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EA Games And The Ethics of The Computer Games Industry

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posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:07 AM
a reply to: Kurokage

That's precisely the model!

It motivates players to spend, using "whales" as the stick, so to speak.

Its extremely effective. You don't want to be left behind in matches or rankings, do you?

I still can't bring myself to install any game updates on my X1S (ill use up my data limit on PC games instead), but I can't imagine that consoles and PCs are different in the respect of monetization.

I try to only look at getting a game on deep discounts, and after something like a GOTY edition has been released. In a lot of ways, this seems to offset the impact of things like MT pretty dramatically.

I'd say the best thing to do is also strongly support smaller companies that are churning out excellent games, but even then, there is nothing stopping them from going down the same route as EA.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:16 AM
a reply to: sapien82

The hours I spend are somewhat misleading though.

Some of the games I have like the two XCOMs and the CIV games are turn based which means I can and often do bring them up and leave them sit while I am actively doing many other things around the house.

They are "safe" games for a busy parent.

I can drop them and do a load of laundry, deal with a child, answer the phone, address something in the kitchen, even go run a quick errand if I must.

All of that time, the games register as if I am playing, but I am not.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:18 AM
a reply to: Serdgiam

The danger with small producers is less that they themselves become houses of evil, but that that the big development mills will notice their success and buy them out.

How long before CD Pojeckt Red gets bought out by an EA or an Activision because they've gotten too successful?

At that point, they get homogenized into the fold and destroyed under the corporate model. I've watched EA destroy two of the companies that were making games I enjoyed a lot that way: BioWare and Maxis.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:24 AM

originally posted by: Darkblade71
a reply to: sapien82

Thanks for the steam profile checker, that was fun to look up.

413 hours playtime...
I'm almost disappointed in
I thought it would be more.

Something is up with that calculator, My account is 15 years old and it says 3000 hours. I've got over 900 in doom's snap map alone by my own record. I also know I have over probably about 5-10,000 hours of counter-strike since steam exists.
edit on 23-11-2017 by SRPrime because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:36 AM
a reply to: ketsuko

Point taken.

In fact, it seems that many feel the general marker for success in many industries is getting to that point of selling the company. In principle, it may be straightforward, but I think the reality of what this creates is problematic.

Hell, I have to argue with people in my own life about selling ideas. They simply feel "that's what you do." As they say, how could anyone actually succeed without being bought out by those that have already succeeded? Its an odd, and slightly disturbing train of thought to me.

Then again, I'm a diehard advocate of decentralization, so maybe my apprehension of such behaviors is sourced in that.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:41 AM
a reply to: Serdgiam

I think sometimes it has to do with how long it does take to succeed. How many make it right on the cusp of their retirement years?

At that point, the idea of suddenly making enough bank to see them living in comfortable leisure instead of fighting day in/day out and working enormous hours like they have had to to get where they are gets very attractive.

The freedom to finally be with one's family is also being dangled too.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:58 AM
a reply to: ketsuko

Yup, there are definitely selling points. I suppose if there weren't, no one would do it.

I think that illustrates one of the biggest differences in perspective too. Many "market empires" are approached as something which will last for generations. For "normal" folks, we don't tend to think in such terms. At best, we think of handing something down to our children.

Even so, many of these empires have grown and thrived well within a persons lifetime. Everything from Ford to EA has been built in a relatively short time frame.

I think that technology is really going to shape these things too. When an individual, or small group of individuals, can actually build/buy the means of manufacturing and assembly of their products through methods like additive manufacturing.. it changes things dramatically. Though I'm not sure its applicable universally, I actually feel this is the way to return the manufacturing base to the US.

Similarly, someone mentioned AI created games earlier, but I feel something would be missing from such things. Now, maybe not for the typical multiplayer shooter, or even procedurally generated player-driven worlds, but certainly for anything story driven.

Hard to say how all these things would interact. Some are pretty wild.. It may be generally accepted as normal, but I still find it strange that money can be made by internet ads. And, not actually clicking them, but by number of views. I get the dynamics, but find it no less odd. I expect that type of oddity will become more frequent as our tools advance. I could even see games including ads as a means to avoid paying for MT, giving players the choice. Or, maybe more likely, forcing the ads and then to remove them you have to pay.

