While browsing the internet I came across a link to an article on IGN called why do people 'Hate' EA? - (Linky linky) http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/06/14/why-do-people-hate-ea - and all I could do after reading the article is go, wha? I thought it was blatantly obvious why people hate EA. I love the opening paragraph - "Why do people hate EA? When I say 'people,' I mean 'some people,' some of the time -- a minority. And when I say 'hate' I mean mostly the writing of mean things on the internet." What a wonderful way to start the ass kissing right off the bat. Apparently IGN is still being bribed by EA for their game releases and IGN is afraid to lose that extra income. (Pure speculation on that comment.) Doing a quick search on Why do I hate EA on google returns almost 63 million hits regarding the phrase why do people hate EA? On the article alone there are 2540 comments, and some of them are downright vitriolic. There are several points I would like to address a couple of them based on their skirting of the true issue of why people I know hate EA (including myself).
First point - They are a corporation and are only out to make money. That's fine and dandy but when you are in the business of making products for consumption, not listening to your customer base always has severe repercussions that can in some cases destroy a company. Claiming that they are doing this only for the money goes without saying, but it is no longer an excuse to hide behind. When you spend more money on bashing the competition for their products rather than supporting your own, there is a problem. Leave the mudslinging for the Elections we have to deal with that crap enough. Focus on making a good product first and maybe some people would think better of you.
Second point - EA's egregious use of all the things disliked by gamers - This is kind of nebulous as these complaints don't effect everyone. There are several things here so I will try and touch a little on all of them. First, online passes. EA didn't create this but they have perfected it. Now there are two types of online passes to speak about here. The first is the original online pass, in that you had to activate the game with a keycode and then register the product with EA before you could play online. This was pretty terrible for computer gamers at the time because it meant the product was tied to you and you could not sell it on due to the license being tied to you. This is sometimes pointed to as to having killed the secondhand PC game market. The new online pass is even more heinous as it affects a group previously not restricted, console gamers. The requirement of having to purchase a new online pass after purchasing a game sold used is almost (if not totally) criminal in the minds of many a people. In any other industry this would spend time in court as it takes away the consumers right to do as they wish with the product they own, yet with gaming people just take it. If EA and all other publishers have their way there won't be a used game market at all. Next up DRM. Again EA did not create this, but they are some of the most vocal proponents of using DRM to control access to products they sell. There is a mild problem with DRM, and that is that when you treat your customer like a criminal, they tend to not support you with money anymore. This would be all fine and dandy if people decided not to use the product at all, but we know that won't stop people. A very common response you get to this act is, 'If you're going to treat me like a criminal, I'll just act like one.' I think everyone can agree now that piracy is a form of theft, or IP infringement or what not. Any way you slice it, it's illegal. But you will get a lot of comments from pirates who say they pirate games because of things like DRM and the Online Pass, and of course the last part of this point, price. Price wouldn't be a problem for a lot of people, but it has come up more and more often after articles such as this - http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/even_ea_thinks_60_video_games_are_too_ex... and follow up with this - http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120607/08202419240/ea-believes-that-m... and then say this when they have absolute price control - http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-06-06-david-demartini-origin-... Is this company truly schizophrenic that the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing? They opened Origin to all sorts of problems including the EULA that gave them full right to snoop through the files on your computer and report you for anything they felt was illegal as well as service not functioning properly and a laundry list of other problems. Then after decrying that games were too 'expensive' they list all their games on Origin at MSRP, which we have been told constantly is high because the retail chain needs to take a cut. So why is it $60 when all of the profits come back to EA?
Point Three - DLC. Don't get me wrong I enjoy DLC, but the way EA (and pretty much all companies) are going around it is terrible. First off, when a game is released, there shouldn't be Day 1 DLC available for it. This makes gamers feel like they paid full price for an incomplete product. This also brings up images of the CEO of EA (and all the others) saying, 'Hey thanks for buying our game! Sadly, :( $60 just isn't enough for me to buy a new yacht and pad my pockets deep enough, therefore, we pulled some content in the game back to sell to you on release day for 10,20, even 30 bucks! Aren't we just the nicest people?' Again I emphasize I don't think any company is doing DLC right. EA argued about day one DLC with the statement that a different team is working on DLC at the same time that the game is being finalized, and if the DLC is done when the game ships they make it available. And yet this DLC that was supposedly not needed in the game contains aspects that complete the story, look at the DLC for Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 among others. This makes EA and all other companies look extremely greedy and sleazy as it makes a lot of gamers think that they cut parts out of the game for the sole purpose of making additional money off of it, rather than enhancing the original game.
