Sunday, 22 July 2012

Electronic [F]arts

Mass Effect figures 

This blog has gone again and again on the virtues of the Mass Effect game. I have discussed some of the game’s downsides, too. In this point I want to focus on these downsides, particularly those that do not relate to the contents of the game itself. I doing so because think I can identify a trend.
Let us run a list of the issues I have identified thus far:
  1. Multiplayer mode requires a special activation code. You get a code when you buy a new copy of the game, but your ability to resell the game is severely hampered by the $15 asking price for a multiplayer code. In effect, this activation code acts like most other forms of DRM, preventing buyers of the game from truly owning it.
  2. DLC (downloadable contents) may be released on time in the USA, but at least for Australian PS3 users they are released at least two days after their advertised release date. It's nice to receive additional contents, but why should non Americans be left in the dark and treated as after fact?
  3. Mass Effect 2 merchandise (as per the above photo) is being sold as Mass Effect 3 merchandise.
  4. Mass Effect 3 merchandise are sold together with special codes that are supposed to unlock special features in the game’s multiplayer mode. These features have literal cash value on them, dollar prices and all. However, although the merchandise is sold without any disclaimers, I was told after the fact and after much chasing up that these codes only work for the PC and Xbox environments; in other words, they are worthless for PS3 users.
Now, can you see the trend, too?
In case you haven’t: Electronic Arts, the distributer of Mass Effect, seems to have an insatiable appetite for its customers’ cash. So much so that commonly accepted codes of ethics fail to stand in its way. It’s quite a pity games as good as the Mass Effect series have to come our way through companies as nasty as this.

10 comments:

wile.e.coyote said...

I know that you are aware about the connection of the revenue of the company and the ability to provide additional content.
If they get more money (by blocking the ability to re-sell old games), they can get additional people to develop additional content.

EA put tons of cash of the failing SW:TOR (which is nice as I'm playing the other MMO). Without SW:TOR the "other" company would not be force to add more content to her MMO.

I want game company to have tons of $$$

Moshe Reuveni said...

By your logic, we should all pay them a million bucks for each game so they'd be able to make more games. No reasonable person would agree to that.
When I get a chair from IKEA, they don't sell me a three legged chair so I can come again and spend more money on another leg so as they can afford selling me more chairs. I don't understand why we're meant to take this shit from software companies when we clearly won't take it elsewhere.
I'm not asking EA to make things cheaper; I'm asking for respect. When I pay full price for my game, I want to enjoy it properly - not get a half arsed product.

P.S. I don't know if you're aware of it, but EA is swimming in money as it is.

wile.e.coyote said...

EA had a big layoff last month, due to poor results with SW:TOR
Blizzard had big layoff 3 months ago due to decline of WoW subscribers.
They are doing great games, but due to piracy they can't get their investment back.
This is why they made D3 a game that mainly runs on the server side and can't run when a specific bear is running some stuff remotely and use by bandwidth.
They are trying to find new ways to get the invest back by blocking re-sell, giving micro-transaction for super gear, creating on-line auction house with real money (they take 15%).
You don't have to buy the chair in IKEA, issue is that great chairs are only sold by IKEA, you can always buy your crappy chairs in KIKA if you don't like the clear contract that IKEA suggests

Moshe Reuveni said...

First, the correlation between a company firing employees and it being short on cash is dubious at best. How much does the CEO make? How much money did they have to invest in TOR, and where did it come from if they didn't have the cash?
Second, if you were to ask "what can EA do to encourage people to pirate its games", your answer would be "exactly what they're doing now". To be honest, I am not familiar enough with the scene to offer authoritative opinions on the effects of piracy over the gaming market. What I will say, again, is that a company that wants to get my cash needs to treat me decently; EA clearly doesn't. I love some of its games, but will do my best to avoid it getting my money because I think they're treating me like scum.
IKEA, or any other normal company, would find alienating its customers the last thing they want to do.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Perhaps EA should consider moving to a crowd funding model? With customers as loyal as you, they should be able to make a buck or two.

wile.e.coyote said...

EA are not my friends, they are the Enemy of my MMO game.
Just heard a podcast on the issue on my way to work this morning (Razi Barkai was boring as every Barkai).
They talk about the market trends and mentioned that:
EA stock, July-11: $24
EA stock, July-12: $11
I think that a company that drop so fast it not full of money (or at least will not get additional money any time soon)

Uri said...

I’m deeply hurt.

Moshe Reuveni said...

???
Apply medigel, it helps in Mass Effect.

wile.e.coyote said...

I didn't say that Barkai fall a sleep in his walk, it was someone else that said that.
Don't you get a joke, I love Razi Barkai, he was an ex-lead of communication briefcase

Moshe Reuveni said...

My interpretation of what you're saying, wile.e., is that because EA is having a hard time financially they should screw their clients. Somehow, I don't think this is the recipe for success; worse, I don't think it's ethical. You may say all's fair in a capitalist world like your friend BB does, but I don't.