Electronic Arts

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Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts 2020.svg
The gaming industry's own Mr. Krabs, though with even viler intentions and way less care for its employees and audience.
Type: Public
Founded: May 27, 1982
Founder: Trip Hawkins

Headquarters = Redwood City, California, United States

Key people: Andrew Wilson (CEO and chairman)

"When we live in an era marked by massive oil spills, faulty foreclosures by bad banks, and rampant consolidation in the airline and telecom industry, what does it say about EA’s business practices that so many people have—for the second year in a row—come out to hand it the title of Worst Company in America?"

Consumerist, upon declaring EA the winner of the "Worst Company in America" poll for the second year in a row

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California.

Founded and incorporated on May 27, 1982, by Trip Hawkins and Bing Gordon, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers responsible for its games.

Currently, EA develops and publishes games of established franchises, including Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two, Titanfall, and Star Wars, as well as the EA Sports titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL, and EA Sports UFC. Their desktop titles appear on self-developed Origin, an online gaming digital distribution platform for PCs and a direct competitor to Valve's Steam and Epic Games Store. EA also owns and operates major gaming studios such as EA Tiburon in Orlando, EA Vancouver in Burnaby, DICE in Sweden and Los Angeles, BioWare in Edmonton and Austin, and Respawn Entertainment in Los Angeles.

It is the 2nd-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of 2020.

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NOTE: This will mainly discuss the company since the early 2010s but other events prior will be mentioned, as they weren't exactly saints in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s either.

  1. The biggest thing to note is that EA’s main priority is to earn as much money as possible to solely satisfy their shareholders, and their games have declined in quality thanks to that. EA has aggressively implemented several monetization schemes, ranking from microtransactions, loot boxes, pre-order bonuses, DLCs, season pass exploits, and much more. This has reached the biggest point that the company's name has been permanently associated with any greedy gaming company in general.
    • In fact, it has also become their signature attitude to the point where any greedy practice perpetrated by them is no longer a spoiler, unlike other companies. It also inspired several memes such as the "If X was made by EA" meme.
    • On October 12, 2017, a customer complained about Star Wars Battlefront II on Reddit, asking why Darth Vader was locked despite paying $80 for the premium version of the game, and that review copies had Heroes at a lower cost. It was then revealed that unlocking Heroes would require either random luck or roughly 40 hours of grinding. An EA Community member replied to the thread with a poorly written excuse defending the game's loot box system and long grinding hours. Said comment has since become the most downvoted comment in Reddit's history, with over 667,698 downvotes as of May 4, 2022 (all of their comments are also heavily downvoted). To put that number in perspective, the second most downvoted Reddit comment has only 88,906 downvotes. As a result of this massive backlash, EA reduced the in-game cost of Heroes by 75% (it was later discovered that EA had sent out review copies of the game with the hero costs reduced by this much), but they also reduced the number of credits received from completing the game's campaign.
    • Even Dead Space 3 suffered from microtransactions as well. Not helping is that the original crew that worked on Dead Space didn't want to include microtransactions in Dead Space 3 but were forced to add it in by the executives of Electronic Arts, which is another example of executive meddling. It got to the point where after going back to their Dead Space franchise, the original and new crew announced that they won't include microtransactions in their new 2023 remake of Dead Space.
    • They also experienced heavy backlash for the implementation of loot boxes in the UFC 3 beta.
    • They, along with other AAA studios, defend microtransactions by claiming that games are becoming "too expensive for [them] to develop" as an excuse. But after the backlash over Battlefront II, they directly told their investors that microtransactions do not affect profitability, confirming that the "too expensive" excuse is nothing but PR garbage. Moreover, the cost of developing games has gone down over the years, not up, due to the abandoning of convoluted proprietary console architectures with poorly documented functions and ludicrous hardware bottlenecks, and the use of powerful third-party tools and pre-built game engines with baked-in functions: in addition, shipping and packing costs have vastly decreased with the rise of digital distribution, and on top of that, they keep recycling many of their games (most notably the sports games), making it hard to believe that their games are expensive to make.
      • Even their former CEO (now Unity CEO) John Riccitello, came to their defense by claiming that developers who do not use microtransactions or pay-to-win mechanics in their games are just "f**king idiots". He later apologized for what he said.
      • In 2018, it was ruled that FIFA 18 violated Belgium's gambling legislation, thanks to its Ultimate Team Card packs (the game's loot boxes). Despite this, EA still tried to deny that their loot boxes are considered a form of gambling.
      • In October 2020, a Netherlands District Court fined EA €10,000,000 for violating the country's Betting and Gaming Act.
