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Evil EA

Discussion in 'UO Spiels N Rants' started by Vlaude, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Vlaude

    Vlaude Lore Keeper
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    I know this is the UO section, and maybe this belongs in OT. But it is a rant, and it does involve UO's umbrella company. EA has been stepping on a lot of toes lately, and it only ever seems to be getting worse. I am a big Battlefield fan, and even that series is pissing me off these days. But I'm not the only one: http://kotaku.com/5888197/mad-as-hell-but-they-are-going-to-take-it. Ok, so that article is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it serves its purpose. EA hate may be (slightly) over-the-top at times, but you can't say it isn't well documented. Still don't believe me? Here's another article about it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkai...g-vendetta-against-bioware-and-mass-effect-3/

    That one's a little closer to home for us UO fans. One point that really stood out to me was his 4th, "Bioware has sold its soul to EA." Ha! That's the same feeling I have about DICE (who make Battlefield). It's funny that it's taken Mass Effect 3 to bring out a lot of these feelings, or at least bring them to the forefront for the media to take notice. Now, both articles I've posted are defensive of the games they cover, and the forbes article spins it into a homophobia, which I personally think is a little exaggerated. But my point is that, deserved or not, EA hate is widespread for a reason.

    I could keep going with the articles about gamers who hate EA or even just about Bioware (stock image character faces anyone?) but I'll stop there. But you have to ask yourself this one question: if the market operated differently, and companies like Bioware and DICE didn't have to rely on a big time publisher/distributor like EA, how might the quality of their games be different? The world will never know!
     
  2. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    I think that much of the hate towards EA is too far over the top. I do agree that they have their problems but the fact is that they're simply a monopoly and other companies are starting to rely on them. I sure as hell am not going to avoid any game that is connected to EA and am certainly not going to overreact like the high majority of people who give such poor reviews on games because of EA. If I see a game I like I will buy it and judge it separately. For example I will eventually go buy Mass Effect 3 and chances are I am going to enjoy it. I am not going to let the fact that its connected to EA taint my perspective.
     
    Vlaude likes this.
  3. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    The market is already changing and the days of the smaller/medium sized companies having to sell out or give up a lot to get their games widely distributed are nearly over.

    In the past, game companies got 30% (or less depending on their publishing deal) of the price of physical copies of games in Best Buy, Game Stop, Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc. Now with Steam, Apple's Mac App Store, Amazon's downloads, even EA's Origin (lol), these same game companies can get 70% of the price.

    That has been shaking up the market, because that's enough money to make it easier for them to stay independent and have quality games and they no longer have to give up a lot to make their game widely available.

    More and more quality games with a big-budget feel are being made available from smaller publishers. Plus you have iPhone/iPad developers starting to move their games to the Mac platform, and thanks to the success of the digital distributors like Steam, you are seeing more unique games.

    That's what is more cool to me. Games like Trine 2 or Machinarium might not have been made or received widespread distribution in the old days - EA or Activision wouldn't have messed with them, Best Buy or Game Stop sure as Hell wouldn't stock them. Now, within 5 minutes, I can have both of those games downloading and maybe even completely installed and ready to play. There are a slew of games like that on the various App Stores and Steam.
     
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  4. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    EA has destroyed far too many studios and franchises to get a free pass.

    Look at UO. EA moved development from Texas to California to Virgina, which harmed UO a lot and set development back quite a bit as they shed developers in the process. They stopped and started development on sequels and Ultima-related games that wasted who knows how many 10s of millions of dollars that could have been spent improving UO or keeping the Ultima brand going on the level of the Elder Scrolls. They killed off beloved studios like Origin, Bullfrog, Westwood, Maxis, and franchises like Wing Commander, Ultima, Crusader, and damn near SimCity, not to mention a bunch of games from Bullfrog and Westwood.

    It's funny how they are now spending a lot of money reviving Maxis as a studio and admitting that they screwed up the SimCity series and are trying to bring it back starting with last week's presentation of a new SimCity, and allowing Chris Roberts to get a new Wing Commander game going.

