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EA “doesn’t want to be viewed as the worst company in America”

Monday, 4 November 2013 21:59 GMT By Ewan Miller

Speaking to Kotaku, Electronic Arts’ new CEO Andrew Wilson spoke about why he thinks the company has won Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” poll two years running and what he intends to do to fix that. In the interview he highlights annual sequelization as one of the potential problems, as well as establishing a “culture of innovation” at the company that “kills” bad projects before they get to market.

Interestingly, when discussing his philosophies for winning back the hearts and minds of EA’s customer base, Wilson frames everything in terms of investment and deals.

“There are lots of really big public companies that make a lot of money that are loved by their consumers. That’s because the consumers feel like they get value from that company in the investment in their dollars [and] time.

“Any time we create something, if you’re asking for an investment from the consumer in dollars and time, make sure they feel like they’re stealing from you and that they are getting the best end of that deal and the rest will follow. And that will be our philosophy”

Better games more quickly might seem like an oxymoron, but it’s at the core of Wilson’s plan to rescue the company’s public image.

“We need a mechanism and a process which we can get to better games more quickly. If we can be faulted for anything, over the years, it’s kind of hanging on to ideas or concepts of games too long, driving too hard against them, spending too much to the point that we couldn’t invest in other opportunities and ideas.”

Apparently the key to innovation is to me aggressive in killing projects that aren’t going anywhere, freeing up time for the people who would have previously worked on getting it to market. DLC is another area where Wilson thinks EA is on the right track, arguing that the company is “player-driven and not driven by a short-term financial decisions”, holding up Battlefield 3′s Premium model as something that delivers consumer value while making money for EA.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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23 Comments

  1. Xbone

    They want to be viewed as the worst company IN THE WORLD!
    :D

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Legendaryboss

    “kills” bad projects before they get to market.”

    Now the question is are those bad and panned projects really bad and aren’t going anywhere? Or are they not what EA wants us to play? Is it not generic and shooter themed? You never know.

    Conspiracy hat off.

    @1
    Ho, ho snap! :D

    #2 1 year ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    @1

    :)

    #3 1 year ago
  4. gomersoul

    It’s ok, Microsoft will take the crown next time

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Unknown_Gamer

    ^ This :D

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DSB

    He really does seem ultra, ultra business minded. Maybe I’m just fooled by the vocab, but that’s how he comes off.

    I’m confused, because EA really surprised me by introducing something like the 24 hour return policy on Origin. That’s huge, and I think it’s embarrassing that Steam doesn’t have that yet. They should’ve done it a long time ago.

    And then on the other hand I was shocked when I went shopping on Origin and found that their idea of localization was a complete pisstake.

    I just don’t know what to do with EA, but it seems this guy still sees games as “entertainment software” rather than experiences that need someone to care for ‘em, so I’m really not super optimistic about the future. Hopefully they’ll put that to shame.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. MFBB

    Might have something to do with buying and later shutting down so many studios and cancelling games fans have looked forward to…

    With Command and Conquer + the studio developing it being the latest victim.

    Bioware founders left aswell after EA bought them and forced to release Dragon Age 2 as quickly as possible…which turned out really bad as we all know.

    Could go on all day with all the studios they buy/shutdown and games they ruin.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    “an investment from the consumer in dollars and time”

    That’s an encouraging turn of phrase. Just to see them consider time, our time, as important. Hopefully, it bears out in practice, after the first announcements under Mr. Wilson’s watch, which I’m cautiously looking forward to.

    That Kotaku feature is fun, where you can comment right ON the article itself – ex. 4 ;) Reading the full article, it seems to me that Wilson gives answers, not soundbites. My impression is that there is substance behind the statements. A big step forward.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. salarta

    Incidentally, EA isn’t the worst company in America, and EA being called that proves how fucking stupid and self-centered people are. They could be the worst video game company in America, but if they’re being called worse than companies that kick families out of their homes and ruin habitats for profits, then there’s something seriously wrong with priorities.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Panthro

    Lower origin prices by 40% and begin putting your games back on steam.

    You will get my vote as a good company EA, stop fucking us about.

    Hardly the worst company though, plenty of other companies doing tremendously bad things.

    Worst gaming company though? Sure.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. dkpunk

    I still think comcast or boa deserve the honor.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. DSB

    @9 But… Does that really matter? It may serve to prove that an inordinate amount of angry gamers visisted the poll, but doesn’t it still serve to prove the very same point?

    EA isn’t viewed favorably by an awful lot of gamers, and at some point they really should start to care.

    It’s an internet poll, it’s not the final reckoning handed down by the almighty Tetragrammaton, but it’s a hint that some people would really love to serve EA a nice steaming pile of dogpoop when given the chance.