      • Though European governments are starting to crack down on loot boxes, EA still tried to push them in future FIFA games, showing that they have learned nothing from the Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Boxes Controversy. This also shows that they refused to be subject to criminal law.
      • Even more damning is that because they refused to be subject to gambling laws, the company was under criminal investigation in Belgium for violating said laws for a while, and if EA were to lose a court case over this, other countries will take notice and start applying similar regulations on loot boxes. Fortunately, they eventually caved, and removed all paid microtransactions from the game in the country, though not without trying to pat themselves on the back for doing so.
      • They (along with Activision Blizzard and Bethesda) are against the recent U.S. Senate bill to ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions.
      • They tried to rename loot boxes as "Surprise Mechanics". Furthermore, they denied that pay-to-win loot boxes were unethical and had the nerve to compare them to Hatchimals and Kinder Surprise eggs. (Never mind the fact that those make it clear you're getting a plush and a toy along with chocolate while loot boxes are completely randomized, not to mention, physical as opposed to digital.)
    • One of the very few times they have lost a chance to earn money was the cancellation of Thrill Kill.
    • EA now defends loot boxes by claiming that they aren't a form of gambling. While there is something to this claim since products the user pays for while blind to their contents (such as Magic: The Gathering card packs) are not regarded as gambling, loot boxes skirt the line between what is legal and what is not. In addition, state gambling laws mean that gambling is whatever the local government says it is, not what EA says it is.
    • Their game presentations (like E3) and games are more catered towards pleasing investors rather than consumers, and it really shows in the products with their rampant monetization tactics. To EA, it is never enough to make a lot of money; they have to make all the money in the world.
    • When Microsoft revealed a new, consumer-friendly feature for the Xbox Series X called "Smart Delivery", where players will receive a next-gen version of a current-gen game for free, EA chose not to support this feature and instead created their version of the feature with restricted dates. This means that players have to purchase their games by a certain date to be able to upgrade to their next-gen version for free, otherwise, they will have to pay for the same game twice, they're now copying Take-Two Interactive's move, by making the free upgrade available only in special editions.
    • They once considered NFT and blockchain games to be "the future of [the game industry]". However, they later thankfully backed out of their plans to do NFTs.
    • In 2020, they heavily overpriced their games on Steam in almost the entire world, their games now cost almost thousands of dollars, which is worse for anyone who dislikes high prices. Thankfully, this isn't in the USA.
    • They are no better when it comes to mobile gaming, despite being long-time contributors to that industry. They started their greed on this platform before transferring it to the console market. They also have their cash cows in this industry. Dungeon Keeper and Need For Speed: No Limits are prime examples of this.
  2. One of the worst customer service systems ever, which has received multiple criticism with some lawsuits from gamers.
    • Great example: Their Origin platform is awful. Not only is the security weak and collects profile info which is invading privacy but if one were to so much as say something bad about EA or any of their subsidiaries, they get banned. In addition, while not confirmed, it may be possible for them to delete the entire Origin account if it is left unused for two years.
    • In April 2012, The Consumerist awarded EA with the title of "Worst Company in America" along with a ceremonial "Golden Poo" trophy, thanks in part to the massive outcry over Mass Effect 3's controversial original ending. EA earned the award again in 2013.
    • In January 2019, a customer wanted to get a refund for Star Wars Battlefront, but EA Support staff flat out refused to give him one despite the customer meeting the conditions to receive one. After insisting that the customer wasn't eligible for a refund (brushing off all of his troubles), the representative just hung up on him abruptly.
  3. They force their employees to work up to 100 hours every week, making this equal to four entire 24-hour days and four hours. Given that a human's average sleep is 56 hours per week, such a week leaves an employee with a whopping 12 hours of free time. This was reported by one of the ex-employees at the company in 2004, who criticized the company for doing this to the entire staff and not giving them a break, and instead being forced to develop a game the entire day without any rest, which caused a lot of controversies and EA had received backlash for this poor treatment of their employees, thus they had to stop abusing their employees to prevent getting any lawsuits from ex-employees and instead treat them with more respect as a result of the awful work culture they had during the early 2000s, which is the reason why employees have reported that it's safer to work at now then it was back in 2004 and has improved over the years overall. While there still have been reports of the employees not being treated with respect in a few cases, EA seems to be a good work place nowadays and did thankfully admit they went too far with this method of abusing their employees, and aside from Bioware, the work culture of their subsidiaries seems to be overall healthy like their parent company, but it still doesn't help that this still tainted many people's views of the company back in 2004 and had influenced other companies to do the same thing like Konami, Activision, Ubisoft and even Microsoft, which put a negative impact on the gaming industry as a whole and caused EA to be so hated to begin with which didn't help with their awful business practices during the 2010s, and given that this occasionally happens at times, it's safe to say that many people often consider EA to be the forefather of Crunch Time and many people who worked there at the time had left the company because of the awful work culture that they suffered from at that point, thus proving that EA was already starting to show their true colors at the time and would start to worsen their reputation during the 2010s and 2020s, which is still happening to this day even though the workplace has improved and isn't bad anymore (see Redeeming Quality #3).