    EA is lucky they didn't have more knowledgeable stockholders. They spent who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars buying a lot of popular studios and franchises only to kill them off. You could argue that EA was simply buying out and shutting down competitors, but if you're spending that kind of money, you really should be treating them as investments, not annoyances that you can't wait to shut down.

    Ultima could have been where Elder Scrolls is now at. Ultima Online 2 had a lot of stuff that ended up in World of Warcraft (it's crazy how many ideas in UO2 are in WOW). Privateer Online could have beaten EVE Online and Star Wars Galaxies.

    It's always amused me to look at the people running some of the franchises/studios that compete heavily with, and consistently beat EA, they have a lot of people who were former EA employees, including a lot of people EA laid off every time they had a few bad quarters and panicked.
     
  5. Vlaude

    Vlaude Lore Keeper
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    You're right Woodsman. Things are changing. It's easy to lose sight of that for me with Battlefield going as it is. Hopefully the trend continues.
     
  6. Vlaude

    Vlaude Lore Keeper
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    What are the main complaints about UO right now? Account movement and buying items on the new store. Both of those moves came down from EA HQ. You can even see Jeff telling people it's hard to deal with some of it because they aren't in control. The UO store needed a new look, and it got one, a big orange O.
     
  7. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Well it should be noted that you won't get something on the level of the Battlefield games out of a small or mid-level developer these days. The original Battlefield 1942...maybe (and I love that game and still play it), but the newer versions are just too big.

    However, some companies are able to take existing games and put out mods for them that come close to that level. Valve grew out of using the Quake engine for what became Half-Life, and Valve managed to maintain their independence and eventually become their own distributor through Steam. And CCP (EVE Online) is independent.

    There's hope out there now that companies can control their distribution better.
     
  8. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Just think, with the iPhone/iPad stuff and Facebook stuff that Richard Garriott is doing, he'll no longer have somebody like EA or NCSoft telling him what to do...he can control every bit of it, from start to distribution.
     
  9. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Of course EA has many issues. I was mainly referring to how many people are giving some games such horrible reviews just because of their association with EA and without even looking at the actual game itself. I've read many horrible reviews about MA 3 and yet after playing it for while I don't know where those peoples' complaints are coming from; I do admit their "Origin" program being required is a tad ridiculous and I hope it isn't an attempt to compete with steam. EA has a bad history with other studios and I am certainly hoping that BioWare doesn't fall victim to history because I am a fan of their work.
     
  10. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It is an attempt to compete with Steam. They even pulled some EA stuff off of Steam and don't offer new stuff like Battlefield 3 through Steam or Amazon - only through Origin if you want digital.

    EA was actually smart in this regard - they have the clout to pull off their own digital service, and they are increasing their profits since they don't have to share with Steam or Amazon.
     
  11. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    More profit...per sale...but at the cost of how many lost customers? As much as I dislike steam (I refuse to buy games from any digital distribution service that requires online activation for even single player games) it is an INSANELY popular platform, to the point where if a game goes on sale and hits the front page you can almost guarantee at least a hundred thousand "impulse buys" for that day alone. EA as per usual can't see the forest for the trees, a lost sale is a lost sale, 100% of $0 is still less than 85% of $60
     
  12. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Battlefield 3, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, not to mention EA's sports games all have incredibly devoted playerbases who will follow the games to whichever platform they end up on. Toss in the Sims, the new Sim City, and EA's numerous other games that have their fans.

    Plus it's not like there is competition for a Star Wars MMORPG - Galaxies is done.
     
  13. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

  14. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    devoted playerbase is great, devoted playerbase won't hold you forever though if you're not constantly gaining new players. I mean, how many people while browsing steam and aren't already fans of aformentioned games are going to suddenly go..."hmm...I know! I'll spend the next 3 hours trying to figure out how to create an account and link my info on EA's new website that for some reason doesn't accept most people's credit cards so I can see that I can buy great games like Mass Effect 3 as a direct download requiring activation for $10 more than I could buy it boxed in store for!"

