Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why Electronic Arts is Evil

I think some time back when I did a top 15 list, I threw Electronic Arts (EA) into the mix.  The significance of that might have been a mystery to some of my readers, so I think on this fine Sunday morning it deserves a little explication.

I'm a gamer, so I have strong opinions on certain games and developers.  Bathesda Softworks and Valve, in my opinion, are the two developers left that actually give a shit about making quality games that make no sacrifices on quality or complexity.  Games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 were big hits in terms of both sales and critic acclaim.  For Valve, Half Life 2 has the all time highest metacritic score, and Team Fortress 2 is a masterpiece.

Bathesda is dedicated to making games that are all around awesome.  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set to release November 11, 2011, and from everything I've seen the game is going to be absolutely amazing.  Bathesda has been developing a whole new engine in house that makes the game look visually stunning, and they are changing some of the mechanics of the game without sacrificing complexity.  ESV will likely be a masterpiece that will make them a pretty penny.

Valve has Steam, and because of Steam, Valve never has to make another game again.  For those who don't know what Steam is, it's a cloud-type service that allows you to purchase games online; just about any game that has existed within the last 10 years or so.  So they don't really seem to care all that much if their games make a ton of money.  They have been constantly adding content to Team Fortress 2 over the last 3 years or so, and they've not asked for a dime in return.

Fallout 3 by Bathesda.  This is an amazing fucking game.
So that brings us to EA.  These fucking douche bags will sacrifice anything and everything if they think it will make an extra dollar.  What's sad is that they've got their tentacles on what was once a developer every bit as amazing as Bathesda and Valve.  They publish everything for Bioware now, and we can see the influence.

EA got it into their minds that it's more important to appeal to the "casual gamer," than the "hardcore gamer," because there are more casual gamers than hardcore.  So instead of following the Bathesda model, they rush their games.  ESIV: Oblivion was released in 2006, and they're just now releasing ESV, 5 years later.  EA got their hands on Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins.  That game took Bioware about 4 years to make and it did really well in terms of sales.  When EA saw how popular sales were, they forced Bioware to shit out a sequel only a year and a half later.  Believe me when I say that the sequel isn't even on par with the original.

And EA is fucking blatant about it, too.  Everyone that has played Mass Effect 1 and 2 knows that ME2 was severely dumbed down to appeal to more people.  And the silly thing is that it wasn't even that complicated to begin with.  Will Wright, the creator of the Sims, was asked if he would rather make games that sell a lot or make games that have a high focus on quality.  He said that he'd rather make games that sell a lot, not because he's a sell-out douche, but because publishers like EA fucking demand it.  Wright said that he would be out of a job otherwise.

Team Fortress 2 by Valve.  Also an amazing fucking game.
Because of EA and their bullshit, there's a huge push to make video games more accessible.  EA doesn't give a god damn about the experience: they only care about the sales numbers.  Activision has gone that way as well, and that's why we see a new fucking Call of Duty title released every year or two.  EA is trying to make video games easier, "more accessible," at the expense of quality and complexity.  One might say, "well they're all in it for the profit," but if that were true then why is Bathesda different?  They're under no fear of going out of business, and the funny thing is that they're committed to making quality games.

So here's to EA for making games that suck ass, and for making games so easy that even the biggest moron can play it.  Thank you for trying to make video games little more than hollow, visual eye candy.

8 comments:

Mofatts said...

I played both ME's and i thought ME2 was an overall better game, and i never felt it was dumbed down or anything.

(also its bEthesda, not bAthesda. jus sayn)

Jack Camwell said...

If you don't think ME2 was dumbed down then I'm wondering if we played the same damn game.

ME went from upgrading weapon effectiveness and other attributes to upgrading 4 special abilities.

And there was also considerably less weapons to choose from. How is that not dumbing it down?

And I'd go through and change the spelling of Bethesda, but I'm not going to do that.

Mofatts said...

Man, the weapon/armor upgrades in ME1 were so boring, all they did was just do %x more dmg and shit.

Seremzh said...

If you want a newer game that is as complex as Dragon Age 1, I recommend The Witcher 2. CDProjektRED, like Valve and Bethesda, care about the quality of their games and their customers.

Jack Camwell said...

Thanks for the visit and for the suggestion, Seremzh. A good friend of mine was recently splooging over Witcher 2.

I may have to look into that.

Damien said...

Well Jack it looks like we have more in common, I am also a gamer albiet very picky on the style. I would say by companies, that I am trending for Blizzard (Diablo not the rpgs) and THQ (Titan Quest). I was one of the original beta testers for the one-line world Everquest, not bad for a bolding, graying barrister (lawyer in your language) but then in 1974 I was a dice-rolling original Dungeon & Dragon player.

I limit my times these days and now I tend to spend most of my time on my 21 foot sailing boat that I am addicted to.... contemplating retirement!

Jack Camwell said...

Nice. I like Blizzard as well, but I fear that World of Warcraft has ruined the company a bit.

Although I'm a big nerd, I draw the line at D&D and the like. That could just be because I'm a spoiled youngster who cannot remember life without video games, even if the earliest for me was the simplicity of Mario Bros.

Living in Gibralter, I can understand why you'd be drawn to sailing. When I was in the Navy we had to pass through the straight to get into the Mediterannean. It was neat to see both Europe and Africa simultaneously. The view was absolutely breathtaking.

Damien said...

Blizzard sold out to the big money game of MMrpgs and unfortunately chose WoW to represent it.... They would have done better if they chose the world of Diablo or in fact created something new.

I was born here in Gibraltar and am half Spanish (mother) and with dual-nationality. It is a lovely place and would not leave it for the world....