The Worst Video Game Company of Them All

I am back guys! It’s been over a year and the truth is that I have not been thinking much about YouTube due to dedicating so much of my time on other things. Such as drawing, playing games, working my butt off at my job and moving to a new apartment and well, I have been doing many streams on my Facebook page, where I sit and rant about things that are happening in the game industry, games I’m playing, threads from the subreddit of r/truegaming and more stuff coming down the line. I figure I will start doing that for YouTube as well since I like this kind of stuff, off the cuff, streams of conscience coming out of my pores and letting go of what is in my head for all of you fine folks to hear.


And lately, I have been ranting a bit about what I consider, no contest, as the worst video game company currently in operation today, Electronic Arts. EA, or “Evil AssHats”, has always been a brand that has gone to whatever lengths they can to get your money and well, I can definitely say this year it’s been the worst one in its history and it well deserves it. I have no quarrel in saying that I hate EA with a passion, and the hate they are getting now is well deserved. From the many things they did in the past few years since games have been more digital, DLC being a thing being created with pieces of the game taken out, season passes and releases of broken games; EA did them all and more and some that just blow everyone out of the water. Today, I will be getting the ones I can remember, as well as being the poster child of child gambling, the serial killers of development studios, and killers of great game franchises all because they can’t stop filling their damn bank accounts with more money.

Let’s begin..


 

Star Wars BattleFront 2

battlefront-2-1

Well folks, this alone here has been the cause of some many practices. Shall I list them?

  • Pay To Win
  • Gimped XP Rewards
  • Forced Grinding to be Steered to Loot Boxes
  • Loot Boxes
  • Pre Order DLC
  • Season Passes
  • Being forced to grind to unlock heroes\villains with artificial grinding (Loot Boxes)
  • Diminishing of Single Player Rewards
  • Poor Responses by Developers
  • Backpedaling
  • Gambling

Those last three are probably the most important since these came just short of the game coming out and then after the game came out, the response was getting much worse as the days went on. The response for them became what is, without doubt, the worse game release in the history of gaming that I have been alive to take place, since No Man’s Sky, from last year.

The response of the EA Community Management team on a Reddit post ended up getting the MOST downvoted thread in the history of the website, by hundreds of thousands. Afterwards, it became the 2nd worst rated game on the user reviews in the metadata review site MetaCritic. Also, this was AFTER they pulled out all their in-game currency purchases temporarily to “re-tool” their system (more on that in a moment). And then afterward, the reviews started to come in, fan outrage kept on going with YouTubers like Jim Sterling out right demonizing Eating Asses for their monstrous practices.

 

Disney Says Stop You Bitches

Remember when I said they pulled their in-game purchases a moment ago? Well at first it was thought that this was a gesture of eating humble pie and admitting they got it wrong and well… read for yourself…

ea-star-wars-battlefront-2-in-game-purchases-removed-statementjpg-740x336-optimal

This was ONE day before the game launched after the bombardment of crap they themselves created for making BFII the most unappealing game in years, and from this, you might think this is a good move and that Electric Armadillos learned their lesson. NOPE! This was forced on them by Disney, the company that owns the Star Wars property and from what I heard, threatened to pull their exclusivity with Star Wars if they didn’t clean up the mess they created with the mess of a game, tarnishing the reputation of Star Wars. So to recap, the forced apology press release says they learned their lesson, but in reality they were forced to remove them, and would have kept them for sure if it wasn’t for the Mighty House of Mouse coming in. Also, notice where is says “the ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date”; I guess that lesson they learned was temporary. No, this is simply a digital bully being told to stop picking on the little guy and will stop for the moment, and then bring those habits back. This wasn’t a gesture of good faith, but a press release probably handed down by Disney read back with forced enthusiasm to come off as caring.

We know they don’t care, and will never care…more on this shortly.

 

This is Gambling!

