EA: Still in the Game?
In 2006, Electronic Arts generated nearly $3 billion in revenue, accounting for roughly one-third of the entire gaming industry. With that in mind, a world without EA isn't easy to fathom. But 2007 has been less stellar for the company, with Activision exceeding EA's revenue for the first half of the year on the back of Guitar Hero and movie tie-ins. This draws a comparison to General Motors, which also this year fell from its long perch as a defining industry leader.
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Talking about Spore as a "flagship" product is interesting. Certainly it's generated a lot of interest in the world of gaming, but I'd be quite surprised if it had the kind of mass market appeal of The Sims or Madden.
I've been around long enough to remember this: "We're an association of electronic artists who share a common goal. We want to fulfill the potential of personal computing. That's a tall order. But with enough imagination and enthusiasm we think there's a good chance for success. Our products, like this one, are evidence of our intent."
That really meant something to me back in the day. I was a lot younger and maybe I was a little naive, but I felt a very strong and personal attachment to Electronic Arts. They had a vision, and they were true to it; when they called themselves "artists," it wasn't just marketing bullshit, it was the truth. Microprose put out some awesome simulators, and Sierra made some fun adventures, but when Electronic Arts released a game, man, it was something special.
So when I see where the company is today, the derivative crap they churn out, those awful, whorish Sports titles they shove out the door year after year, it makes me a little sad. It's hard to argue with three billion dollars, and I have no doubt the shareholders think the heap they're on top of now is a lot more important than the one they mounted 20-plus years ago. And maybe I'm still a little naive. But somewhere along the line, a lot of years ago, that soft spot for EA disappeared, and I kind of miss it.
The new battlefield.
After hearing what EA had planed, I lost any and all respect for them. For me an EA logo gives a image that I am not getting what they say I am, hell with all the power they throw around they can (and sometimes do) whatever they want.
Also they Don't really make games, not really. So our needs don't come into the issue for them.
Our 'needs'? Sigh. This is an entertainment product. A luxury item. Need has nothing to do with it.
EA is simply a business. You can't blame them for wanting your money as it's how they finance their games. The money they make on 'evil' DLC and ingame ads goes right back into developing the next batch of games. If their customer base as a whole was reallly that irritated, EA wouldn't still be doing it. This also means that they won't do anything that will genuinely alienate their customer base (at least not the same trick more than once).
Also, I think DICE is probably more to blame for this than EA is. BF2142 had a download only expansion with some extra gear that certainly slanted the playing field.
Come to think of it, the fact that this is the second time DICE has pulled this and only now that they are doing it on a console game are people raising a stink about it. Really makes you think about how isolated the PC market is.
I still hate them for what they did to Bullfrog however.