    • However, it hasn't all improved since during the development of Anthem, it was reported that many at Bioware suffered from Time Crunch when developing the game and most of it came from EA, which was the reason why the game came out so disappointing to begin with.
    • They've also started to fire employees for no reason at all other than money, which is unfair to those who had to be forced to leave the company unfairly, another example of EA not treating its employees very well.
    • In fact, it was so bad that they got sued for it and lost tons of money because of it thanks to their incompetence since many people who used to work there were rewarded with money due to the toxic work environment and since then, EA had to tone down the work culture and act kinder to their employees, which is why many of the new employees enjoy working there and making games is easy for them than it was for the ex-employees back in 2004, which did show signs of them trying to improve despite not doing much to improve their reputation since they're still not a good company in the slightest and still often make shady business decisions despite the decent work culture nowadays.
  4. They are often known for shutting down games at whatever time they please in favor of another game, like the fact that they shut down FIFA 13 and 14 out of nowhere because they wanted people to buy FIFA 18 and the later games instead, which angered fans of the games and figured it was because EA is trying to force you to play the later FIFA installments, which from FIFA 18, has gone downhill.
  5. They've started releasing games in unfinished states, just like Capcom. This resulted in the terrible launch of Battlefield 4 which forced EA to allocate all of DICE's resources into attempting to resolve the problems with online multiplayer and EA to mend the bad publicity caused by the game being launched in an unacceptable state for release and lead to EA getting four lawsuits over it.
    • Sometimes, EA's games crash occasionally for five seconds and then speed up very fast. For example, this happens in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 as a bug.
  6. EA is often criticized for buying smaller development studios primarily for their intellectual property assets and producing drastically changed games of their franchises. The most infamous example is Plants vs. Zombies, a real-time tower defense game from PopCap, EA created an online-only third-person shooter series called Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and also created a sequel of the original Plants vs. Zombies that is a freemium game Plants vs. Zombies 2, while still a good game, is often criticized by some players for its reliance on microtransactions, and then there's the original release of Plants vs. Zombies 3, which was so hated that it was forced to be remade from scratch after a high number of backlash from fans.
    • This later sparked a widespread rumor about EA firing Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan for opposing microtransactions, which turned out to be false.
  7. They also kept acquiring big-name companies, such as Westwood Studios, Bullfrog, Origin Systems, and Maxis just to milk their franchises and shut them down just a few years later.
    • They converted great game franchises from other game companies they were given the rights to own and turned them into utter garbage with Ultima, Command & Conquer and Dungeon Keeper.
    • They also ruin and close down other third-party big-name companies (like Visceral Games and Pandemic Studios) just by sabotaging their products' marketing, such as the case when they sabotaged Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, which almost reduced Oddworld Inhabitants to rubble.
    • Sometimes, they purchase a company and don't do anything with many of its properties or use them as little as possible. A good example is Origin Systems' Ultima franchise, which hasn't had a new game in over 20 years.
      • They did something similar to Slightly Mad Studios (developers of Need for Speed Shift, Shift 2 Unleashed, and the Project CARS series); EA offered them $1,500,000 to fund Shift 3, only to immediately cancel it afterward, and then tried to take SMS' technology for themselves. Luckily, Ian Bell revealed that he created his clause in the contract that prevented EA from doing so. These scummy moves almost destroyed Slightly Mad Studios, who are lucky to still be around.
      • EA is known for forcing their own will upon third-party developers and interfering with their vision; they ruined Insomniac Games' Fuse by using Focus Groups consisting of 12-year-old kids who regularly played Call of Duty and Battlefield who called the studio's original concept "too childish", forcing them to alter the design into something generic and indistinguishable from other shooters like Gears of War.
    • They tried to make Command & Conquer Generals 2 (or just Command & Conquer as they put it) a client-based free-to-play game instead of it being a proper sequel to C&C Generals. It was eventually canceled before any playable builds were released. Thankfully, sufficient deals of their game (such as units, support powers, and characters) were made available to allow the C&C community to create a conversion mod for the game for Generals: Zero Hour and Red Alert 3.
