait, Steam didn't actually charge his card til 5 days later from the original purchase date. The old card number that was in the transaction isn't valid anymore. Well, let's lock his account down for fraud.

He's still trying to argue with the bank and Valve/Steam over it. Obviously the bank knows it's not fraud, and tells him to just use the new card. But he can't even get Steam to accept the new updated card. Because the account was flagged as fraudulent. Not even to reverse the game transaction so he can go buy it again with the new card.

I guess he could call them up like you can for EA's CSR and ... oh wait, there's no number to call, you have to rely on forum and emails.

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

ThriKreen:

Lugbzurg:
Wait, what? Unlike that of Origin, Steam staff actually treats people like human beings, the system functions extremely well, there's excellent support for all kinds of games of any size or department, software other than games is also allowed...

So a buddy bought a $2.50 game off Steam, but the next day he lost his card. No problem, phone up the bank, get the old one canceled and send a new one in the mail right?

Oh wait, Steam didn't actually charge his card til 5 days later from the original purchase date. The old card number that was in the transaction isn't valid anymore. Well, let's lock his account down for fraud.

He's still trying to argue with the bank and Valve/Steam over it. Obviously the bank knows it's not fraud, and tells him to just use the new card. But he can't even get Steam to accept the new updated card. Because the account was flagged as fraudulent. Not even to reverse the game transaction so he can go buy it again with the new card.

I guess he could call them up like you can for EA's CSR and ... oh wait, there's no number to call, you have to rely on forum and emails.

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

I bought Tropico 3 from steam, but then it was delayed, so i asked for my money back, they were happy to comply and gave me the money back and took the game from my account.

You have a bad story, i have a good story. However, there are more good stories for steam, than bad ones. And more bad stories for origins, than good ones.

This is why people believe that origins customer service is worse than steams, of course maybe thats because people harp on more about origins but thats the consensus, at least from what i can gather.

EA isn't going to kill the business. In a very real way, they are the business. I'd also like to point out that pretty much every large publisher acts similarly, as others have before me. The only reason EA gets singled out so frequently (as far as I can tell) is because they are absolutely atrocious at managing their PR. I remember when EA got voted worst company in America by Consumerist and their reaction was to make a statement about how they're sure oil execs and bankers are breathing easier, and that they'll just continue to be incredibly successful. While there's a point to be made about that, never have words so clearly painted the picture of a dismissive, self-satisfied asshole wearing a shit-eating grin - and that's their reputation amongst many game enthusiasts.

I wouldn't call EA the worst company in the world (how short-sighted) and I think people blow certain things out of proportion. Origin just really isn't as bad as it's made out to be at all, and there's a bit of wisdom in the acknowledgement that we simply don't know if certain developers would have failed regardless of EA's involvement. That said, every time I've dealt with EA in the past few years I've been left with a bad taste in my mouth. I don't buy their games anymore, not because I'm seeking to affect the purchasing habits of millions of Americans but because I don't want to give money to a company with representatives that have shown me disrespect on more than one occasion.

To change gears, I surely can't be the only one disgusted with people brushing off various criticisms leveled at EA or other publishers with "It's the market, just deal." People seem to still operate under this assumption that consumers are always informed and rational enough to make the best decision possible, which is simultaneously one of the core concepts of free-market capitalism and a statement no reasonable and educated person would ever agree with. When someone says that a change in business is fine because they're still financially successful, they aren't making a statement about the quality of the product or the services of the company that delivers it, nor whether it's ethical or not. They're commenting on whether it's possible for the majority of consumers to swallow it or not, and I simply don't see that as a defense of certain business practices. We're talking about video games here so, you know, it isn't super important. But this line of reasoning has been used to justify some pretty fucked up stuff. There are few cliches I hate more than, "It's just business."

And aside from that, one could make the argument that they aren't even succeeding at that. Activision appears to be their main competition, but the performance of EA's stock over the last year looks very weak in comparison. It's not fair or probably even correct to just connect the dots and call it a day, but I feel like their poor reputation in certain circles couldn't have helped.

