Comment of the Week: Apocalypse By Electronic Arts

There are a lot of people who don’t like Electronic Arts.

As evidenced by the company’s win of “Worst Company of 2012” from Consumerist, not too many people are fans of the game-selling conglomerate. EA is blamed for ruining the ending of Mass Effect 3 and has been blamed for the assumed failure of Dead Space 3, now that that game includes cooperative modes. And now that EA has announced it eventually plans to be a 100-percent digital company, gamers have even more reason to hate it.

Reader Peggle20 put the anti-EA sentiment this way, on the article “EA Boss: ‘We’re Going to Be a 100% Digital Company, Period’“:

Read: we’ll shed all the costs associated with warehousing, physical distribution, and manufacturing but keep the price of PC titles at $60-70 (plus day one paid DLC) because “inflation.”

I really wish people in general would show a little awareness and stop buying EA products. Completely self-defeating to keep funding the guys who want to steadily lower the standard of quality, jack prices up, and generally are doing their best to insidiously destroy the video gaming hobby through anti-consumer strategies and the systematic pillage of talented development studios and their original IPs.

Strong words, and as our own Jim Sterling is fond of noting, publishers do seem to have an adversarial relationship with consumers. Some of these things that Peggle20 sees as happening at EA’s hands do seem to be happening, at least a little bit at a time.

Then again, this is also a little bit of a “The sky is falling! EA is the Anti-Christ!” mentality. Certainly EA’s switch to digital distribution doesn’t inherently indicate evil, right?

What do you guys think? Are you pro-EA or Anti-Christ-EA?

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15 Comments on Comment of the Week: Apocalypse By Electronic Arts

Aedelric

On July 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Ea are their own worst enemy, in their attempt to wring every list penny out of their products, they alienate customers in the long term. Through full prices, cutting out retailers, release day DLC and various other practices it is no wonder their customers are irate.

The problem with EA is they have no long term vision, they care for one thing only, short term profit, which is the ruin of any company.

JB

On July 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

It all depends on what they do with the extra money from not having to make, ship and store physical copies. He’ll if they keep prices at $50-60 and actually finish a game I’d be happy with that. This release day/week/month and on disk DLC needs to go away though. I have nothing against an expansion pack that adds a decent amount of content (singleplayer or multiplayer) 2-3 months after a release but charging people $5-15 for a few maps and gun or a quest that take 2 hours to run through is just plain bull. At this point if they want to charge $70-$80 for a well developed game that they’re going to support for a year or 2 I wouldn’t mind at all. They just need to stop with these shady business practices. Unfortunately I have little faith in EA(or Activision) when it comes to doing the right thing for their customers. They know gamers are not going to stop playing these “triple A” titles, although recent titles seem to have lost an A somewhere, and they can basically do what they want.

JawaEsteban

On July 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful little developer named Westwood Studios. EA, acting to ensure that no quality independent developers remain financially solvent for more than two release cycles before being taken over, quickly snapped them up. Shortly thereafter, C&C 4 was released. Enough said.

EA’s business practices make the mafia look like choir boys.

David

On July 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

O’Sullivan’s Third Law: the actions of any organization can best be understood by assuming that organization to be controlled by a secret cabal of its worst adversaries.

Seems perfectly adequate to understand EA or indeed any other large corporation, in the gaming industry or otherwise.

Mainly this appears to be a product of being increasingly decoupled from your consumer base. In that sense all these companies are unfortunate victims of their own success. And of course, in so doing, they may have sown the seeds of their decline and replacement by other companies. I for one am old enough to remember when the HasBorg and Vivendi were the whipping-boys of the industry: who even talks about them now?

Peggle20

On July 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Eternal fame, it is mine.

Honestly, though, the kind of ass-backwards thinking EA is guilty of is common to all corporate cultures I’ve either participated in or had to deal with peripherally. They’re all spawning pools of petty fishwife politicking, myopia brought about by extreme short term thinking, and appearances being vastly more valued than realities. I’m not going to say they’re the anti-Christ, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but they’re equally as incompetent and daft as many larger corporations that exist in American society.

Peggle20

On July 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

P.S. meant to but forgot to add ‘rampant nepotism’ to my list of corporate ailments. Y u no have edit button on comments, GameFront?

Kevin

On July 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Will EA use the savings they achieve in going completely digital towards paying their workers more and/or lowering costs on their products?

Or will you continue to see 60 dollar “boxes” with the 80 dollar “collectors edition”, in which the extra 20 is actually for an unlock on the disk due to day one DLC?

Axetwin

On July 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm

You know what EA? You go right on ahead and do that. Then when noone buys your overpriced, dumbed down for the masses PoS game, you can continue to blame “piracy”.

Jonathan

On July 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

“EA IS THE DEVIL!!!”

-Helen “Mama” Boucher, Waterboy, 1998

Luther

On July 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

The only problem I see with EA going down that path of Digital Sales only is well you just have to look at blizzard to see where i am going with this.

If you check blizzards prices for starcraft 2 or any of there other games there 64 dollars plus tax, and the likely hood of you ever seeing there latest games going on sale is vary slim if at all. ( iv seen maybe 4 deals on starcraft 2 since its release and none broke under 45 dollars)

So is EA going to place themselves in a monopoly with there own games and force stupid high prices? Usually you have company’s doing special deals but they have been cut out of the picture, no more Fry’s Electronics and Best Buy fighting one another to make those video game sales which often leave extra cash in the consumers pocket.

J

On July 8, 2012 at 3:37 am

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how their sales go after they go all digital. Majority of gamers aren’t as dumb and impulsive as EA believe them to be.

gg ea, but I think I’ll go play other people’s games now.. you know.. something about you not being the only distributor (a concept and aspect in the gaming industry which is becoming obsolete itself).

SevenCell

On July 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Anti-Christ, most definitely.
If EA want to wring every penny out of people, I’m fine with it. It’s what business people do.
But when they start insulting their customers on a personal level with this talk of “inflation”, I think they cross the line. Inflation has nothing to do with it. The statement is inoperative.

Nevarion

On July 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Funny thing is that I learned some fifteen years ago that long-term health, value added economic activity is the number one goal and responsibility. Yup, guess academics lecturing about economics and (the shock!) responsibility and sustainability got it all wrong!

Damn, least EA is here to show me better! I feel humbled in the presence of the mighty overlord.

Freedonad

On February 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

@J “something about you not being the only distributor (a concept and aspect in the gaming industry which is becoming obsolete itself).”

So true. It should be painfully obvious by now there’s no stopping EA from it’s path of self-destruction. If complaining about them and TO them (Maxis AMA reddit comes to mind) could do any good it would’ve by now. I’m so tired of seeing people trying to pry the gun on their head from their hands, I say let them pull the trigger…

Freedonad

On February 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm

…and move on…