    • EA has stated that "gamers don't know what they want" regarding Command & Conquer: Rivals, trying to justify their butchering of the franchise.
    • They even selfishly tried to secure sole rights to use the Porsche sports car brand in any of their racing games and forced all non-EA racing games to use third-party brands acting as original equipment manufacturers for the Porsche bodies, including but not limited to RUF, Gemballa, 9FF, and Rinspeed, as a workaround for their depiction of the vehicles until 2017. Ironically, RUF and 9FF vehicles can sometimes have better performance than Porsche's vehicles as they're essentially customized and enhanced models of Porsches. Also, with this licensing deal, they limited the amount of Porsche cars featured in each Need for Speed game, like usually 6-7 Porsches per game (keep in mind, the fifth game in the series had nothing but Porsches, hence the title Porsche Unleashed).
    • For example, they have forced PopCap Games to milk the Plants vs. Zombies franchise, while abandoning franchises like Zuma, Bejeweled, Peggle or Bookworm.
    • They also tried to acquire Take-Two Interactive in 2010, but fortunately lost their takeover attempt.
  8. They are known for lots of controversial advertising.
    • For their promotion of Dante's Inferno, they had a contest called "Sin to Win" and they hired some actors to act as Christians protesting at EA claiming EA stands for Electronic Anti-Christ which triggered a lot of Christians. They had to put out a big apology.
    • They also advertised FIFA 21 in a toy magazine, which the marketing campaign team decided that it was a good idea.
      • After a backlash from gamers and parents alike, EA backpedaled their stance and ironically claimed that they are "trying to educate children" not to spend the money on their products.
    • To promote the upcoming Need for Speed game at the time, Payback, they made a deal with the infamous YouTuber Jake Paul and his group Team 10 to be in the ad. The ad itself was panned, but the worst thing is that they also decided to add him to the game itself and replace Black Mamba as a roaming racer with the December update. Since Paul was already antagonized by many people, gamers launched a takedown contest on Reddit where they ram into his car.
  9. EA has succeeded in partially monopolizing the sports game market by buying exclusive licenses to certain sports leagues or teams, therefore obliterating the competition. The most infamous of these was the case when they destroyed the highly acclaimed NFL 2K series by buying the exclusive NFL license after they went nuts over sales of their then-released Madden NFL 2005 bombing due to the critical and commercial success of Sega's ESPN NFL 2K5 which was cheaper due to its price tag of $19.99. This also happened with Konami's Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, which was greatly damaged after EA bought exclusive licenses from almost every major soccer team to put them in the FIFA series, and also to Sierra's NASCAR Racing series, especially the latest-released and highly-acclaimed NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, which EA successfully killed off in March 2004, when they bought the exclusive NASCAR license. They held it from 2004 through 2009 until the exclusivity deal ended with the release of NASCAR 09, as well as NASCAR Kart Racing, a pathetic attempt at combining stock car racing with Mario Kart and offensive stereotypes.
    • EA Sports games are not up to technical standards set by games from years ago, such as sidelined and injured players acting unrealistically in Madden NFL 25 on eighth-generation consoles when an older football game on Xbox 360 not published by EA called Backbreaker had more realistic sideline and injury simulations.
    • EA Sports is responsible for sports game franchises that are released every year (or season in terms of sports), such as FIFA, NFL, NHL, UFC (every two years), F1 (starting on F1 22), etc. They are notable for having many physical glitches that were never meant to be fixed. Even when EA announced that FIFA 17 would be using the Frostbite 3 engine used in the Battlefield series, it still has various physical bugs that have haunted the series for over 10 years.
    • A note on Madden, they take out many features from older iterations and label them as "new" for marketing for the Madden games to look fresh.
    • Their most recent sports games are nothing more than roster updates for Ultimate Team, with little focus on gameplay and career mode.
      • While FIFA 23 for the PC will be based on the ninth-gen consoles (with HyperMotion and cross-play), Madden NFL will still be based on the eighth-generation edition, at $60, and without Next Gen Status, Next Gen Movement, or FieldSENSE (which was introduced in NFL 23).
    • They refused to release further NHL games on the PC after NHL 09. An EA community manager said that the population of PC players on FIFA and Madden is significantly less than the console versions.
    • EA snuck in-game advertisements into EA Sports UFC 4 a mere 2 weeks after the game launched and tried to play it off like some freak accident.
    • Their recent sports games have terrible cover art, with poorly placed images slapped together of athletes, not even edited.
    • In 2013, EA settled a $27 million class action lawsuit for holding a monopoly on American football games. Anyone who purchased Madden NFL, NCAA Football, or Arena Football could receive a settlement for up to eight games.