    Some franchises though, like you mentioned, they could LITERALLY pack a turd (an ACTUAL turd) in a box and sell it and people would still rave about how awesome it is...
     
  15. Vlaude

    Vlaude Lore Keeper
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    We've been discussing it in the Stratics Off-topic section. They gave a very tongue-in-cheek response to winning basically saying they aren't going to change a thing. I'm obviously no fan of EA's business practices, which isn't to say I don't love some of their products, but the poll results of them winning every round by 30% or more over much larger, more influential companies is strange. That isn't to say they aren't evil though, because they are.
     
  16. Cirno

    Cirno Purple Pony Princess
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    EA could stand to wake up a touch.
    Their clear win was probably more down to the platform of the survey than any villainy on their part; there are likely more people on the internet complaining about Mass Effect 3's endings, Origin, or a hundred other popular enbonneted bees people have with EA.

    That said, their response was schoolyard, and demonstrates more than a little disinterest in putting up a better customer front.
    Even a bare-faced lie of "We understand that our customers are displeased with the services we provide, and in response will be investigating what we can do better in the future" would be a demonstration of basic people skills.
    Acknowledge it with a gold spray-painted fake dog poo on JR's desk, to say "we recognise this, and are being good sports about it" would work.

    Saying that, it would be ever so much better if they actually learned a lesson from this.
    Times change, and EA kind of hasn't.
     
  17. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    They are trying to revive Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper through third party contracts.

    They are trying to directly revive Sim City and non-UO Ultima.

    Wing Commander is being revived, but how that is all being handled, I don't know - Chris Roberts definitely has backing and definitely has something going on. Whether it's with EA's money or somebody elses, I don' t know.

    I would like to think that games like BioShock and Oblivion/Skyrim woke them up. After all, BioShock came out of System Shock (and to a lesser extent Bio Forge). Elder Scrolls is what Ultima should have become. And I'd like to think that BioWare has turned things around for EA on the RPG side. EA is even going outside of BioWare to publish Kingdoms of Amalur, another huge RPG that is going to become an MMORPG (probably why EA won't make a serious top-to-bottom effort at reviving UO/Camelot/Warhammer).

    It's so weird when you stop and think about how much money they spent acquiring studios and incredibly successful game franchises that they then basically shut down. There's not that many industries where you can spend tons of money on buying other companies and then retiring their products/franchises without the stockholders/board stepping in and smacking the executives around and demanding that you work on recovering the money spent.

    BioWare is an exception. EA spent over $600 million acquiring it, plus another few hundred million on Star Wars. If this was 10-15 years ago, they would have already shuttered much of BioWare and trimmed its offerings down to one or two games. There would not have been a Mass Effect 3, there would not be a Dragon Age in development. BioWare Austin and BioWare Mythic would probably be the only studios open at this point.
     
  18. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Ouch.

    Page Not Found | iPodNN

    So you could buy a game which doesn't require any server support to run, and EA can still deactivate it. Damn.

    Update: EA made a mistake, the message you get saying the game will become unplayable on May 31, was "sent in error" by EA, and the game will not be terminated on the players iOS devices.

    That's a very weird message to be "sent in error".

    You can see the screenshot that made everybody think it was being terminated.

    Rock Band and Eliminate Shutting Down This Month at Slide To Play

    "On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playble on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!"

    How can such a message be "sent in error"?
     
  19. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    "sent in error" is basicly industry lingo for "oh f*** we didn't realize it would generate so much bad press"
     
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    EA issued a statement: EA not killing Rock Band for iOS after all | Internet & Media - CNET News

    Maybe it was an error. Maybe there was a generic message that was being added for future use, and somebody accidentally leaned on the keyboard and "Dear Rockers" and "ROCK BAND" and "Thanks for rocking out with !" were accidentally added into the message.

    Here, let me test out this theory. I'm going to drag my hand across my keyboard and see what happens:

    dearrockereventhoughyourgamedoesntrequireonlineserversoraconnectionwearestillgoingtototallydeleteitfromyourdevicebecausewecanandbecauseweareea.

    :gee:
     
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