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#1 Posted by FrankCanada97 (4039 posts) -

I recall several months back when everyone was decrying the mega publisher, EA, as cash hungry. People were saying that EA didn't care about innovation and milked their cash cows for as long as possible. Now some time has passed and it seems the uproar over EA is past. Has EA improved their product and have they abandoned their "quantity over quality" mantra? Is EA still the same company it was a year ago?

#2 Posted by TooWalrus (13135 posts) -

They are still big into their yearly franchises, but they've also been taking some chances on new properties (like dead space). Oh, and they're only moderately evil compared to Activision, they're the new public enemy.

#3 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -

EA is still doing what they've always done. People just prefer to whine and bitch about Activision these days. 

#4 Posted by AjayRaz (12418 posts) -

Activison has stole the whine / bitch thunder. i always liked EA, though. they always put great titles. 

#5 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

Some pretty good games have come out with an EA logo on the box.  I think they are going in the right direction.

#6 Posted by sixghost (1679 posts) -

They're starting to head in the right direction with the whole EA partners thing.

#7 Posted by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

EAs image is changing and its costing them, but yeah Activision are the new evil now.

#8 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@AjayRaz: 
John Ricotello did take a step in the opposite direction by saying they were going to cut franchises each year. Plus, they aren't as periphral crazy as Activision. Lastly, he's never said incredibly disheartening things like ironing the fun out of making games. So I would say EA isn't necessarily doing the exact same thing as they've always done. It just seems like they got a gamer that went to business school with John to me. He's done a lot of business risky things to try to appeal to stockholders and gamers. Just my perception tho.
#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (35992 posts) -

Yea, Activision and stuff, it's been said before.

#10 Posted by pause422 (6172 posts) -

Activision has long over surpassed EA in that place. EA seems to turned things around bit time.

#11 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -

Can someone explain to me how annualization of a successful property is the same as being evil? If they didn't have all that revenue from their sports franchises, they wouldn't have the capital to risk on a venture like Brutal Legend or Dead Space.
 
As far as I'm concerned, EA's never been a bad publisher, they've just had good games and bad games, just like every other publisher. I would say that the people who brought me Sim City, the best hockey video games, TimeSplitters 2, and Burnout Paradise are good people; unless they've committed acts which could actually fall into the category of "evil", and I've got no evidence of that at the moment.

#12 Posted by Bubahula (2197 posts) -

EA seems to be heading in the right direction and activision is taking on the bad reputation
#13 Posted by Adamantium (885 posts) -

Bobby Kotick is the best marketing manager EA's ever had.

#14 Posted by walls (96 posts) -

Activision has definitely taken its place as the "evil corporation" and yeah things like Dead Space and even Mirrors Edge have given people a different opinion. I would say something about their Bioware deal but Activision is with Blizzard so I dunno.

#15 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@Suicrat:
The problem I feel originated in the fact that EA had a lot of "Me-too" franchises. That and all the licensing stuff like what happened with Madden.
#16 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia: I wouldn't refer to the publisher of a game within a previously-popular genre as evil either.
 
As for Madden, again, I don't fault any individual or company for making money by making a popular product.
#17 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@Suicrat:
Yeah, but that was a dick move considering that for the most part 2k was doing more creative things. Which is part of the whole debate of having annual releases, having such little timelines means little innovation takes place. And thats how it truly felt between '03-07 Madden. 
#18 Posted by DanielJW (4915 posts) -

I'm in love with anyone and anything to do with Jeff Green. Hence I love EA.

#19 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia said:
" @Suicrat: Yeah, but that was a dick move considering that for the most part 2k was doing more creative things. Which is part of the whole debate of having annual releases, having such little timelines means little innovation takes place. And thats how it truly felt between '03-07 Madden.  "
Wait a second, you bought 5 Madden games in a row? Even after the first 4 were all the same?!
#20 Posted by Bigandtasty (3202 posts) -

To some uninformed parts of the video game crowd, EA is still as evil as they always were (see this poll). 
 
To me, and to many of us here, Activision has overshadowed them and EA has been cooler in recent years - supporting new IPs, buying good developers without suffocating them, and making their yearly franchises more worthy of purchasing.

#21 Posted by Evilsbane (4531 posts) -

EA took a risk on Dead Space and as long as they keep doing stuff like that were ok they can keep making Madden till their company goes under for all I care just keep making original stuff like they have been doing and were cool.

#22 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@Suicrat:
I buy sports games year after release. Like, I got NHL '09 and Madden '09 each for 3.99 at gamestop around early October, I'm a year behind everyone, but I get to enjoy sports games during the winter breaks. If you look through my previous post counts, there's a lot of games I've bought way after release. It's cheaper that way.
#23 Posted by Red12b (9075 posts) -

Get with the times man, It's now Activision Blizzard, Infinity ward,  
 
I think that stigma left when they created Dead Space
#24 Posted by RankRabbit (394 posts) -

That idiot CEO from Activision started running his mouth directing the hate towards him and his company, especially with releases like Band Hero. And Activision tried to keep Brutal Legend away from us.

