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EA Games And The Ethics of The Computer Games Industry

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posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 07:11 PM
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originally posted by: BubbaJoe

originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: dothedew

Paradox Interactive has a very good model with DLC and they do just fine as a company. They make great games, have a very loyal customer base, and make a good amount of money.


Codename Entertainment does a pretty good job too. Everything can be unlocked through play, but they offer microtransactions.


If people like single player RPG's I highly recommend anything SpiderWeb Software has ever put out. Their Avernum remake which is the current releases (and the trilogy conclusion in a couple months) are fantastic. Actually, all their games are fantastic. They're cheap to buy, offer 80+ hours of gameplay each, all single player, no dlc. But they are done in a retro style.

I own every game they've ever made. They're just that good.




posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

The typical game...

None of the games that people complain about in the terms we are dealing with here, are typical games, made by typical developers though.

When one says the phrase "Triple A" in the context of computer games, one is talking about the cream of the crop, games which were fashioned by production houses with long histories, pockets deeper than the ocean, production houses which USED to create fantastic games using their power, but which now create casino software with a deceptive skin.

In fact, none of the titles which have been released by these big manufacturers since they obtained serious market dominance, especially when it comes to EA (who have a habit of purchasing promising developers and studios, only to close them, or force them to make substandard products which wind up making the development team look bad, with the same effect), can be considered typical. Typical means average, middle of the road, or put another way, gaining little attention, and selling steadily, rather than either insanely fast or outrageously slow, in computer games terms.

But Star Wars Battlefront II was NEVER going to be a "typical" game. At WORST it would have broken even, and all that had to happen, in order that it had a chance to do better than that, was to have all the development time spent on it, spent on content for the game, expanding on the basic elements to ensure that the user experience was fleshed out, immersive and captivating, not drossy, or dependent entirely on the multiplayer experience in order to have value. They COULD have spent time making the lightsabre combat feel better, implemented a blocking mechanic so that laser bolts can be deflected toward enemies. They COULD have spent time making sure that all character outfits are period appropriate, and included more in the base game, from episodes one to three of the film franchise. They COULD have spent time making sure that ship to ship combat was at least as dynamic as other examples of Star Wars IPs were in that regard. They COULD have spent time making vehicle combat pop, with the ability to load up a vehicle with teammates, and raid across the map, to outflank enemy and attack from an unexpected direction. These would have added value to the user experience, and made a decent game into a great game, which would have sold like a machine made for the purpose.

But instead, they had to waste time and resources creating a bloody lootbox system, and tying everything to that system.

This crap does not wash, and neither does your explanation of it. If people in the industry are worried about products not making enough money, then they need to improve the product, not demand more money for each product that comes out. Its simple. You make yourself half a game, you should not expect to be paid even the box price of the game, leave alone $2,100 dollars for the privilege of playing what amounts to an expanded version of the tech demo you released the year before.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

EA has had plenty of risky titles. AAA games usually turn a profit, but the ROI is often times not that good on them. Look at Bethesda, Fallout 4 has done relatively poorly, while Skyrim has been a runaway success.


This crap does not wash, and neither does your explanation of it. If people in the industry are worried about products not making enough money, then they need to improve the product, not demand more money for each product that comes out.


It's not quite that simple. I agree that they don't have to use a lootbox system again I'll point to Skyrim and Avernum, but that makes a lot of money, and it's simply in EA's business model to do so. Remember, their goal is to deliver as little as possible that you'll actually pay for.

Trust me, having worked in it I have a lot of criticism's of the gaming industry, and EA is at the top of my list. They make their products by hiring a bunch of junior devs, with really high churn rates, burning people out, and replacing them. For as bad as they are to their customers, they're 10 times worse to their employees and it shows in the products.

Edit: Loot boxes make a lot of business sense, I'll readily agree that EA implemented them poorly here, but for the time they take to implement they're very profitable (low development time, high returns), so if you include them, if even a small amount of people really like your game, but the general population doesn't they can go a long ways towards offsetting poor sales and keeping your company in business. EA is big enough that they could afford 5 or 6 bad sales in a row, but most companies, even some of the larger ones would be shutting their doors after a single game bombed. Micro transactions completely change that. It's frankly bad leadership on the business side of things to not include them at this point, unless you are 110% confident that your game will sell well without them.
edit on 27-11-2017 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:36 AM
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Steam is the future of gaming for real video game fans. You can free yourself from the grasp of big game producers who stagnant the market with their half finished AAA games.

