EA Borgifying All Brands Into ‘Online Universes’

EA gets called a lot of things. Most recently, Consumerist labeled them the worst company in America. That was… a little harsh, I admit; as Jim Sterling pointed out, their brand of evil is rather banal compared to the super villain level stuff the truly monstrous companies get up to. But their business model, which seems to involve purchasing, then slowly absorbing smaller companies, until all of their products work on a clockwork schedule like Madden, is troublesome. “But!”, you say, “they have many subsidiaries, all of whom seem to run things as they mostly see fit!” That’s technically true, straw man I just made up. But also technically true is the charted decline in user satisfaction with some of their recent games being particularly excoriated.

Mass Effect 3′s Galactic Readiness and Multiplayer features are particular evidence that EA seems to put a lot of pressure on their subsidiaries to make their games as broadly appealing as possible regardless of whether it suits the game (and sometimes, it does!). And statements by EA’s Keith Ramsdale at the company’s UK showcase made this week indicate that this will not be abating in the future. EA, Ramsdale says, intends to turn all of their ‘brands’ into what he called ‘online universes’, by which he means playing ‘the brand’ on more than one device.

Describing the concept, Ramsdale said “Imagine a player gets up in the morning,” he said. OK, I’m imagining. So what happens? “[He] plays an online match on his 360 before going to work. On the bus, on his way to work, he practices his free kicks on his tablet. At lunch he looks at the transfer window on his PC. On the way home he chooses his kit on his smartphone.” In essence, further development of Mass Effect 3′s Galactic Readiness system, which made use of an iPad App and an iPhone game in addition the multiplayer included in the main game brand.

The chief benefit, Ramsdale said, is that the player gets to experience the game brand, “how he wants, when he wants and on the device he wants”. “[W]hen he gets home to play again on his 360 that evening, all those achievements and upgrades will be alive in his game.” So what happens if he only wants to experience it on console or PC without having to login to a stupid iPhone app in order to earn a crucial victory condition? Or if ‘he’ is named Sally or Jennifer? “We’re very focused on transforming all of our brands into these online universes,” he said. “That gives the consumer full control of how and when they play in a rich world of content.” Oh.

So, be warned. In the future, all EA games brands will have a ton of what you loved about Mass Effect 3.

Via Eurogamer

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9 Comments on EA Borgifying All Brands Into ‘Online Universes’

lavosslayer

On April 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

EA might not be as bad as BoA when it comes to directly having a negative effect on peoples lives. But this article clearly shows that in the gaming world, they are perfectly deserving of the title “Worst company in America”! When the entertainment ceases to be on our terms unless we bow to the elitist business model of “a little bit on 3 or 4 platforms to get the whole”, you have to acknowledge that there is a major issue with their business practices and tendency of exploiting the consumer.

Wesker1984

On April 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Really?

>>Describing the concept, Ramsdale said “Imagine a player gets up in the morning,” he said. OK, I’m imagining. So what happens? “[He] plays an online match on his 360 before going to work. On the bus, on his way to work, he practices his free kicks on his tablet. At lunch he looks at the transfer window on his PC. On the way home he chooses his kit on his smartphone.<<

Why i will do all those stupid things? The only place i want to play is on my console, i hate tablet and i hate smatphone, to me they all waste of money. Every games company seems to think we all live in a virtual world when some peoples like me dont want and have the money buy buy all those craps.

Seirun

On April 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

So from now on we have to have all platforms, buy the ‘whole’ game just as many times and synch them all together to get through a simple singleplayer? All the wile our pockets go dry like the desert.
Not the kind of experience I’m looking for.

Kiljoy616

On April 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

>>Why i will do all those stupid things? The only place i want to play is on my console, i hate tablet and i hate smatphone, to me they all waste of money. Every games company seems to think we all live in a virtual world when some peoples like me dont want and have the money buy buy all those craps.<<

So well put. You would think a company that is about games would understand what gamers are and that we do other things than play games. Are these people even gamers, no they are accountants with pathetic believes of grader. Keep it up EA those casual gamers don't buy as many games as you think and run out of steam about playing games after a time. Your pushing away those who enjoy playing real games not console watered down games.

Ross Lincoln

On April 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

Kiljoy616, they’re not all about games. They’re all about ‘brands’. hat’s the problem.

Ross Lincoln

On April 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

Kiljoy616, they’re not all about games, they’re all about ‘brands’. That’s the problem.

lavosslayer

On April 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

@ Ross Lincoln

Nail=firmly hit on the head!!!

truthmonger

On April 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Everyone I know has been expecting EA to do this with all their franchises – and what’s worse, this is exactly what every publisher is pushing for. Always connected socially networked cash shop demographics-based advertisement whoring: this is the future of gaming, esp. on consoles. The Next Big Thing will come not from a well known studio that’s sold its soul to the empty suits, but from three guys in their parents basement. And it probably won’t have an iota of DRM or require a net connection. You wait.

GBGamer

On April 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Ok, I get it. This actually might be a good idea. But, you know what, EA, f*** you. iOS is not the main smartphone OS anymore. Give us an Android app. And if you don’t, then at least don’t make an iOS only app that is QUITE USEFUL!