EA wants to be less hated. What do?

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EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Felstaff » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:36 pm UTC

So EA has, in news that will come as a surprise to exactly nobody, been voted Worst Company In America for the second year running.

Now, Electronic Arts-bashing has become an electronic art on most of the internet. Indeed, I can think of three things off the top of my head that EA are guilty of, all filed under the ignoble umbrella of corporate bloodsucking. Playing Real Racing 3, for instance, was a bit like having a bouncer standing in front of your favourite arcade machine who, every few minutes, repeatedly throws you off the machine until you pay him money to let you play again.

First world problems and all that, but EA are a luxury company, and deals only in the luxury of videogaming, which is an entertainment-only industry. As a result of these constant microtransaction nagging, I have endeavoured to not having paid EA a penny for a good four years now, even though the pay2win titles they have licensed have provided me with many hours of entertainment.

Now, they've come back with "please don't hate us! We don't want to be hated! What can we do to stop you flinging your collective rage-poo at us, like the filthy monkeys you are?[1]"

This is a rather popular forum for the gaming and tech public at large, so there's a good chance criticism and suggestions might filter back to influential people. So, what can EA do?


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1. Actual quote.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

It's basically too late to save the various companies they've purchased. Maybe Bioware can still be salvaged, but I kinda doubt it.

Still - moving forward, there's nothing inherently bad about their business practice - ie purchasing a gaming company because their IP has been making money and you want a slice of that pie.

They just fuck it up by changing the culture of the place they purchased and ultimately ruining the various IPs by franchising them out where they don't belong, rushing sequels and hammering in elements that make no damned sense (Multiplayer? In my Sci-Fi RPG?).

So... stop doing that. Stop fucking with the place you purchased. Be a gardener - buy the place, give it all the room it needs to grow, and let it do it's own thing, just feed and water it every now and again and it'll eventually give you tomatoes which is goddamn remarkable seeing as you only planted carrots.

Stop being the shitty gardener - the one that sets fire to the plants because they didn't produce in five minutes.

I understand, the only reason they could buy a lot of the things they bought was because the things weren't doing 100% at the time, possibly because they need some good impartial oversight. But there's a huge difference between oversight (Goddamn it Carl, NoPants Friday is not a thing!) and mandating (We need your next project to make 14 million in two weeks, and we frankly don't give a shit what you're doing to do it).

SimCity, perfect example. The Always Online thing. Assuming it came from EA.. why the hell would you push that sort of shit on a Single Player Game? Yes, you're trying out a multiplayer thing, I respect that. But it's not proven to be a thing yet. Don't push an always-on, especially when you know your servers can't support launch, especially when it doesn't actually do what you say it does. And assuming it was actually Maxis's idea - someone at EA should have stepped up and said "Really, guys? Always on for what's historically been a Single Player experience? Let's... let's try that with the next one, and keep this one only online for the multiplayer, 'kay?"

Because that's a terrible, terrible fucking idea for what's historically been a single player experience.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:18 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:And assuming it was actually Maxis's idea - someone at EA should have stepped up and said "Really, guys? Always on for what's historically been a Single Player experience? Let's... let's try that with the next one, and keep this one only online for the multiplayer, 'kay?"
Wouldn't this be a bit of having your cake and eating it too, given you wanted them to have a hands-off approach to their studios?

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby eculc » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:43 pm UTC

With respect to the simcity debate, I think in that case it comes down to the game not meeting peoples' expectations. If they had called the game "SimCity Online" nobody (well, significantly fewer) people would have complained about the always-online part. it's clearly not meant to be a single-player only game, it says "online" right in the title and while single-player only will work it's not ideal.

To offer my view on the survey, I think it's inherently biased - I was actually a bit surprised to find out that EA had "beaten" Bank of America, but then I remembered that the sample was taken from the same internet-dwellers that were still a little pissed about the simcity screwup.

Anyways, with regards to the actual question at hand - I think they can still be redeemed. There's nothing inherently bad about them. Sure, they've just screwed things up several times, but DICE and Bioware still seem to be doing alright. Basically, I'm agreeing with ST here; Don't fuck up the companies you purchase - your job as a publisher (so far as I understand it) is to give the game developers money and means of production and distribution in exchange for some of the money made for the game. If you mess too much with how these good developers operate, they're going to change, and past experiences will show that those changes are usually not for the better.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby jestingrabbit » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

This is an ad from EA's distant past (its not as old as me, but its getting there).