I made a live cast on my Facebook page about whether the loot box system is considered gambling and I said it was. Here is the definition of the term for all of you to enjoy…

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as “the stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, chance and prize.[1] The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.

-Wikipedia

noun

1.

the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes.

2.

the act or practice of risking the loss of something important by taking a chance or acting recklessly

The discussions in regards to this has been felt by some countries and even US states like Hawaii and are trying to outright stop the sale of games that include the loot box mechanic from being a thing. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“This game is basically a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into an addictive cycle of gambling money for a chance to win game upgrades. These exploitative mechanisms have no place in games being marketed to minors, and perhaps no place in games at all,”

“Nothing currently prevents EA from exploiting people buying lootcrates with random contents through microtransactions because there is no requirement to disclose the odds of winning something meaningful, and companies like these are allowed to specifically target youth without the cognitive maturity to know when they are being exploited.”

“We have already asked the Attorney General to look into this situation. We are also looking at legislation to protect families by prohibiting the sale of games with these gambling mechanisms to those who are underage, or prohibiting these gambling mechanisms altogether,”

– Chris Lee, Hawaii State Rep

No I am not one to be allowing the government dictate how I should be playing my games but the actions of this greedy cesspool of a company should be controlled. By making the in-game mechanics so that you keep on going to these loot boxes, they are making you dependent on this so they can keep selling you boxes and you keep buying and the cycle goes on and on.

Some people don’t agree, like man-bear-pig and always wrong idiot Michael Pachter said:

“The legislators are morons. ‘Gambling’ requires a wager to win something of tangible value. If the thing won can’t be sold or monetized, it isn’t gambling. Period. Morons. Should resign immediately,”

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities

Nevermind that the loot box system is by definition what gambling is, and the ESRB doesn’t consider it either since the gamer is always getting a reward as well, where in gambling you lose you get nothing; but they are wrong, both of them. Per Chris Lee, this is a trap, designed with intent on getting the gamer to suck in more money after buying the $60 game to make more money out of frustration, and greed.

“We all remember Joe Camel being used to encourage kids to smoke cigarettes – we shouldn’t let Star Wars be used to encourage kids to gamble. Star Wars is a global brand, one of the most valuable intellectual properties in the entertainment industry, and owned by the world’s foremost purveyor of movies for children. With great power comes great responsibility, and in this case the onus is on Disney and Electronic Arts to take a strong stand against underage gambling.”

Sean Quinlan, Hawaii State Rep

This is also not past employees and former members of EA’s cabal of infamy and terror as known game developer and outspoken allowed Bioware racist Manveer Heir said the following about EA’s practices and how much they “care” about the players:

“The reason is that EA and those big publishers in general only care about the highest return on investment. They don’t actually care about what the players want, they care about what the players will pay for. You need to understand the amount of money that’s at play with microtransactions … I’ve seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards.”

Manveer Heir, former EA employee and developer

 

Eviscerating Visceral Games and Bioware Montreal

5c9

The picture up there needs updating, as 2 companies this year got absolved and one, I’ll talk in a bit, is on the way to join them as well. Visceral Games, the creators of the Dead Space series, were an in house project that then got their own studio and then made an excellent sequel to the series. Then EA got greedy and wanted this to be more than just a game series with awful movies, and an even more awful 3rd game that started the trend of adding microtransactions into AAA games. The game took the scares out in place of action oriented combat that took all the tension of the game out, put in a multiplayer that wasn’t played at all and scrapped a 4th game all together, leaving a mess of a 3rd game ending with no conclusion. After they were forced to work on a BattleField game no one wanted, they were working on a Star Wars game that was similar to Uncharted in a way, and then EA sunk its claws into it to make it a BFII like hole, and closed Visceral all together.