Draech:
*snip*

I see your point. I cannot speak for other people, but I always try to look at it from different sides. In some ways I do understand EA, but that doesn't mean I accept them. Even so I don't have the full picture. But based on what I have experienced I can say that I dislike the company and on principle I take a stand against them. And not just EA... I also don't buy games from Ubisoft and Activision.

ThriKreen:
*snip*

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

Yes, that is annoying. Regardless, your point is moot. Any big company (heck, *any* company) will always have a few blemishes... even Steam. You really can't compare it on individual basis. Instead you have to look at the statistics.

I don't hate them per se.
I just really hate their business practices, and think that they may very well be a major factor in bringing about the biggest video game crash since 1983, or at least a similar event.

This isn't anything new.

No they are not destroying the industry. Sure they are hurting the industry, but video games have gone through worse and there are still companies out there that are miles ahead of EA in the Evil/Stupid department. But in actuality, they are still doing severe damage to themselves, losing money hand over fist from investors even while they have several profitable franchises out simultaneously.

EA are up there with Capcom and others as large names in the gaming industries (yes I know they have different roles) that people just love to attack. Personally, Capcom games introduced me to gaming so I don't hate them, and ME3 is my third favourite game so naturally I have no beef with EA. They've stolen no money from me, and although some of their marketing ideas are... misplaced... I don't think they are the demonic company most people make them out to be.

Draech:

SO GRACIOUS OF THEM TO LIKE THE PRODUCT OUT OF THEIR BENEVOLENCE!

Ehehe, how true. This happens in music too. It makes people cater more towards the best ways to get money, than what would actually be awesome. People liking games is just a bonus.

They aren't destroying "the business". They're doing quite a decent enough job in that aspect.
But that's where the problem lies. They have their primary focus on monetization, and need to do so to be a publisher and satisfy their stockholders. They are destroying the art and soul in return for profit, because that's largely their job.
Whether or not that's wrong depends on your outlook on things.

I don't buy EA games any more as a result of not agreeing with their practices and none of their new products being on Steam.

Timmey:

ThriKreen:

Lugbzurg:
Wait, what? Unlike that of Origin, Steam staff actually treats people like human beings, the system functions extremely well, there's excellent support for all kinds of games of any size or department, software other than games is also allowed...

So a buddy bought a $2.50 game off Steam, but the next day he lost his card. No problem, phone up the bank, get the old one canceled and send a new one in the mail right?

Oh wait, Steam didn't actually charge his card til 5 days later from the original purchase date. The old card number that was in the transaction isn't valid anymore. Well, let's lock his account down for fraud.

He's still trying to argue with the bank and Valve/Steam over it. Obviously the bank knows it's not fraud, and tells him to just use the new card. But he can't even get Steam to accept the new updated card. Because the account was flagged as fraudulent. Not even to reverse the game transaction so he can go buy it again with the new card.

I guess he could call them up like you can for EA's CSR and ... oh wait, there's no number to call, you have to rely on forum and emails.

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

I bought Tropico 3 from steam, but then it was delayed, so i asked for my money back, they were happy to comply and gave me the money back and took the game from my account.

You have a bad story, i have a good story. However, there are more good stories for steam, than bad ones. And more bad stories for origins, than good ones.

This is why people believe that origins customer service is worse than steams, of course maybe thats because people harp on more about origins but thats the consensus, at least from what i can gather.

Citation needed

Draech:

Dryk:

Draech:

Wow get off your high horse. Unless you have been involved in the production of a game please stop going on about the importance of the "fans". Fans are just people who liked what you made. You dont ow them anything. And this inflated issue of self importance needs to be kicked out of here.

If nobody likes what you've made, you go out of business. Game development studios owe EVERYTHING to their fans.

So if they dont like your product they wont buy it.

Therefore they ow everything to the fans....

SO GRACIOUS OF THEM TO LIKE THE PRODUCT OUT OF THEIR BENEVOLENCE!

I mean its not like they are being self serving in that they only came because there was something they wanted.

Consumers buy stuff they want. If they don't want something, they don't buy it. If you make something they don't want and don't buy, you go out of business. A business can not survive without customers, customers can survive without a business.

If EA stopped making games, there'd be no negative impact on the existing EA consumer/fan-base than them having more money to spend elsewhere. However, if that consumer/fan base stopped buying EA poduct, EA would fail.

