I Have Some Very Specific Words for EA

The words are fuck and you. Seriously, where the hell do you get off?

I feel like this requires some context. So, for those who are unaware. Electronic Arts, EA for short, is a games publishing company. They are such a shitbag of a company that they have repeatedly been named one of the worst companies in America by a poll conducted on a consumer affairs website. Anyway, EA is the money behind Battlefield, Battlefront, Titanfall, Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, NBA 2K, the FIFA series of games, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Simcity, and most importantly for this discussion The Sims. They’re also the idiots behind game distribution platform Origin. So why do they suck?

First, I want to sort of divert. There used to be a time when EA’s logo before a game would make me excited rather than groan. It’s hard to pin down an exact timeline when they went to shit but they once had a modicum of my respect. During the original Xbox era, games such as TY the Tasmanian Tiger and Burnout 3 carried the EA name on them. These were some of my favourite games on the original Xbox. Back when I was considering becoming a game designer I seriously toyed with the idea of working for a local branch of EA (local to my country some years ago, no idea if EA still has an Australian division). If I had to place an event as the root cause of the decline of EA’s approval it would be the transition of CEOs. CEOs tend to be garbage people and garbage companies tend to have garbage CEOs.

Doing a quick bit of Googling I discovered that during the time that I consider the Golden Age of EA the company was headed by a guy named Larry Probst. He could be a garbage person but under his reign the EA name was a badge of pride. Then came John Riccitello, and the garbage that I consider the decline of EA began. The Dead Space 3 debacle was one of the first to my knowledge, but not the last. This is the era that EA launched Origin in. Taking its games to its own corner of the distribution market rather than playing nice with the firmly established Steam marketplace. However, EA would do some far more egregious things in the pursuit of money.

In comes the Sims 4. Now currently some Aussie dude called Andrew Wilson is CEO of EA so you know what, I’m laying the sins of the company at his feet. You make obscene amounts of money, you can afford to be chewed out by a millennial writing on the internet. The Sims 4 launched two years ago. I bought it at launch because I enjoyed the Sims 3 and Sims 4 seemed to develop the game in interesting ways. I bought it in person and it came with some ridiculous tat. Anyway, let’s delve into the sins of Sims 4. When I bought the Sims 3 it cost let’s say $50 AUD, $60 at most. Every subsequent expansion (I only bought expansion packs so this will deal exclusively with those) cost $20 AUD, at most $33.

For the Sims 4? It is currently on Origin for $79.99 at cheapest. Each expansion? $50 a pop. WHAT. THE. FUCK! There is at a guess half the content of previous versions of the Sims and it cost exponentially more. That’s not even including the proliferation of useless tat packages for the Sims 4. All of EA’s games are like this. A brief examination of any of its current releases will reveal a terrible pattern. The selling of endings for Bioware games. The fucking ridiculousness of Star Wars Battlefront. EA is trying to sell what amounts to maybe a full game for twice the price by putting all the content that should be base game stuff into overpriced expansions. So, I reiterate.

Dear EA,

Fuck you. Fuck you all the way to the moon and back. Where the fuck do you get off? What godforsaken fuck station does your train pull into? Do you owe money to some sort of DLC mafia? Did you sign a contract with Satan? Because I did. I had the audacity to be interested in your god forsaken Sims franchise. I watched you jack up the price like you’re selling meat during rationing in WW2. You’re only going to add in toddlers now to a game that is two years old when previous entries had it at launch!? Shove a rusty nail right up your urethra for what you do to the games industry. And since you insist on making me pay for your shitty business practices then you should pay me for the pleasure of inflicting these punishments upon you. How about you go walk across a room of glass shards with a note at the end of the room noting that you’ll only receive medical aid once you pay $14.99. While I’ve got you here, your EA press conferences are so dull. Would it kill you add some pizazz, maybe less sports games. Nobody is going to forget that you make FIFA if you don’t spend half an hour every E3 press conference talking about it.

Anyway, getting back to the issue at hand. Could you maybe, just maybe realise that there’s a reason that you were voted worst company by consumers two years running and instead of just trying to crawl back to most hated video game company perhaps you could take a fucking page out of your Europeon cousin Ubisoft’s handbook and make an attempt to be less awful. Nobody is going to buy the Sims 5, which will probably have even less content, in two years after your money grubbing left us all with bad tastes in our mouths roughly equivalent to the feeling of waking up in a foreign country with your non-vital organs missing.

Just try to be less awful. Just try to sell games at a reasonable price. You’ll be amazed what good press can do.

Sincerely,

Your fuckin’ conscience Zach Eastwood

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