    If it was somehow a real effort to find the worst company, you’d still be hard pressed to find “the” worst. Is a polluter damaging peoples health better or worse than one who makes them homeless and launches them into poverty?

    It’s a meainingless poll, awarding a meaningless title. That doesn’t mean it can’t have meaningful results.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. GrimRita

    @10 agree totally about putting games back on Steam. I haven’t purchased any of the latest Battlefield games because they are on EAs own spyware.

    @9 – EA do that when they fire developers and sack staff in the pursuit of more money. The list is countless of how many people have lost their jobs at EA over the years.

    Gotta love this guy though for venting more hot air. EA simply don’t understand their customers, they don’t understand community and only care about licking the arses of celebrities that they pay over the odds for to promote this years FIFA game.

    If the man was smart, he would reach out to the original Command and Conquer develops over at Petroglyph games and get them to deliver a new C&C experience like no other – imagine how many fans they could win back if they did that AND, not only release it on Origin!

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Joe Musashi

    Now that Don Mattrick is CEO of Zynga, EA may not have to try all that hard to avoid being voted in for a 3rd year.

    I’m surprised they’d come out and say this – as if they cared. I would have thought that if they meet their business goals they wouldn’t care about such labelling. Plenty of companies get demonised (Activision spring to mind) who don’t seem too fussed.

    JM

    #14 1 year ago
  15. ddtd

    @7 – “Bioware founders left aswell after EA bought them and forced to release Dragon Age 2 as quickly as possible…”

    Huh? Where did you read that? It was after ME3 that they left, and they never had anything bad to say about EA, unless I missed something.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. derpachu

    @4&5
    Nice try, Capcom already took that spot.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. gsxrlove

    It would make me very happy if DICE stopped using EA as a publisher for the Battlefield series. The last thing I want to do is give EA any more of my money.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Unknown_Gamer

    @16 Actually both of them should get the Crown but we still don’t know whether Capcom learn from their mistakes right now or not :D

    So i think M$ Deserve this after all xD

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Fin

    @9

    Holy fuck I would +1 you so hard if I could.

    The entire concept of EA being the worst company in America just shows how petty, ignorant and entitled gamers are.

    They changed a piece of entertainment you like. They charge more for your entertainment. IT’S FUCKING ENTERTAINMENT, NOT YOUR LIFE.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Dragon

    Except that EA isn’t the worst company in America, it just has the army of anonymous internet keyboard warriors spilling tons of virtual ink hating EA, instead of doing something “productive”.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    The fact that any entertainment or service company could be considered the worst company in America, when there are countless other organisations literally founded on the basis of robbing people of their homes and their money, is bloody laughable.

    People have some seriously whack priorities.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Dragon

    ^Err, if they had priorities, they would not be wasting their time banging their heads at anonymous people on non-moderated game forums.

    Wait, what I am doing? :P

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @22 Hahaha.

    #23 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Dave Cook dons his Exo suit to find the new Havok DLC maps a great change of pace for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Given that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare places great emphasis on verticality, it’s little wonder that Sledgehammer Games has designed the first of its four DLC map packs with elevation and […]

  • G2A responds to deactivated Far Cry 4 keys debacle

    G2A, one of the third-party sellers that were named in the ongoing episode of deactivated Far Cry 4 keys has decided to release a statement. G2A is a well known third-party key sellers online. Most users know it through its sponsorship deals with many YouTube and Twitch channels. The service sells keys both through its […]

  • Petroglyph’s Victory resurfaces with Korean co-developer

    End of Nations, Mytheon and Grey Goo developer Petroglyph Games seems to have salvaged a stalled project. Victory popped up back in early 2013 after Trion Worlds took End of Nations in-house. Petroglyph’s attempt to crowdfund the unusual strategy title ended in iniquity, but it vowed to do whatever it could to bring the game […]

  • Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC now available

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack adds new story missions and a pile of new weapons. Far Cry 4: Hurk Deluxe is now available on PC and Xbox platforms, and is rolling out to the PSN in line with local network updates. The pack bundles five story missions, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s […]

  • Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions, but thankfully they’re not as outrageous as initial reports suggested. The subject of Resident Evil: Revelations 2′s microtransactions arose earlier today with reports filtering out of a European press event that you’ll be able to pay to keep playing after your character dies. The ramifications of this are pretty […]

  • Play mini-games to unlock Magicka 2 content

    Magicka 2 publisher Paradox Interactive has invited fans to earn in-game rewards by playing other games. The Magicka website will host various mini-games in the build up to Magicka 2′s launch later this year on PC and PS4. Playing these games controbutes to a community score total which will eventually unlock in-game content as well […]

  • Deactivated Far Cry 4 keys were purchased through Origin

    Far Cry 4 owners who found their games deactivated without warning may be surprised to learn where they came from. Many copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through third-party re-sellers have been deactivated without notice. Although resellers affected by the deactivations argued that they had made authorised purchases, Ubisoft has denied this. The publisher told […]

  • Will Assassin’s Creed visit Japan in 2016?

