EA: We Never Want to Be Named Worst U.S. Company Again

BlameTheWizards

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EA: We Never Want to Be Named Worst U.S. Company Again

Andrew Wilson, who took the reigns of EA last year, wants to turn over a new leaf for the company that has regularly been voted one of the worst in America by consumers.



For those of you keeping track at home, Electronic Arts has been a regular contender for the "Worst Company in America" run by the Consumerist blog, though it did lose out early<a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133197-Electronic-Arts-Voted-Out-of-Worst-Company-In-America-Poll> to Time Warner Cable in the most recent round. Well, EA's not looking to take back the position any time soon, according to a recent <a href=http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/05/andrew-wilson-of-ea-we-never-want-to-be-worst-us-company-again> interview by The Guardian with EA's chief executive, Andrew Wilson.

Wilson, who became the head of EA about a year ago, wants to bring a new philosophy to his company, one that will win back the trust of gamers and make sure EA doesn't once again "win" the Consumerist's dubious award, as it did in 2012 and 2013. "I hope we never appear on that list again, I truly do," he said. His new goal is to make EA a "player-first" company. If players become "the lens through which we see the world," its a win for both EA and gamers, he said. "Players end up with great games, the people who work for the company end up working in a much more positive place and ultimately the shareholders will get a return."

He admits that strategy hit some snags early on, most notably with the <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/135572-EA-CEO-Battlefield-4-Launch-Was-Unacceptable>abysmal launch of Battlefield 4 . However, because of that setback, the new EA is now willing to delay a launch if it's not up to snuff, he said. Continued Wilson:


"We decided that we couldn't get an innovative Need For Speed title out this year so for the first time in 17 years we're not launching one, we're giving the team extra time. We moved Titanfall on Xbox One out of our fiscal year; we moved Dragon Age, we moved Hardline. These were difficult decisions. The business of what we do, as measured by the stock price and fiscal returns, has grown - to me that's reassurance that we're doing the right thing."


He also addresses another black eye for EA, the <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/135710-Cash-Grab-Dungeon-Keeper-Was-Wrong-Admits-EA-CEO> launch of the "free-to-play" Dungeon Keeper earlier this year. "As you push the boundaries, things are not always going to go how you like," Wilson said. "One of the things we've tried to do is give our teams more space to evaluate where they are at at any given moment in time and change development process to facilitate that."

Wilson believes that his company is at a point where they are more free now than ever before to experiment with games, adding that he wants to bring in player input earlier to better help construct games.


"This whole concept of the industry hiding everything until the very last moment is an outdated way to make games. Invite people in as early as you can, deal with the feedback and build that back into the game. What you get two or three years down the track are amazing games built with the help of the community."


What do you think of Wilson's words on the new EA? Its comforting to hear EA talking about learning from their mistakes, but are you willing to believe them on face value? Let us know in the comments.

Source: <a href=http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/05/andrew-wilson-of-ea-we-never-want-to-be-worst-us-company-again>The Guardian


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danielcofour

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May 6, 2014
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Yeah, but then again they did just release Sims 4, a game with significantly less content than it's predecessor(at launch! let's not even talk about the expansions) and a game which promises 20 more expansions for a total price of 500$... hey I could buy a console for that.. so, no, pass, more action and less words, Andrew. We've all heard this same nonsense a hundred times before.
 

CrazyCapnMorgan

Is not insane, just crazy >:)
Jan 5, 2011
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As long as EA focuses more on profits than on games, I refuse to ever do business with them. They wish to make money by making games, by treating games as more of a "product" than an "experience".

They can change the faces at EA all they want; they will never change the fact of what I said above.
 

Ldude893

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Apr 2, 2010
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Less talk and more action. With what I've seen of The Sims 4 so far and its repeat of mistakes even after Sim City 2013 (which was a glorious trainwreck, by the way), EA has yet to live up to its words.
 

Fappy

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As long as they continue to nickle and dime their customers they won't be a 'players first' company. Their loyalty is to the bottom-line, not their playerbase. Most game companies find a way to balance those two concepts, but EA has a history of saying one thing and doing another. I can't figure out if their PR department is incredible or abysmal.
 

Dying_Jester

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Oh wow, so many pretty words that I just wasted my time reading!
I'm not exactly sure why I spent time reading this article when anything to do with EA is either them screwing up or making promises to not make the same mistakes. Telling us they've changed, they're a better company and thy just want us to be happy.

I would say that I won't read another article about EA unless it's something so amazingly good that even Yahtzee and Sterling stop being their snarky, funny selves for a few seconds to praise them...but anything about EA is like drinking coffee for me, I can't just have one cup.
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
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Then why repeatedly act anti-consumer?

They've spent years stripping content, customization and features out of their games and reselling it for extra money. Everything they do is a middle finger.

Though as awful as Comcast is being, they might get out of it this year.
 