Yes, they owe everything to their consumer/fan-base because a company can not exist without people who buy their stuff. The motivation of the people who buy the product is irrelevant. A game company NEEDS people to buy their games. People, conversely, have no need to buy games. They WANT to buy games, but can survive without.

On topic, I do not support EA in any fashion. In the rare occasion their name is attached to something I do want, I do not buy it. I find their attitude, their general lack of ethics, and their anti-consumer practices deplorable. They were also one of the leading proponents of SOPA and frequently use piracy as an excuse for their own failings. If gamers weren't the most complacent consumer-base in existence, they'd likely have gone out of business years ago.

Lugbzurg:

Wait, what? Unlike that of Origin, Steam staff actually treats people like human beings,

In my experience Steam has some of the worst customer support I have ever had to deal with, while EA has been quick and helpful.

the system functions extremely well

Which is why it slows my comp to a crawl when starting, has annoying technical issues, and the stupid chat stops working every so often? things that origin never does?

4RM3D:

- The forced use of Origin (a broken system)

Broken? yea no. Origin isn't at Steam's level because it hasn't even had half the time to mature, and its still a perfectly acceptable platform.

- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked

Draech already pointed out why this is wrong. Many of the companies that EA supposedly destroyed were already circling the drain.

- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)

By a bunch of very loud people on the internet. I played both and enjoyed both and I'm fairly sure that I'm far from alone on feeling that way, the rage crowd is just much more vocal.

- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)

Which has been blown massively out of proportion as of the DS3 announcement. Game companies exist to make money, EA just tries to do it in the dumbest most blunt way possible.

- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)

Horrible PR seems to be the industry standard these days from everyone except Valve, which just so happens to be run by a man who is a master of breeding fanatic loyalty. nothing about this make EA evil though.

- (EDIT) Rolling out yearly installments of the same game (e.g. EA Sports)

Then don't buy them? if they are rolling out yearly then it means people are buying them and you can hardly expect EA to intentionally not make money.

- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?

Nope, and I chuckle every time some one claims they are.

- Do you still buy games from EA?

Yup. and I'm sick of pretentious people on the internet telling me that I'm killing the hobby becuse I have the gall to buy the games I want to play. (That wasn't aimed at you, just to be clear)

I ask because I still see a lot of people pre-ordering / buying games from EA and at the same time see a lot of people complaining about EA. So, why don't just stop buying their games altogether?

Because the people complaining are a minority, and EA publishes plenty of good games inspite of their missteps.

Sylveria:

Draech:

Dryk:

If nobody likes what you've made, you go out of business. Game development studios owe EVERYTHING to their fans.

So if they dont like your product they wont buy it.

Therefore they ow everything to the fans....

SO GRACIOUS OF THEM TO LIKE THE PRODUCT OUT OF THEIR BENEVOLENCE!

I mean its not like they are being self serving in that they only came because there was something they wanted.

Consumers buy stuff they want. If they don't want something, they don't buy it. If you make something they don't want and don't buy, you go out of business. A business can not survive without customers, customers can survive without a business.

If EA stopped making games, there'd be no negative impact on the existing EA consumer/fan-base than them having more money to spend elsewhere. However, if that consumer/fan base stopped buying EA poduct, EA would fail.

Yes, they owe everything to their consumer/fan-base because a company can not exist without people who buy their stuff. The motivation of the people who buy the product is irrelevant. A game company NEEDS people to buy their games. People, conversely, have no need to buy games. They WANT to buy games, but can survive without.

Few flaws in your logic here

A: Yes they are making a luxury product. That means the market can do without but it doesn't mean the market WILL go without it.

B: Fan =! Customer. Different things. What they need is customers. Not fans. And once you have done your purchase the relationship stops.

Fans are not the same as customers. Their money is no better than anyone else nor is their opinions. All you do as a fan is like something alot. it doesn't make you special. And the publisher dont ow them anything because they paid their dues the second the CUSTOMER gets the product. Fandom is complete irrelevant overblown fluff made important only to the fans themselves.

4RM3D:

My question is two-fold:
- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
- Do you still buy games from EA?

