"EA is not an evil empire," Peter Molyneux says

Fable creator says Electronic Arts has in fact "done a great deal" for the video game industry.

Electronic Arts is yet again in the running for "Worst Company in America," but the Battlefield and Mass Effect publisher is not "evil," according to Fable creator Peter Molyneux.

"EA is not an evil empire," Molyneux told Kotaku. "They're a company that have done a great deal for this industry. [But] when corporates buy companies, several things change."

Molyneux has an intimate understanding of what it means to work with EA, as he sold his first studio, Bullfrog Productions, to EA in 1995. One of the problems that came along with the acquisition was what Molyneux called "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," Molyneux said. "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," Molyneux added. "Sometimes, that change can possibly make the company better. Lots of times it can make it worse."

Molyneux would later establish Fable developer Lionhead Studios, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2006. He quit Microsoft in 2012 to open his own studio 22Cans, which is working on Godus. You can check out a demo for the game, led by Molyneux, below.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

381 comments
Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Yeah, definitely done so much for the industry, let's see:

- Bought and killed Westwood

- Bought and killed Bullfrog (Molyneux, you MIGHT remember something about that?)

- Same for Origin Systems

- Ditto Black Box

- Killed C&C

- Killed Dungeon Keeper

- Killed Syndicate

- Killed SimCity

- Populous?

- Theme- series...

- Bioware is now in doubt

- DICE/Battlefield is in pain

- Dead Space?

- The list goes on and on, especially when you dig into the studios they killed off and their IPs at the time.


So much they've done, I wonder what would have happened if they never existed...

Creed02
Creed02

yes its not an empire .. its a fucking evil empire

limelight022
limelight022

Meanwhile, Molyneux makes grand promises and delivers mediocre games.

Tauron
Tauron

Yeah, Pete, you talkin' like you took a big bite of zombifying propaganda. Do you work for FOX too? EA treats it's employees like zombies. So they came in, took away your airsoft guns, and made you shape up, and that is supposed to convince us they are good now? 

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

EA is like the Hasbro of tabletop.  They cause everyone to know about the hobby, but not with the same appreciation as those who are already a part of it.  


Hard to say if that's good or bad.

karenwen
karenwen

Kind of funny that he sold two of his studios to evil empires. I wonder which evil empire he'll eventually sell 22cans to. Ubisoft and Activision seem like strong candidates. 

To be fair, I used to like EA and they were one of my favourites in the late '90s until around early 2000s(where things went from great to ok, but started to go downhill nonetheless). The catalogues they used to give with purchased games showing the games from the multiple studios they had was always interesting. I've also enjoyed BullFrog games like Theme Hospital and Theme Park and had fun memories playing them back in the late '90s.



gmgamer
gmgamer

I have to say the biggest screwups from EA IMO are of the Command & Conquer games as of recent.  So many loyal fans of the series and it has more or less come to an end.  (Perhaps it had to end sometime.)  Furthermore, the monopoly contract with the NFL for football games was the last straw for me.  Old school NFL Blitz and ESPN NFL 2K games were pretty awesome back in the day.


I can't hate on EA completely, as they have assisted in the releases in great games like the Mass Effect Series and Crysis.  Origin ain't half bad either.  However, they have a lot of room for improvement still.

beastmodeactive
beastmodeactive

EA has put out some great games.  Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect, Dead Space, and quite a bit more.

ULTRA4000
ULTRA4000

EA need's, Golden Turd Award. HAHA

Beasthunt
Beasthunt

Riiiiiiiiiiight. They have perfected microtransactions! Thank you so much EA!!!!!

Bigbudz
Bigbudz

He should spend more time making good games and less time gum bumpin.

TERMINATOR-SSD
TERMINATOR-SSD

yea #EA where good back in the 90s. As soon as PS3/360 came out then EA started going to S**T. With poor yearly games, DLC that costs, season pass, Online codes, slave to the investors and money is all they cared about and still do. Yes they didnt start it but they made it worse and other publisher are the same. EA takes control over developers creation and make them rush products out NOT for our benefits but for theirs and their investors. Because all EA care about is Money.


