“EA is not an evil empire,” but Bullfrog endured ‘love abuse’ after acquisition, says Molyneux

Saturday, 22nd March 2014 19:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Peter Molyneux has come to EA’s defense, stating it’s not the “evil empire” many make it out to be, as it has “done a great deal” for the game industry.


Speaking with Kotaku, Molyneux was discussing EA’s acquisition of Bullfrog Productions which he helped found with Les Edgar in 1987. The studio’s became well-know after the 1989 release of Populous.

EA was Bullfrog’s publisher, and acquired the studio in January 1995, promoting Molyneux to a vice-president and consultant position. He left the company after the release of Dungeon Keeper to found Lionhead Studios.

“EA is not an evil empire,” said Molyneux. “They’re a company that have done a great deal for this industry. When corporates buy companies, several things change. You’ve got this problem where the founders of the company get a lot of money—that changes those people, that changes the company there.

“You’ve got the problem of what I call ‘love abuse’. When EA bought Bullfrog, they just wanted to make it nicer. They moved us to a nice office, where we couldn’t shoot each other [with BB guns] in the corridors. We had an HR department because that was a nice proper professional thing to do. And that changes the flavor of the company.

“When any company is acquired, it’s gonna change the company. Sometimes, that change can possibly make the company better. Lots of times it can make it worse.”

Bullfrog Productions was merged with EA UK in 2004.

It was announced this week that, once again, Consumerist added EA to the list of nominations for Worst Company in America 2014.



  1. salarta

    If Molyneux was talking about EA in recent years, I would be able to believe what he’s saying more easily. But when it comes to EA in the past, the company’s actions back in the early 00s are a very vivid sign that Molyneux is either ignorant to actions committed by EA outside of his small group, or he’s lying. If EA wasn’t behaving like an evil company in the past, ea_spouses wouldn’t have been necessary to force the company to stop exploiting their employees, and that’s just one sign.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Tormenter

    Can people please move on from Orth and start giving it to this guy?

    THAT would be a service.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. ArithonUK

    Not an “evil empire” more like a drunk driver with your child in the car….

    #3 9 months ago
  4. GrimRita

    Tell that to the poor folk who downloaded Dungeon Keeper. EA deserve everything they get

    #4 9 months ago

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