Innovation: does size matter?

Does trying something new make any more business sense for Electronic Arts than it does for Castaway Entertainment or Destination Games? Part 2.

While an examination of Electronic Arts can provide insight on nearly any aspect of the industry, the company is an especially worthy subject for the second part of GameSpot's look at the business side of innovation. After all, the case can be made that the company is practically the antithesis of innovation (pioneering the annualized franchise phenomenon with Madden and relying heavily on sales of sequels and licensed properties), or even one of its champions, having released some of the most innovative and influential titles of the last decade (The Sims, Ultima Online, Black and White).

As general manager of Electronic Arts' Los Angeles studio, Neil Young is no doubt more partial to the latter view. As he explains it, there are two types of innovation: franchise innovation (taking a new concept from scratch, as with Will Wright's upcoming Spore) and feature innovation (tinkering with an existing franchise, like putting the quarterback vision feature into Madden NFL 06). Looking forward, the emphasis at EA is primarily on feature innovation.

"We want to make sure that all of the franchise businesses have the right level of innovation inside them and I think that we have been guilty of not doing that historically in certain areas of the business," Young admits, referencing Medal of Honor as an EA series in need of a change. "So a focus for us right now is, how do we get new, innovative features that take the existing franchises and move them forward in interesting ways? And then I think what you'll see is a couple of--you know a couple might be the wrong term--but some very focused bets at doing really innovative and different things."

As with so many other aspects of this discussion, it all comes down to numbers. Young says EA cross-referenced Metacritic review scores for the top 30 games of the last three years to spot trends, and they found that the best-rated games all had "1-3 meaningful innovative features that strike at the heart of gameplay." It's a modest goal, and one the company hopes will keep its annualized franchises fresh enough to continue selling.

"That has to be balanced against franchise management versus franchise milking," Young explains. "I think one of the advantages of being EA and operating at the scale that the company operates in is we can afford to rest some franchises in a given year so we can give [them] the opportunity to sort of refresh and grow."

So the company ran the numbers and found correlates for success with its approach to feature innovation, but why would EA be shy of franchise innovation when a breakthrough hit like The Sims brought such a windfall?

"It's a really difficult thing to create something that is completely new, completely different and successful," Young says. "People continue to put their money down for categories that they know and love. I don't think you’re going to suddenly stop liking racing games or stop liking shooters or stop liking adventure games. Most of the categories have already been covered so finding completely new categories that feel entirely fresh I think is very, very hard to do."

The company might approach franchise innovation with a healthy degree of caution, but Young says it's for good reason when one considers the scale on which the company is working.

"Conservative decisions are not a bad thing when you're shepherding billions of dollars of shareholder value," Young points out. "What's important to shareholders is not the degree of conservatism but the degree of return. What's important is that you're growing the business year-on-year."

When the company's bottom line has to dictate publishing decisions, franchise innovation is a risk that simply isn't going to be taken frequently. As Young explains, even when it's done well, there's no guarantee it will reap rewards.

"If you think about what does it take to create a commercial and creative hit, there are three dimensions to that success," he explains. "One is the quality of the execution, another is the degree of innovation and the last that really sizes the market is the audience appeal... In the case of Katamari Damacy and in the case of Psychonauts, the audience appeal of the core underlying concept isn't there. You know if you went up to someone in the street and you tried to explain Katamari Damacy they wouldn't get it. You know it's the same with Psychonauts. Although a little bit easier to understand, not everyone in America right now is dreaming that they're a child who has great psychic powers and goes into other people's nightmares."

Internally, EA stresses the need for mass appeal. Castaway Entertainment was previously part of the EA Partners program, in which the publisher would bring to market the work of outside developers. When it was formed in 2003, John Riccitiello, then EA president and COO, said in a statement that the mission of EA Partners "is to help develop the tremendous creativity of independent studios and publishers and bring their games to the worldwide market. We've created a business to bring innovative games to new platforms and new markets around the world." In practice, however, EA Partners turned out to be more about creating a way for the company to work with independent developers at all than than it is about fostering innovation specifically.

Comprised largely of former Blizzard employees who worked on the Diablo series, Castaway is making a multiplatform action-role-playing game that incorporates micropayments into its business model. The project had been under development for EA Partners until it was dropped by the publisher in February.

