Electronic Arts clearly is doing everything it can to avoid winning yet another worse company in America award. Their CEO Andrew Wilson is putting a plan in place to once again regain fondest in the hearts of gamer’s. The plan sounds simple enough – place an emphasis on ensuring fewer bugs (particularly those which drastically affect gameplay) and perhaps most important than all – design the titles to be fun from the beginning.
Wilson told Kotaku during an interview that this rather simple plan would be a fundamental shift in how the company operates. Electronic Arts have taken a lot of stick in recent years by releasing titles before they’re deemed ‘ready’ by players, meaning titles lack quality and frequently post launch issues arise (BF4 being a prime example of this).
“We always believed you need a playable build. We’ve been building games a long time,” he said. “But in the heat of battle you kind of do what you can. We have now said there is no alternative. If the build is not playable, you have to push the schedule until it’s playable again. You can’t eat up that time.”
“The world is changing. This Hollywood blockbuster mentality of, ‘Keep all of the information to yourself’ is not something that makes sense in today’s world,” Andrew Wilson said, clearly pointing to the recent leaks concerning BattleField Hardline. Wilson also mentioned earlier betas (such as Hardline) would likely be a key part of their policy in the future, ensuring more bug testing could be done and therefore the title isn’t released in a ‘broken mess’.
“We can’t keep a secret anyway, so we may as well just start talking about it… I really want us to change as a company and start making more new stuff, and in order to do that, you have to get feedback, and in order to get feedback, you have to be willing to open the curtain and have a conversation about it early,” he said. “And those fears you would have had in years gone by of competitive advantage and what if someone else sees what you’re doing and will they build it quicker? At the end of the day if we build a great game, it doesn’t matter.”
While it’s tempting to sweep these comments under the rug, thinking about it logically – EA know their reputation isn’t stellar among players. It’s never a good sign when another studio does something that’s considered anti consumer the public say “they’re being like EA” or the recent comments Mojang’s policy changes are “literally worse than EA”
I for one hope EA continue to push these changes, but while they’re at it – if they could resurrect a new version of Dungeon Keeper, Magic Carpet and the like – well, that’d be pretty nice too, eh?