I had several other points that I wanted to bring up, but I'm certain they have been done to death by now, like EA spouse, the buying and closing of prominent studios like Bullfrog, Origin studios, and more. The title of my post is specifically that I see this as stupid that IGN would ask EA why people hate EA. This seems incredibly stupid that you would ask the offending party why people hate them. They will give you a response that doesn't actually tackle the issue. They use distraction and various things like surveys to skew any data to side with their opinion rather than just presenting the cold hard facts. The whole idea of asking the offending party about why they are hated seems totally laughable in my opinion. It reminds me of reading articles about reporting companies asking about the criticisms of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. The response they got was pretty much along the lines of this, 'That's a great question. Look at this! This is a monkey! Isn't the monkey nice? Next question.' Then the next question is essentially answered in the same way. There is no actual response to the questions, just skirting the issue entirely. I think I have rambled on with my own hate filled froth for long enough. An interesting and even more hate filled that my comment is the video done by a Jim Sterling called, surprisingly 'Why do people Hate EA?' with the link here - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5946-Why-Do-Peo... - I know, sorry I don't remember how to embed links in a word or several. Now everything I have posted in this comment is specifically my opinion and my opinion only, granted there are a lot of people who seem to think down the same lines. I know that people with disagree with my comments and that is perfectly fine. I would like to ask a question of everyone who reads this, and that is as follows - What do you think of EA games? Thank you for letting me rant for a few minutes.
Considering how we are in the process of bailing out our sorry ass government, I highly doubt we would bail them out. Also I don't think EA is considered 'Too big to fail." like the banks were. I agree with you about their attitude though. Their whole my way or the highway attitude just doesn't sit well with me at least. I haven't been looking at the things EA has been doing lately as I have had no reason to. The announcement that Dead Space 3 would have cover shooting mechanics and Co-Op, just kinda killed the whole idea of Survival Horror Shooter, and I watched Angry Joe play through the demo and I was terribly unimpressed. I just did a quick search about it, and found that now there are microtransactions in the game constantly because, to paraphrase a dev 'Games are demanding, whiny bitchy people who want everything now, now now!' I understand that the average gamer is impatient. When the society as a whole pushes towards instant gratification it's surprising that anyone in this society is patient at all. That being said, from what I have read, they are basically forcing microtransactions on players by not giving them a chance to patiently find the items that you can purchase. There isn't any information regarding whether the items are required to finish the game as of yet, but since it's EA and they like to force people to spend as much money on their games as they legally can, my guess is one of the microtransaction purchase will be required. Again, I know and understand that a businesses primary function is to make money and this doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the whole 'We are not required to listen to anything anyone says as we are all knowing and all seeing.' That is why EA is hated, and at this point I don't think it will ever change. The fact that somehow we have been shrunken down to basically a duopoly when it comes to big publishers is frankly a very bad thing. You've got Activision on one side releasing the same game every year because 'Gamers don't like new things' and on the other you've got EA with their 'We make the rules and if you don't like them we'll take away your ability to play our products you own. (Look into the banning of origin users who complained on the forums about issues.)' Talk about Scylla and Charybdis.
I think Mark is so right here. Why do we just accept that just because you're in a business that anything goes? That's not even the way a lot of corporations do business. Starbucks is one of the biggest and most profitable companies ever, and they got there mostly by setting themselves up as an alternative to raw profit-mongering. We could argue that it was mostly disingenuous, but the point remains that they at least took the effort to pretend to care about more than profits. EA, on the other hand, just seems to rub everyone the wrong way. Their whole "take it or leave it!" attitude is particularly galling. I only wish enough of us gamers had enough sense to LEAVE IT. The only thing companies like that understand is the bottom line.
Of course, I'm sure they'd blame their shrinking profits on everything BUT that, claiming it was pirates or people are just tired of the NFL license or whatever. Our sorry ass government would probably give them a bailout.
The department that started the first SSX game (my favorite, but I bet the other playstation 2 sequels were good).
