Electronic Arts, much like in this cringey double high-five debacle above is missing the mark with many gamers.
I’m a gamer at heart and although I don’t get to dump hours into video games anymore, I still like to keep my finger on the pulse. I find myself reading reviews, lurking on message boards and for some god damn reason, purchasing new titles that I know I’m ultimately not going to have the time to play. It is a vicious circle and my wallet pays the price. Such is life.
EA is one of the many major video game companies that is especially transparent in their greedy tactics. They are elite level when it comes to squeezing every last dollar out of a title. EA became one of the first companies to demand an “online pass”. This hurt people who would purchase used games at a more budget friendly price from places like Gamestop and other used game resellers. Not only would you have to pay for the game at the second hand store, but when the disk was popped into your console, the game would prompt you with the requirement to buy an “online pass” to access the ability to play with friends. A feature which had been standard for all titles since the beginning of online gaming. EA obviously felt they were missing out on potential money here with the uptick in video game resellers.
Another sore spot with many gaming fans is the new trend of developing a very stripped down game, then offering the rest of the content as a “Deluxe edition” for 20 dollars more. Star Wars Battlefront comes to mind. EA has been championing this dirty tactic for the last few years.
Lastly, relying on game patches after release to smooth out kinks and broken programming in many titles has become far to common. This is not strictly an EA issue. With most gamers being connected to the internet via Xbox live, Steam or the PlayStation network, video game developers have become accustomed to relying on patches to fix game issues after release. This is after you’ve already paid for a working game. A large part of this growing problem is due to aggressive development cycles. EA sports is notorious for this. With sports titles being released every year, many games need a first day patch to fix things broken immediately after release. People take issue with this when they see EA dumping millions into marketing these titles for gamers to purchase. Why not cut the marketing budget a half million and reallocate that money into hiring a few more programmers to ensure your games are released working on time? Just a thought.Ultimately, EA has a borderline monopoly on many gaming genres.
Now we understand that at the end of the day it all comes down to money. EA has thousands of employees who need to put food on the table for their families. But trying to squeeze every last possible dollar out of a game release and not putting that same effort into it’s development it is not acceptable.