EA: "I Struggle with the Perception that We're just a Bunch of Bad Guys"

GamesIndustry - "Behind the big blockbusters, EA is offering very friendly deals for indie developers -- EVP Matt Bilbey tells us why."

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Nitrowolf21793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

The the small employees aren’t the bad guys, But you’re working for a company that has time and time again made several greedy moves That the vast majority don’t like

The head honchos dictate things. They set the tone but you guys follow it still and I don’t blame you because it can be tough to find a job in the game industry.

I’m sure there’s internal conflicts happening all the time there but at the end of the day it’s the final decisions that lead the company Identity

Bleucrunch1793d ago

That is a perfectly sound argument. The senior management are the ones making the decisions, the smaller employees know exactly why the company gets so much hate from the gaming community, they are not the stupid ones.

indysurfn1793d ago

EA is feeling what I have been preaching for years. Eventually they will have the Circuit city effect where there is a tipping point of bad will towards them from consumers.

Retroman1792d ago (Edited 1792d ago )

It's Not the senior management making decisions but the Investor's telling them what to do
Trickle down to ghost games.

rainslacker1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

EA actually is really good with their indie publications. I've worked with them, and found then to be knowledgable and really capable, and they dont "intefere", although they often have really good ideas on how to make games better...which doesn't mean add MT.

Most of the hate for EA is centered around their big games, because obviously that is what most people care about.

But, the trickle down effect means it's all one corporation. Not much can be done about it unless you can get the execs.to stop doing things that people dont like.

Dabigsiebowski1793d ago

@rainslacker The plan for Games as a service and the amount of Microtransactions in nearly all lineup of their games if pretty bad. EA was successful in a big way even before all that nonsense and I used to not actually mind buying a game under them. Now I won't touch them or anything that has their name on it with a 10 foot ethernet cord.

Chexs19901793d ago

The problem is primary stakeholders and top-shelf management IMO. Management is trying to too off their fiscal turnover come a new year.
This basically led to all the dumbass decisions we've seen for the last 3-4 years especially.

The regular employee just follows directions, but the top is the one giving the direct orders to "innovate" the monetization scene and push it in there, harder and harder.

I do think it's a pity though, since I expect the top management isn't looking at ethnographic consumer behavior, only the raw numbers from their analysis.

DarXyde1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

"The head honchos dictate things. They set the tone but you guys follow it still and I don’t blame you because it can be tough to find a job in the game industry."

Keep in mind that EA is massive, especially in this industry. It goes without saying that the executives are the ones at the reins, but I think you may be underestimating how much control they have. Specifically, you seem to be understanding, but also kind of judgmental by saying "The the small employees aren’t the bad guys, But you’re working for a company that has time and time again made several greedy moves That the vast majority don’t like".

I don't work in this industry, but if you've spent your entire career as a game developer at EA with no other experience, it's rock- meet- hard place. If I'm being candid, an employee doing anything to piss off EA could very well be a career death knell. They're programmers, sure, but at the end of the day, they're still in the entertainment industry, and that's pretty tough to recover in when you've aggrieved the powerful.

WelkinCole1792d ago

How free market is suppose to work is that gamers vote with their wallets. Unfortunately for many of us many more still buy EA games.

EA need to get their profits up yoy for their shareholders and for their top fat cats to get their million dollar bonus

The money has to come from somewhere so thats us while they try to spend the least they need to. I mean look at Anthem for example.

It is what it is.

Imortus_san1792d ago

The majoraty of people love EA, if they don't, then how do their games sell so freaking much.

DarXyde1792d ago (Edited 1792d ago )

I wouldn't go that far.