  10. They gave nearly no support for the Wii U and the PlayStation Vita. They discontinued making games for Wii U in 2013 and PlayStation Vita in 2014 as sales of them was not as great as they had expected, their planned games for Wii U were also canceled, such as FIFA 14, Madden NFL 14, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, The Sims (2012), both Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare games, Crysis 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. As a result, only four EA games were released for Wii U: Mass Effect 3, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, six EA games were released for PlayStation Vita: Madden NFL 13, FIFA Soccer (2012), FIFA 13, FIFA 14, FIFA 15, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012).
    • They've also ignored the Nintendo Switch, and only a few EA games have been released or announced for the console lacking key brands like Madden, NHL, NBA Live, UFC, The Sims, etc:
      • FIFA 18 through 23 are based on the Xbox 360/PS3 editions and not the PC/PS4/Xbox One edition. Since FIFA 20, the Nintendo Switch versions are labeled "Legacy Edition". If 18 and 19 were released on the Wii U as well, then that would be the real last-gen version and the Switch would match the current-gen version.
      • Fe, an indie game that EA is publishing for Switch and other consoles.
      • A late port of Unravel Two. (Though to be fair, they wanted to release this right after EA Play 2018, so the Switch would have taken some time)
      • Burnout Paradise Remastered, which used to cost $50 at launch before being reduced to $30.
      • Apex Legends
      • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
      • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville as Complete Edition, in addition to being the first Nintendo Switch game to use EA's proprietary Frostbite engine.
      • Knockout City
      • Lost in Random
      • It Takes Two
    • It has been widely speculated that EA ignores Nintendo out of spite because Nintendo refused to implement their Origin system on their console. This is somewhat inaccurate, however; EA has never gotten along with Nintendo, going right back to the time when Sega let them manufacture Genesis cartridges in-house (the ones with a yellow tab on the side) while Nintendo refused to do the same.
      • As mentioned on Battle for Neighborville's Switch porting process and like many multiplatform developers, they refused to do in-house portions of their games (including PopCap which producer Melvin Teo said it a slideshow due to running at 2-3 fps without optimization as mentioned in the podcast), require porters to do the optimization process.
    • Also related to the above, they refused to support the Sega Dreamcast after they were burnt from the Sega CD, Sega 32X, and Sega Saturn respectively, and the fact they did not want to compete with the much more successful Sega Sports' 2K games. The lack of support contributed to the Dreamcast's early demise.
  11. They refused to patch games that have game-breaking bugs, like Madden NFL 06 on PSP, which crashes in Franchise mode, and when EA was told to patch the game, they refused and told gamers to "deal with it".
    • They also prevented Double Fine from fixing the 99% completion glitch for Brütal Legend, believing that they "only support games that have sold well".
    • They also refuse to fix problems with the first Titanfall, in which the game server appeared to be DDoSed and some servers were shut down, EA still tends to ignore this and never fixed it. As such, the game is now flooded with negative reviews due to EA not being bothered to fix it. The game was later delisted on Steam.
  12. Electronic Arts has a massive disdain towards single-player experiences. Their reason for shutting down Visceral Games and canceling its Uncharted-style Star Wars game was, according to them, that people don't enjoy single-player games anymore and multiplayer-only games are the future, citing many high-profile commercial failures/disappointments in 2016 and 2017, specifically citing Resident Evil 7 (successful but fell short of Capcom's predictions), Prey and Dishonored 2 (legitimate sales disappointments), and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (well received, but was controversial for gamers for its poisonous microtransaction scheme and buggy launch). This "reason" was heavily criticized by many gamers and even developers like CD Projekt Red, and Cory Barlog (SIE Santa Monica Studios), and the best comeback was the trailer Bethesda released that showed Linda Carter defending single-player games and exposing EA as massive liars.
    • In all of this, they completely overlook single-player focused games that were, in fact, major successes, like Horizon Zero Dawn (10 million sold as of 28/02/2019), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (11.6 million sold as of December 2018), Super Mario Odyssey (13.76 million sold as of December 2018), The Witcher 3, (10 million shipped by the end of 2017), Monster Hunter: World (12 million shipped by the end of 2018), and many other titles that provide amazing experiences without the need to exploit players through shady monetization. This hasn't stopped EA from cherry-picking the less successful titles to push their greedy narrative.
    • It was quickly discovered that the real reason EA doesn't like single-player games is that they cannot shove microtransactions or loot boxes into them as easily as they could with multiplayer games, yet it hasn't stopped them from trying.
