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What went wrong with EA?

  • Fuse
  • Shadows of the Damned
  • The Saboteur
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
  • Need for Speed Carbon
  • Battlefield Bad Company
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Battlefield 3
  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space 2
  • Fight Night Round 3
  • Crysis 2
  • Syndicate
  • Dragon Age Orgins
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter

This is a fairly sizeable list. All different kinds of games, all sharing space on the shelf with the rest of my PS3 games, yet they all have one thing in common. Some of you more eagle eyed readers may have already realised that these are all games published by EA, either that or you read the title and knew this was an EA related article.

These are just the ones I own in physical form, not to mention the ones I have on digital and there’s even more besides those I own. The reason for this article isn’t for me to do some form bragging, but to make a point and ask; where did the EA of the previous generation go? The list in this article is plain for all to see and a quick Google search would reveal even more games than this.

As many of you are probably aware, EA has built up something of a bad reputation these last few years. Having been voted the worst company in America, more than once, and who could forget the controversy with Star Wars Battlefront? If you’re unaware, it revolved around the inclusion of loot boxes and a pay to win style mechanic. Since players were able to gain advantages through unlocking and applying “Star Cards” and said cards were available inside loot boxes players could purchase, it meant that, should they choose to, they could pay for an advantage. It was a big enough issue that it ended up making the news and has since lead to discussions about whether or not the purchase of loot boxes was deemed gambling, since the contents are randomised.

EA eventually removed the microtransactions from Battlefront II, but by that point a lot of the damage was already done. It didn’t take long for EA to return the microtransactions, once the heat had died down a little, only now they unlock cosmetic items instead of giving a player advantage.

The list of studios they’ve shut down is longer than my arm, to exaggerate a little, with one of the more recent ones being Visceral Studios, creators of Dead Space. Let’s also not forget how they seemingly buried the Burnout series to allow Need for Speed to thrive, purely conjecture of course but that’s how it appears to one on the outside looking in. Thankfully, members of the original Burnout team have formed Three Fields Entertainment and are slowly trying to bring back the magic with their Danger series, the latest entry being Dangerous Driving.

It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure and as many of you may agree, EA seems to be a shell of their former self. We can only hope that BioWare isn’t next on the EA chopping block thanks to a few mishaps in the form of Mass Effect Andromeda and more recently, Anthem. Mass Effect Andromeda was the long awaited sequel to the much beloved Mass Effect trilogy, only this time putting the player in the shoes of another character by the name of Ryder, the “Pathfinder”. After travelling to the new galaxy, and a 634 year nap, Ryder is charged with exploring the Andromeda galaxy in search of homes on the planets within the new galaxy for the many people aboard the Ark to live. It doesn’t sound like a bad game, but appearances can be deceiving. It was fairly poorly received despite selling over a million copies in its first week, with many of the sales undoubtedly coming from the Mass Effect name.  The game was marred by technical issues, likely coming from the use of the Frostbite 3 engine, which was apparently not built to handle the kind of game BioWare were making. You can find out more about it’s troubled development here.

Anthem on the other hand, is a new IP (intellectual property) some may have called the game to beat Destiny. In reality however, people reported that the game played as though it hadn’t been tested and there were many complaints about a lack of content. While Destiny may not be the best game to many, it did well enough to garner a sequel, who knows if the same could be said for Anthem. BioWare could already be on the brink of collapse according to reports of stress related incidents. If you’re curious about what went on with Anthem and what things were like for the people involved in its development, you can visit this article to find out more.

Personally I hope they manage to realise where they went wrong and maybe do a little back peddling, I wouldn’t hold my breath, but I hope it nonetheless.

Chris Bracewell
Been a gamer for a long time, is my favourite and oldest pastime. Occasionally, when the mood strikes; I enjoy dabbling in games design, primarily the artistic side.
https://www.northern-gamer.com

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