The soul reason why i will not buy ANY EA published game. BF3 was my last EA game. i foresaw the problems with BF4 before it even came out. I even told them via twitter saying: 


'why are you making ANOTHER modern day shooter so soon after BF3'' ''Why not make more expansion packs instead like the days of BF2. Make new modes, new maps, night maps all, MOD SUPPORT''. ''Why is your next BF game Not BF2143. I said ''i will not buy bf4 because of this. They said to me ''what if BF4 will be the best game ever''. I said ''it WON'T, because you 'EA' are controlling DICE''.


EA can rot in hell for all i care. and many of my friends do not buy EA products because they listen to me lol. 90% of my purchase and support goes to indie game/project development, why. Because they make games and products for US. The developers have the creative control, takes the risks and listen to US the PEOPLE.

Saladudo
Saladudo

"EA is not an evil empire, these are not the droids you're looking for"

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

your not????...What...??? Fine prove it make a game for free with no dlc or microtransaction that actualy works with little bugs and glitches that doesn't require a patch after launch and that as servers that actualy are taken care of proprely...and then maybe i'll forgive you if that game is not a reash of everything you've ever made....till then shut up EA your not an evil empire...your the "Origin" of evil empires....

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

Evil... Who is saying that they are?

They are human beings that are running a game company, with only profit margins in mind, that's not evil it's just really retarded, short sighted greed!

Looking for publicity much Pete? Have you a game coming out again soon perhaps... Oh right, Godus I forgot... but not really.

No such thing as bad publicity right?

EA isn't the worst company in America... it's the worst company in the world!

eternaldragoonx
eternaldragoonx

Still waiting for that tree to sprout out of the acorn Peter....In other words...shutup.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

To the gamer cognoscenti, Electronic Arts has committed the worst crime imaginable. They are openly running their company like a BUSINESS, and became MAINSTREAM. Most of the gamer cognoscenti still believe that the industry is "different because it's video games", and that programmers are these struggling artists living in squalor, designing games to bring them to the masses. It's a crock. It's ALWAYS been a business. The only thing different now is the dollar amounts are much larger.

SaintJimmmy
SaintJimmmy

Who lets the crazy guy in here again?

West123
West123

its all about point of view the sith weren't evil to anakin the jedi were

boringdork
boringdork

It's sorta like Star Wars....

EA would pick up indie developers and help them get their games out... but their leadership has changed direction many times now. The company was restructured from the once loved Republic into the Galactic Empire. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Also, don't forget to vote for EA in this year's Worst Company in America tournament, going on now!

ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

Well, that confirms it; Peter Molyneux is now certifiably insane...

archav3n
archav3n

I think what Peter Molyneux is doing is just interested in selling his business again and again and again.. That what he does for his entire life.

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

Hey Peter, Godus isn't a great game. I don't think it helps your public relations by kissing EA's asses, either.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

So, since Molyneux always lies whenever he says anything, EA *is* an evil empire!

cimerians
cimerians

They were great in the 80's. By gamers for gamers. Until it all got sold out to suits who love sell widgets and monetize everything that exists.

pyro1245
pyro1245

you're right. they're too stupid to be evil.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

There was a time -- a LONG period of time, actually -- where EA absolutely DEFINED the gaming industry.  They were a stellar force for good gaming.


That time died somewhere around 8-10 years ago.


kukumav
kukumav

will someone poison this guy already, sick of him and his "ideas".

zeek_fox
zeek_fox

What is this, a wiki article?  Sounds more like some background than actual news.


Lemme know when EA is ready to address the more specific concerns.  The problem isn't that EA acquires other businesses, it's that EA takes over the intellectual properties and then puts out terrible sequels that appear to be half-hearted attempts at milking the popularity of the original.  Look, there's nothing wrong with making profit on a game, but the profit should be related to how good the game is in itself, not based off the desire of fans blindly flocking to a sequel.


