ATC: EA Attempts to Monopolize Gaming Industry

June 11, 2007 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment


 All Things Considered is a weekly series, providing the ranting and raving podium for the eager founder and blogger of Get Loco, locoroco. It will cover topics ranging from the gaming industry as a whole to its players.

Here’s the disclaimer before people misunderstand what I’m trying to say: I don’t work for Activision or Ubisoft, and I do actually enjoy a decent EA-game  once in a while. What I am saying is at EA, known as Electronic Arts, once was the third-party company that could, has changed a lot. It has gone from the friendly and understanding small business that was creating new projects and great software easily and quickly to the egotistical giant monster that is waiting to attack our industry.

By capturing nearly every single studio or developer through throwing gobs of dollars at them, they’ve taken pretty much every single great game to a crossroads. After acquiring Maxis, they’ve turned the studio from the nice developer of The Sims to the wretched moneymaker who attempts to make profit on every single bit of extension they add to The Sims. They’ve transferred Sim City from a carefully constructed beauty into a sloppily made simulator that’s way past its time.

EA’s sloppily made flops don’t matter, though–in  time, they’ll make all of their losses back thanks to the venerable giant, Madden. The series has really slowed down its potential, through OK graphics, horrendous framerates, and numerous bugs. If that’s not enough, they’ve monopolized all NFL licensing rights by signing a ridiculously humongous contract with the league to hold the exclusive rights to the NFL and its players. By kicking NFL 2K and maybe even Tecmo Bowl out of the game, they’ve transformed NFL video games from a competitive effort into a complete monopoly. The football-gamers are still enjoying spending up to $60 on this bogus piece of crap, and we’ll all still have to wait until the contract is over for some breathing air. The game ends up selling millions every year and quietly, but quickly, rakes back in everything that was put out on a crappy game like Sim City 4 or even SSX Blur.

Their renewed efforts to explore new ways of bringing gaming to life (aka “we aren’t willing to spend millions to produce great games, so we’ll spend it on making Wii games”) could only be hurting their image more than helping it. Terrible graphics and horrible storylines could be to fault–Boogie, though, looks ambitious and could actually be the outliar in this whole rant.

EA: make better games or let your company sink down into the ground. Plain and simple.



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