By "business" I assume you mean "industry", yes?

If so, then no. Of course not. That's ridiculous.

An argument could be made that they're harming gamers, but even that would be an exaggeration - one hell of an exaggeration, in fact.

What they are hurting is their own business. They've been steadily losing millions over the past few years; thanks in no small part to their shoddy business model and bad PR. (the latter of which is brought on as much by themselves as it is bad press or gamer backlash)

Do I still buy games from EA?

No, I do not. I hope that changes, but I'm dubious it will.

Bhaalspawn:

The reflexive hatred toward EA has far surpassed the point of being reasonable.

In some instances, yes. I agree. Some people take their complaints too far or complain about the most inconsequential things in regards to EA. But that's true of just about every publisher or developer.

You, I, and many others on this forum are guilty of this as well. I've seen you levy some pretty flimsy complaints against "certain developers", whereas I know I've been too harshly critical of Activision/Blizzard. Something I've been trying to cut back on.

While I'm all for calling out a company on their bullshit, all EA has done is franchises and sequels, and fail to keep dying companies alive. They haven't done anything truly evil. So the whining dipshits need to get over themselves.

It has always annoyed me when I hear gamers call publishers "evil". It's a gross misuse of the word. Especially when one considers there are companies out there that are guilty of human-rights violations.

However, EA is guilty of more than just franchising, making too many sequels, and "destroying" struggling developers. (that last bit usually gets blown out of proportions). For example, EA recently thinking it "sensible" to ban users, permanently, from their EA/Origin accounts for not reporting bugs found in any betas those users were participating in. I think it's not too much of a stretch to consider such a move as, in the very least, a wee-bit evil. Perhaps not "hand-wringing, cat-on-lap, world domination" evil, but certainly "misguided and vindictive" evil.

still not evil

You don't have to buy their games, or their DLC. So there's no point in crying about them.

You're right. I don't have to buy their games or their DLC. And, I don't plan to. Not any more.

The most recent (and by recent, I mean over a year ago) EA-branded games I purchased were Dead Space and Dead Space 2 during a Steam sale. From the looks of things, they will be the last.

I wish that wasn't the case. I used to be a fan of EA and the series under it's label. But, their gradual decline in quality and increasingly abhorrent business practices have pushed me to a point where I simply can not support them monetarily.

The same can be said of Ubisoft. In fact, given that I'm primarily a PC gamer, my disgust of Ubisoft exceeds that of my disgust of EA.

ThriKreen:

So a buddy bought a $2.50 game off Steam, but the next day he lost his card. No problem, phone up the bank, get the old one canceled and send a new one in the mail right?

Oh wait, Steam didn't actually charge his card til 5 days later from the original purchase date. The old card number that was in the transaction isn't valid anymore. Well, let's lock his account down for fraud.

He's still trying to argue with the bank and Valve/Steam over it. Obviously the bank knows it's not fraud, and tells him to just use the new card. But he can't even get Steam to accept the new updated card. Because the account was flagged as fraudulent. Not even to reverse the game transaction so he can go buy it again with the new card.

I guess he could call them up like you can for EA's CSR and ... oh wait, there's no number to call, you have to rely on forum and emails.

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

I had something similar happen to me some time ago.

However, it took me all of two days to clear it up. I started a support ticket with all the requisite info and, an e-mail or two later, my account was unlocked and back in order.

And even then, those two days went by almost unnoticed, given I could still play most of my games in offline mode.

A short time prior to that, a friend of mine had had account issues with EA. He spent almost five weeks trying to clear everything up with EA; sending e-mails, calling their support centers, etc. To say EA's support was less than helpful would be a gross understatement.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I guess it's true what they say:

User experience may vary.

:/

4RM3D:
There is a general consensus that EA is doing more bad than good to the gaming business.

Quite a few arguments have been made against EA (in no specific order):
- The forced use of Origin (a broken system)
- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)
- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)
- (EDIT) Rolling out yearly installments of the same game (e.g. EA Sports)

...And the list probably goes on.

My question is two-fold:
- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
- Do you still buy games from EA?

I ask because I still see a lot of people pre-ordering / buying games from EA and at the same time see a lot of people complaining about EA. So, why don't just stop buying their games altogether?

