As someone who saw Electronic Arts ascend from its humble beginnings into a gaming corporate juggernaut, it’s been sad to see the company develop the reputation of releasing games to its consumers that are incomplete and riddled with bugs that hinder the ability to enjoy them. While you can find YouTubers who have dedicated their channels to being a voice against Electronic Arts (EA), I have seen and experienced first-hand the poor quality products that the organization has provided to its customer base for years. It is bad enough when a company consistently releases highly flawed products that the public spends money on. But with a company as big as EA and the resources it has available, there is no excuse for the consistent issues that appear in its games.
I had already taken the stance that I wouldn’t buy another Madden NFL game until the company went back to the drawing board and recreated that game from the ground up. But with the news that players were not even able to defeat their opponents in multiplayer competition in Star Wars Battlefront II earlier this year, that was the last straw. I will not purchase another EA-published game until the company starts to show a commitment to putting out better products from the time they are launched. Specifically, I need to see at least a full year of launches where the bugs are minimal and do not interfere with the ability to play and enjoy the games. EA already had a terrible launch of Battlefield 2042 late last year with effects still being felt as Steam decided to give customers full refunds on the game even past its normal time frame. Why do games, particularly published in-house by EA, keep having major issues year after year?
Enough time has passed where I have concluded that no matter what state their games are in, EA will release unfinished and flawed games according to their budget schedule and worry about the issues later. The strategy has worked for EA from a financial standpoint. They have done a wonderful job of advertising and playing to the prestige of their stronger brands. It’s to the point that people will buy Madden NFL each year simply out of habit. As great as EA’s annual earnings are, I’ve never seen a company that has earned so much be criticized so sharply. Many of the criticisms are valid because they are not based on opinion but on the fact that an innumerable amount of game bugs (some game-breaking) are not addressed in a timely manner. Some aren’t addressed at all. Simply do a search of “Madden NFL bugs” and you’ll find more than enough reading material for quite a while.
All of this is very sad for me. I do not harbor any personal animosity towards EA. The company has been responsible for a lot of my most enjoyable gaming moments. For two decades (the 1990s, 2000s), their sports games were great to play and no matter what sport you chose, you couldn’t go wrong. Games like Road Rash, Desert Strike, and Need for Speed were tremendous. Medal of Honor, followed by Battlefield, were some of the greatest shooters I have ever played. And then what about some of the best RPGs you’ll ever play with the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series? EA has also published The Sims, Burnout, The Lord of the Rings, etc. Let’s also not forget about the EA BIG titles as well. From where I sit, the company has been responsible for the publishing and even development of some of the best games ever. I created an Origin account a couple of years ago so that I can purchase and relive many of these classics on my PC.
I truly hope that EA will return to its once-proud roots where they created and published games that were considered an industry standard. But for me to invest any more money into EA products, I have to see for an extended period that the organization is committed to putting out the best quality products that they are capable of. And the same will go for other major companies that have a consistent disregard for their finished products. When I spend my money, I’m expecting a good product in return.
UPDATE: Electronic Arts has been in the news this week as a result of reports such as that of IGN.com stating that the company attributed the poor reception of Battlefield 2042 to COVID and the surprise early release of Halo Infinite. Yet in an article by PC Gamer, EA representatives denied blaming Halo Infinite for Battlefield 2042’s shortcomings. Even if that is true, I still do not accept the COVID excuse that EA is going with. All other companies that are creating games are in the same boat and have had to make adjustments due to COVID. That hasn’t prevented many of them from still putting out quality games (with fewer bugs) even if it meant multiple delays. The fact that EA was willing to release Battlefield 2042 in the state that it was at launch when it needed probably at least another year of work falls totally on the company. They deliberately put out a game that wasn’t ready showing they learned nothing from the Cyberpunk 2077 launch disaster from 2020. Battlefield 2042 should not have been released in 2021. And it further substantiates why I’ve taken the stance I have in the above post.
WHAT GAMING COMPANIES DO YOU FEEL COULD DO BETTER?