Gaming

Battlefield under fire for dunking in single-player games

Garrus from Mass Effect looks tired and dazed into the distance.

Image: Biovar / Kotaku

It’s been a long time since Electronic Arts was a video game villain, but on Thursday FIFA publisher sucked out all the oxygen in the room due to a bad prank compounded by the company’s cutthroat history. If there is one gaming mega corporation someone shouldn’t have to take random shots in single player games, this is someone who has a track record of shutting down the studios that make them and jamming multiplayer releases full of microtransactions and loot boxes.

“They’re 10, but they only like to play singles.” – EA published at 19:33 It was play on the meme which first exploded on TikTok in early June and was already losing popularity on Twitter by the end of last week. It also quickly drew a lot of scorn. “It is clear that you are not familiar with the concept of 10s”, answered ForbesPaul Tassi. “You did Hymn. I’m just stating a fact.” answered in Washington PostJean Park.

EA’s original post has already garnered over 9,000 comments and 11,000 tweets with quotes. Some have commented that single player games are among the most popular and recognized by EA, such as Sims as well as Age of Dragons: Inquisition. Revival boss Vince Zampella, currently in charge Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, just reacted to the post with a palm emoji. A few hours later, the company shut down. “Deserved Roast”, it’s wrote. “We’ll take this L because playing singles actually makes them 11.”

But EA’s social media gaffe was more than just a run-of-the-mill brand juggling. It hit a nerve with the publisher’s uniquely patchy history when it comes to shrinking and burning its way to record earnings. In 2012, the company earned $4.1 billion. Last year it amounted to almost $7 billion. This growth was mainly achieved by doubling the share of live service multiplayer games such as FIFA, Maddenas well as Apex Legends, and finding new ways to monetize them through elaborate microtransaction stores, season passes, and loot boxes.

At the same time, EA heavily invested in new studios only to close them and cancel their ambitious but risky projects in the process. The most infamous example is Visceral Games. The studio, formerly EA Redwood, made the critically acclaimed Dead space Series, only to later see it scrapped when it failed to meet sales expectations after getting bogged down in multiplayer and microtransactions. Visceral later began working on a single-player game. star Wars game with unknown writer Amy Hennig called
Ragtag project but Visceral was close instead in 2017 and Ragtag has been canceled.

Ragtag had problems from the start, but the closure and cancellation also became a lightning rod for frustration over EA’s turn to online gaming, through which it could earn money and cash for players.

EA, of course, denied this.

“You may have heard talk of a single player game and a multiplayer game or a single player game and an online service, and it was not about this conversation,” CEO Andrew Wilson. told investors Soon after it. “It wasn’t about it being just a single-player game or that it should be a live service, but about how we get to the point where the overall gameplay is right for the players.”

A few weeks later, EA released Star Wars: Battlefront 2 With loot boxes with payouts.

The ensuing backlash led to legal scrutiny and the eventual removal of exploitative mechanics from many games, including front 2. Notably, however, one of the remaining loot box bastions is owned by EA. FIFAWhere are they investment in billions the company earns annually from its online sports modes.

The company’s pursuit of new ways to squeeze money out of its games also led to an ill-fated failure. HymnBioWare’s favorite single-player RPG a tragic attempt to replicate the success of Bungie’s live service with Destiny 2. The multiplayer mechanic was originally carried over into the upcoming version. Age of Dragons: Dreadwolf also, while Hymnfailure persuaded the company to yield. (BioWare remains the exception to EA shutting down past RPG makers like Mythic, Bullfrog and Origin.)

“We are confident that the presidents of banks, oil, tobacco and arms companies are glad that they were not on the list this year,” said EA spokesman John Reseburg. said in its first year, it was voted the worst company in America. After the second time, in 2013, EA abandoned the development Sims 4 online game.

All the major video game publishers have some sort of negative reputation, even beyond the accusations of sex discrimination, misconduct in the workplaceas well as brutal overtime work. Activision Blizzard finds the hits and then drives them into the ground. Every Ubisoft game seems to be the same. Square Enix is ​​forever upset. With EA, that means the company would rather trap you in an online casino than make a game, sell it to you, and get on with your life. It’s hardly the only company that could be blamed for this, but the rest don’t try to post cute memes about it.




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