PS: # EA! No seriously! They can go DIAF (and I haven't used that acronym in forever). I know how you feel on the Battlefront side because I was suckered by them there too.
edit on 27-11-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Steam is the future of gaming for real video game fans. You can free yourself from the grasp of big game producers who stagnant the market with their half finished AAA games.

PS: # EA! No seriously! They can go DIAF (and I haven't used that acronym in forever). I know how you feel on the Battlefront side because I was suckered by them there too.


Even most smaller publishers use microtransactions, it keeps games afloat that would otherwise be business ending failures.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I have a ton of games on my Steam list that I feel are complete. Sure they may have DLC (which I usually only get if I get the game as part of a Humble Bundle), but I rarely if ever feel like I'm missing part of the game and need to purchase the rest as DLC. And speaking of Humble Bundle, even with the games that have tons of DLC, you put the game on your wishlist, wait it is included in a Humble Bundle or until one of the many many Steam sales (like the one going on throughout this month for instance) and get the game for mad cheap. Many times that comes with the DLC included too.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 09:56 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I don't buy many games, I'm extremely picky about the games I play. But the ones I do play, I play a lot relative to the amount of free time I have.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

If your game company cannot survive without lootboxes, it MUST perish, and we, the gaming public, will be overjoyed to see it die. You know why? Because smaller companies, making titles for the purpose of making art not fart arsing around with a board room, and shareholders, and all that disgusting muck, make better games.

And another thing, sales mean nothing. There have been great games that sold poorly, and really terrible games, like everything Call of Duty related since the ability to play in 1080p came about, which sold fantastically well. It does MEAN anything at all as to quality. Skyrim and Fallout 4 are BOTH incredible games, just really fantastic, absorbing, immersive games, so the fact that their sales are not equal, probably has more to do with what was coming out around the same time as those games. Fallout 4 did not release at the best possible moment, Skyrim did.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:07 AM
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I think when a game is purchased, you should get the entire content of the game, editing included
This is where pc takes the cake from consoles, still prefer computer gaming.
I've played many games in the past(think it was PS1)(had no life when it first came out) where I literally needed to run to the store to purchase a magazine to advance, or to find button combo's not available in the game's instructions.
This sort of trickery has been around for a very long time.
edit on 27-11-2017 by all2human because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

It's always been about time spent playing and enjoying versus cost. Street Fighter V was regarded as unfinished when it was released 2 years ago, but I bought it at full price (and bought it again a month later digitally when my dog ate my disc while I was at work one day). Today, I have hundreds of hours I've gotten out of it because I come for the pvp aspect which has been amazing since day 1. I'm very happy with my purchase.

The problem is that people have grown FAR too trusting of pre-ordering games or buying Early Access on Steam. When people are buying a promise it causes them to want to justify their purchase when it turns out that the game they purchased wasn't what was originally promised. So developers have slowly started to take advantage of this demographic since consumers let them get away with skimping more and more content. Throw in the fact that the majority of gamers are teenagers who haven't fully finished developing their mental reasoning abilities yet and you get a recipe for shadiness.

Yet all this could be fixed if people would just research what they are buying before doing so, and that doesn't just mean going to metacritic and reading the user reviews.
edit on 27-11-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: all2human
I think when a game is purchased, you should get the entire content of the game, editing included
This is where pc takes the cake from consoles, still prefer computer gaming.
I've played many games in the past(think it was PS1)(had no life when it first came out) where I literally needed to run to the store to purchase a magazine to advance, or to find button combo's not available in the game's instructions.
This sort of trickery has been around for a very long time.


Smarter companies have started doing this as a feature. It's one of the competing models to loot boxes. Paradox and Bethesda are two companies that have gone this route. They make a game with a small to moderate amount of content, and then release it to the public with full modding support on the idea that the playerbase will freely create new content for them.

In certain franchises this is a very good strategy. For example, Paradox has a huge modding community so this strategy works well for them. In some other games it doesn't make as much sense. EA for example isn't known for having a good community.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

With the exception of Spiderweb Software because I really like the company, their one employee is something of a hero to me, I won't buy a game unless I can see myself getting at least 1000 hours out of it. I'm pretty good at knowing what I will and won't sink that much time into.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Wow. O.o Getting to a 1000 hours for me is probably only accomplishable with a fighting game. Even JRPGS I can't get that many hours into. I got to a few hundred hours on Disgaea 5 though. My ADD usually distracts me from single player games before I can get that many hours into a game though, and the only pvp games I play are fighting games.