Tortilla the Hun

Decidedly on the Fence
May 7, 2011
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There definitely have been improvements in the way EA handles things, generally speaking. Origin is a much better service than it used to be. Somehow download speeds are significantly better than on Steam, which I'm still not entirely sure how the limits are determined. The fact that they're allowing to give more time for developers to at least release a functioning product is definitely a relief.

They've still got a ways to go before they can be called a great company, or even a good one. But after all the fun I've had with Titanfall and even Battlefield 4 (several months post-launch), I can't say they're complete shit. I suppose we'll see if this new direction is maintained.

I must say I won't be all that surprised if they somehow win the Golden Poo again, considering how some people still cling to the EA hate-train as if every member of the company walked up to their house and drew penises on every surface available.

EDIT: Completely forgot to take into account the recent release of Sims 4. Yeah, a third Golden Poo is likely in EA's future. Though, as mentioned above, maybe Comcast will come up from behind for the win. It's neck and neck.
 

Darth Sea Bass

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Nice words there, EA. But let's wait and see if your actions match up to your words. I'm not holding my breath.
 
Nov 28, 2007
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Mortis Nuncius said:
There definitely have been improvements in the way EA handles things, generally speaking. Origin is a much better service than it used to be. Somehow download speeds are significantly better than on Steam, which I'm still not entirely sure how the limits are determined. The fact that they're allowing to give more time for developers to at least release a functioning product is definitely a relief.

They've still got a ways to go before they can be called a great company, or even a good one. But after all the fun I've had with Titanfall and even Battlefield 4 (several months post-launch), I can't say they're complete shit. I suppose we'll see if this new direction is maintained.

I must say I won't be all that surprised if they somehow win the Golden Poo again, considering how some people still cling to the EA hate-train as if every member of the company walked up to their house and drew penises on every surface available.
I hate to be that guy, but Mortis, you just said everything I wanted to say, and about as nicely as I could have. Am I saying that EA is a great, or even good, company yet? Not quite. I'm not writing them off completely, though. Making mistakes for a company should be allowed if they learn from it. Hopefully, Andrew Wilson will be better at learning from his mistakes than Riccitello was.

Of course, I'm one of the heathens who thought that EA never deserved the Golden Poo at all, much less two years in a row, so my opinion is pretty much worthless.
 

IceStar100

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Jan 5, 2009
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I don't believing for a second that true. They song this song and danced this dance before. I'd love to see them change but don't think they can anymore.
 

epicdwarf

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Apr 9, 2014
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EA attempt to not look shit #1685342468737685

The only thing EA can do to not get such an award again would be to stop being anti-consumer. Which we all know will not happen within our children's grandchildren's life time.
 

Matey

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Jun 25, 2008
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Sounds nice. But we won't see EA releasing their PC games for anything but origin and they will continue to put in $100+ of DLC for every game including day 1 DLC... so they can just keep talking and I'll just keep on not buying. Not worth it to do business with EA.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

(Insert witty quote here)
Sep 10, 2008
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I remember then newly appointed CEO John Ritchwhatshisface making similar statements back around 2008. What's the bet in 2020 we'll be having another PR speak laden 'we are going to change, honest!' speech read out by the next corporate suit?
 

omega 616

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I don't get it, it's not hard to avoid that title ... all you have to do is do read a few forums and see what gamers like and dislike, we literally say "X is shit, we want Y".

I know what the problem is, non-gamers telling gamers what they want. Managers and up are business people, they know how to make money and protect what is theirs ... what they don't know is what gamers want. We will happily pay for quality games but being nickel and dimed pisses us off!
 

CriticalMiss

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Jan 18, 2013
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He also addresses another black eye for EA, the launch of the "free-to-play" Dungeon Keeper earlier this year. "As you push the boundaries, things are not always going to go how you like," Wilson said
They're still going with the 'Dungeon Keeper was just too innovative' bollocks are they? How sad.
 

weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
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"push the boundaries", eh? like some kinda revolutionary, daredevil frontier chaser?

mutter mutter i'll show you where you can push those boundaries mutter

the focus seems to be more about regaining trust than actually doing things for the customer, they can throw as many free games as they want to but it won't convince me that they're just waiting to pull some crap down the road, especially when the free games are already dead to EA anyway

as for the other "improvements" on their other services, i'm not impressed by them making origin actually functional when that thing has been all for their benefit, and fixing crap that you broke isn't even close to respectable while continuing to charge maximum price for everything

it just makes me feel even more suspicious, and it won't go away until they learn to let go of being assholes, instead of just shooting for "well we're not the worst company" and then trying to figure out how much money they can wring out of us while staying there

there's barely any difference between that kind of model and an undercover criminal organization
 

sturryz

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Nov 17, 2007
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"EA: We Never Want to Be Named Worst U.S. Company Again"

EA has shown no willingness to change, regardless who runs it. It simply can't keep it's current business model and expect people to take it lying down.

If I take away anything away from recent gaming controversy, it's that I doubt that gaming companies are gonna be able to get away with what they have been able too, in the past.