A decade ago, Electronic Arts (EA) won the dubious honor of being the most hated company in America – twice. While it has slipped from the rankings since it never seems too far from the occasional controversy or regular criticism for its practices.
This week the company tried to get in on a meme which is essentially: “They’re a 10, but [insert something bad]”. To do so though, their official EA Twitter account sent out: “They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games.”
The tweet drew immediate reaction not just from the public at large, but plenty of major game industry players including some of its employees – and seemingly none of the many thousands of responses were kind.
The post struck a nerve with many, including Zach Mumbach who was formerly a producer at “Dead Space” developer Visceral Games (the studio closed by EA in 2017). he said in a tweet:
“This is the company that shut down my studio and laid off ~100 great developers because we were making a single-player game. Also, if you break game rating scores down to a 10-point scale most EA games are a solid 6 or 7. Not because the developers are bad but because EA the corporation forces them to rush games out. EA corporate leadership wouldn’t know what a ’10’ looks like in terms of video games.”
Others like Vince Zampella, the head of Respawn Entertainment which makes both multiplayer (“Apex Legends”) and single-player (“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”) hits for EA, responded to the tweet with a suitable facepalm emoji.
As Kotaku points out, the company’s growth has been “primarily achieved by doubling down on multiplayer live-service games… and finding new ways to monetise them through elaborate microtransaction shops, season passes, and loot boxes.”
EA famously scrapped the ambitious single-player “Star Wars” game from original “Uncharted” trilogy writer Amy Hennig, only to then release “Star Wars: Battlefront II” with its pay-to-win loot boxes. That title became a lightning rod for controversy over microtransactions and drew legislative scrutiny.
As some have pointed out though, the tweet is especially baffling considering some of EA’s most acclaimed titles to date have been single-player ones including BioWare’s “Mass Effect” and “Dragon Age” franchises; the “Dead Space,” “Crysis” and “SSX” franchises; and the likes of “Mirror’s Edge,” “Titanfall 2,” “The Sims 4” and more recently the aforementioned ‘Fallen Order’.
In addition, some of their more recent multiplayer efforts including “Anthem,” “Battlefield V” and “Battlefield 2042” have drawn stern criticism and some of the worst user scores ever seen on aggregate sites like Metacritic. Following the outrage, EA tweeted: “Roast well deserved. We’ll take this L cause playing single-player games actually makes them an 11.”
Source: PC Gamer