There is only one game I think I've reached that level of time spent on. World of Warcraft.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I'm at about 750 with Skyrim and not bored of it yet, 20,000 with an MMO that I no longer play, about 11,000 in civ 4, and closing in on 600 in Borderlands 2 (I don't think this one will hit 1000). Though for the past year or so, and most of next year I've got very little time to play so those numbers won't be changing much for the foreseeable future. I've probably broken 1000 in MTG too, but that's a paper game.

As far as putting that many hours in, it's easy. I'm not satisified until I can play a literal perfect game without effort. My definition of perfect varies by game. In Skyrim for example it's completing every single quest in the game, without killing a single npc more than necessary, not pissing anyone off, zero deaths, and legendary difficulty, without having to store a single item in a chest in a house (or any non resetting chest). In Civ 4 it's picking a random civ/leader, choosing my victory condition before knowing who I'm playing, and accomplishing it... without losing any military battles, tanking my economy, or making any of 1000 things I consider mistakes. In Europa Universalia 4 it's world conquest plus any other achievements I want in that game in a playthrough.
edit on 27-11-2017 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 10:57 PM
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i just cant understand how this is even an issue honestly. if u dont like microtransactions, dlc, lootboxes, etc then just vote with your wallet. if they stay afloat then obviously some people enjoy it. i could care less if something exists that i myself dont like and im sure not going to spend energy trying to take that choice away from someone who may like it. i hear the cry from many people to outright ban these things and get the govt to step in, which is absurd imo. theres plenty of good games and devs out there that dont follow those practices so spend your energy and money there if u want to see the industry shift in a new direction. you the consumer has all the power in the world.

in the end i wish people would stop trying to ban, censor, etc whatever it is they dont like, and instead just have an opinion on it and be vocal with that opinion on why u think its a product people should avoid. let people make their own choice and if after hearing your opinion they still purchase it and get burned by the very things you were vocal about, they might listen to u more closely the next time around.



posted on Nov, 28 2017 @ 04:49 AM
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a reply to: TheScale

And heres where you are missing the point.

If we permit these things to go on in even the triple A market of gaming, then pretty soon there will be no place in the market which is not corrupted by it, leaving gamers who actually game for their achievements, rather than buying them, no longer able to access the hobby at all.

For example, even now, if you said to me "Here, TrueBrit, I am going to just GIVE you a PS4" I would probably say "Ok, can you recommend me some top of the line titles, which feature no paid DLC, no lootboxes, no in game purchases, no addons, just games which are fully fleshed out, require no messing around with the internet to operate, and only cost what is on the front of the box" I am sure you could recommend me some. But they would not be the games which I want to play. Why? Because the kinds of games I like have been infected and corrupted by nonsense.

I want the thematic experiences involved with games like Star Wars Battlefront II, Overwatch, Shadow of Mordor, but to get them, in the modern era, I apparently have to accept that I will never be able to play at anything other than a significant disadvantage, a disadvantage that due to others appeasement of this unhealthy period of games development and massive corporate interference with the art form of games production, will only deepen with time. That is not acceptable.

As for this :



in the end i wish people would stop trying to ban, censor, etc whatever it is they dont like, and instead just have an opinion on it and be vocal with that opinion on why u think its a product people should avoid. let people make their own choice and if after hearing your opinion they still purchase it and get burned by the very things you were vocal about, they might listen to u more closely the next time around.


With respect, you need to look closely at the top line of the quoted section. There are hundreds of things which are prohibited, for very good reason, that, when you boil it down, come down to decency, as dictated by the personal opinions of people. Thats all any social mores really boil down to, things we agree, on some level to do and not to do. By your logic, we should just let people harm others as much as they want, then wait for the harmed parties to complain about it, before we do a thing about it.

By that logic, there would be no child protective services, there would be no law against rape, there would be no law against murder, or theft, or anything else. Lets just allow everyone to do whatever they want, and let people decide for themselves whether they want to be murdered, or beaten, robbed, raped or whatever. Lets just allow companies to brainwash us, and then expect brainwashed people to make reasonable choices after they have already been accessed by the systems we are concerned about... makes perfect sense...

