Electronic Arts: a “Greedy Beast” or a victim of modern gaming?
Back in 2012, the Consumerist held an online vote to enable gamers to voice their inner thoughts on juggernaut video game developer, Electronic Arts. Otherwise known as EA. With a total sum of over 250,000 votes, the Consumerist reported that results were not in favor of EA. In fact, according to them, gamers tended to describe EA as greedy.
…the type of greed exhibited by EA, which is supposed to be making the world a more fun place, is worse than Bank of America’s avarice, which some would argue is the entire point of operating a bank.
Famous for publishing large title, AAA games such as Mass Effect and The Sims, EA has typically fallen out of favor with fans, and overtime garnered a reputation generally as a company that leeches onto better (albeit, less financially blessed) video game developers to reap the benefits. Many fans can’t get over the shortcuts Bioware was forced to take while manufacturing Mass Effect 2. Grudges run deep.
So…is it true?
Recently, at the B.C. Tech Summit in Canada, EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke out against the allegations surrounding the company. Vancouver 24 Hours reports with a transcript of Wilson’s statements. The Aussie CEO attempts to reassure consumers and fans that EA is not the monster lurking under your bed.
If you understand the videogame business, EA — the branding is this corporate beast that just wants to take money from them while people play our games,” said Wilson, an Australian man who took over as CEO in 2013. That’s not actually what we’re trying to do.
Wilson has conducted several statements during interviews and conferences to testify to EA’s “player’s first” philosophy. In an attempt to make good on this promise, alongside keeping up with the array of digital storefronts and instant satisfaction consumers are rapidly growing used to (IE: Netflix), EA is adopting what they are calling “EA Access.”
What is EA Access?
EA Access is a step in the direction most internet based services have embraced.
Players with a PC or Xbox ONE pay a monthly subscription of $5 USD and receive access to over a dozen games in the EA Access library, alongside early access to upcoming games.
Wilson commented on the fact EA is adapting to meet players’ changing needs:
For the longest time in civilization, we would spend money as human beings, then we would spend time where we spent our money. That’s reversed now. You come in, and play a bunch of games, and ultimately you invest after that.
It appears in the last few years since Wilson’s ascent to the CEO throne that EA has made radical changes in their marketing and PR. They notice their consumers. They do care what players think of them.
Hopefully, they will continue in the direction of “Players First.”