#25 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia said:
" @Suicrat: I buy sports games year after release. Like, I got NHL '09 and Madden '09 each for 3.99 at gamestop around early October, I'm a year behind everyone, but I get to enjoy sports games during the winter breaks. If you look through my previous post counts, there's a lot of games I've bought way after release. It's cheaper that way. "
So you're smart and you save your money and I applaud you. I only question your desire to refer to people operating with the same motives as "evil", and ask you to reconsider.
#26 Posted by jkz (4002 posts) -

Yeah EAP is really what has restored my faith in EA. That and the fact that they actually took some risks on some new IP last year.

#27 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

they are going good now. they still do make bad games. need for speed: shift was alright. activision now is the company that people want to bitch about.

#28 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@Suicrat:
I didn't call them evil, all I said was that the 2k Madden thing was a dick move. I understand how financially that was a smart thing, but perception wise it was a bad thing. Another thing they did was buy up a lot of developers. Bioware and Pandemic being the last big names that happened to. People perceived that at that point those companies would be EA-ized and dissolved within their other studios. But EA over the years has seen to it that those dev's stay somewhat independent.
#29 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@HypoXenophobia: I'm sure EA's accountants felt like selling NFL 2K5 for 20 bucks was a dick move also, and I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL felt the same way (which is why I wasn't surprised when the NFL agreed to exclusivity).
 
But yes, I understand the misgivings some people have had in the past about the way EA controls its developers, but I think now their leadership is starting to realize that the role they serve is of middleman between investors and game developers, and that they should let this relationship develop on its own.
 
Sadly, they took to this notion in the midst of an economic disaster, and so it hasn't bore fruit yet.
#30 Posted by HypoXenophobia (1045 posts) -
@Suicrat:
I think you and I feel the exact same way just from different viewpoints.
#31 Posted by Tarakun (225 posts) -

EA let Criterion port Burnout Paradise to the PC, so I've pretty much forgiven them.  They also for some reason seem less greedy. Burnout did have an entire year's worth of free DLC. Dead Space and Mirror's Edge were new ideas, even if Mirror's Edge didn't get the reception they were hoping for. I mean, yeah, there's still the whole Madden thing, and if you care about the Sims, you're still getting ripped off there. Although, I don't really care about either of those, so maybe that's why I'm cool with EA right now. 
 
Activision on the other hand. I don't even wanna look at you. You know what you did. 

#32 Posted by Bucketdeth (8004 posts) -

EA actually put out some small developers games like Brutal Legend and Dead Space, Activision even got pissed off because they dumped Brutal Legend and wanted it back when they found out EA were doing a good job with it.

#33 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" As far as I'm concerned, EA's never been a bad publisher, they've just had good games and bad games, just like every other publisher. I would say that the people who brought me Sim City, the best hockey video games, TimeSplitters 2, and Burnout Paradise are good people; unless they've committed acts which could actually fall into the category of "evil", and I've got no evidence of that at the moment. "
I'm totally going to be "that guy." 
 
Timesplitters 2 was Eidos.  EA put out Timesplitters: Future Perfect. :P
Online
#34 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@iAmJohn said:
" @Suicrat said:
" As far as I'm concerned, EA's never been a bad publisher, they've just had good games and bad games, just like every other publisher. I would say that the people who brought me Sim City, the best hockey video games, TimeSplitters 2, and Burnout Paradise are good people; unless they've committed acts which could actually fall into the category of "evil", and I've got no evidence of that at the moment. "
I'm totally going to be "that guy."  Timesplitters 2 was Eidos.  EA put out Timesplitters: Future Perfect. :P "
Ugh, seriously? I can't believe I like an Eidos game! (Aside from Tomb Raider 1 & 2)
 
Anyways, I think the point still stands because Burnout Paradise, NHL 10, and every Sim City game (except for Societies) are all awesome.
#35 Posted by mordukai (7133 posts) -

I fear that EA are going to go back to their old ways since this whole "changing Image" is not working on for them so well. 

