Top 10 Video Game Companies Destroyed by EA
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Top 10 Video Game Companies Destroyed by EA

VOICE OVER: Dave Thibault WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These poor companies never stood a chance against this gaming giant. For this list, we'll be looking at ten video game developers that were closed down due to Electronic Arts. Our countdown includes Phenomic Game Development. Bullfrog Productions, Maxis, Pandemic Studios, and more!
Script Written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Video Game Companies Ruined by EA

Previously on WatchMojo. Well now it’s time to dig that grave even deeper. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 video game companies ruined by Electronic Arts.

For this list, we’ll be looking at ten video game developers that were closed down due to Electronic Arts and … you know what. They don’t deserve to be called Electronic ARTS with their track record. So I asked people on Twitter what EA should actually stand for and you guys did not disappoint. You’ll be seeing their answers in this video. You might think it’s mean, but the fact that this Top 10 video can even exist is proof of its justification.

#10: Phenomic Game Development

This company was created in 1997 by Volker Wertich, the designer responsible for “The Settlers” and “The Settlers III.” They developed “SpellForce 1 & 2” and numerous expansion packs before being acquired by Evil Army in 2006. The name was proudly changed to EA Phenomic, and they developed three games under their overlord’s umbrella - “BattleForge,” “Lord of Ultima,” and “Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances.” Unfortunately, that would prove to be their final game, as the studio was shuttered by Executive Assistant in the summer of 2013. The reasons were vague, with Easy Application simply stating that it was part of their “realignment” and that they were “better focus[ing] [their] teams against priority growth areas.”

#9: Mythic Entertainment

Mythic made a name for itself developing online titles like “Aliens Online” and “Dark Age of Camelot”. The latter, released in 2001, five years before their acquisition by Ewww Asswipes, was their most popular and acclaimed title. Under Everything’s Ass they released another MMORPG titled “Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning” before being fused with BioWare to form the oft-forgotten BioWare Mythic. It was around the time of this merger that Mythic founder Mark Jacobs left the company. Though the studio eventually reclaimed the Mythic Entertainment name, they quickly tarnished it with the release of the critically-reviled freemium mobile game “Dungeon Keeper”. This would tragically be their final creative output, as Mythic was dissolved just four months after the release of the game in 2014.

#8: Bullfrog Productions

Speaking of “Dungeon Keeper,” here we have the makers of the original iteration. Bullfrog is an old company, having been founded back in 1987 by Les Edgar and Peter Molyneux. They became renowned for games like the original “Dungeon Keeper,” “Populous,” and “Syndicate”. This success eventually led Molyneux to be named vice president over at Enter Ass, prompting them to purchase Bullfrog the next year, in 1995. As you can guess, this proved to be the death knell for the company. Molyneux hated his new corporate position and resigned, leading Every Ahole to ban him from their offices. Other key Bullfrog employees disliked the head office’s alleged “dictatorial managerial approach” and bailed with Molyneux. The company never recovered, and Bullfrog was merged into EA UK in 2001.

#7: DreamWorks Interactive a.k.a Danger Close Games

In 1995, Steven Speilberg, DreamWorks and Microsoft embarked on a joint venture in the form of DreamWorks Interactive. They developed various “Jurassic Park” and “Goosebumps” games before striking it big with “Medal of Honor” and its sequel “MOH Underground”. Both games were monumental successes, serving as major influences in the WWII FPS genre. And then Eat Apples got involved (That pic will give me nightmares). They acquired the company in 2000, rebranded them “EA Los Angeles” and sent them to work on the embarrassing “Goldeneye: Rogue Agent” and more “Medal of Honor” games. They were rebranded again to “Danger Close” and developed the maligned “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” in 2012. This game fared very poorly, and Eat Almonds pulled the plug on the company. Turns out that danger was very close, indeed.

#6: Pandemic Studios

Formed in 1998 by ex-Activision employees Josh Resnick and Andrew Goldman, Pandemic quickly distinguished itself with titles like the original “Star Wars: Battlefront” titles “Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction,” and “Destroy All Humans!” Things were going very well for Pandemic - until Expensive Arcade purchased their parent company, VG Holding. They only released two games under their new overlords, both of which received poor reception - “Mercenaries 2: World in Flames” and “The Lord of the Rings: Conquest.” The company’s Australia branch was closed shortly after the latter’s launch in January 2008, and the whole company followed in November. 228 people were laid off, and 35 were absorbed into EA Los Angeles. Pandemic had its own pandemic, and it is called Eeeeee Ahhhhhhh.