Regardless, my personal threshold is based on how much money I pay for the product. As long as I can get AAA, and not-so-AAA games for minimal cost I have a pretty high tolerance. I could never, *ever* imagine paying the full $50-$60 for a game anymore.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 06:20 PM
Game designers/publishers will keep doing stuff like this as long as there is money to be made from it. And there is. Tons of it.

I used to play Star Trek Online on and off since launch. They had an ingame store pretty much from the start where you could buy certain things for the game, like being able to play a certain race or buy a certain ship and so on. I was not terribly happy about it, but then again, at least you knew what you were buying for your money and obviously a free to play game has to make money somehow. I even bought a couple of ships myself. If you are a Trekkie, you can certainly understand how much cooler it is to fly around in a Defiant, rather than no-name crap ship.

After a couple of years, they implemented loot-boxes, which you would find all the time. In order to open them, you needed to buy a key from the store of course, and then you would get something random. All or at least most of them had the chance to get a more or less good ship, and lots of other pretty good gear, but of course what you mostly got was crap. In the event that someone happened to win the main-prize ship, everyone in the game would see some text flashing up in the middle of the screen that so-and-so and won such-and-such ship. This was obviously done so people could see that it was in fact possible to win those ships.

Another thing they did was adding certain themed packages (I forgot the name) for a limited amount of time to the shop, that worked pretty much the same. I remember one day a few years ago, when they added a package that contained a ship that was up to this point widely considered the best one in the game.

Over the whole day those 'win-messages' kept popping up on my screen permanently, more or less a new one every half of a second. For hours. The next day it calmed down a bit, so the messages only popped up every few seconds, but still very often. The chance to get that ship from those packages is ridiculously low, lets say 0.5% if we are being very generous, probably more like 0.1% or even lower. For so many people to win those ships, they must have opened those things like crazy, you can probably do the math.

One of those packages costs around 5 bucks, I think. With a little more math, you can get an idea just how much money the game's publisher probably made that day alone on the packs. On the games forum I read about people who blew 800 bucks on these things without getting the ship, which may or may not be true, of course, and my pity for them is rather limited.

Still, as long as people are willing to put up with this and pay for it, publishers will try to milk them with such gambling schemes, or putting out halfway finished games, which on top of that miss certain parts that the stupid customer will have to pay extra for. It often seems like they put in more effort into those DLCs to begin with in order to make more money, rather than producing a good game.

Thus I usually wait until a game is on sale and then buy it when something like a complete package with all the DLC included comes out. Sure, that means I will have to wait a lot longer to actually play new games, but when it comes to companies like Bethesda, it also means that a bunch of great modders had time to make their mediocre games much better and worth playing. Until they once again started with their paid mods again, that is, which is another (and equally disgusting) can of worms entirely.

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 07:33 PM
Computer games, back in the day, i.e. late 70's, 80's and early 90's were created by small companies and individuals hoping to cash in on the early market.

Today's computer games are created by huge companies that outlay a budget that is comparable to what cinema studios use to make movies. With such a large expense they require some way of generating profit from the gaming crowd unlike the movies, which have a vastly larger audience. Look at Chris Roberts, He raised over $100 million in crowd funding to continue his Wing Commander space sim game series. A game called Star Citizen.

The systems I have owned over the years:
TRS80 Color Computer
286 IBM clone
386 IBM clone
Pentium III
Pentium 4
Dual core
S-BOX 360
Core i7
edit on 23-11-2017 by eManym because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 07:35 PM
Ah I miss defender of the crown kind of games .
But nothing beats VR gaming experience.

I remember the days VR wasn't ready for consumers and that you could get a whiplash from wearing those things as if you were right on and plugged into the matrix with all cables hanging aside,but only enjoying the fact you could be for once standing in the lawnmower man his shoes.