#36 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" Ugh, seriously? I can't believe I like an Eidos game! (Aside from Tomb Raider 1 & 2)  Anyways, I think the point still stands because Burnout Paradise, NHL 10, and every Sim City game (except for Societies) are all awesome. "
Well, if it's any consolation, all Eidos did was publish the first two Timesplitters, so you could look at it as you liking a Free Radical game that Eidos just happened to put their name on. :P 
 
And yes, completely agreed, especially with the addition of Boom Blox, Dead Space, Battlefield, and Stranger's Wrath.  And Timesplitters: Future Perfect because that's the best game in the series.
Online
#37 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
@Mordukai said:
" I fear that EA are going to go back to their old ways since this whole "changing Image" is not working on for them so well.  "
That's not going to happen.  As many problems as EA has been having, they've also been bringing in some really good revenue.  EA's problems are multifold: for one, they overpaid for Bioware and Pandemic by a serious amount in what can only be described as an incredibly shady deal.  For two, instead of flooding the market with crappy licensed games and the same old same old like they used to do, they're instead flooding the market with a ton of new IP and not giving them room to breathe which has helped lead to the weakish sales.  For three, EA is a really big company and could definitely stand to trim some fat to become more efficient and work better with the capital they got.  They're making money, and making a lot of it; it's just that the amount they're making isn't enough the counter-balance the amount they're losing and have lost on poor management and bizarre financial decisions.
Online
#38 Posted by Chaser324 (6325 posts) -

A year ago I would have agreed with you that EA had really turned the corner in terms of their image. The evil empire that many people considered EA just five years ago never would have green-lit games like Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, or Dante's Inferno. However, recent news stories like this and this make me concerned that EA may be returning to its old ways. In the next year it looks like EA is going to be cutting some of their more financially risky projects and put more resources into properties that they know have been largely profitable in the past (such as Medal of Honor) and into digital content with high profit margins.

Moderator Online
#39 Posted by thecleric (793 posts) -

It was, and then they spent all their money on a Facebook app company and fired a bunch of workers.

#40 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

I consider EA to be going in the right direction while Activision to be the evil corporation at the moment, thanks to their stupid ideas. EA is going to the right direction with new IPs such as Dead Space and Mirror's Edge and some other stuff. Overall I am rooting for EA to keep heading into the new direction.
 
I guess the quantity over quality is taking a toll on EA now; because games have become excessively expensive with the technology and detail they put into games now.

#41 Edited by Skald (4367 posts) -

Good to see some like minds. So how do we kill Activision? With fire or something?

#42 Edited by xyzygy (9891 posts) -

I will judge EA based on how Mass Effect 2 turns out. If it's good, they're letting Bioware have all their creative control. 
 
So far though, they've been really awesome with Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. Oh yeah, Dragon Age! I know they didn't develop it but at least they didn't hinder Bioware like we might have thought they would back when EA acquired them.

#43 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -
@xyzygy: That sounds more like judging Bioware. Even they are not infallible. 
Although, they are awesome.
#44 Posted by xyzygy (9891 posts) -
@extremeradical said:
" @xyzygy: That sounds more like judging Bioware. Even they are not infallible. Although, they are awesome. "
How is it judging Bioware? Back when EA acquired them there was a lot of speculation regarding how they would handle Mass Effect. So far, from all the videos and stuff I've seen, everything is going smoothly. I'm really not expecting EA to do anything stupid on this though so I don't know why I even brought it up :P
#45 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -
@xyzygy: Look at the whole picture. Bioware will always rock. Judge them by their bad games too. That is why I don't trust Activision: They will sell you any piece of crap if they think they can get a way with it. EA used to sell everything they could get their hands on, sure. Lately however, they seem more dedicated to building a strong reputation with gamers. 
#46 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I hangout on the EA Tiger Woods Wii forums sometimes and for the first time EA is there helping and asking questions on how to improve their game. That's a pretty big deal to me. I'm also in their Tiger Woods Online beta 4 for the PC, again, good feedback. I think they're doing well.

#47 Posted by Ghostiet (5224 posts) -

I think talking about Bobby Kotick should count as fullfiling Godwin's Law.

#48 Posted by Pkshields (810 posts) -

At the moment EA are putting out some games that they wouldn't have put out last year. Games that are more risky, but show some innovation and freshness with their new IPs. Gamers like this, and as long as it keeps happening, people won't mine their yearly franchises continuing the way they are

#49 Posted by Slippy (735 posts) -

Yes they have improved their public image, but in the eyes of their stock holders it is grim times. Compared to 5 years ago, their MetaCritic average may be higher, but their bank balance is much lower.

#50 Posted by Mithlas (51 posts) -
@Suicrat: True points, though a significant part of the hate-spewing was on EA's wide abuse of customers with "SecuROM", and this has yet to fully go away.
 
Hence EA's reputation is still in question - it's not just the games, it's how they're willing to act as a part of the economy (that and interfering with developers they bought). As I hear it, ActiBlizzard is making similar mistakes (misjudging customers and stepping on their toes) and is now drawing The People's ire, though I don't think they're pulling the same DRM tricks that EA's still got going on - or am I behind the times on that?