EA: Publishers should “court controversy” if it “matches creative integrity of a game”

By Nathan Grayson
15 March 2011 06:03 GMT

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But who, exactly, is “they”?

Electronic Arts, as it turns out.

And EA certainly knows a thing or two about the subject. After all, between Bulletstorm’s Fox News fiasco, Dead Space 2’s mom-hating, child-baiting commercials, and Medal of Honor’s last-minute Taliban switcheroo, it’s almost like the publisher’s courting controvers– wait a minute!

“Controversy isn’t a bad thing. I personally believe you should court controversy,” EA Games head Frank Gibeau told IndustryGamers.

“You should do it in a way that matches the creative integrity of the game. You shouldn’t do it in a gratuitous way, but if it matches the creativity of the game… I loved it when Fox News did the lesbian aliens on Mass Effect. I love when they covered the Taliban; I loved it when they covered the Bulletstorm stuff. In each one of those cases, it was true to the game and we were trying to do something creatively.”

Now, before you get all up in arms about the fact that each of those games were completely misrepresented, and – therefore – Fox’s coverage wasn’t true to their creativity at all, pay attention to this last bit, which sort of makes more sense:

“The fact that their point of view is different than ours and represented an audience out there is fine by me. I felt we could stand up and defend what we did and be aggressive about it and be proud of it,” Gibeau explained.

“I understand what they’re trying to do. I’m not going to respect their point of view as it concerns some of the things that we’ve done. We’re very proud of what we’ve done in each of those cases and have been very aggressive about defending ourselves.”

Taliban gaffe aside, he does have a point – for better or for worse.

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