VR will be next level gaming and beyond. I'm still waiting when they prenounce Xwing VR heading into a full scaled virtual starwars battle ..
Atari 2600 missile command ,invasion
BBC acorn Elite
Vic 20
Comodore 64 "press play on tape load ,8,1
Comodore Amiga 500 ,1200 shell imo the first windows based computer.
Xbox and xboxone
Pc dos 3.1 until I7

edit on 0b35America/ChicagoThu, 23 Nov 2017 19:46:35 -0600vAmerica/ChicagoThu, 23 Nov 2017 19:46:35 -06001 by 0bserver1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 07:38 PM
Augmented reality will overtake virtual reality in the coming years because there is so much more that can be done with it. Virtual reality, in terms of gaming, will eventually fade away.
edit on 23-11-2017 by eManym because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 07:47 PM
a reply to: eManym

Don't know they still lack with a full consumers version

posted on Nov, 23 2017 @ 11:22 PM
i honestly have no sympathy for the consumers in this case at all. EA's reputation is well known, has been for years, and quite honestly its on you the consumer to look out for your own well being. if enough people dont like their business practices then the free market should work out the problem. now when it comes to the gambling side of it i do believe we should be labeling those products and restricting them to the appropriate age. on the other hand, my gut tells me the vast majority of people making purchases online in games are adults and if its about gambling addiction and the threats that poses then age restricting it will do practically nothing imo.

with how digital the entire games industry has become u just cant purchase a game without having an adult do it for you if your a child, except for a couple exceptions. most children i know do not have free access to their parents credit cards and anything the child might want has to be approved by their parents first. now there are game cards which u can purchase at 7 elevens, walmarts, etc and u can then make purchases online with them so there are some backdoors for a child to obtain something without their parents knowledge.

in the end every business employs some sort of tactic to take advantage of the human condition and the consumer needs to be looking out for themselves. i would add one layer to it for industries who employ tactics such as gambling that we deem a threat to people through addiction, and that is to require them to pay so much of their profits to an org designed to promote awareness about addiction in "gaming" in general and offer help because that transcends loot boxes and there are plenty of studies to prove it. hell maybe levy a tax across the entire industry for the really big guys.

posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 07:09 AM

originally posted by: SRPrime

Play 1 round of 2017, then play 1 round of classic. Everyone will agree. Classic is janky, the shooting is terrible, the engine is bad, the netcode is atrocious that it's even hard to play on 100mb lines.

Well thats your problem right there... lets get something straight.

Things do NOT change their purpose, just because time passes. They way they are built does, the under the hood gear does, but the purpose does not. For example, Crysis was an amazing game, in its day the most impressive, most modern, slick, deeply accomplished game of its kind... but it was a first person shooter first, and everything else that it was on top of that, was simply a bonus, an upgrade (and an extremely significant one) on what had come before.

Gaming was never supposed to be a social experience, but a solo one. Multiplayer functionality in a game is great if you like that sort of thing, but games should not start there and work out a mollification for solo players. How well multi player, over the net play worked in that era, really did not matter one iota, because old schoolers, the ones who make up the majority of gamers and will until they are all dead, played single player games, and still get down that way, despite the push toward massively multiplayer experiences. The connection for a game made in 2005 to the internet therefore, really matters very little in the grand scheme of things, because in that era, console gaming over the net was about as wise a choice, as eating abrasive paper and expecting a smooth toilet experience. I can list on the fingers of no hands, the number of times I EVER connected by PS2, to the internet. I was never even tempted. Local co-operative play, two control pads, one screen, thats fine by me, thats legit, thats REALLY social. Play with friends and family? Who would sniff at that? But in 2005 you would have had to have been a fool to take your PS2 online, and expect anything good to come of it. NO games in that era were worth taking online, unless they were on PC.

There is no balance in the game at all. Your opinion is that of nostalgia, it's not rooted in reality, but rooted in an era. There was a very tiny small cult following for a reason. The game was promising conceptually, but flawed in actual design. Getting 1 shot ON SPAWN from the otherside of the map is good design?

Well, you say that, but the new SWBF2 game will spawn you directly in the path of incoming fire, with pretty astounding regularity, its a known problem that many streamers have highlighted.

Having Mace Windu go 88 and 0 is good design? Okay.....