    • They put almost no effort into creating a solid single-player campaign for the majority of their games nowadays, An example of this is Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 having an easy-to-complete campaign that can be beaten in a few hours with objectives that are nothing but Garden/Graveyard Ops missions and fetch quests, as well as enemy-killing quests that require you to defend something.
    • They even had the nerve to blame the single-player campaign and absence of the battle royale mode for Battlefield V's underwhelming performance, instead of, you know... getting political with your game and challenging fans to not buy said game if they didn't like it, and assuming that battle royale modes will make your game an instant mega-hit?
    • They even removed the single-player mode from FIFA 22's VOLTA mode under the excuse that they're "focusing on an online social-centric experience for you and your friends", when in fact, the real reason why they removed the single-player story mode is because, as proven in a later update, they want to shove FIFA Points in the VOLTA mode. This also proves that even in VOLTA, they cannot let go of FIFA Points.
    • Recently, the official Twitter account posted a tweet in July making fun of single-player games, saying "They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games.", which did not go well with everyone else, even the devs themselves. They later posted a "Roast well deserved" tweet hours later, though this didn't shield them from being mocked by everybody.
  13. They managed to cripple the once-beloved Mass Effect franchise for a while with the unmitigated disaster that was Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game plagued by countless behind-the-scenes problems including anti-white and misandrist developers, difficulties with the Frostbite game engine, rampant meddling by company higher-ups, and lack of a clear vision for the project which effectively led to the entire game being made in the last 18 months of the five-year development period. Fortunately, the epic sci-fi series hasn't been entirely ruined, as a Remastered trilogy has just come out and a brand new game in the main series is coming soon.
    • They have a division that's dedicated to diversity, which means they're catering to politics. This speaks for itself.
  14. When Spore was going to be released, EA said that it would include a DRM system (modified version of SecuROM) that required authentication every ten days, and also that the game's product key for each copy could only be used up to three times (later five times after criticisms), this activation limit would have issues for those who would replace their hardware, even slightly such as RAM/Hard Drive/GPU or reinstall Windows. This led to Spore becoming one of the most pirated video games of all time.
    • It's also led to lawsuits from some gamers such as for not disclosing the existence of SecuROM, addressing how SecuROM runs with the nature of a rootkit, including how it remains on the hard drive even after Spore is uninstalled.
  15. EA has made single-player games with no microtransactions in the past but those games were TV-licensed games that were rushed and the graphics in those games looked awful in the times they were released.
  16. Even back then, they published some poorly-received games like Sword of Sodan, Dark Castle and Shaq Fu (the former on the Sega Mega Drive, the latter on SNES first).
  17. Their final E3 presentations (from 2016 to 2019) tend to be very poor in quality. The most common issues with them are over-emphasis on their sports titles, too much talking, and insincere speeches about wanting to be better. Their 2018 E3 showing in particular was an utter disaster, even when compared to the previous years.
  18. EA has a history of trying to guilt and shame critics via misrepresentation to get its way. Besides the incident of Mass Effect 3 where critics are simply labeled as "haters".
  19. The publisher likes to use focus testing to determine the types of games they think they should make. One notorious example is what they did to Insomniac's Fuse, in which the design was pivoted and made into a generic gritty shooter more akin to a Gears of War title. They often use younger players as the target of their focus groups. Fuse ended up bombing critically, and commercially.
  20. Poor marketing tactics, with Soderlund, claiming that "people who don't understand" have two choices: either accept it or don't buy the game. This is an exceptionally foolish move as unlike Rockstar Games who used the same tactic to defend its fans, EA is alienating its fans and pandering towards people who will never really play their game.
  21. EA has no problem with releasing games in an unfinished state. They even admitted that Star Wars Battlefront (2015) was rushed to coincide with the theatrical premiere of The Force Awakens. This resulted in the game launching with no single-player campaign, and a bunch of other missing content that was later sold as DLC.
    • The best example of this is The Sims 4, a game in which EA not only had features removed from previous entries, but also sold the missing pieces as DLC. Even more ludicrous is that there are 4 DLC tiers as of 2020: Expansions, Game Packs, Stuff Packs, and Kits. To use the Stuff Packs, one would need to buy the corresponding Expansions and Game Packs just to use it! Essentially, they are charging DLC for their DLCs!
    • Here's a quick rundown of how greedy this game is. There are:
      • 9 Expansion Packs, which cost $40 each.
      • 9 Game Packs, costing $20 each, and...
      • ...17 Stuff Packs, which are $10 each.
      • Do the math, and we have a game that not only charges a $60 entry fee but charges a whopping $710 for the complete experience!
