Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kane is still cool even though EA sucks

Gamasutra has an extremely friendly (read: white washed) history of Electronic Arts. It even goes so far as to try and shine a good light on EA’s tendency to buy up smaller companies and close them down a few years later.
Acquiring these studios’ Intellectual Properties significantly enhanced EA’s portfolio of games, but as Gibeau explained, acquisitions also brought much needed talent into the company.
Yeah, I’m sure the dozen or two hand picked people they kept from each company were great for EA, but I am willing to bet it wasn’t so grand for the 200 or so people that lost their jobs.

I love Origin Game’s founder Richard Garriott’s takes on the buyout and eventual closing of his company. He started a new company called Destination Games and when Origin was shut down, he hired back all of his core people. He pointed out just how much money EA gave him for his company and then let him have all the people back again. So what did EA get for the money? They have the right to Ultima, Wing Commander and some other games I can’t even think of at the moment. Yeah, they’ve been making a mint off those games I’m sure.

The most frustrating part of all this is that I believe the reason this keeps happening to companies EA acquires is EA. Here is another bit from the article.
In 2002 Westwood released Earth & Beyond, a complex massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Unfortunately, Earth & Beyond struggled to find an audience and EA shut it down two years later.
The reason that it struggled to find an audience is directly the fault of EA. The original design was much larger and broader in scope. Players were to get planets they could colonize and develop as well as explore and fight in space. But EA was afraid that game would be to complex for the AOL audience they wanted to target. So they changed the game into the watered down, beautiful yet boring game in order to try and get that AOL audience. Unfortunately the AOL audience wasn’t even in the market for that type of game.

They did the same thing to Pirates which was an isometric pirate game on the PC before EA came in. It became a half-baked, over-development, 3rd-person, adventure game that they then decided wasn’t worth their marketing effort.

Anyway, I really didn’t want to rant this long. I was just typing up this little bit while flying on the griffon in WoW. I am not even going to waste time editing the above to read better. Just not worth it.

I will however give a link to an interview with Joe Kucan, can from C&C. You might be thinking this sense of humor in interviews is a lot like mine, but I have to say that he’s been like that all along. I’ve had to work at it.

I won't be buying C&C 3 myself. They lost me with all the crap they did to Battlefield 2042 though it looks like everybody else who was outraged has since forgotten about it.

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