Uh, yes, it is. Statistically speaking, Mace Windu, or any of the Sith or Jedi heroes, SHOULD be able to ream their way through masses of enemy, in not very long at all... BECAUSE THEY ARE BADASSES! Getting those characters is like dropping your ult in Overwatch. Sure, technically you are killable while playing that character at that time, but good luck getting it to happen unless you play competitive and have a brain like an aimbot! If Jedi and Sith heroes are NOT next door to unkillable, then what is the point of them? The game would not match their lethality in the movies in that instance at all, making playing them feel odd, off, not like unto expectation. Good design, when transferring movie IPs into games, is having no surprises, and Darth Vader being headshot by some random grunt Rebel Alliance member, would be utterly wrong for any game featuring the Star Wars universe.

And while purchases will come back online once the progression systems are overhauled, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. That's not horrible in and of itself, and you should recognize that since you have less time to play than you probably used to, ya know -- being an adult an all.

Of course there is something wrong with it. People should not have to make the choice between loosing one hundred and eighty eight days of their lives to a game, or spending up to $2,100 dollars on it to make it remotely playable or enjoyable! Having less time than I used to, does not make much of a difference when, even as a child I had NO WHERE NEAR that amount of time to sink into one game, nor have I ever as an adult had access to the sort of money involved either!

posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 07:10 AM
a reply to: SRPrime

You could unlock everything in Mortal Kombat in a day, you could not unlock everything in GoldenEye in a day. As long as you can unlock what you want, by looking at what you need to do and then doing it -- and it's not an incredibly grindy system, then the grind is only as long as the content that's available to unlock. So as long as it's reasonable to obtain, then I couldn't care less if someone else wanted to buy it all.

This shows you have done little to no research at all. There is no way that a human with a finite existence and a life to live in the slightest regard, would do anything but object in the most strenuous terms, to being forced to either spend thousands of hours, or thousands of dollars, to complete a game to a satisfactory standard. If you had done your research, you would know that both the cost of buying your way to completion, or the time to do it the right way, are both FAR too high, for a game that cost sixty plus dollars retail, absolutely monstrous amounts of money.

That's not horrible friend, it's only horrible if the time sinks are so great that the only viable way to do it is to purchase, which is how it WAS before they pulled the kill switch. For instance, in 2 days I had all the locked heroes unlocked. The price reduction from 60k credits to 15k credits is not reverting, follow?

It damned well IS horrible. Only when everyones options are the precise same, when the limitations on each player are the precise same, only when everyone has to grind or no one does, and most precisely, when the only money being made is on the box price of a game, is anything remotely fine, is anything even slightly less than horrible. Something will ALWAYS be wrong with a game where rewards can be purchased instead of being earned, regardless of the amounts involved. And another thing, they sure did reduce the credit price of things… but they also reduced the rate at which credits can be earned through play. Its STILL a scam.

I've had a lot of game time availability changes in the last 5 years or so, and I can tell you, there were games I simply couldn't play because they were way too time consuming and there was no alternative. In an MMO or something, sure that's fine, but in a straight first person shooter, that's not fine, and there is a middle ground between the two. They've been doing this in every single Battlefield game since Battlefield 3 and not one person ever complained, most people don't even know you can just buy all the unlocks with cash money on day one, because the unlocks come in very steady and can be targeted.

posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 07:10 AM
a reply to: SRPrime

What do you mean, not one person ever complained? I very much doubt that. People have been complaining about micro transactions in full priced titles, since 2006, and the Horse Armour controversy, a situation involving some overpriced cosmetic add on for horses in the Elder Scrolls game on the Xbox. Its been a bugbear of players since the issue first raised its head, but appeasers and idiots with more money than sense (whales) have been screwing things up for the actually quite vocal gaming community ever since, by sucking up that Kool-Aid like they were dying of thirst, and the only cure was a lighter wallet! Its been vexing the hell out of folk for over a decade, and you think no one complained all this time?

Valve's GabeN has a very powerful statement about this, and he too believes in the middle ground. Having real money purchases isn't bad by nature, it's bad when the game incentives those purchases.