On a side note, I should mention that the shit storm that was the ending of Mass Effect 3, did show the incredible influence Bioware holds over people and in turn that gamers can rise and stand up.

Here's my response to the two questions:

1. Is EA harming the gaming business?

If you are talking about their own business then I would say yes. EA has made many good games but lately they seem to be on a downward spiral in quality of games - at least in my opinion. If you mean gaming in general? No. There are a lot of good non-EA game studios out there making awesome games.

2. Do you still buy games from EA?

I haven't bought a game from EA since Dragon Age 2 - at least not that I know of. I do want to buy Mass Effect 3 to finish off the series. The first two were really good and I'm hoping the third one will be okay because I will be going in with low expectations.

ThriKreen:

Lugbzurg:
Wait, what? Unlike that of Origin, Steam staff actually treats people like human beings, the system functions extremely well, there's excellent support for all kinds of games of any size or department, software other than games is also allowed...

So a buddy bought a $2.50 game off Steam, but the next day he lost his card. No problem, phone up the bank, get the old one canceled and send a new one in the mail right?

Oh wait, Steam didn't actually charge his card til 5 days later from the original purchase date. The old card number that was in the transaction isn't valid anymore. Well, let's lock his account down for fraud.

He's still trying to argue with the bank and Valve/Steam over it. Obviously the bank knows it's not fraud, and tells him to just use the new card. But he can't even get Steam to accept the new updated card. Because the account was flagged as fraudulent. Not even to reverse the game transaction so he can go buy it again with the new card.

I guess he could call them up like you can for EA's CSR and ... oh wait, there's no number to call, you have to rely on forum and emails.

So he's still locked out of his Steam account.

Over $2.50.

Sounds like your buddy is too lazy to use the support area and email. I've never had even the most ridiculous question go longer than 3 days without an answer. If he explains what has happened something can be done about it. If hes too lazy to do that, then so be it. Its Steam who locked the account not the bank, so there isn't much point in calling them.

Here's how I look at it. I'm not a blind fan of EA's. I know they have some business tactics that are...not exactly kosher. However, I have yet to find an example of them doing something that I can't also find other game companies have done.

Buying studios that then get shut down? Activision has done the same thing. RedOctane, Radical Entertainment, Bizarre Creations...that's just a few that Activision has shut down.

Rushing game schedules, causing the end game to suffer? Hmm...KOTOR II, anyone? And at least EA didn't tell Bioware they weren't allowed to fix any problems with the game, like LucasArts did to Obsidian.

Misaimed marketing? Oh, there is a lot of that to go around. Every game publisher has at least one ad campaign that backfired.

Banning people, locking them out of their Origin library? Same thing happens on Steam.

Refuse to accept blame, shifting it around? Forget game companies, that's pretty much every corporation ever.

EA is not perfect, but calling them the devil and saying they deserve to die for practices that they aren't the only ones guilty of is going a bit far.

One has to wonder how much love EA would win if they just made a DK3, seems a lot of people dislike them due to the IP sitting they do!

But a nice DK3 would be awesome... but not the first person shooter genre it'll be a part of :p

Ryan Minns:
One has to wonder how much love EA would win if they just made a DK3, seems a lot of people dislike them due to the IP sitting they do!

But a nice DK3 would be awesome... but not the first person shooter genre it'll be a part of :p

As much as I would love to see it happen the IP was sold to a Chinese MMO developer long ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp6ZXsmaq-E
So we wont be seeing anything with the name. Doesn't matter much since there will more than likely be a game scratching the same sort of feelings DK did. I know that War for the Overworld is a complete spiritual successor to DK and that is in production.

Draech:

Sylveria:

Draech:

So if they dont like your product they wont buy it.

Therefore they ow everything to the fans....

SO GRACIOUS OF THEM TO LIKE THE PRODUCT OUT OF THEIR BENEVOLENCE!

I mean its not like they are being self serving in that they only came because there was something they wanted.

Consumers buy stuff they want. If they don't want something, they don't buy it. If you make something they don't want and don't buy, you go out of business. A business can not survive without customers, customers can survive without a business.

