EA VP Acknowledges Company’s “Bad Guy” Reputation And Plans To Fix It
Anyone with a passing devotion to video games is probably well aware of the popular consensus of EA being one of the most disliked publishers in the industry. EA has often been at the forefront of unfavorable practices in games, such as pushing for DLC and microtransactions to be major focal points of their games, as well as shutting down some of their beloved developers like Pandemic. EA even holds the record for the most downvoted Reddit comment with their defense of high amounts of time needed for progression in Battlefront 2. Now, an EA VP has acknowledged this “bad guy” reputation the publisher has, and what they plan to do to fix it.
GamesIndustry.biz recently interviewed EA’s EVP of Strategic Growth, Matt Bilbey, about EA’s public perception and strategy to repair it. It seems Bilbey is all too familiar about the public’s negative views of EA, saying that “25 years at EA and I still struggle with the external perception that we’re just a bunch of bad guys.” He also points out the big target EA has based on their massive presence, saying that when EA makes a mistake, everyone knows because of their size and scale. So, to help repair their reputation, Bilbey leans heavily into the EA Originals program, which seeks to help out smaller developers by giving them a platform for their shorter and creatively driven games. Bilbey states:
“As we got bigger, there is the concern that we had become disconnected from new talent coming through. EA Originals is our opportunity to connect with that talent and those smaller ideas. When you are part of a big company, it’s too easy to fall into the trap where when you see a game concept… it has to be big. The notion of actually coming up with small, unique game ideas… We know from the work that we’ve been doing on our subscription business that gamers will play a FIFA or a Fortnite — they have one main franchise — but then they want breaks from those games to play something that’s maybe five or ten hours long.”
Not only does this program allow for EA to atone for some of their missteps by giving back to developers who would otherwise have likely struggles in the industry, but also lets their veteran staff members pass on advice on what to avoid with aspects like mictrotransactions and DLC. While the program itself may not undo every consumer unfriendly choice they’ve made, it does help make EA more balanced and more mindful of the gaming industry outside of their usual big-budget, open-world game bubble. And THAT is definitely a better way to find a sense of pride and accomplishment. What do you guys think about these comments from the EA VP? Let us know in the comments below!
Cory Lara1720 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.