I want to open with a quote from Matt Bilbey, the EVP of strategic growth at EA. “25 years at EA and I still struggle with the external perception that we’re just a bunch of bad guys”. The fact that this guy has worked for EA for over 25 years and he can’t fathom why people see EA as a “bunch of bad guys” is astounding! Either Matt is spouting a company talking point, he is completely disconnected from reality, or he truly believes that EA has done nothing to earn the scorn of gamers and fellow industry personalities.
The reasons why EA is seen as a terrible company are so plentiful that I could write several articles on that topic alone (there was even a top 10 list about it years ago). However, I know the readers of One Angry Gamer enjoy brevity as much as I do so I will just list a few without getting too detailed:
- Buying and ultimately closing smaller beloved companies.
- Screwing up game series that have very passionate fans.
- Horrendous DRM.
- And of course, those wonderfully addictive and totally not gambling “surprise mechanics“!
Now then, that quote I opened this article with is part of a fluff piece in GameIndustry.Biz.
The article focused just a tiny bit on that statement, despite it being in the article title, and instead focused more on the EA Originals concept. EA Originals being the program in which small indie developers work in concert with EA to bring the small indie company’s idea to market, like A Way Out. The program sees 100% of the game’s profit going back to the small indie developers with EA only taking a small cut to cover its own cost.
While EA is already patting itself on the back for a job well done, I am preparing to add EA Originals to the growing list of reasons why EA sucks balls. You see, this system will not generate EA any profit but it will cause small indie developers to kiss the EA ring. I mean, why self publish or cut a less profitable deal with someone else when you can crawl to EA? Make no mistake, that is going to be the final outcome of this little program. EA is going to position itself as the go to place for indie developers and we are going to see small studios delay releases, pass over deals, and dance to EA’s tune to get in on that sweet scam. Congratulations EA, you really are the baddie!