Case in point, the original Plants vs. Zombies was amazing.  But after EA bought PopCap, what happened?  PvZ: Adventures was put on Facebook, then abandoned soon after rather than maintained.  It also wasn't that great, as I never even finished all the content it did get.  PvZ 2 was put on mobile devices, but then with all these microtransactions and premium stuff that took away from the actual game itself.  Plus, no PC release, and not everyone has a large enough tablet to where it's easy to be quick and precise with plays, like you can with a mouse.  I can't say much for the Garden Warfare game, except that I haven't seen good reviews on that either, but instead just bug reports.

GollumDoesDrugs
GollumDoesDrugs

“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.” Gregory Maguire

amv12
amv12

Well, I think the main issue is that EA likes to put strict deadlines to developers for releasing the games; instead of letting developers take that little bit longer to deliver a fully polished release. 


Nowadays it seems like initial release is releasing the game despite whether or not it's been bug-tested thoroughly because the posters and adverts say that that is the release date and fix some of the issues at a later date.


It doesn't have to be this way. But EA were the ones that started off this trend, hence people think they're evil.

DJMist
DJMist

We all Know you live in a fantasy world Peter! 

Now in the real world, I dare you to play 200+ online matches on Fifa(14) Ultimate Team... It has enough script to send you to the hospital!


Worst part is that the evil empire wont even cover your medical expenses..

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

so EA tries to copy the success of facebook. She shoehorns the so called "social experience" to every game they make, and they ruin it. 

She also tries to copy the success of Valve's steam with origin, and she tries to force it to happen.

Then she tries to put microtransactions to as many games as she can and many games are solely made to ripoff users with MC, often capitalising on old beloved franchises name

And if that wasn't enough, she also tries to play boss over the community. Whenever she screws up and gamers get upset, its always the gamers fault because they don't understand their vision, and their latest gem was with simcity's modding, where from what I read, its an attempt to find free labor to make them DLC and not to meddle with the core game not to ruin the experience(translates to "If we let modders make the game better we will get rediculed further").  


this is evil enough for me.

jonnyc0mbat
jonnyc0mbat

I love Molyneux, afterall he gave us gems like The Movies.  But he is a fine one to talk, his games of late have been buggy rubbish, that fail to deliver on his promises.


A bit like EA really.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

@Thanatos2k If you honestly think they are the worst company in America, then I'm sorry but you're an absolute FOOL. Go look at what Koch Industries is doing, and if you still think Electronic Arts is so terrible, then I don't know what else to say to you.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

@Pyrosa Around the time when they admitted they were a business, and when "gamers" still believed that programmers were starving artists trying to bring video games to the masses, and that the industry is "different because it's video games"? 


You know what this is about? When Madden went mainstream, you had not now share your favorite hobby with everyone else. It's this whole hipster mindset of "they totally ruined totally it totally man.... totally".

boringdork
boringdork

@Pyrosa  EXACTLY... And when did EA's acquisition of Bullfrog happen? The mid-90's? Thanks Peter.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@CaptainHerlock @Thanatos2k Electronic Arts is a company that seems to absolutely despise its customers.  You can't say that of Koch or most anyone else.

So yes, as a company, they are one of the worst.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@CaptainHerlock @Thanatos2k  

He is poking fun at a gaming company on a gaming website, notorious for being greedy sell outs! He is not the FOOL here bringing up the oil industry.

Your views may well be right but irrelevant here.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@Boogy32 @punksterdaddy @CaptainHerlock @Thanatos2k  

YES thank you for that. lol.

I agree with most of this, but such discussions are never welcomed here, why would they be?

Although I do not agree with the voting for worst company at all, because it's basically pointless and it's all rather silly.

A bit like this comment section actually.

Boogy32
Boogy32

@punksterdaddy @CaptainHerlock @Thanatos2k  It's not irrelevant. EA "won" the award in 2013. They might win it again. I know that this is a gaming website, but our entertainment is not more important than the environment. It's because of people like Thanatos2k that EA (and not some scumbag oil company) actually wins that award.
It might be fun to poke at EA, calling them the worst company, but in reality there are much worse players out there. When we vote in these competitions, I think we have a responsibility to make sure that the actual worst contestant actually "wins".
Although I do think that CaptainHerlock should maybe stop with the name calling. :)