If EA stopped making games, there'd be no negative impact on the existing EA consumer/fan-base than them having more money to spend elsewhere. However, if that consumer/fan base stopped buying EA poduct, EA would fail.

Yes, they owe everything to their consumer/fan-base because a company can not exist without people who buy their stuff. The motivation of the people who buy the product is irrelevant. A game company NEEDS people to buy their games. People, conversely, have no need to buy games. They WANT to buy games, but can survive without.

Few flaws in your logic here

A: Yes they are making a luxury product. That means the market can do without but it doesn't mean the market WILL go without it.

B: Fan =! Customer. Different things. What they need is customers. Not fans. And once you have done your purchase the relationship stops.

Fans are not the same as customers. Their money is no better than anyone else nor is their opinions. All you do as a fan is like something alot. it doesn't make you special. And the publisher dont ow them anything because they paid their dues the second the CUSTOMER gets the product. Fandom is complete irrelevant overblown fluff made important only to the fans themselves.

Isn't that logic a little basic though? Sure once money exchanges hands the at face value towards the company/game is equal. However I would argue that fans earn their importance, albeit not anywhere near the point where the company NEEDS them, though things like word of mouth. I mean by the logic you presented free to play games should really be shafting anyone who isn't paying for whatever services they provide for cost since those people are valued less or not equal to the ones who buy the extras. Look at Kickstarter, there are numerous games in development/completed there that wouldn't have gotten anywhere if it wasn't for fans spending time pushing the word of mouth.

I don't think EA represents the whole of the game industry and does not have the power to influence the entire industry. despite what the alarmists keep shouting there range of influence is great but not all encompassing. They are the Wal-mart of the industry. They wreck shit and are shady as hell but don't secretly control the entire world and influence all other stores. I don't think they are killing games because one one force can kill games.

People hate on EA like WW2 games hate on Nazis. Its actually made me more suspicious of anti-EA talk then of EA itself.

ultramarine486:

Isn't that logic a little basic though? Sure once money exchanges hands the at face value towards the company/game is equal. However I would argue that fans earn their importance, albeit not anywhere near the point where the company NEEDS them, though things like word of mouth. I mean by the logic you presented free to play games should really be shafting anyone who isn't paying for whatever services they provide for cost since those people are valued less or not equal to the ones who buy the extras. Look at Kickstarter, there are numerous games in development/completed there that wouldn't have gotten anywhere if it wasn't for fans spending time pushing the word of mouth.

Yes it is a little simplistic, but the point isn't that fans have absolutely no value. The point is that unlike what so many fans seem to think they are not the end goal.

Like you said yourself, they dont NEED them but they are a boon (and a curse). You can coast on old school cred all the way to the bank, or disgruntled fans can bury you forever.

My main objection is with fans inflated self importance. If I am going to lay down some anecdotal evidence as an example, it would be a guy downright telling me that Blizzard "owed him respect" because his dedication to the War3 modding community had drawn people to play the game. Bullshit. He didn't do it out of his benevolence of his heart. He did it purely for his own self serving desire to play and mod the game. That Blizzard benefitted from this doesn't mean they ow him anything. He liked the product. he bought the product. Deal over.

Now you bring in the F2P issue. The thing is the only reason that it works is because in a multiplayer game players = content. The second the free players arn't beneficial to the product (through conversion or by addition) they become useless. Leaving me back at my original claim. Fandom is not valuable nor is their aproval anymore important than anyone else.

"-Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?"

Yes. Some of EA's practices are harming he game industry. I do think that they are more likely to harm themselves than the industry as a whole.

"- Do you still buy games from EA?"

No. The last game I bought that was an EA title was Mass Effect 2.

I was put off by Origin initially when Mass Effect 3 came out but that later gave way to price.
The games they've put out seem to have had bits intentionally cut out to make way for DLC/Expansion packs (The Sims, ME3).

For the amount of content and quality(Dragon Age 2) of it the prices seem a bit too high and stay that way for a long time.

imahobbit4062:

We get it, they have shitty business practices. Deal with it.

Alternatively, don't deal with it and don't buy their games. A lot of people must be doing just that, considering they keep taking quarterly losses.