Spoiler:
Cry.jpg


They should read that and try to aspire to that attitude again, instead of being pretty much the opposite of it.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:13 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:And assuming it was actually Maxis's idea - someone at EA should have stepped up and said "Really, guys? Always on for what's historically been a Single Player experience? Let's... let's try that with the next one, and keep this one only online for the multiplayer, 'kay?"
Wouldn't this be a bit of having your cake and eating it too, given you wanted them to have a hands-off approach to their studios?

Oversight vs. Mandates.

Oversight is when you tell John to get off his ass and do something, when you call up the studio to see where they are since it's been a couple of months since they demo'd anything, when you say that the project that's been in the works for the last five years needs to shit or get off the pot.

Mandating is when you tell John that he's got to include multiplayer in all games, when all games need IAPs, when all games need to have a 18 month (or less) production cycle - no excuses, and that they need to produce another five ModernDayMilkman games because the first one sold an unpredicted number of copies, due to it's attention to detail of the milk delivery service while remaining fun - hence ModernDayMilkman Racing, ModernDayMilkman Deathmatch, and ModernDayMilkman 2: the 2014 Edition (exactly the same as 1, only with a couple of very minor UI changes and some new maps that are essentially redresses of the old maps with a few new obstacles). If you're wanting a real example of ModernDayMilkman, think Call of Duty. Think Assassin's Creed. Games that probably would be better served with fewer sequels spaced farther apart with more time to work on each one.

It's the difference between keeping the hellions under control and on task, but letting them be their delightful selves and telling the hellions exactly what to do, how to do it, and that the next box art needs to be Red because market research shows that Red is more attractive (despite the game being titled Blue Monday).

I mean, I get the annual franchise Sports Game. I do - it's an easy cash cow. Not only do player stats change every year, not only are there always rookies and retirements and so on, not only do teams do better or worse every year, not only do they actually do include UI improvements that gradually change how the game is played which actually do make the annual versions slightly different... making them is basically the same as printing money. They'd be fools to not have EA Sports NBA 2015 or whatever next year's version is. But they should be using that revenue to front other games. Much as record labels supposedly (and sometimes actually do) use their big star's revenue streams to support the little artist who only has a quarter of a million fans but sells reliably to that quarter million, EA should be using their EA Sports Revenue to support Bioware or Maxis or whatever's left of Origin. Or Westwood. Or Bullfrog. I mean, I know I'd buy Dungeon Keeper 3 at this point, even if it was just a reskinned 2. Which I have a feeling they do, to a certain extent, they just seem to push their developers to produce too quickly.

At least, that's the impression this complete outsider has, after seeing the terrible games that get released and hearing various EA horror stories that are not too dissimilar from programming horror stories everywhere - long hours, little pay. I still think that the same number of workhours, stretched out over a longer time would be better - give the programmers more time to think about what they're doing and come up with creative solutions rather than "We'll patch it in post".
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Adam H » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:32 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Xeio wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:And assuming it was actually Maxis's idea - someone at EA should have stepped up and said "Really, guys? Always on for what's historically been a Single Player experience? Let's... let's try that with the next one, and keep this one only online for the multiplayer, 'kay?"
Wouldn't this be a bit of having your cake and eating it too, given you wanted them to have a hands-off approach to their studios?

Oversight vs. Mandates.
Another way to look at it (and maybe you'd disagree with this) is vetoing ideas is good, pushing ideas is bad. It's like the relationship between a good editor and a writer. The editor really should not add stuff - that's the writer's job. But the editor can absolutely say "No I don't like this part. Try something else."
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Derek » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:13 pm UTC

For what it's worth, Activision is far worse than EA.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Thesh » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

The problems with EA are what's already been stated; they are buying good companies and turning them into shit. I was annoyed by the dumbing down of ME when ME2 was released (but overall was happy because the combat in ME1 kind of sucked), and I was completely pissed off at ME3, which makes me annoyed at EA. If they want to stop being hated, they need to stop being dicks. That's not going to happen, because their model is more profitable.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Koa » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:38 pm UTC

I think it's simply that they listen to their shareholders more than their end user. It makes sense from their perspective, as a publicly traded company, to let the money speak for their policies. When it comes to issues that will conflict between shareholders and gamers interests (or even the interests of their subsidiaries), they always side with shareholders while attempting to gain back the favor of gamers with PR stunts like this. I can't fault them for it as a company, but being a gamer I reserve the right to be angry about things like dwindling consumer rights and employees/studios getting screwed. If they want to be less hated it will mean that they will make less money, and since that's demonstratively not a concession that they're willing to make, I find this pointless. Of course they want to be less hated, it would make them more money. It's silly.

