Home > gaming > Ryan Ramblings: Ex- Bioware doctor’s “bear hug” EA comments

Ryan Ramblings: Ex- Bioware doctor’s “bear hug” EA comments

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Last week Greg Zeschuk, one of the founders of Bioware who recently retired, made some interesting comments about the super publisher EA. He said this in an interview with Polygon:

“I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug — something that is well meaning but vigorous. We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well.”

Many gamers, maybe rightly so, seem to have unbridled hate for EA. EA is blamed for a lot of the gaming world’s woes it seems, including the “broification” of games series they bought, DRM, and the trend of over-milking of series. And while I think that there is a good level of truth to the hate that EA gets, I don’t think that they are the pure-evil corporate headed by Mondus from the new DMC (expect a review soon, Yay!!!)

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I think that EA still provides some good to the gaming scene and Zeschuk’s comments kind of confirm that feeling. He said that the “bear hug” from EA comes with good intentions but can consume a developer. I interpreted this to mean that while EA does have a large influence on the developers they publish, they provide the money and marketing power to boost a product. I remember the large amount of marketing and the sharp increase in production values that came with Mass Effect 2 and I’m not sure it would have been the same game without EA swooping it. Now you may not like what ME 2 was compared to 1, but myself and many others liked it more than the first and in part we have EA thank for that. At the same time, I think that EA’s push to get ME 3 and Dragon Age 2 out the door is in part to blame for some of the problems with those games (either that or Casey Hudson took some acid before writing the Mass Effect finale) so I in no way love EA, I just understand them. They’re a company and like any other they want to make as much money as plausible which leads them to push out titles and make them more mainstream to get a wider audience. Still without EA I’m not sure if Dead Space or Crysis, two games I really enjoyed, would have had the same success.

What do you think about the doctor’s comments? How do you feel about EA in general? Let me know below

 

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Categories: gaming Tags: , , ,
  1. February 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Completely agree with your assessment.

    EA does a lot wrong, but gamers need to stop exaggerating. When the internet banded together to vote them in as “the worst company on the planet” or whatever in The Consumerist a year or two back, it was a genuinely embarrassing moment to be a gamer. A lame ending to Mass Effect and a money-grubbing emphasis on things like first-day DLC (which don’t get me wrong, is a pretty heinous way to treat your customers) are not at all equatable to companies that are causing genuine harm to the world, exploiting resources and people. We get it, nobody likes a mega-corporation, and often for good reason. But if you don’t like their products and services, speak with your money, not your unearned vitriol.

  2. February 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I completely agree with you. I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with EA. On the one hand their business practices have often rubbed me the wrong way (I do feel that they blatantly take advantage of their devoted fans), but on the other I know they’ve provided me with so many of my favourite games that just would not have been what they were without EA with their vast amounts of money and marketing power backing them. However, what I think people often forget is that EA is in the money-making business just like any other corporation and of course everything they do is to maximise profits. Others might just be better at hiding and have a little less attention paid to them, but in then end EA done nothing worse than make a few bad PR moves. That’s what I think anyway. 🙂

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