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

Saturday, 22 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.