‘Why I still pay EA’

There’s no denying it. When it comes to bad companies, especially in the gaming industry, EA really takes the crown. They rush their games out and they’re always riddled with bugs and lag issues , they’re usually overpriced and the DLC often adds up to more than the full price of the original game. Plus, you always get the feeling that they couldn’t give two shits about you, the consumer. But, for some strange reason I always end up buying and, quite often, religiously playing their games. It just makes no sense. It’s not just me either, plenty of people will complain about EA, but still play the games that they develop or publish, or develop and publish.

I recently wrote an article that detailed my reasons for believing that EA couldn’t care less about us. I still feel the same way, nothing’s changed there. Even if they won’t win ‘Worse Company of the Year’ this time round, I’m sure they’ll regain their crown sometime soon. But, still, I play their games. I wouldn’t call myself a hypocrite, though I couldn’t really defend myself if someone did. I do have a few good reasons for playing their games though. So I guess this is all I have in my defence:

They make good games

Sure, they’re buggy as hell at first launch and often the bugs remain for much of your playtime. Yes, their servers are dreadful and you’d often have more luck finding the Holy Grail than you would an online-match. Of course, their DLC and often the games themselves are painfully overpriced. But, still, at the end of the day, they’re pretty good games. Battlefield 4 is a good game. FIFA 14 is a good game. Mass Effect 3 was a good game. Often, it’s not the games that we’re complaining about, but the overall service around the games. The servers are bad, but I persevere because I love playing Battlefield 4 online when it’s working. The game’s full of glitches and, on occasion, the computer players are beyond idiotic, but I still troop on because I love playing FIFA 14. The ending was dreadful, and was a bit of a kick in the balls, but I thoroughly enjoyed making my way to that awful ending through my hours of Mass Effect 3 gameplay. I can’t really fault them on the overall game – it’s more how they rush those games our, or don’t pay attention to user complaints, that grinds my gears.

Are there better options?

What choice do I have?! Some of the games that EA make or publish are far better than their competitors, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I could start playing Call of Duty, but I dislike Call of Duty, because the games are too short, the fighting’s too hectic and the majority of the players are twelve year old kids who run around with shotguns and noob-tubes. So I play Battlefield and I put up with the crappy servers – though the servers have been pretty good of late, I must admit. I love football games, but there is no rival to the FIFA series. The only thing that Pro Evo has over FIFA is the ability to create and edit teams, but even that isn’t enough for me to move away from EA. It’s just unavoidable at the moment, EA make better sports games. They’ve even hijacked the UFC series and their next-gen game looks pretty immense. It aggravates me, because I feel like I’m settling for a sub-par service because it’s the best of a bad bunch.

They know what they’re doing

EA have been doing this for a while now, the whole ‘making video-games’ thing. I’d imagine that they’re pretty good at it – which is why they still make good games. You know what you’re getting with EA, and I kind of like that. You know that the next FIFA game will be good, it will never be dreadful. It’s rare that they will develop, or put their name to, a bad game. Again, this is coming back to the whole ‘best of a bad bunch’ thing. The real problem is the amount of money that they have available to pump into a game. Of course it’s going to be good when they have millions of pounds to sink into a game. But, where did they get that money from? From cutting corners with their games, by rushing development and pushing games out that aren’t ready, by not upgrading their buggy servers. And it’s probably because they know that we won’t be going anywhere soon.

So that’s the real problem with it all, nobody has the balls to stand up to them (myself included). Well, maybe not the balls. The options. If there was a better option, I would ditch EA in a heartbeat. If Pro-Evo was almost as good as FIFA, I’d switch. Same goes for COD vs Battlefield, and other sports games made by EA. I guess it’s just the whole sports genre that EA has a firm grip over, which is a shame when it comes to the lack of competition. So that’s why I still play games that EA are involved in. Because, in my opinion, there are very few alternatives. I know what I’m getting with EA, and I guess I’m kind of OK with that.

  • EA is the only publisher I actively try to avoid giving money to. Luckily sports and shooters aren’t my genre so it’s quite easy. It must be terribly frustrating to work in EA’s QA departments and see all your recommendations for fixes get pushed aside because of a release date that’s set in concrete to please shareholders. Being a community manager for any EA title has to be one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say if you buy an EA title these days you automatically lose your right to complain about bugs, lack of innovation, tottering servers, poor support et al because you’ve been there before, you know what you’re buying, you know what you’re getting, you know how bad it’s going to be and you’ve just enabled them to keep doing it.

    So because I won’t do an EA internship as a games tester and spend the next three decades working my way to the top so I could then dismantle the whole company from top down and restructure it so that “Quality in Everything” overrides everything else I vote with my wallet instead. Works for me, haven’t seen a bug in a few years now.

  • EA is the only publisher I actively try to avoid giving money to. Luckily sports and shooters aren’t my genre so it’s quite easy. It must be terribly frustrating to work in EA’s QA departments and see all your recommendations for fixes get pushed aside because of a release date that’s set in concrete to please shareholders. Being a community manager for any EA title has to be one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say if you buy an EA title these days you automatically lose your right to complain about bugs, lack of innovation, tottering servers, poor support et al because you’ve been there before, you know what you’re buying, you know what you’re getting, you know how bad it’s going to be and you’ve just enabled them to keep doing it.

    So because I won’t do an EA internship as a games tester and spend the next three decades working my way to the top so I could then dismantle the whole company from top down and restructure it so that “Quality in Everything” overrides everything else I vote with my wallet instead. Works for me, haven’t seen a bug in a few years now.