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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

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EA's Confident Response To Criticism Shows That Gamers Are All Talk

Posted on Saturday, April 6 @ 10:58:00 PST by Jonathan_Leack

Actions speak louder than words.

Reading through CEO Peter Moore's response to EA being nominated as the Worst Company in America it becomes apparent that all the complaining over the years has amounted to zilch. Nothing. Nada. It seems like every week there's a new discussion about why EA is the devil of the gaming industry. Shortly after, it hits the top of software sales charts with more than one title and drives revenue that keeps it growing like The Galactic Empire.

A few years back the rage was about how EA was spearheading downloadable content; not even typical DLC, but the stuff that obviously was taken out of the retail disc to make extra money. Gamers complained, threw up rants all over the internet, and then proceeded to buy the DLC in droves. The cries were heard, but the money spoke louder. That one battle changed the fate of the industry which can be seen if you log in on PSN, Xbox Live, or any other content delivery service.

Speaking of content delivery, Origin is another success for EA that was panned by gamers. When it first came out it was practically feature-less and had plenty of minor quirks. What was particularly annoying was EA's push for exclusive games on the platform such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect 3, and Battlefield 3. PC gamers, including myself, who love to have all their games focused into their accessible Steam library were crushed by the new development. Was it better to give into the dark side and be able to play the popular games, or try to make a point by protesting with wallets?

As you would guess from the sequence of events here, millions signed up and purchased content through Origin. Moore stated in his post yesterday that 45 million users are now registered to the service. It looks like EA won that battle.

Then you have SimCity. It had quite easily the worst launch in the past decade, if not the worst ever. Customers couldn't play for days, and those who eventually could were greeted with a $59.99 with features removed to keep the game stable. It completely trashed its origins in an effort to make a social and online-driven experience. The result was extremely low user ratings across the internet, from a 1.5 rating on Amazon to a 1.9 on Metacritic. You'd think it'd end up being a financial disaster, but it wasn't. It sold over a million copies within two-weeks, and is increasing that number quickly every day.

So why is it that everything EA does is criticised but rewarded? Is it EA who is in the wrong or gamers? It's hard to tell without being somewhat biased. Several of the developments have been a direct response to the piracy which severely damaged publishers a few years ago. It's hard to blame EA for trying to protect itself, but at the same time it doesn't even appear to listen to what gamers say. Maybe with these developments there is no compromise, but if there's one thing we've learned from all this it's that EA is in control of its destiny, not gamers.
Tags:   EA, Origin, Peter Moore
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