Take Deus Ex: Man Kind Divided as a perfect example. This game had microtransactions, but the game itself did nothing to force incentive to those purchases. I played it to the end and never spent a dime, nor even felt like the system was there, but for the people who wanted all the praxis out of the gate who didn't want to download a trainer and were totally okay with opening their wallet -- what's the harm? In other words, there is nothing ethically wrong giving the player a choice, design the game to incentivize purchases on the other hand IS ethically wrong because your forcing the purchase and it ceases to be a choice, and that's the part they cut out and are replacing.

Valve’s GabeN is not a reliable source on this matter. Why? Because he works for a company that could stand to make a great deal of money from systems like this in the future. If he stood to gain nothing at all from legitimising this cancer in the guts of gaming, then I could trust his word on it, but given that we are talking about a person who could financially benefit from the continuance of this absolute travesty going forward, his word is worth nothing at all.

As for Mankind Divided… Do you even understand computer gaming as a concept, or the people who engage in it? When we all play the same game, with the same limitations, we have a righteous experience, and ones ability to enjoy it or not comes down to what sort of gamer one happens to be. Those shared experiences unite players under fandoms, not just because we all saw the same cut scenes, but because those of us who have played like games, without skirting round the hard work, or using our financial status to buy advantages, rather than “getting gud”, have a comradeship, a mutual respect for one another. Anyone who completed Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for example, deserves my respect, and I know a measure of their struggle, because we all had to pass through the same levels, with the same gear, the same amount of health available.

When you can buy your way to an easier experience, that means that the player base will be divided, and that mutual respect will not be present, and it SHOULDN’T be present either, because respect needs to be earned, and those who merely purchased their progression are not worthy of it.


posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 07:10 AM
a reply to: SRPrime

I would love to hear about the "holes" because I guarantee it's bias because you've predetermined to not like it. Yes, objectives for attackers need to be tuned, yes there are some battlepoint exploits right now they need to be patched out, but uh -- from a game design point of view? Everything works, it just needs tuning. They took so many queues from the classic games, I'm not even sure what that statement means. You say the classic games are better, yet -- the game is bad because they took too many queues from the classic games?

Ok, how about this:

You can spawn straight into death in this game, and it’s a big problem for many players. Character models are not correct for period, especially Stormtrooper garments, which are the incorrect model, during many of the fights in the game. Each Star Wars movie had slightly different gear in it, and it seems like EA just glossed over that, unifying all Storm Trooper costumes into one era, which is pretty damned lazy, given that they are the only company permitted to make Star Wars games. Period correct armour and gear therefore, seems like something they would have taken advantage of, if they were not so busy figuring out how to fleece gamers with lootboxes and in game purchases.

The single player campaign (and bear in mind please, gaming is NOT a social experience, but an anti-social one, always was, and there is nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with trying to suggest otherwise, trying to change that fact now after all the time gaming has been that way, or trying to force gamers to accept the new paradigm by companies refusing to make games for the people who made the market what it is today, those people being, the folks who have been consuming computer games and related gear for DECADES), is four hours long. Four. Not fourteen, or forty. Its four. That is pathetic. The 2005 game, if you wanted to complete the campaign modes fully, could be as long as 53 hours. That’s a nice, solid amount of time. Its not quite as long as a Zelda game, and its not four thousand hours, nor is it four hours. Its about damned right for a game of its scope.

Furthermore, the squad system in EA's BF2 is a joke. Only the officer class appears to have any use for squad based play, and anyone playing any other class of character, seems to just bugger off out of view at the first opportunity, and without the slightest care in the world as to what other players are up to at the time, rendering squad play utterly irrelevant. You state that you believe that BF2 as it is today, did draw things from the classic game… I would like to know where, exactly, you found that. When a person wanted to hop into a multi-troop transport, and do a hot landing, fast deployment assault from that troop carrier, while laying down withering fire into the enemy, they could in the old game. Not so much now. If you jump into a troop carrier in the new game, chances are your craft will be on rails, controlled by a bot, and you will be the only player character on board, and all you will get to do is use the weapons pods, while your pilot fails to line you up on acceptable or tactically advantageous targets entirely. This inability to scoop up a squad in a troop transport, and move them to contested areas of the map, means that one is not able to use the full capabilities of the forces involved in the combat, to outflank or out manoeuvre the enemy, having instead to simply meatgrind ones way through them. Reducing tactical options is not smart, and does not improve the player experience.


posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 07:13 AM
a reply to: SRPrime

And another thing, while we are on the subject of vehicles. Space combat, as a dynamic method of making war, in the Battlefront 2 game of today, is lacking some serious depth. Yes, you can dogfight like a son of a bitch, and I am sure that’s lovely for those with a serious attention deficit problem, but if you watch ANY of the films, you will note that important events occur during ship to ship boarding, the first instance of which, is the capture of Leia, by Darth Vader during A New Hope, followed by the rescue of Leia by Han Solo and Luke Skywalker shortly thereafter. Another example, is the battle above Naboo, which sees Anakin Skywalker inadvertently land his… borrowed N1- Patrol fighter aboard the Trade Federation Lucrehulk, and frag its delicate innards. Why then can a player not summon a group of compatriots, and perform a boarding action, to take down shield generators, to cripple engines, or to damage defensive systems like main gunnery gear or what have you. Furthermore, as a massive fan of Star Wars, I am aware of more of the lore regarding the franchise than appears in the movies, and the books and comic books which have come out in that universe have made clear that boarding actions are a very important part of combat between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire, not to mention other factions all throughout the galaxy concerned. This is ENTIRELY glossed over in the 2017 game though, for no reason I can make out, other than the fact that the people who developed it were too damned lazy minded, to realise that if a game from a decade plus ago can do it, then a game from right here and now MUST do it, if it is to be considered complete!

Pretty much shows you don't care about the game itself, you're consumed by the SJW outrage over lootboxes.

Lootboxes suck unless they are supplementary. They are not right now. That is a problem. They will be after the progression update. Problem solved.

Oh… now I understand. You are representing for EA and their nonsense, because there is a popular movement against their practices… Well, this at least makes some kind of twisted sense now.

Look, you can take whatever view you like of political persuasions other than your own, but trying to make out that my opinion is invalid or based on nostalgia, as opposed to a desire to see quality games and ethical behaviour from developers, is unfair and inaccurate. To dismiss my arguments against the nature of the games industry at the moment, and more precisely, EA’s attitude toward SWBF2, in the terms you have, is not realistic. To do as you are doing, and merely roll over, pay your money, accept sub par products for premium money, does not “aid” market forces in doing what they are supposed to do either, which is sting companies for making these choices, until they make better ones.

For YEARS, games manufacturers have been telling us what we want, rather than asking us, and giving us what they want us to have, rather than what we are asking for or want. This must cease, balance bought to the Force once more. The players must stand for themselves, against the overwhelming power that the developers have gained over their wallets and their wills.

Lootboxes DO suck, and they will continue to suck until they are an afterthought, not a core feature of any game. But what also sucks is developers cheaping out on the good stuff, AND scamming the players at the same time, that is just unacceptable.

posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 08:47 AM
a reply to: sapien82


I appreciate the invitation to game with you very much. However, at the moment, I have a PS3 and thats as far as I go, with regard to gaming. The shape of the evolution of gaming over the last little while, has totally neutered any desire I have had to move forward into current gen machines, of any flavour. I have long been held back by money from the hardware angle, but even the games themselves, largely as a result of the sort of tomfoolery we have been discussing in this thread, have made me extremely wary of investing money into a current gen machine of any kind. In any case, it would more likely be a console for me, since PCs require frequent upgrades in order to maintain any viability, where as consoles tend to have a slightly longer shelf life, in my experience.

posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:17 AM
a reply to: SRPrime

That's sad because Battlefront II is not an empty game, there is a wealth of content and all of the DLC content is free, and the DLC content is shaping up to be as big as the base game essentially doubling the games content.

Battlefront is just a generic shooter with a star wars setting, the flight bits are awful compared to the X-wing games.
I don't really feel I'm missing out on anything.

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