Electronic Arts twitter account tries its hand at internet humor and manages to offend anyone who has ever cared.
The biggest so far this summer gamestorm blew up when Electronic Arts drew a joke on Twitter. Humor on the internet is known to be difficult and in this case it turned out to be TOO difficult for the American gaming giant. In an attempt to play on the Rating game memes – which in short is about rating a person differently due to a more or less unexpected aspect – @EA posted a tweet with the text “They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games ”.
The joke that breaks down on single-player games / players may seem innocent and it almost certainly comes from a PR department that pressed the send button far too soon. But no matter how kind the interpretation is, the joke leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Why? Yes, like this. Depending on who you ask, the problems with Electronic Arts started much earlier than this, but there is one before and one after Andrew Wilson. Australian Wilson was one of the architects behind FIFA’s Ultimate Team game mode. For example, 10-15 years ago, EA began experimenting with a system of digital trading cards in its games. The player builds a team consisting of players won in “packages” that contain a limited number of randomly selected cards. Ultimate team was a huge success with players, developers and shareholders alike. EA had invented a way to continue to make huge sums of money even though the players had already bought the base game. Wilson flew like a rocket up the EA hierarchy, and soon all games would try to make their own version of Ultimate Team. According to information for the financial year 2021, more than SEK 16 billion must have been generated by Ultimate team modes in EA games. That’s almost a third of EA’s entire business.
The problem is that for a listed company, loot boxes become addictive. Or, the financial success that comes with conducting a kind of pseudo-gambling gives a craving for even more. And the problem for the consumer – the player – is that the games’ raison d’être is based on them becoming channels for microtransactions. The problem for EA employees is that they are forced to make games they do not believe in.
Throughout its long history, Electronic Arts has released some of the best single-player games of all time, such as Respawns titan fall 2campaign and Biowares Mass Effectand Dragon Ageseries. Many of the studio’s multiplayer games must also be considered some of the very best. But in its search for ever-larger money bags, the creative foundation for game creation has been demolished. The result is not just that single-player games are recast, destroyed and discontinued. No, the irony is that EA managed to destroy the multiplayer games with.
Of course, there have been times through the ages when gaming PR and marketing agencies have made real headlines. Campaigns that seemed smart and eye-catching but in the end just got provocative and nasty. “Sexy” ads and idiotic accusations in a way that has caused the whole “is game art?” Debate to completely implode. In light of that, Electronic Arts’ latest piano tramp is by no means the worst thing that has happened. But it still shows a PR-deafness of tone and an organization with a complete lack of self-insight.
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