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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Regarding Electronic Arts / by Spoony Spoonicus
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 11:47am 03/09/13 (11:55am 08/14/11) in 28m48s  §  3604 eyeballs
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EA is easily among my most hated game companies, topped perhaps only by the farce that Square Enix has become. But no, I don't hate everything EA puts out just because it's EA. I liked some of their early stuff like Skate or Die, Ultrabots, MULE and the Road Rash series. But somewhere along the line they just went... bad. No longer did they care about making games, they were just after the money and would stoop to any low just to get more of it, spending as little effort as possible, buying out companies and gutting brand names left and right. My favorite example to bring up is Origin, who went from outright mocking EA in Ultima VII (Elizabeth and Abraham, the Guardian being a "destroyer of worlds" and his three evil magical devices being shaped like a triangle, square and sphere to match EA's old logo) to having the Avatar literally bow in reverence to the EA logo by Ultima VIII, the second Ultima game released under EA's banner and widely considered inferior and rushed out by fans of the franchise.

Dare I even mention the downfall Bioware has suffered under their brand? We went from Baldur's Gate 2 - one of the best, most complex and engrossing PC action-RPGs ever created - to Mass Effect (a poorly planned RPG/shooter with 85% of its 'deep storyline' relegated to external reading*), Dragon Age (a very dry and bland Baldur's Gate cash-in with no challenge or variation to the combat) and the crown jewel of crap, Dragon Age 2. A game so monumentally vacuous, rushed and awful that Bioware's employees had to resort to submitting and upvoting reviews of it under sockpuppet accounts just so someone, ANYONE would have something good to say about it. Which is not only a childish thing to do, but a blatantly dishonest one. Even moreso than buying up copious amounts of "advertising" on big-name review sites in hopes of securing a mountain of positive press, as EA is also wont to do. Hell, point to me one issue of Game Informer in the last two years that didn't have EA ads on every third page and at least one long, deep, dick-sucking article about Mass Effect or its developers.

* I don't care how good your "deep and thematic plot" is - if your game requires pages and pages of external reading just to get a grasp on the basic tenets of the plot, you have failed as a storyteller.

Not that EA has been completely terrible, however. They were at least party responsible for System Shock 2, which I regard as one of the best and most immersive horror games ever made, and have even go so far as to rank it on my favorite games of all time. (However, it would later spawn a "spiritual successor" in Dead Space, another vacuous and sophomoric shitpile that completely missed the point of everything that made System Shock great.) They also created Mirror's Edge, which I enjoyed for its innovative gameplay and aesthetic of a "clean-cut" dystopia, which was a stark contrast to the common depiction of the future as a dingy, depressing, brownish-gray garbage dump. However, it fell well short of greatness once you realized that it's plagued by the same faults as so many other big-budget games of late - for $60 you get a a pathetically short campaign (5-6 hours for your first playthrough) that has zero replay value. What's worse is that the story was just opening up, setting up a large-scale confrontation against the Runners and the governing body's elite troopers, but then it just... stops. No big showdown, no major increase in difficulty, no climactic final battle, nothing. You just run through another average stage and then the game simply ends. It's the most flagrant example of sequel-baiting that I've ever seen in a game.

In short, it's always just seemed to me that EA's in it for the money. They don't care in the slightest about making quality products, just about buying out companies and pushing out inferior games with popular brands to make a quick buck. Or barring that, just making games with slightly promising concepts and ideas that are ultimately ruined by a substandard length, poor design choices, lack of replayability, or all three of the above. Not to mention that they still seem to embrace the mid-90s "rad" ideology by playing up gore and violence to the point of being farcical. Yeah, it may have been amusing back then with games like Mortal Kombat, Time Killers and Primal Rage, but once you looked past the gritty exterior and realized it was usually just a gimmick tacked on to push a sloppy, mediocre product, its appeal died out pretty damn quick. Yet EA continues to publish crap like Bulletstorm and Dead Space 2, fully embracing how moronic and childish these games are with their respective ad campaigns ("Dead Space 2, your mom will hate it!"). Give me a fucking break.

As if that weren't bad enough, this mentality of theirs also manages to seep its way into their company policies and media interactions as well, and only further paints them as arrogant, childish and ridiculously unprofessional. Hey guys, it's stuff like this that prevents me and others from going back and maybe giving your company and games another chance, alright? Knock it off.

That about covers what I have to say about EA, but just for the hell of it, let's take a look at a few more brands that have suffered under their label.

Command and Conquer - Dumbed down more and more in each successive sequel, with huge cuts in content just to make deadlines. Hell, go to the Cutting Room Floor and check out their article on Generals. The expansion was practically 50% done when it was released.

Maxis - Simcity gets more and more focused upon tedious micromanagement and less about fun. Spore is one of the most boring, shallow and disappointing letdowns of the entire decade. Do I even need to get into the 1300 or so overpriced Sims expansions?

Squaresoft - Final Fantasy 8. Chrono Cross. Xenogears. Need I say more?

Of course, the aforementioned Ultima's downtrend didn't stop either. Every game past VII became less and less recognizable as Ultima as large portions of the origianl staff were fired, game engines underwent vast changes to be more "action oriented" and deadlines became far stricter, resulting in large portions of the games being trimmed. Ultima IX in particular is so reviled that most fans completely dismiss it from canon.
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Zero_Diamond  §  at 10:55pm 08/20/11
I want to create multiple sockpuppet accounts just so I can upvote this article repeatedly!
 ~Azul Rojo  §  at 10:02pm 08/22/11
The only thing I really like from EA is the Sims series. Sims 3, in particular. I love being able to customize almost everything, and building houses is fun, too. But, I hate how EA milks the shit out of EVERY SINGLE GAME. The expansion packs...holy shit. $49.99 for ones that alter gameplay, and at least $20 for ones that only add items. Then there's the Sims 3 store. Fucking hell, the store. Items range from $0.25 to $2.00 each, and variety packs range from $15 to $30. Of course, some of that stuff looks awesome and people will want to try it out.

Yes, I bought some stuff. A free $10 card came with the Sims 3. Then I put down another $10 for some more junk. Then I quit because expansion packs eventually come down to $15 or less, and they come with more than enough goodies to keep you happy.

I think Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw said it best: "Whew! EA aren't stupid after all! They're just greedy, exploitative fucks!"
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 12:01am 11/28/11
Yet more classy behavior from Electronic Arts. Remind me again why people continue to support this company?

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a cherry