Electronic Arts doesn’t have the best reputation in the world of video games. The company is often criticised for its stance on microtransactions, loot boxes and its slew of “cash-grab” releases, but its brand image is something that the company seemingly struggles with.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, EA’s Executive Vice President of strategic growth admitted it’s something he finds difficult to accept.
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“25 years at EA and I still struggle with the external perception that we’re just a bunch of bad guys,” Matt Bilbey told the publication. “We love making and playing games. Unfortunately, when we make mistakes on games, the world knows about it because it’s of a size and scale.”
Over on Twitter, gamers have been weighing in on the comments made by Bilbey, and no-one’s pleased with what he’s said.
On angry Twitter user accused EA of “killing multiple franchises” and lying about loot boxes.
Another tweeted: “If @EA didn’t want to be seen as “the bad guys” then maybe they should. You know. Stop being bad guys???”
Bilbey went on to speak about the relationship between EA’s reputation and EA Originals.
“As we got bigger, there is the concern that we had become disconnected from new talent coming through,” Bilbey admits. “EA Originals is our opportunity to connect with that talent and those smaller ideas. When you are part of a big company, it’s too easy to fall into the trap where when you see a game concept… it has to be big. The notion of actually coming up with small, unique game ideas… We know from the work that we’ve been doing on our subscription business that gamers will play a FIFA or a Fortnite — they have one main franchise — but then they want breaks from those games to play something that’s maybe five or ten hours long.
“EA Originals are also games that we don’t make in the bigger part of EA, or don’t make enough of. So while there was a philanthropic part to it, selfishly it was the way for us to connect to talent on smaller ideas. When you are in a company and have had successes and mistakes around live service microtransactions, free-to-play, what geographies, what partners to work with, what animation engines… it actually feels good for our teams to sit with EA Original developers and you can actually give real advice. It genuinely makes you feel good. It’s advice to help them not make the same mistakes.”
Featured Image Credit: EA