I think most people are kind of "hardwired" to buy the annual sports franchises and recognize EA as "that logo that comes up every time I play my sports games"; I don't think it's love, so much as it is tradition. Like, I think if there's a string of truly abysmal sports titles year after year, people will stop buying them without really blaming or confiding in EA. If you can believe it, I know people who have had to Google "who makes Metal Gear Solid"- this conversation came up about a month ago, actually. And companies know this, which is why they often advertise new projects in terms of games instead of companies (e.g., "From the creators of [insert franchise with a positive reputation]"]Even if another company picked up the Madden license, if a high tier studio like, say, Naughty Dog made a Madden game, those same people who moved away from the series would probably not come back without some kind of assurance that a quality studio is handling it. I don't think the average person attributes much to EA nearly as much as the game itself, which actually protects existing franchises with a good reputation.

The people on this site are actually more informed than the general population who kinda just see a trailer for a game and get hyped.

But yeah, I don't think saying people love EA is quite right. Anthony Mackie made a point about movies that I think is also true in games where he said in the 80s, people went to see "the new Sylvester Stallone movie ", but now, it's about going to see "the new Captain America movie". It shows you that people attribute excitement for the product rather than who brings it to life; likewise, the average person cares about "the new Madden", not "the latest game by EA". So yeah, I think people will continue to buy EA: because the company practices aren't relevant to the average person. I think it's a shame because the "surprise mechanics" comment will go largely ignored, I'm sure.

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xRacer74x1793d ago

EA keep making money ignore the haters. Those people complain to complain its what the USA does best now. Whine and complain about everything small and big. Looking forward to Madden in a few weeks. Than you can hear people whine and complain it has not changed enough or that you own console rights to football. Its always something these days with the whiners and complainers.

ApocalypseShadow1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

You have no idea what you're talking about. And, you're part of the problem of why they do the things they do.

Anyone familiar with EA and their practices over the years, the closing or shady management of good developers after buying them, the locking up of more than just the football license to kill competition, the money hungry schemes to please their investors, their tag along jumping in with Microsoft in 2013 of trying to kill used games and gamer ownership, the lazy yearly development using the same game engines they acquired after buying their competitors, their "SURPRISE MECHANICS"...

You may love them. I'll continue to boycott them. Any money given to them only leads them to use it to monopolize more licenses so that no one else can make a licensed game that could be better. Or make them step up to produce better products.

Thank you for your poor consumer spending and blind loyalty.

gangsta_red1793d ago

So xRacer just can't enjoy the games from EA without having to get into some sort of backroom politics about it?

Everything you described has happened with pretty much every huge developer and publisher in this industry, the fact that EA seems to get singled out for this is not only puzzling but hilarious. Money hungry schemes? Shady management? Pleasing investors? Are you just running the generic big business gamut of what you believe is happening, because that's exactly what it sounds like.

You may have a valid complaint about EA closing a lot of studios they bought but then again, who in this industry hasn't done this?

Maybe you're the problem, unable to put aside some bias or high horse attitude towards a company but then excuse other companies when they have been doing the same thing for a while now. This is evident when as per usual with you, you want to drag in MS with your agenda, but lets not even talk about Sony's own exploration or "tag along" into the so called "killing used games" space.


"...only leads them to use it to monopolize more licenses so that no one else can make a licensed game that could be better"

Who else is handing out their licenses for others to use? Seriously, this makes no sense at all. Isn't this why companies go after licenses, for them to be the only ones to use.

"Or make them step up to produce better products."

EA doesn't make quality products? EA games may not be for everyone but saying they're not stepping up with better produced products is definitely not true.

"..using the same game engines they acquired after buying their competitors,"

Yes, because no one else does this at all. Are they suppose to completely trash an engine after purchasing it? How much sense does that make?

"Thank you for your poor consumer spending and blind loyalty."

Says this guy who is just as blind from others devs/publishers doing the same thing in this industry.

Shikoku1793d ago

Yes he can't @gangsta_red shill if he is on a forum running his mouth about it. If you don't want to be involved then STFU and stay home pretty simple.

FITSniper1793d ago

EA has certainly engaged in behavior designed to get the most money out of people, but as far as closing developer studios, blame the studios for getting greedy themselves. They weren't forced to sell out to EA. They did it for money.