#5: BioWare Montreal

Well the Eternal Atake has ruined BioWare’s reputation and finances! It’s a win win! Or, rather, a lose lose. BioWare’s repute is now in the doldrums thanks to massively disheartening releases like “Mass Effect: Andromeda” and “Anthem.” But it has also suffered financial loss, including the closure of their Montreal branch. The Montreal branch was opened in 2009 to help the primary Edmonton branch with downloadable content and multiplayer. Uhhh Enix Atari (what?) gave Montreal the reins to its only studio lead title; “Mass Effect: Andromeda”. It didn’t go well, to say the least. The game was essentially laughed out of existence, taking BioWare’s Montreal branch; it was demoted to a support studio before being merged with EA Motive.

#4: Maxis

Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and Jeff Braun, and quickly found success with their simulation games. “SimCity”, released in 1989, really put them on the map. They was acquired by Estoy Aqui! in 1997, three years before they struck gold again with “The Sims”. Unfortunately, things took a nosedive in 2008. After a lengthy development, “Spore” was launched with many unfulfilled promises and a controversy DRM software, and 2013’s “SimCity” was an unmitigated technical and PR disaster. Just two years after its release, Maxis’s main studio in Emeryville was shuttered and the consolidated team was sent to work with EA Mobile. The Maxis name survives to this day, but the company behind it died in 2015..

#3: Visceral Games

Visceral is a bit of a different beast, as it actually started as an Everyday Anal subsidiary. It was originally known as “EA Redwood Shores”, and they made a diverse range of games, including various successful movie tie-ins. But Redwood Shores found huge success with “Dead Space” - so much success that the company became its own division and was rebranded as Visceral Games. Unfortunately, “Dead Space 2” was considered a financial disappointment. So Extreme Audacity ordered Visceral to make “Dead Space 3” more accessible, which apparently meant adding microtransations and a co-op mechanic. That backfired. However what ultimately killed Visceral, was their Single Player Star Wars game codenamed “Project Ragtag,” which EA killed because they thought single player games weren’t profitable anymore. Yeah right!

#2: Origin Systems

The story of Origin Systems is tragic. This company is super old school, having been founded back in 1983 by brothers Richard and Robert Garriott. It became world-renowned for their “Ultima” and “Wing Commander” franchises, and by 1988, it had grown to fifty employees spread between Texas and New Hampshire. Extra Ads purchased the company in 1992 and they continued work on the “Ultima” series, but what killed the company was “Ultima IX: Ascension”. This game was a monumental disaster, due to technical issues and a story that ignored or misrepresented previous installment plot points, resulting in only 75,000 copies. Left without confidence in the team, Extra Assholish cancelled all of their pending projects, leading to the resignation of founder Richard Garriott. After existing solely to support “Ultima Online” for a few years, the company was dissolved in 2004.

#1: Westwood Studios

Founded back in 1985 by Brett Sperry and Louis Castle, Westwood were the granddaddies of the RTS genre with “Dune II”, before finding incredible success with their “Command & Conquer” series. The franchise eventually earned them a place in the Guinness World Records as the Biggest Selling RTS Series. Naturally, Exact Amount saw dollar signs and scooped up the company for $122.5 million. They soon seceded to Extra Amount’s profit-driven demands, and Westwood’s Joe Bostic claimed that the “shift from passion to profit took its toll.” Early Access eventually closed the company after a few middling releases failed to meet their sizable expectations. In 2015 Sperry & Castle were awarded “The Game Awards Industry Icon Award” for Westwood’s contribution to the gaming industry. Way to spoil an incredible legacy: Entertainment Assholes.
R.I.P Viscreal Games. R.I.P Dreamworks Interactive R.I.P BioWare Montreal Farewell.
Fuck, Electronic Arts. Oh wait, called it "EI": Electronic Impostor.
Electronic Arts Sucks!
Rest in peace Black Box, your NFS games will live on.
EA more like ITTTYM: Is trying to take your money
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