Of course, it does not make any sense at all. The whole point that people are making about these pieces of software, is that they are predatory and that means that once a person has been accessed by them, once they have accepted their place in the world, the damage has been done because they are going to lay their hard earned down, not because their reasoning mind thinks its a good idea, but because very clever manipulations have rendered their minds an ineffective defence against the product concerned!



posted on Nov, 28 2017 @ 05:25 AM
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While people are working on finally putting an end to some of the more manipulative and blatantly predatory practices that have become viewed as acceptable from the triple-a dev sphere, I'm wondering when the backlash about games sending "player metrics" back to the home companies for analysis will hit the limelight.

Not enough people talk about that one, I believe because most people don't even know it's happening.

They need the internet connection to get player metrics, to push day one patches, to deliver the extra content which has been carved out of the game during the normal development cycle so it can be sold to people later...

The big video games market is just like too many other markets right now, lost in a sea of greed. But the proper backlash is only starting. People are getting sick of being used, in a lot of different ways.

As to Battlefront, I expect their cash grab system will be back in full effect by December 15th when the new Star Wars drops but if not then by the end of the month at the latest. Got to siphon off that holiday money.



posted on Nov, 28 2017 @ 05:52 AM
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a reply to: Noncents

This is a damned fine point Noncents.

The whole problem with computer gaming at the moment, as with many of the entertainment related arts, is that people are forgetting to include actual art, in their rush to insert money making tools.



posted on Nov, 28 2017 @ 06:05 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

awe always one for the dramatic. you realize your talking about VIDEO GAMES! if the consumer continues to support such things then they obviously want it. again let the free market work itself out cause right here is a great opportunity for you to actually get up and do something about it if u really want change. go out and start learning to code, make new connections within that industry and build each other up and make that game that doesnt exist for people like you. its not up to everyone else to make the world u want, it requires effort on your own part. not really gonna even respond to the false dichotomies in there cause honestly, you should know better



posted on Nov, 28 2017 @ 06:27 AM
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a reply to: TheScale

Nope... this is bunkum:


awe always one for the dramatic. you realize your talking about VIDEO GAMES! if the consumer continues to support such things then they obviously want it.


If the consumer continues to buy these things, that is NOT the same as supporting them. All the continuing trend of people buying these games indicates, is that there is a number of people in the gaming community, and in the Star Wars fandom in the case of titles from that IP, who will literally buy any thing that is available to purchase, who will play anything that is available to play, regardless of problems it may have. Saying that gamers buying games and playing them, regardless of their quality, is tacit support for the systems they are implementing, is just utterly ridiculous, given what we know about the addictiveness of computer games, particularly these online, multiplayer experiences, where people round the world have been known to die from playing for too long, sat at their machines, not sleeping, eating junk, and eventually dying from too many Red Bull's, Cheetos, and microwavable snacks, and too little daylight, sleep and proper nutrition.

It does not take a genius to figure out what is happening here. Its Stockholm Syndrome, but subtle. The gamer is a captive audience very often, especially if, unlike myself, its their only hobby.

Whats a gamer going to do? Not play the games? Try suggesting that to a serious hobbyist, and see how far you get.



again let the free market work itself out cause right here is a great opportunity for you to actually get up and do something about it if u really want change. go out and start learning to code, make new connections within that industry and build each other up and make that game that doesnt exist for people like you.


No, there is no such opportunity. I have work to do. I am about my business, one I have worked for too many years, sacrificed far too much for, to abandon at this stage, which I would have to do, in order to properly apply myself to a new profession, especially one involving computer languages, which, unless one is born adept, take ages to learn. Nor do I have the money to start a new company for the purpose of assembling a team of people to do this stuff on my behalf, and with my ethos at their backs. If I did, we would not be having this conversation, and I would be running hostile takeover bids on companies like EA, sharking it up but banishing corporatism from without every single company into which I had sunk the tendrils of my own organisation.

You are talking absolute nonsense, have an entirely unrealistic view of how market capitalism ACTUALLY works. If things were as simple as you say, for a start, there would be no massive oil companies, no energy giants, people would all run their own ISPs for data, rather than paying some other entity to do it, get their energy from renewable systems, on their own property, that they built themselves and without any connection to the grid to manage or pay for.

That seem like the world you are living in? I did not think so. Companies do what they do, by having leverage. You want this service? Well, you are going to have to pay for it, pay whatever we ask you for, because otherwise you get no heat, no light, no water, no nothing.

If it were as simple as you say, solutions would come faster than problems, but that is not the reality we live in.

And as for me knowing better, thats rich.

You should know better than to expect an entertainments related industry to be controlled by its customers, rather than the other way around.



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