Draech:

Ryan Minns:
One has to wonder how much love EA would win if they just made a DK3, seems a lot of people dislike them due to the IP sitting they do!

But a nice DK3 would be awesome... but not the first person shooter genre it'll be a part of :p

As much as I would love to see it happen the IP was sold to a Chinese MMO developer long ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp6ZXsmaq-E
So we wont be seeing anything with the name. Doesn't matter much since there will more than likely be a game scratching the same sort of feelings DK did. I know that War for the Overworld is a complete spiritual successor to DK and that is in production.

Yeah I looked at that and may even pledge some money. I didn't mind it but I'm hoping it's not the same "spiritual successor" that Dungeons was. Kept hearing that game was "Just like Dungeon Keeper" and got something different but was ok in it's own right.

Draech:

ultramarine486:

Isn't that logic a little basic though? Sure once money exchanges hands the at face value towards the company/game is equal. However I would argue that fans earn their importance, albeit not anywhere near the point where the company NEEDS them, though things like word of mouth. I mean by the logic you presented free to play games should really be shafting anyone who isn't paying for whatever services they provide for cost since those people are valued less or not equal to the ones who buy the extras. Look at Kickstarter, there are numerous games in development/completed there that wouldn't have gotten anywhere if it wasn't for fans spending time pushing the word of mouth.

Yes it is a little simplistic, but the point isn't that fans have absolutely no value. The point is that unlike what so many fans seem to think they are not the end goal.

Like you said yourself, they dont NEED them but they are a boon (and a curse). You can coast on old school cred all the way to the bank, or disgruntled fans can bury you forever.

My main objection is with fans inflated self importance. If I am going to lay down some anecdotal evidence as an example, it would be a guy downright telling me that Blizzard "owed him respect" because his dedication to the War3 modding community had drawn people to play the game. Bullshit. He didn't do it out of his benevolence of his heart. He did it purely for his own self serving desire to play and mod the game. That Blizzard benefitted from this doesn't mean they ow him anything. He liked the product. he bought the product. Deal over.

Now you bring in the F2P issue. The thing is the only reason that it works is because in a multiplayer game players = content. The second the free players arn't beneficial to the product (through conversion or by addition) they become useless. Leaving me back at my original claim. Fandom is not valuable nor is their aproval anymore important than anyone else.

I think I can spot the divergence ahead in this discussion between us pretty much boiling down to how much value we perceive the fans to have. I personally believe back in that 'old school' day fans were less then important. However with such easy communication their value has in fact grown considerably. Granted it's not enough to save or sink a publisher but I think a well treated fanbase will push a game above mediocrity while a badly treated one will act as dead weight dragging the game down. And in this day and age no one wants to get saddled with the dreaded 7/10 score.

But yes there are always going to be those that feel like they've been slighted to by not having their whims catered to every step of the way, we are talking about 'FANatics' here.

Well EA can't be too bad if they invest so much money into projects that I care about, like Mass Effect and the Sims. I also think Origin is fine apart from the spyware issue, steam needs some real competition and EA is one of the few companies big enough to compete.

Draech:

4RM3D:
There is a general consensus that EA is doing more bad than good to the gaming business.

Quite a few arguments have been made against EA (in no specific order):
- The forced use of Origin (a broken system)
- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)
- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)

...And the list probably goes on.

My question is two-fold:
- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
- Do you still buy games from EA?

I ask because I still see a lot of people pre-ordering / buying games from EA and at the same time see a lot of people complaining about EA. So, why don't just stop buying their games altogether?

On a side note, I should mention that the shit storm that was the ending of Mass Effect 3, did show the incredible influence Bioware holds over people and in turn that gamers can rise and stand up.

- The forced use of Origin (a broken system)
Unlike the forced use of Steam?
Origin is not without its merits, and while it doesn't suppass the current lvl steam has gotten to by being the first to really strike it big it by far surpasses what steam used to be. If you want to hold this against EA then keep your complaining consistent.

All I have to say is thank you for saying that, it's rather annoying when people assume EA is the only company to create games that require you to use a certain software they have just so you can play said game you bought.