I can be a bit "over the top" on my posts about EA.. i was hating EA when hating EA wasnt cool :) I have wondered many times if i was just being silly. I mean EA made the games I truely loved when i was growing up. which lead to them being succesfull and making money. AND I WILL BE THE FIRST to understand a companies job is to make money. But Im still a person who belives you can make tons of money by doing the customer right. I dont just say EA sucks with no reason like most. When EA was moving into "huge azz company" status it was aquireing other game devs.. While many Think peter molyneux is a bit of a blowhard and builds expectations to levels of the absurd.. I love the mans creative thinking.. If there was a single company that could do no worng in my eary game days it was Bullfrog.. they didnt copy... EVER.. they created.. and thier creations where some of the best gaming. They created the god game genre, they created the Sim (not sim city... but sim park) type games.. which is good and bad.. im sick of the millionth sim waffle house games.. but the early ones where incredibly cool in there inovation. Even when EA aquired them there was greatness.. DK, DK2, etc.. but soon.. the presure was on.. Its common knowledge Black & White was pushed out early.. while it may never have been waht was promised even if it had been giving time.. it was the early stages of.. money now, game later.. They bought up more great companies and the quility slowly died.. maybe, just maybe mnay of the companies would have died as quickly on thier own as they did under EA "loving" support.. nobody knows.. but Westwood, Bullfrog, and many others are all gone.. and most times within a game or two of EA aquiring them.. Then lets look at the whole Madden thing.. basicly suing and abusing money to "lock" out the competators.. that type of business just rubs me wrong, it effective said if i wanted to play a PRO football game, it had to be thiers.. One of the reason I will never like apple either.. if im goign to by an app.. it has to be from them and one they approve.. sorry.. that may work in russia (and the us if you have enough clout) but i wont support it.. Build a better product and let your competators beat you fair and square.. That is where these big comapnies go wrong..they have supirior products yet they cant help themsleves by leverageing it but "forcing" stuff on us.. Madden never even had a remotely close product till sega (dreamcast) game came out.. and even the 3 version of that started to pale as Madden got its grove back.. But it was the nail in the coffin for the company to me.. making it so i couldnt buy a NFL game with all players from anybody else.. it wasnt that I needed to.. Madden was the cream of the crop.. its the fact the decided it for me.. I will say that wrong till i die.. I know its only a game.. but say some rich docter made his money doing Plastic surgery.. but decieded he could make money doing brain surgery.. even thouhg he sucked at it.. so he bought allthe hosptials in that country and fired anybody who did brain surgery.. he did um all.. and I lived in that country.. I am screwed if i need brain surgery. I know thats a bad comparsion.. but .. again its the method some big comapnies use.. Part of the real power of the US economic system is suposed to be that as long as you dont steal an idea and you make a better product you can win.. not anymore.. its not as a simple as i say.. but its ugly..
And my last point on EA.. before SWonline came out.. teh top guys where badmoluthing it, thier own product.. even if they where right.. its about as stupid and sad as it gets.. some of the top guys whre saying SWonline wouldnt make its money back, wouldnt be abnything but and also ran.. Which it turns out it may just be.. but saying it before the productis out.. your product.. it just smacks of some pissed of exec not likeing what was hapopening and pissing all over it publicly. No way to run a company.. its the way to bully a playground.
I still buy EA games.. reluctantly sometime as I love games.. I made my small insignifcant stand with EA Origin. worthless gesture but.. ehhh its about as much as i can do.. I can styull buy games in boxes in stores from EA.
I agree with you completely Dr. Vergeer. I wish companies worked that way, as it seemed they used to. But somewhere along the way the idea and the process got muddied by the thought of more profit to line their pockets with and everything seemed to fall apart. I sometimes wonder if I'm human as I don't feel like I truly understand the concept of greed. I only need enough of anything to keep me alive and with a roof over my head. The concept of an artificially created worth of a piece of paper truly defies logic as the created wealth is only in the eyes of the creator. Even things like gold truly have no great worth to a person. You can't eat it, there isn't enough to build shelter out of it, but people go crazy for a metal that has a perceived value. It is useful, yes in the manufacturing of the products we use yes, but other than that what true intrinsic value does it really have? Sorry I'm rambling again....
When companies put money, something that should serve people, first things go wrong. Money should never be the end-goal but a means to meet the goals you set. Maintaining the influx of those means is a healthy thing to do for a company so it can keep doing what it does.
Put people first, we seem to loose sight of that all the time !
In my own profession there are some golden rules:
The patient is the centre of the universe around which all of our actions revolve.
Do not harm.
I reckon companies could easily replace patient with consumer or client and then you got a stellar focus!
Thank you for moving this to the forums where it really should be I appreciate it. I will try to keep from making the mistake again in the future.