So Many Fails, So Little Time
Whether it’s one of their many broken promises, sudden cancellations or meddling of beloved titles, EA has managed to cement itself in the world of gaming as a company built on customer infamy. While we have no doubt it will find more ways to screw up in the near future, for the moment these five instances stand out as the most shocking and upsetting displays of EA’s incompetency.
#5: Battlefield 4 Release (And More Lawsuits)
The release of Battlefield 4 was a war zone in and of itself, as many gamers had issues upon release. For some, it would randomly crash in the middle of a game. Others were lucky to even get in a match. Glitches and bugs were rampant. It all made the game an unplayable disaster, and it resulted in various lawsuits. One suit claimed that EA issued “materially false and misleading statements” regarding the game’s quality, while another claimed that they intentionally kept the game’s poor state from investors, which violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. One year after release, a producer admitted that the game’s launch permanently damaged their reputation and trust. You think?
#4: Overworking Its Employees (And, Yes, Another Lawsuit)
We all know that working in game development is no walk in the park, and crunch has become something of an industry standard for better or worse, but this another level. In 2004, a blog was released which detailed the terrible working conditions at EA. It was revealed that regular hours were 9 AM to 10 PM, employees worked seven days a week, and they were given Saturday evenings off for “good behavior.” Seriously, what? That sounds straight-up dangerous. If that wasn’t all, they failed to pay overtime. This resulted in two lawsuits – artists were awarded $15.6 million in damages, and programmers were awarded $14.9 million.
#3: SimCity DRM Disaster and Launch
EA is really not that good at PR, are they? It was announced that SimCity would be launching with a form of DRM which required the user to always be connected to the internet, even if they were playing by themselves. To address the complaints, EA said that the game’s multiplayer component was massive, and as such, it required cloud-computing to run properly. Well, this went about as well as you’d expect. SimCity experienced a huge server load upon release, and it caused many computers to crash and/or experience a wide variety of technical issues. How is that DRM working out for you, EA?
#2: Star Wars Battlefront II PR Trainwreck
EA had a real gold mine on their hands, but they completely bungled it. Gamers took notice of the game’s implementation of loot boxes during the beta, and it all snowballed from there. Players soon estimated that it would take 40 hours to unlock heroes like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, and EA responded on Reddit by saying that it provided players with a sense of “pride and accomplishment.” This soon became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history. EA tried backpedaling by removing the microtransactions, but the damage was done. Government officials soon weighed in, namely Hawaiian politician Chris Lee, who called the game “an online casino.”
#1: The Closure of Many Beloved Development Studios
If you ever hear of your favorite development studio being purchased by EA, make sure to say your goodbyes, because chances are that it is just a matter of time. A has closed a HUGE number of beloved development studios throughout the years, including Westwood, Mythic Entertainment, Pandemic Studios, and Visceral Games, just to name a few. By now, it seems to be a gaming tradition that EA purchase a studio and shut them down only a few years later, and it looks to continue into the future as well. Let’s hope this isn’t the case for Respawn, EA’s newest acquisition.
Be sure to check out the video below to our picks for the Top 10 Things EA Needs To Do Better!