Battlefield Company sued for dunking on single-player games

Mass Effect's Garrus stares into the distance, looking tired and stunned.

ImageBioWare / Kotaku

It’s been a while since Electronic Arts was the video game villain of the moment, but on Thursday the FIFA publishing house sucked up all the oxygen in the room thanks to a bad joke made worse by the company’s cutthroat history. If there is one gaming mega company out there that shouldn’t have been taking casual shots at single-player games, it’s the one with a track record of closing the studios they make, and jamming multiplayer releases full of microtransactions and loot boxes.

“They are a 10, but they only like to play single player games”, EA Posted at 7:33 pm It was a play on a meme that first exploded on TikTok in early June and already lost steam on Twitter at the end of last week. It also quickly provoked a lot of contempt. “Understandable that you are not familiar with the concept of tens,” responded Forbes‘Paul Tassi. “You made Hymn† I’m just saying a fact here replied the Washington Post‘s Gene Park.

EA’s first post has already generated more than 9,000 comments and 11,000 quote tweets. Some pointed out that single-player games are among EA’s most popular and acclaimed games, such as The Sims and Dragon Age: Inquisition† Respawn boss Vince Zampella, who currently oversees Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, simply responded to the post with a face palm emoji. A few hours later, the company ticked off. “Roast well deserved,” it wrote† “We’re taking this L because playing single-player games actually makes it an 11.”

But EA’s faux pas on social media was more than just a run-of-the-mill brand cringe. It struck a chord due to the publisher’s unique checkered history when it comes to cutting and burning its way to record earnings. In 2012, the company earned $4.1 billion. Last year it made nearly $7 billion. This growth was primarily driven by a doubling of the number of live service multiplayer games such as FIFAmaddenand Apex Legends and finding new ways to monetize it through expanded microtransaction stores, season passes, and loot boxes.

At the same time, EA was bold in investing in new studios, not until later close them off and cancel their ambitious but risky projects in the process. The most infamous example of this was Visceral Games. The studio, formerly EA Redwood, created the critically acclaimed Empty space series, only to see it later scrapped when it fell short of sales expectations after getting bogged down in multiplayer and microtransactions. Visceral later started working on a single player Star Wars play with not mapped writer named Amy Hennig
Project Ragtag, but Visceral was close instead in 2017 and Ragtag has been canceled

Ragtag had issues from the start, but the shutdown and cancellation also became a lightning rod for frustration with EA’s linchpin to online games that allowed it to choke players.

EA denied this, of course.

“You may have heard the talk about single player versus multiplayer or single player versus live service and this wasn’t about that talk,” CEO Andrew Wilson told investors shortly after. “It wasn’t about this being a single-player game or whether it had to be a live service, it was more about how we could get to a point where the overall gameplay experience was appropriate for players.”

Weeks later EA released Star Wars: Battlefront II of pay-to-win loot boxes

The ensuing backlash led to legislative investigation and the eventual removal of the exploitative mechanic from many games, including Battlefront II. However, one of the remaining bastions of the loot boxes is that of EA FIFAwhere she contribute to the billions the company brings in every year from its online sports modes.

The company’s pursuit of new ways to squeeze money out of its games also led to the ill-fated Hymnbeloved single-player RPG powerhouse BioWare’s tragic attempt to copy Bungie’s live service success with Lot 2† Multiplayer mechanics were initially pushed in the coming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf also, until Hymn‘s failure convinced the company to give in† (BioWare remains the exception to EA that shut down previous RPG makers like Mythic, Bullfrog, and Origin).

“We’re sure bank governors, oil, tobacco and weapons companies are all relieved that they weren’t on the list this year,” said EA spokesman John Reseburg. said its first year it was crowned worst company in America. After the second time, in 2013, EA stopped making The Sims 4 an online-only game

All major video game publishers have a negative reputation for something, even beyond the allegations of sexual discriminationmisbehavior in the workplaceand brutal overtime† Activision Blizzard finds hits and then tosses them into the ground. Every Ubisoft game feels the same. Square Enix is ​​forever disappointed† With EA, it feels like the company would rather lock you up in an online casino than make a game, sell it to you and move on with life. It’s no longer the only company to be accused of that, but the others aren’t trying to post fun memes about it.

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