Draech:

- The gaming companies EA has bought and pretty much wrecked
We going to get the sob story of how EA killed Westwood again? Forgetting to mention that the original founders of Westwood were the ones that sold out and about half the employees walked out the door the sec they did? No we keeping the revisionist history then? Ok then. Welcome to business. Wrecks happen. Did EA wreck THQ while they were at it?

Again thank you, its like once EA enters the bid everyone forgets how buy outs and corporate take overs work. There are two sides that have to agree EA can't just say heres money we own you now. No, the companies bought out have to either be doing not as good as before that they need the money because they sense a sinking ship or they are just greedy. Anyway welcome to the business world internet have a seat the ride isn't over.

Draech:

- EA Bioware is under constant fire (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2)
By a relatively small demographic in an echo chamber yes (relative to the number of customers). Yeah thats the problem with the internet. You can easily find yourself in a bubble.

I played both of those games and their predecessors and I am not happy with how they turned out either but I am not touching this dead horse anymore...that is I think it use to be a horse..can't tell too well its nothing but a mass of dried blood rotting meat and clumps of hair I think.

Draech:

- EA looking for easy cash grabs (which has been brought up again since Dead Space 3 announcement)
I am sorry I am going to break this to you, but none of the game developers love you. They dont even know you. They are looking for the best way to get as much money from their work as possible. Just like you are trying to get as much product as possible from your money. Greedy greedy both of you. You dont like the deal, then walk away and take your money else were. This is business. Not a Democracy. Only voice that matters is the one you do with your wallet.

Exactly, a business' number one priority is to its bottom line. If they can afford to take care of the customer then kudos to them if they do. But this philosophy of how the business is to blame for what customers are wanting or willing to pay for is absolutely nuts. "HOW DARE THEY HOW DARE THEY...give me things i'm willing to pay for..." If you don't like it don't buy it. There are some people out there who love Madden 2012 and there are going to be people who love Madden 3038. Let those people enjoy their games they like and go about your business. Just because you don't like it and can't understand why anyone else would doesn't mean its wrong.
Why does this hatred only come out in games? Why not for cars or bikes? "OMG why is Huffy coming out with another two wheeled bicycle? That is so lame there isn't anything new in its UI its still your basic pedal operated chain driven drive axel...how quaint."

Draech:

- Whenever sometimes goes wrong at EA, instead of admitting they screwed up, they are blaming it on other things (like they did with Warfighter)
Yes we have never seen anything about EA admitting fault. I mean its not like a thread jumped out about how a beta tester got banned from Simcity for posting in a thread turned out to be nothing but jumping the gun, and as soon as it was cleared up then it is like it never happened. Like as if people were actively looking for fuck ups to rage about, but wont even admit fault when they jump the gun....

Okay I'm going to admit I don't keep up with the f'ups as much so I can't really comment too much on this part. But I imagine this argument can be placed in every single facet of modern society...people just don't like to admit they screwed up. Who would imagine people like to play the blame game and try to save some amount of dignity even if they wind up losing more face in the end.

Sorry if I reiterated most of what you had already said but I just felt I had to agree.

- Do you believe EA is harming the gaming business?
The gaming industry as a whole? No, there are plenty of other publishers and developers out there doing fantastically innovative stuff, not to mention the indie market that has grown through services like Kickstarter and Steam.

I think EA is harmful to whatever studios they buy and what game franchises they own, just through corporate meddling for profit they tend to have a knack for destroying any good IPs they inherit.

- Do you still buy games from EA?
Nope, simply because EA are not producing any games I would like. I kept up with the C&C franchise until Twilight came out. No base building - No thankyou!

I kept up with Medal of Honor until it went Modern and Middle Eastern and 6 hour campaignful. No thankyou!

I kept up with Bioware's KOTOR until it became a frustrating Pay2avoidmindnumbingrestrictions hotbar MMO. No Thankyou!

The last game I bought of EAs was probably C&C 3, which was passable, but nothing like the glory days of Red Alert 2.

EA isn't really ruining gaming. Their company on the other hand, yes. As long as EA isn't the sole developer left I'm pretty sure the industry will be fine:)

Also, Origin isn't that bad. It's just like Steam. Minus the insane amount of blind fanboys of course.

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