Bioware Montreal is even worse, as they were just a team to help add things to the Mass Effect games that came before it and were given an opportunity to make their own game. And then like Jack The Ripper, EA couldn’t stand on the side and let them do their thing, no no; they force them to move to Frost Bite, the buzzword of game engines that EA designed more for their FPS games but were insisting on making sure Mass Effect Andromeda had it. Thanks to them, this left the studio having to come up with a way to make the engine work more than make characters, story and important shit like making sure the game worked before launch a thing to be left for last. Of course, EA didn’t care in the slightest and even went as far as adding it to the EA Access service as a way to get people to buy into their nonsense monthly fee subscription plan to play all their games. Before launch, people got an early release for this game and saw in horror what the finished product was like, with meme worthy problems like the character’s facial animations, falling through worlds, freezing, characters becoming wooden puppets, or slugs, or constipated. A story you weren’t invested in, because of characters you didn’t care about, with a gameplay system that was broken at launch. And thanks to EA closing BioWare Montreal, now there is no DLC to add to the missing plot and no more updates that will fix anything that is still broken. Thanks EA!

 

Next Victims – Respawn and BioWare

It’s safe to say that you are not safe if you are in EA’s clutches, and some were fine for a bit, but there is no saving these two now. EA is the kiss of death and gamers are sick and tired of these greedy monsters, so they will not support their products. Sadly, this means whoever is left to make games, might feel the wrath as well, because of EA’s uncaring nature or lack of foresight. Respawn Entertainment, the makers of TitanFall, were fine because they had a partnership with EA, and EA didn’t outright own them. Not anymore as this year, the same year EA was peddling BattleFront with all the shade in the universe, were bought by EA and now EA owns TitanFall. Add all I have said to TitanFall’s next game will fail and I promise, this is the next studio to die.

BioWare is more sad and reserved for later as they are making Anthem, EA’s cash grab for Destiny as they are trying to make a game that has Destiny like mechanics and hopes to do right what Destiny didn’t. However, with the public already not reacting as well for Destiny, and EA’s horrible reputation along with BioWare’s baggage of releasing the worse Mass Effect game ever made all in the same year, Anthem is probably dead on arrival already without it even being finished. They need Anthem to survive or BioWare is gone. For good.

 

Conclusion

Electronic Arts does not, has not, still don’t and will never care about their employees, the gamers, the developers, the games, the fans, and anyone that gets involved. Everything they do is in the service of making more money and that is all they care about ultimately in the end. They make mistake after mistake, get voted Worse Company of the Year, twice, in a row; they close studios after absolving their IPs and turning them into casino machines, and don’t even bother to explain it at all. Just give vague statements and written speeches in E3 where slimeball CEO Andrew Wilson, goes up there, lies and tell you he cares about the gamers. He stand there, wearing his suit, proud that he can brag about how awesome he is and how awesome EA has become and he does it because despite all I have said, they still make money. EA Sports alone has Madden and FIFA microtransaction systems that make them bags of money and no one just stops and observes this is a problem. EA will never change, as long as we continue to support them by buying their products. They suck more than all the game industry’s infamy and yet, they continue to strive and will continue to succeed, unless you do something. How?

  1. Stop buying their games, even after they “fix” them
  2. Stop subscribing to their services.
  3. Stop purchasing loot boxes and microtransactions
  4. Invest in great games and companies like CD Project Red and Ninja Theory
  5. Spread the word!
  6. Respond to the developers for EA and to them, even if they don’t care.
  7. DO NOT BUY THEIR GAMES!

This is all pointless if you don’t engage and vote with your wallets, and I will vote with my wallet and my heart. As much as it hurts for developers, great people to lose jobs due to financial underperformance, EA takes the hits and will have to backpedal themselves. Their bottom line is the most important thing and it their brand is this tainted and will not change, we have to force this on them. This is to the benefit of the devs that are still there, and for the games that we can get later down the road. We don’t stop them now, they will never change, they will never care, they will never stop.


Quotes are from this article:

State legislators call EA’s game a ‘Star Wars-themed online casino’ preying on kids, vow action

 

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