Christopher1793d ago

***the fact that EA seems to get singled out for this is not only puzzling but hilarious.***

Not really. They're the most notable and egregious of the offenders outside of mobile games and they make horrible comments to try and cover it up that can be easily ridiculed by the gaming community. Their SWBF2 response was seriously bad. Their recent comments about "surprise mechanics" and how lootboxes are "actually ethical" were even worse.

Sure, they're not the "only ones" but they are a major problem and have had clapback from Disney alone because of it, let alone the gaming community. Add in their handling of BFV controversy, Anthem being the game it was thought to be but wasn't, and the like, it only makes them a bigger target.

xRacer74x1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

Im the problem. I support a company who releases games I enjoy. if you do not like them Do not buy their games. Easy as that.

gangsta_red1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

"Add in their handling of BFV controversy, Anthem being the game it was thought to be but wasn't, and the like, it only makes them a bigger target."

Should we also not recognize some of the great games they also released or were involved with from the past or upcoming games, Apex Legends, Sea of Solitude, past Battlefields, BattleField Bad Company, A Way Out, etc.
Being the supposed biggest target doesn't necessarily make them the right target to turn all this cynicism and hatred on. Especially when there's an admittance of every company doing the same thing as EA does.

They have had their share of problems like any other company who has been in this industry for this long. But a lot of these *issues* seem like they're being blown way out of proportion by folks on the internet that continuously have nothing good to say or hold extreme grudges against a company no matter what they do or how many quality games they still release to all systems.

Besides, ridiculing EA is one thing, adding a hefty amount of exaggeration (shady, money hungry, etc) makes it sound like EA is the Extensive Enterprises ran by Tomax and Xamot of the video game industry.

rainslacker1793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

EA likes to try and defend itself against practices the consumer doesn't like. Other companies dont. That's why EA gets more attention. People complain about other companies, but those other companies dont keep poking the bear, hoping the bear will share their honey.

Basically, EA gives openings to be attacked, and historically, they say they'll change, do better, and start listening, only to do worse on their next attempt.

EA doesn't need to defend itself against haters, but if their practices are causing sales to not meet expectations, then they have to explain themselves to investors. That's what's been happening the past couple years with a couple games that came up short. Some of the openings they provide aren't because they want to discuss it, but out of necessity.

Other companies just dont have the same negative perception. Whether they deserve the same hate or not is irrelevant to how people view them, but in general, other publishers aren't quite as ecstatic to find ways to fleece the customer, and certainly they dont brag about how it's good or necessary.

RememberThe3571793d ago

EA sucks and most of their games suck. I'm a Battlefield addict and BFV is a shit show. Sparse content, the new updates have actually made the game run worse (constant frame drops, invisible enemies, missing animations), terrible stat tracking, lack of identity. And before you all point to DICE, EA gave them roughly 8 months to make this game. 8 fkn months...

Zenbaby3691793d ago

I for one just hope that when my kids get a little older. That I don't have them come to me and ask me to get them something that can ONLY be gotten from a loot box. Then my options are A. Make the kid sad and try to explain to them why. Or B. Give in and be forced to literally gamble for the kids happiness.

On another note. Can you guys imagine if back in the day you had to pay the full price of a game for each world/level in mario games? lol

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1793d ago
-Foxtrot1793d ago

You...yes YOU are the reason the rest of us level headed people keep getting screwed over by EA

The type to lube themselves up before big Daddy EA has even parked his car on the drive way.

harmny1793d ago Show
Christopher1793d ago

Eh. I wouldn't blame most gamers who are informed for the issues. It tends to go down to those who are less informed and play games because of streamers or the like. The goal to be better sooner than anyone else, not just because they like the game.

xRacer74x1793d ago

Yet, I find you the to be the issue. complaining about microtransactions you do not need to buy is just plain silly and a waste of your and my time.