  22. EA has been making its studios (except for Respawn Entertainment and Codemasters) develop games with their proprietary Frostbite engine. While powerful and capable of beautiful visuals, this engine was built specifically for Battlefield-type games.
    1. As a result, it has led to many developers having to make numerous assets from scratch, greatly increasing the length, cost, and difficulty of development. While few studios (such as PopCap Games because of the Garden Warfare series) got to work on games that the Frostbite engine is optimized for, other studios, notably BioWare had trouble with the engine due to how complex RPGs can be. Manveer Heir, a former BioWare employee, has been particularly vocal about Frostbite's unreliability, claiming that something that takes 2 days to do in Frostbite, can be done in 2 hours on a more competent engine. It is heavily assumed that this is due to EA not wanting to pay licensing fees for a third-party engine such as Unreal. The Frostbite engine was one of the many problems that BioWare faced during the development of both Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.
    2. The sports games have to be the worst offenders powered by this engine, as they're full of glitches and whatnot.
    3. They abandoned Criterion's RenderWare engine because of compatibility issues on newer consoles. RenderWare had been used on hundreds of third-party games in the 1990s and 2000s.
  23. Their extremely poor handling of the Star Wars license; only four AAA console/PC games have been released since the deal was signed in 2013, and two of them were poorly received by gamers for different reasons. Not to mention, both of these games are just generic shooters with Star Wars skins. Plus, they also outright canceled the Star Wars game that EA Vancouver (originally developed by Visceral Games) was working on.
    • Also related, because of EA's exclusive Star Wars video game deal, the only other Star Wars video games we get are smaller-scale cross-over projects like Angry Birds/Lego/Disney Infinity, or smaller-scale mobile/web browser/free to play PC games not related to the EA mobile projects, or the recent Bandai Namco Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game not getting a home port because of the EA exclusive deal.
  24. EA has also poorly handled The Simpsons license, to which they gained exclusivity in 2005. Since then, only one big project has been released, The Simpsons Game which the current gen and DS versions themselves are very good, the latter version to a lesser extent, except for the last-gen console version of the game. To make matters worse, the rest of their Simpsons games have been nothing but mobile games (which by the way, almost all have been delisted) up to Tapped Out (which has microtransactions BTW), or vaporware projects like The Simpsons Game 2 which got canceled similar to the one Star Wars game that got canceled twice! Due to EA's exclusivity for the franchise, Konami's The Simpsons Arcade Game PSN/XBLA ports were delisted only after being on the PSN/XBLA storefronts for a year and 10 months.
    • Even before the exclusive deal, they've published a few awful titles such as The Simpsons Wrestling and The Simpsons Skateboarding.
    • Similar to Star Wars before and after EA's exclusive deal for The Simpsons, over 20 Simpsons games from other companies were released, but almost nothing under EA's belt.
    • After Tapped Out, they outright stopped making Simpsons games altogether, and continue to milk said game for all its worth.
  25. When Anthem's release methods were revealed, they showed off when and how you could play the game using a rather complex and convoluted chart.
  26. They ruined The Sims Franchise with The Sims 4 by turning it into a money grab by making players spend nearly $700 in buying DLC.
  27. They tried to trademark the word "Ghost". (See video below).
  28. They occasionally lean towards political correctness sides, for example;
    • The controversy with Battlefield V is a perfect example, with chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund claiming that "[they] support the cause", "the cause" in this case is possibly a hyper-feminism and agenda featured within the game.
      • They proudly (and perhaps even tryingly) celebrated Battlefield V's failure by mocking its fans with #EveryonesBattlefield.
    • Their Berlin office announced that they are partnering with the Amadeu Antonio Foundation to silence gamers if their political views contain "racism, sexism, and antisemitism".
    • During the George Floyd protests/riots, they forced the BLM agenda down everyone's throat in games like Apex Legends and The Sims 4.
  29. They have made Madden Ultimate Team 20 end their new content early, like by canceling major important promos like Position Heroes and Summer Blockbusters and releasing the Rookie Premiere program early on June 12, 2020, releasing the final Ultimate Legends on June 27 and releasing the final Power Up Expansions on July 7.
    • Despite the Power-Up Expansion releases being praised for making gold 99 OVR possible on certain power-ups, only 6 power-up expansions were being released per week, the player selections heavily focused on players who are not as good as the top stars. (eg. Some players who are average or below average like Keanu Neal, Eddie Goldman, Lamarcus Joyner, and Nickell Robey-Coleman get a gold 99 Power Up Expansion while Pro Bowl/All-Pro level players like Khalil Mack, Marshon Lattimore, or Ezekiel Elliott are stuck with 95-97 OVR cards).