or, short answer
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:57 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The problems with EA are what's already been stated; they are buying good companies and turning them into shit. I was annoyed by the dumbing down of ME when ME2 was released (but overall was happy because the combat in ME1 kind of sucked), and I was completely pissed off at ME3, which makes me annoyed at EA. If they want to stop being hated, they need to stop being dicks. That's not going to happen, because their model is more profitable.
See... but I liked ME2 more than ME1, and think ME3 was certainly the best of the series (the narrative failings in the last 5 minutes notwithstanding). There did seem to be a bit of a trend with the overall story becoming much weaker while the gameplay (and even the smaller story arcs) tended to improve.

I think EA manages to make a lot of poor decisions, probably the biggest one is they often ignore perception for reality. The easiest example is Day 1 DLC. All that content that is available on Day 1 isn't worked on prior to the game being done, they'll work on it during the month or so between the game being finalized and the actual launch (where the artists/level designers and such are basically just twiddling their thumbs without new content to work on). But gamers don't see that, all they see is content released at the same time as the game, but is only included in certain copies or only for pre-orders.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:04 pm UTC

Koa wrote:If they want to be less hated it will mean that they will make less money, and since that's demonstratively not a concession that they're willing to make, I find this pointless. Of course they want to be less hated, it would make them more money. It's silly.


It's the difference between long-term and short-term profits - EA's current model appears to be to chase the short-term profits and not worry about their long-term - if their shareholders are all out to make a fast buck and don't plan to still be shareholders in ten years when the profits from a not-being-evil policy would start to come in, then being evil until the company erodes away is the best policy from the shareholders' perspective.

It's one of the basic lessons of agriculture - if you only kill some of your sheep, and you keep some of your grain to sow next year, and if you let a quarter of your fields lie fallow in any given year, you won't have as much money as the guy who slaughters his entire flock, and does an intensive soy monoculture, but, a couple of decades down the line, you'll still be showing a small profit each year and still be able to feed yourself, while the other guy's land is only good to be sold to a speculator or a developer because nothing's going to grow there... It's the same with software development - working in a sustainable way costs you short-term profits, but means you have a sound long-term investment.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Thesh » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:10 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Thesh wrote:The problems with EA are what's already been stated; they are buying good companies and turning them into shit. I was annoyed by the dumbing down of ME when ME2 was released (but overall was happy because the combat in ME1 kind of sucked), and I was completely pissed off at ME3, which makes me annoyed at EA. If they want to stop being hated, they need to stop being dicks. That's not going to happen, because their model is more profitable.
See... but I liked ME2 more than ME1, and think ME3 was certainly the best of the series (the narrative failings in the last 5 minutes notwithstanding). There did seem to be a bit of a trend with the overall story becoming much weaker while the gameplay (and even the smaller story arcs) tended to improve.


I liked playing ME2 better, but overall I preferred ME1. ME1 had this huge scale and ME2 felt more confined. With ME3, they did bring back weapon customization, but then they took out the neutral option for conversations, which annoyed me greatly; the conversations are one of the most important part of the game. Also, I was really fucking pissed that they decided to completely ignore the entire dying star/dark energy plot that was talked about throughout ME2.

The other thing that annoyed me is that while the Mako sucked, I kind of enjoyed the planet exploring; it brought a nonlinear element to a game in which most of the missions were fairly linear (and I expect to do exploring in an RPG). The side quests themselves were more interesting in ME2 and ME3, but there were less of them, and they were completely linear. I could have gone for more side quests, not necessarily all involving combat, and greater non-linearity and choice in executing them. ME3 was even worse on the side quest front than ME2.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Koa » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:15 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:It's the difference between long-term and short-term profits - EA's current model appears to be to chase the short-term profits and not worry about their long-term

Yes, but unlike agriculture, long-term profits for such non-evil policies aren't guaranteed whatsoever. It wouldn't be a wise gamble to turn things around unless they're already facing imminent bankruptcy (which they assuredly aren't).

