A Cynical Look at EA Games

Once upon a time games that were buggy, boring, generally unplayable, or just plain terrible had a short life expectancy. That was a golden time where a game that was reviewed well would actually be good. That time has been and gone. This time is dominated by giant publishers, some of which routinely produce good games. EA is not one of those publishers.

EA is a publishing company that actually can claim responsibility for the failures of the games it publishes. I remember when I was beta testing Hellgate: London. My first response was they had a terrific skeleton of a game, and with a little work, it could be great. We, the beta testers, clamored for a delay in the release of the game so that the problems could be ironed out and a game fit for play could be released. EA didn't see things that way, and Hellgate London has now failed. I can't help but believe many other games have the exact same dilemma of knowing what to fix, how to fix it, and having the publisher not allow them to in order to meet a schedule.

EA may produce sports games that don't suck. Honestly, however, name a single sports game that changes so much year to year a downloadable roster and a few mods couldn't do the same thing. Not even the sports games are truly above the line of sucking, however. If you've ever tried to play one made for the computer, you quickly realize how much a sports game can suck.

EA appears to aim for mediocrity and fall short. I can't see the sense in that. EA's tendency to do this has been commented by many before me, including "Yahtzee" Crokshaw, a game reviewer with a weekly video review. Apparently, however, one can become a gigantic publishing powerhouse by aiming to be meh. With the knowledge that EA actively hurts the quality of the games they produce, I cannot help but declare that they suck.

I've prepared a scale of things that suck, for those who may be visual people. Farther down the scale it is, the more it sucks.

EA has reported a net loss of over four hundred million dollars this year. I cannot help but wonder, if they would have produced more good games and fewer complete disasters, if that number may have been on the other side of the zero mark. As such, EA's failures as a publisher have done to EA exactly what this giant companies deserves.

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