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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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    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]