  30. They targeted Kyle Rittenhouse's account just because he used his name as his username.
  31. In 2013, they were forced to discontinue their college football video game for using player likenesses without permission. The player characters were only referred to by their uniform number, but their likenesses were similar to the real-life athletes. EA settled for $60 million.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite their reputation, EA does still have good games under their name. Many of them were released before the second half of the seventh console generation. They can even release good games nowadays, for example: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (and its sequel: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (outside of the PC port), It Takes Two, F1 2021, GRID Legends, the 2023 remake of Dead Space, and F1 23.
  2. In recent years, they have shown interest in helping indie developers grow, by offering funding and/or publishing for their games (such as It Takes Two, Unravel, Fe, A Way Out, and Wild Hearts), without fully acquiring them. They do this under a program called EA Originals. A Way Out is a good example of an EA Originals title that was well received, and had no shady monetization schemes behind it.
  3. EA is generally respected within the video game industry for its good working environment. Three of EA's studios (Maxis, Respawn, and Industrial Toys) were recognized at the 2022 Gamesindustry.biz "Best Place to Work" awards.
  4. Sometimes, their contemporary games can be fun to play, despite having microtransactions and/or loot boxes.
  5. Some of their recent games don't have microtransactions, e.g. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Need for Speed: Heat, the remaster of Burnout Paradise, Star Wars: Squadrons, the 2023 remake of Dead Space, or the Switch version of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville.
  6. Even though they can be extremely greedy, their games get price drops and sales, unlike many other greedy companies like Activision and Koei Tecmo (they even sometimes give away free DLC and season passes for their games on all consoles and PC).
  7. EA created the Jacksonville Tribute in response to the Madden NFL 19 tournament shooting and pledged to donate a million dollars to the families of the two victims and the injured contestants.
  8. They donated $500k to #TeamTrees, a campaign hosted by Jimmy "MrBeast" Donaldson and Mark Rober to plant 20 million trees in 2019.
  9. Some people who work there are nice, like Will Wright, the co-founder of Maxis, though he left the studio in 2009.
  10. EA has announced recently that they have partnered with Valve. They are now starting again to bring their games on Steam. Even though DRM and Origin accounts are required, it is very nice for a change.
  11. Even though they had an exclusive licensing deal with Porsche, they shared the licensing deal with Forza for the first three games.
    • Also, they returned with as paid DLC in Forza Motorsport 4, Horizon 2 and Motorsport 6.
  12. EA has finally revived Command & Conquer franchises with Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection, which is very well received due to featuring several improvements over the original games and does not feature any shady microtransactions and DLCs.
  13. EA is slowly coming back to support Nintendo consoles, with games such as Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit coming for the Nintendo Switch in 2020, with more coming in 2021 such as Apex Legends, Knockout City and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (which supports offline play, along with motion controls, microtransactions get removed and an option to choose from and interact all 12 prize maps at any time unlike other versions.)
  14. As of November 2020, EA has partnered with Microsoft to add EA Play to the Xbox Game Pass. This means many of their games can be played for free on the service, and it expanded the library for it.
  15. Thanks to the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the failure of Anthem. EA has backed down some of the "live service" monetization methods, though it is not always the case with their other games.
    • They told BioWare to change Dragon Age: Dreadwolf from live-service multiplayer to a single-player game.
    • They allowed Motive Studios to release free DLC for Star Wars: Squadrons, despite not originally having any plan for post-launch content.
  16. In 2021, EA's Respawn won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for Colette, which was featured in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.
  17. They saved Maxis from bankruptcy by buying them in 1997, thanks to that we got The Sims franchise for example, and also SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4.
  18. They released lots of good games in the 90s and especially 2000s but also early 2010s, mostly consisting of licensed games such as James Bond 007 series, The Lord of the Rings series, Burnout series, Need for Speed series, Batman Begins, Mercenaries 2, The Saboteur, Mass Effect trilogy, Dead Space series, Skate series, NHL series, Madden series, FIFA series, NCAA Football series, MVP Baseball series, etc.
  19. Despite still being an awful company regardless, at least they are nowhere as bad as Electronic Arts.


  • Contrary to popular belief, EA did not fire the Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan for opposing microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics. George Fan got laid off when a PopCap studio closed in 2012, and he never even worked on Plants vs. Zombies 2 aside from a few conceptual levels.
  • The "sense of pride and accomplishment" statement made by EA currently holds the world record for the most downvoted comments on Reddit.
  • The "EA Sports - It's in the game" intro became an internet meme.
  • This is the longest company-related page on this wiki.



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