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:42 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:
Xeio wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:And assuming it was actually Maxis's idea - someone at EA should have stepped up and said "Really, guys? Always on for what's historically been a Single Player experience? Let's... let's try that with the next one, and keep this one only online for the multiplayer, 'kay?"
Wouldn't this be a bit of having your cake and eating it too, given you wanted them to have a hands-off approach to their studios?

Oversight vs. Mandates.
Another way to look at it (and maybe you'd disagree with this) is vetoing ideas is good, pushing ideas is bad. It's like the relationship between a good editor and a writer. The editor really should not add stuff - that's the writer's job. But the editor can absolutely say "No I don't like this part. Try something else."
Oh man, that's actually perfect given the long rambling explanation I gave compared to your quick little deal saying the exact same thing, only quickly and coherently.

So yeah, that.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:02 pm UTC

Koa wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:It's the difference between long-term and short-term profits - EA's current model appears to be to chase the short-term profits and not worry about their long-term

Yes, but unlike agriculture, long-term profits for such non-evil policies aren't guaranteed whatsoever. It wouldn't be a wise gamble to turn things around unless they're already facing imminent bankruptcy (which they assuredly aren't).


On the other hand, if they continue trashing their reputation, it will hit their bottom-line too...

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Thesh » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

I'm not so sure about that. You make more money off a more generic title than you do off of a niche title. So buying companies for their IP and reputation and then turning it into something that can be mass marketed is probably going to be more profitable in the short run and long run. As much as I dislike EA and Activision, if there is a game that I want from them, then the business model won't stop me (although the DRM has in the past).
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Telchar » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:28 pm UTC

Perhaps it really is a coincidence, but perception is that there are several beloved titles that got worse after EA bought their parent company. Mass Effect is the big one I think of and whether or not they were directly involved with the shitfest that was the last 5 minutes, it seems like they created a culture where that shit was tolerated where it wouldn't have been circa ME1. In order to change that perception they need to start buying companies and have those companies make BETTER games after they are bought by EA, something that we haven't seen.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Chen » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:39 am UTC

Telchar wrote:Perhaps it really is a coincidence, but perception is that there are several beloved titles that got worse after EA bought their parent company. Mass Effect is the big one I think of and whether or not they were directly involved with the shitfest that was the last 5 minutes, it seems like they created a culture where that shit was tolerated where it wouldn't have been circa ME1. In order to change that perception they need to start buying companies and have those companies make BETTER games after they are bought by EA, something that we haven't seen.


Its funny how people always criticize the 5 minutes of bad ending in ME3 and overlook the VASTLY better gameplay, not to mention the excellent story prior to that terrible ending. I was extremely skeptical about the multiplayer as well, but it turns out its actually a TON of fun too. EA does do some crappy things to companies it purchases, but I have a really hard time including Mass Effect in that.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:53 pm UTC

Chen wrote:the excellent story prior to that terrible ending.


Wait, WHAT?

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Chen » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:44 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
Chen wrote:the excellent story prior to that terrible ending.


Wait, WHAT?


The arc on Tuchanka (sp?) and Rannoch (sp?) were both far more poignant than any of the story in the previous two games. I was pretty sure this was a common consensus when it came to ME3...

I'll grant Kai Leng was annoying though it only really marred the end of the Asari homeworld mission (the Citadel one wasn't as bad IMHO).

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:44 pm UTC

We have a Mass Effect thread already for people to pretend to be incredulous that others liked/hated various parts.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:48 pm UTC

What Xanthir said.

I understand you may want to mention ME3 in the context of EA [screwing things up completely | doing an excellent job except for five minutes at the end]. And that's fine. But this is not the ME3 2 thread, so keep that in mind and only mention ME3 when it makes sense in context. If you aren't responding to something in the context of "What can EA do to stop being seen as such a shitty company", don't bring up ME3.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:55 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:f you aren't responding to something in the context of "What can EA do to stop being seen as such a shitty company", don't bring up ME3.


Well, this is maybe more of a Bioware thing, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of quality control on the writing. The game has some really well written parts (the lore entries, Mordin...), while some other parts are straight out of fanfiction.net (Kai Leng, ghost child, etc). Like they have a bunch of writers each doing their own thing and it all goes in without anyone going "no, this part is shit, what were you thinking?".

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:06 pm UTC

EA aren't doing themselves any favours, despite the very existence of this thread!

So, one way I propose EA could be less hated is to stop fucking things up like this.

"Sir, we're going to take the reins of this beloved game, and delete all user data that has been built up over years."
"Johnson, that's genius."


