5 Key Reasons Why Electronic Arts ISN'T Actually The Worst Publisher Around

electronic arts Oh EA, you really don€™t help yourself do you? First you cancel a game post-development despite there being a market for it, then you absorb and liquidise a bunch of promising development companies, shoe-horn DRM into a game where it doesn€™t belong, force developers to abandon their key audience by taking their franchise €˜in a different direction€™, and have games edited in such a way that their quality is massively reduced. The list goes on much much longer I€™m afraid, but we can probably sum up your current reputation with two small words: golden poo. But here€™s the thing: while ol€™ Electronic Arts may have made a nasty habit of peeing off their consumers (and even people who aren€™t their consumers come to think of it) over the last few years, it€™s unfair to portray them as the Satan-worshipping Scrooge like corporation that we frequently do. I mean, it€™s not like we€™ve seen them sacrificing infant children to the great Lord Hades in an attempt to boost their sales or anything. They probably haven€™t! So is it really fair to call them €˜immoral€™, €˜money-grabbing€™, or €˜evil€™? Well yes, yes it is. But that€™s not the point of this article. We€™re here to explain why EA shouldn€™t be thought of as the moustache-twirling villains we€™ve come to know and hate them as, to explain why, on some levels, Electronic Arts are a good company. In a very loose definition of the word, of course...

5. They Try To Give People What They Want

Pennywise (IT) EA don€™t cater to niche audiences. Instead they try to make any game they€™re involved in mainstream enough to be universally enjoyable, often resulting in products about as interesting as a four-week old bowl of greying pig sick. A good example of this is Dead Space 3, a sequel to two of the most popular horror games of the generation that abandoned its roots to become Uncharted with aliens, removing everything people liked in order to add new features they hoped would make it more popular. €˜But Charlie,€™ I hear you shout, because you totally all know my name, €˜how is this a defence of EA?€™ Well I€™ll tell you. This desire to be constantly mainstream shows EA want to make as many people as possible happy, modelling their games on record selling triple-A franchises such as Uncharted and CoD in the naïve hope that their product will sell just as many copies. They get bring together focus groups to tell them what they like and hate about their games, inevitably resulting in cries of €˜we want more guns like Call of Duty€™ or €˜we want perks like Call of Duty€™ ringing out across the test room. This is why Medal of Honour: Warfighter was designed to tick as many Call of Duty like boxes it could without being sued, as that€™s what EA were told people wanted. Of course, this focus group method is flawed, given it€™s impossible for such a small group of people to be representative of the whole demographic, and even if they were that wouldn€™t mean they really did want what they were asking for. Calls for Arkham Origins to allow players to drive the Batmobile have been heard since well before we knew what they game was even called, yet if that idea was implemented it would ruin the entire experience, making the player near invincible and taking away the whole €˜predator of the night€™ feel from the previous games, which was the number one reason people bought them. Consumers don€™t know what they want, and the only reason EA keep destroying franchises and making generic crap is because they€™re trying to give as many gamers as possible enjoyment. We shouldn€™t hate them for that. Yes it shows EA are stupid, yes it shows they are incapable of thinking long-term, and yes it shows their main motivation is cold hard profit, but not every company can be Bethesda or Valve. EA try to make everyone happy and subsequently fail to make anyone happy, yet they€™re a company whose purpose is to make money, so we shouldn€™t hate them for wanting to be loved.
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Oldfield is a journalist, reviewer, and amateur comic-book writer (meaning he's yet to be published). He's a man who'll criticise anything, even this biog, which he thinks is a bit crap. For notifications on when new articles are up and game related news, follow him on his Twitter account @DunDunDUH

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