    The next Assassin’s Creed game after Victory may finally bring ninja and assassins together. An Assassin’s Creed fan has spotted what certainly looks like a heavy hint that the next game after Victory will be set in Japan. Ubisoft forums member Cornik22 was looking through the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag official art book when […]

  • Resident Evil HD modder aims to restore original, terrible voice acting

    Resident Evil and its early sequels are justifiably famous for their simply dire voice acting. Some Resident Evil fans feel they just can’t enjoy the experience of exploring Umbrella facilities if someone isn’t talking at them with absolutely no regard for pacing, content or tone. As a result, modder Bunny has stepped up to the […]

  • Record iPhone sales drive Apple to revenue spike

    The iPhone is still going strong – in fact, it’s selling better than ever. Apple has announced its financial results for the quarter ending December 27 2014, exceeding expectations with a 29.5% increase in revenues to $74.6 billion. This was a new record for the company. One of the key factors in this spike is […]

  • HoloLens has “mind-blowing” potential for games, says Microsoft CEO

    Microsoft’s VR wearable HoloLens is going to be great for games, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking to investors, Nadella made Microsoft’s entertainment plans for the device explicit. “It’s also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 […]

  • EA Q3: Battlefield 5 still on for holiday 2016, PGA Tour 15 spring release confirmed

    EA announced its financial results for its Q3 fiscal year 2015 quarter, ended December 31, 2014, noting total net revenue $1.13 billion in total net revenue compared to $808 million year-over-year. For the nine months ending December 31, total net revenue came in at $3.3 billion. Net revenues were up 39% and net income came […]

  • Players logged 113M single-player hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition, other EA games stats

    Ahead of its Q3 2015 earnings release, Electronic Arts has released a game infographic showing some interesting stats compiled through gameplay from October – December 2014. For FIFA 15, over 3.3 billion goals were made; 73 million knockouts occurred in EA SPORTS UFC; over 10 million families were created in The Sims 4; 113 million […]

  • Hyrule Warriors has shipped 1 million units worldwide

    Koei Tecmo has announced shipments of its Wii U hack and slash action title, Hyrule Warriors, has shipped one million units worldwide. The Omega Force-developed title was released in Japan on August 14 and in the west on September 26. Two packs of DLC for the game are slated for February alongside the version 1.5.0 […]

  • Xbox Games Store discounts Never Alone, Dragon Age: Inquisition, more

    This week’s deals available through the Xbox Games Store will be valid until February 2 with titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, Never Alone, and Titanfall discounted. Discounted titles with an asterisk are for Xbox Live Gold members only. Xbox One Just Dance 2015* – 40% Another World* – 50% Never Alone* – […]

  • Say hello to Mortal Kombat X’s latest character: Reptile

    As promised, one of two character reveals this week for Mortal Kombat X has occurred: it’s the acid-spitting Reptile. Nice! Watch the video above. Mortal Kombat X is slated for release on April 14 and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4,Bxo 360 and Xbox One. Thanks, MrTGJelly (Trent).

  • Twisted fairy tale Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries hits Steam Early Access

    Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, the successful Kickstarter from GRIN Studios, has launched on Steam Early Access. The PC title is described as a “cinematic fable featuring a vengeful Red Riding Hood,” who armed with an axe sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of her parents. Gameplay features action-platforming, combo-based hack ‘n […]

  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round delayed to late March on Steam

    Koei Tecmo has announced it is delaying the PC release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round to March. According to an updated listing on Steam (thanks, AGB), the fighter was delayed “in order to provide you with the best experience possible.” To apologize for the delay, Team Ninja will offer the Halloween 2013 Set, […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online will be F2P “no plans” for western release

    Dragon’s Dogma Online will be a free-to-play title for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Set for release this year, Dragon’s Dogma Online has a lobby which will support up to 100 players, is open-world, and the executive producer is Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Players can form groups with up to four players or pawns while raids […]

  • Watch this release video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC Lady Hammerlock

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases today on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and coinciding with the release is the launch trailer. In the Lady Hammerlock DLC, players are introduced and will be able to step into the shoes of Sir Hammerlock’s sister, Lady Aurelia the Baroness. The DLC will run […]

  • Free DLC for Tales of Zestiria takes place after main storyline

    Free DLC will be released in Japan for Tales of Zestiria, and while Bandai Namco has yet to state whether it will be released westward with the core game this summer, it’s an interesting slice of content. According to information from Jump posted by Siliconera, the DLC Alisha After Episode: What Is Reflected In The […]