Really, how did they think millions of people were going to react when they erased their entire history of a game that many, many people take very seriously and very competitively? Perhaps they'll buy out Blizzard, take over WoW, and proceed to wipe all the level 95 DarkElf WarKnights and their Eternium Armor sets that took many teenagers hundreds of hours to accrue.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Coin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:10 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:EA aren't doing themselves any favours, despite the very existence of this thread!

So, one way I propose EA could be less hated is to stop fucking things up like this.

"Sir, we're going to take the reins of this beloved game, and delete all user data that has been built up over years."
"Johnson, that's genius."


Really, how did they think millions of people were going to react when they erased their entire history of a game that many, many people take very seriously and very competitively? Perhaps they'll buy out Blizzard, take over WoW, and proceed to wipe all the level 95 DarkElf WarKnights and their Eternium Armor sets that took many teenagers hundreds of hours to accrue.


Wow. I get that there may be legal reasons between how you are allowed to transfer user details, but their game statistics? That is an incredibly offensive thing to do to the player base!
I know that there are a lot of "Scumbag EA" stories out there but does anyone have any "Good Guy EA" anecdotes to tell?
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:40 pm UTC

Also maybe don't blame your lack of popularity on homophobia.

I'm also thinking of that EA lgbt petition propped with bots. Not cool guys.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Derek » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:06 am UTC

Coin wrote:I know that there are a lot of "Scumbag EA" stories out there but does anyone have any "Good Guy EA" anecdotes to tell?

So there was a time around 2007/08 when EA was making a lot of really creative and innovative games like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space.

Then those games had mediocre sale, so they went back to what they had been doing.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Decker » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:20 pm UTC

EA, start playing nice with Valve again. I'll be fucked if Origin is going on my computer.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:48 pm UTC

Sooo, on Friday I decided I was going to give WAR another visit, just to muck around and see if the balance issues had been fixed, if the class mechanics were as interesting as I remembered, etc.

The patcher won't download, and no less than 10 emails swapped with customer support still hasn't fixed the issue. This is, mind you, after slogging through the issue of having to register an EA account, and linking it to my extant WAR account.

They are really making it difficult to play the game, and if this issue isn't solved in the next day or so, I'm going to demand a refund.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Decker » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:27 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:They are really making it difficult to play the game, and if this issue isn't solved in the next day or so, I'm going to demand a refund.

Good luck with that one.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Mordus » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:35 am UTC

Well EA, if you are trying to bribe me... it might just work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%2 ... video_game)

We'll see if they do this as a way to make people like me not hate them anymore... well we'll just see. They can always screw it up and make it unplayable without paying, but to offer a great series like C&C for free. That's a damn good bribe right there.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:22 am UTC

Mordus wrote:Well EA, if you are trying to bribe me... it might just work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%2 ... video_game)

We'll see if they do this as a way to make people like me not hate them anymore... well we'll just see. They can always screw it up and make it unplayable without paying, but to offer a great series like C&C for free. That's a damn good bribe right there.


Requires Origin -> needs a much bigger bribe...

Besides, having read an EA EULA a while back - basically saying that if they feel like it, they can sue me for whatever their accountants marketing team claim the total profits from the game should have been...

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:17 am UTC

Decker wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:They are really making it difficult to play the game, and if this issue isn't solved in the next day or so, I'm going to demand a refund.

Good luck with that one.
Foolish optimism aside, I've actually historically had really good luck getting refunds from a bunch of game companies (Including EA incidentally, with a mishap with SWTOR) for these sorts of things. TSW, for example, didn't cancel my account, and after two months of inactivity, locked my account to prevent account piracy, but continued to charge me for three months. When I finally noticed, I asked for a refund for charging me for the three months I was paying for a locked account, and they complied. Blizzard is also pretty good about refunding for this sort of thing.
At the very least, I can have my credit card cancel the charge.

It's frustrating though because I'm looking for an MMO that does what I seem to recall WAR doing insofar as class mechanics are concerned, and I want to figure out if I'm just remembering it through rose tinted glasses.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Mordus » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:30 am UTC

I loved WAR. I loved the style. I loved that it wasn't so carebear as many other MMO's. I loved the fluff. I haven't played it in a very long time though. I do miss it.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Lucrece » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:54 am UTC

I've actually only had good experiences with the company. When the ME3 multiplayer store ate one of my loot packs, I called them, I got some great, quick customer service that ended with my pack restored, and the lady gave 2 extra packs for free.

