EA: We Are Getting Better At Listening
‘We haven’t always been the best, but we’re trying to improve.’
There is one thing you can count on as a constant as far as gaming goes- everybody hates EA. Everybody. The largest publisher and developer in the world has a longstanding history of exploitative business practices, of gutting the creative processes of its developers which all have storied histories, and of murdering franchises. People are incredibly harsh on EA- they have actually won the Worst Company in America award a couple of times- but EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson has, in a new interview with Games Industry, admitted that the blame does lie on the company.’
“We haven’t always been great listeners,” Wilson said, referring to EA’s transition to digital gaming, and talking about how the digital era provided a constant dialog between gamer and publisher so that the latter wouldn’t have to guess at the former’s demands anymore, “But we’re getting better, and what that’s telling us is that people want choice. They want to be able to choose what’s right for them at a given moment in time. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all any longer. We’ve got to build a core platform, game engines, and games that facilitate that.”
This is all well and good, EA, but I really want to see the receipts. If the outcome of these epiphanies that you have had is stuff like SimCity, EA Sports UFC, NBA Live 14 Battlefield 4, or Dungeon Keeper, then I’m not sure you’ve done all that good a job at listening. I’m not even sure I’d classify you as improving- more like getting worse, really.