  • This video of a Paris flat looks the real deal, but it’s all Unreal Engine 4

    I’m not entirely sure when, or how, this fella managed to sneak into my secret flat in Paris and film it, but since it’s out there I may as well share it with you. All joking aside, this video is rather amazing. It provides a virtual tour of a flat located in Paris; however, it’s […]

  • The Witness passes key development milestone, still no release date

    The Witness has seemingly come back from the dead. Creator Jonathan Blow has posted an update on the game’s development. Surely you still remember The Witness? Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, which was shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal event all the way back in February 2013? Well, today we got our first development update […]

  • You can now take selfies in World of Warcraft

    The latest patch to World of Warcraft has added a S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera to the game. And it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Patch 6.1 is currently being deployed to World of Warcraft’s Public Test Realms (PTR). There’s a massive list of patch notes, but the most pressing one, other than Twitter integration, […]

  • Hellblade: early gameplay and prototype footage revealed

    The latest developer diary for Hellblade is here with a look at some early gameplay prototypes and a peek at some polished areas. Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has revealed even more details of how game development works behind the scenes. The eighth part of this ongoing diary shows early gameplay footage along with some intriguing […]

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2: Raid mode offline-only on launch, more details

    Capcom has revealed a tonne of new details about Raid mode in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Capcom has confirmed that Raid mode will launch with the first episode of Revelations 2 in February. You will be playing it offline only though, either solo or in split-screen co-op. As for the online portion, Capcom promised it […]

  • Watch the first 20 minutes of Life is Strange

    The first 20 minutes of Life is Strange have been posted online for anyone to watch. The opening 20 minutes of Life is Strange set the stage for what kind of game it is. The kind that you’ll probably like if you’re a fan of Telltale games. The video is courtesy of consolewarsofficial and you […]

  • Don’t blame Ubisoft for cancelling keys – blame the culture of overpriced games

    Publishers need to drop PC games prices in order to stem the flourishing grey market, says Matt Martin. “How are you going to sell me Far Cry 4 for £45 when I can pick up Far Cry, Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry: Blood Dragon and extra DLC for just £30?” Some players […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online is real, full reveal in this week’s Famitsu

    What’s been heavily-rumoured to be the next instalment in the Dragon’s Dogma franchise, Dragon’s Dogma Online, will be fully revealed this week. According to a recent post by Famitsu, the magazine’s upcoming weekly issue, which releases January 29, will contain a massive feature on Dragon’s Dogma Online. The magazine will dedicate 18 pages to all […]

  • Valve responds to recent Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal, bans offenders

    Valve has investigated the recent case of match-fixing involving two teams in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional scene and decided to ban those involved from future tournaments. Recent allegations involving match-fixing between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com – two of the professional teams that played in Cevo Season 5 – came to light. Valve has took notice […]

  • Having issues playing Grim Fandango Remastered on PS4? Sony is offering help

    Sony has offered a few steps to help those who are having issues with their pre-loaded PS4 installs of Grim Fandango Remastered. A few reports have started to appear online from users who’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded Grim Fandango Remastered on their PS4 consoles. Sony has since posted a support thread on the official forums, to […]

  • Get Dragon Age: Inquisition for $36 and more in EA’s Xbox One sale

    Many EA digital games are being offered at considerable discounts on Xbox One right now. The latest EA sale is pretty good, offering sales on many AAA titles. It’s only available on Xbox One, with extra savings for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The list below covers prices for Gold Subscribers. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered reviews round-up, all the scores

    Grim Fandango Remastered is a classic game brought into the new generation, so it’s time for everyone to know how great it is. The reviews for Grim Fandango Remastered have started popping up and as per usual, we’ve collected a few of them below. Grim Fandango Remastered is, as the name suggests, a remastered version […]

  • The Witcher 3: latest build is 1080p on PS4, 900p on Xbox One

    The recent preview build of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was running at full-HD resolution on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One. German website Gamestar attended the recent preview event for The Witcher 3 and examined the three versions that were on offer, PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Here’s the quote, courtesy of Google […]

  • Joystiq is likely to close – rumour

    AOL is rumoured to be closing its video game site, Joystiq. Re/code is reporting that AOL is likely to close its video game site Joystiq soon, according to “various sources.” The move is part of a company-wide restructuring that will affect Joystiq and other “under-performing content properties.” Joystiq is one of the most renowned sites […]

  • The Last of Us movie will be “pretty faithful” to the game

    The Last of Us will bring many of the same elements to the big screen as the small one, according to writer Neil Druckmann. Although The Last of Us will have to be adapted in various ways to make the transition from lengthy interactive adventure to cinema-friendly story arc, Druckmann is hoping to keep the […]