I loved the multiplayer in M3. It was good for the game, and gave it a lot more longevity than if it was just a single player game where I no longer wished to pick up the single player portion after the endings.

This hasn't been limited to just ME, though. The studio behind Kingdom of Amalur was shit, and so was the game, but whenever I called for customer service, their customer service was quick and efficient, and I was talking with neither a robbot or a douchebag 20something midwest guy whose tone was oozing contempt and dismissal.

Their offers via origin have been something I've taken advantage of, and I don't see the huge scandal over Origin people are raising. I've not had a single issue tied to it.

In fact, the EA bashing often has come to me as similar in nature to WoW bashing. Hating the big fish bandwagon, indie diehard.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:19 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:and I was talking with neither a robbot or a douchebag 20something midwest guy whose tone was oozing contempt and dismissal.


I get the disdain for a twenty-something douchebag, but what's wrong with the Midwest?

The "We Can Do Better" blog post is a big indicator of why I don't like EA, though - it started with something approaching contrition (Hey, we've made mistakes, we know that, and we're always working on being better!), and then jumps into how all of those problems they're going to fix aren't really problems, and all of you little shits are SOOO entitled, and if you actually look at it, that whole "Worst Company" thing is actually a conspiracy to bring us down because we're too awesome and some people can't handle that. Here, let me give you a list of reasons we're awesome. Oh, and what the hell are you calling us "Worst Company" for? Sure, maybe we don't really listen to our customers, and we do seem to buy up a lot of successful developers to get their IPs and turn them into Facebook freemium games, but look at these other guys! They're a lot worse! In conclusion, people only hate us because we're too awesome for them. Suck it.

Customer service may, in general, be excellent, and I don't begrudge them the idea of making boatloads of money, but the attitude from the higher-ups and the company overall seems to be that the customer is irrelevant. That seeming contempt for their customer base is something you see in the back rooms at other companies, but not on their blog sites. Unless you're a jackass working for Microsoft and talking about how Flyover Country isn't worth the Xbox One's time.

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby EvanED » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:05 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:The "We Can Do Better" blog post is a big indicator of why I don't like EA, though - it started with something approaching contrition (Hey, we've made mistakes, we know that, and we're always working on being better!), and then jumps into how all of those problems they're going to fix aren't really problems, and all of you little shits are SOOO entitled, and if you actually look at it, that whole "Worst Company" thing is actually a conspiracy to bring us down because we're too awesome and some people can't handle that.
I think that's a good summary. I mean, take the SimCity DRM point. ("Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.")

I don't want to say intent doesn't matter at all, but at the end of the day whether or not the always-online crap was implemented as a form of DRM or because people at EA truely thought it was a good gameplay idea doesn't really matter -- it's still crap. Intended as DRM or not, it rightly pissed off a lot of people when it launched and it stopped others (like me) from buying it at all because we don't want it.

(I feel the same about the "they should have just called it 'SimCity Online'" argument -- it doesn't matter so much what it's called. Then the question would just have been "why the hell did you make it 'Online'?" To stave off that, you'd really have to do something where online play felt like a critical component that the game would not work without. I haven't played SC5, but by my understanding even SC2K Network Edition had a richer multiplayer interaction, and even that could be played by yourself.)

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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Telchar » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:26 pm UTC

And I've had the exact opposite experience with the EA customer support in general. Emails that don't get returned, service requests that take much longer than advertised and then come back with "Sorry, we can't help with that. Call X number..."

Even the sequels to their games I generally enjoy but they always feel rushed or incomplete and I'm always left with that nagging feeling that there could've been more. Maybe that's an artifact of buying really successful franchises and I probably have unrealistic expectations for future content based on prior results, but EA has done nothing to disabuse me of this idea.
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Re: EA wants to be less hated. What do?

Postby Jack21222 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:45 pm UTC

I spent well over an hour with EA customer service trying to update my credit card info for the SWTOR pre-order. My card got cancelled because of a security breach, so I had to give them the new number. There was no way to update it online for a pre-order that was already placed that I could find, and it took a while to find customer service contact info. I ended up speaking to somebody in EA's customer service chat, and the person had literally never heard of SWTOR before. It was Battlefield 3's release day, and that is all this guy was trained on. So he gave me a phone number to call, and I spent an hour on the phone with them.

I was so frustrated by the end of it, instead of updating the credit card info for the pre-order, I just cancelled the preorder altogether.
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