The EA Disaster
EA has been a disaster… As a gamer, their projects are consistently big budget snooze fests. OK, Dead Space was great and so was the first Rock Band. But all there other new franchise efforts have been colossal bores (Boom Blox, Mirror’s Edge, Army of Two, Godfather, the Wii spinoff of Dead Space, and tons of others I can’t even remember…).
Going by GAAP numbers, they lost $391 million on revenues of $788 million… In other words, they are spending about 50% more money than they are making and their business is consistently losing money quarter after quarter. Rather than continue what they are doing, it would be wise to close shop and refund whatever money is left to the banks and investors.
What I disagree with is this whole nonsense about EA being “evil” or not. They finance and manage developers. Are they evil? That’s ridiculous to ask! Is a hedge fund evil? How about the post office? Or my dentist? Or a pizza shop? What the heck kind of question is that? None of us are really in a position to cast that type of judgement either way. But we can judge the quality of their work, which seems to be funding boring games and completely misjudging what people want to play. And ultimately the free market determines their finanical viability which doesn’t look so good.
What about the widely publicized employee scandals? Sure, I care about the plight of developers, but every company has tons of happy success stories (like Criterion Games at EA) and bitter miserable stories. I advise workers to exercise caution wherever they choose to work and doubly so in the video games industry. But beyond that, I really don’t see any valid way to judge which employers are good to work for and which aren’t. There are tons of anecdotes, but those really are nearly impossible to interpret objectively…
And one last bit of “I told you so!”. Remember last year, when they blamed their financial money losing problems on the Playstation 3 and their brilliant idea solution was to focus on the Wii? And remember when we openly mocked them for being ridiculous?
They were never a PS3 focused developer to being with. They always had more 360 and Wii exclusives, their PS3 games were mostly old ports from the 360, and generally got low ratings and no interest. Well despite putting out several titles fully designed for the Wii from the ground up, they are still disappointed by the sales.