Castaway president Michael Scandizzo says there was an emphasis at EA Partners to come up with a focused explanation of why his game would appeal to people.

"EA used to have an idea where they wanted you to have a 14-word motto for your game that would sum up in the public eye what your game was," Scandizzo says. "In fact, it became a big problem that we couldn't sum ours up quickly enough as a 14-word motto. I think the problem which some innovation has run into is it's really difficult to sum it up in 14 words."

That focus on mass appeal wasn't the only departure from the development method Scandizzo grew familiar with at Blizzard.

"The way in which I'd learned to work a project back at Blizzard was to actually focus on the gameplay early on, and then a lot of the polish could come later," Scandizzo says. "And EA works very differently. EA looks for promotional materials very early on that advocate what the game is going to eventually look like so they can get marketing behind the game early on. [That] was something we didn't have to worry about at Blizzard. Marketing was guaranteed."

To hear Stefan Scandizzo, Castaway vice president and Michael's brother, tell it, marketing wasn't the only thing they didn't have to worry about at Blizzard. For instance, EA Partners' rigid policies stood in stark contrast to Blizzard's own recipe for success.

"EA has no clue how Blizzard does it," Stefan says. "We tell people that Diablo 2 had no specific design document, that it did not have a specific budget, and their eyes get all wide and glassy."

But even if that formula has led Blizzard to success after success, it's not one Stefan thinks will sweep the industry anytime soon.

"Most publishers don't feel comfortable with the Blizzard development process," Stefan says. "I think they're going to continue to try to lock down time frames and budgets and that things are going to be much worse for third-party developers."

By insisting that developers meet milestones, Stefan says publishers are preventing new franchises from having the time to grow and change and evolve into the next big thing.

"Most of the games that are coming out of the studios that we come in contact with have everything mapped out from the very beginning with very specific expectations," Stefan says. "And sometimes it's like watching a car accident in slow motion. You know exactly what's going to happen, but there's no way to stop it."

The Scandizzos aren't the only developers who have ever been put off by the EA way of producing games. After scoring a hit for EA with the first mainstream massively multiplayer online role-playing game in Ultima Online, the series' creator Richard "Lord British" Garriott retired from EA subsidiary Origin.

"In spite of the success of Ultima Online, [EA was] still fairly gunshy about the online games business," Garriott says. "And they actually felt that the way to enter the business was through Java Web games supported by advertising."

Balking at the company's suggestion that he create smaller, simpler Web-browser games, Garriott left the company. A year later he formed Destination Games, and when EA closed down Origin and laid off the staff, Garriott picked many of them up and signed a deal with Korean publisher NCsoft for a new MMORPG. Much to his delight, Garriott has found NCsoft's approach to development very much in tune with the approach he held at Origin before the company was purchased by EA. On his current project, Tabula Rasa, he says he is being given the time and budget to create a truly innovative game experience.

"Tabula Rasa is a game which is very dynamic," Garriott explains. "The game is moving and changing. When you look out into the fields, the enemy forces are advancing and things are falling out of the sky and the pace of it... Instead of just being this almost turn-based, "I whack you, you whack me," it feels and looks much closer to a first-person shooter. So it's a very new kind of game compared to Ultima Online, Everquest, and World of Warcraft."

It might sound fun on paper, but as Garriott himself notes, fun is a mercurial commodity, and innovating is no more a guarantee of good times than it is of good sales.

"This is a fast-changing industry and what feels like a good innovation in one year, you'll often discover in year two [isn't]. What sounded like a brilliant plan, we either just can't pull off because we can't figure out how, or you'll pull it off exactly like you say but when you play it, it's just not fun," Garriott says. "And you don't know it until you're done with the creating process, which is again why it is so risky. And the reason most people avoid risky experiments is because it's common to get to the end of the experiment and then throw it away."

The problem is compounded when innovating because one man's fun can be another man's frustration, which brings the issue back to Castaway and the difficulty of appealing to the masses.

"In order to have a game be successful with the numbers that they need nowadays, you need a significant percentage [of customers] to like the title," Michael says. "And, unfortunately, some people find some kinds of breakfast cereals great and others not, but a general one that we can all agree on is oatmeal, which is one of the blandest of cereals."

When it gets right down to it, oatmeal sells, and everybody knows it. But Stefan sees the mindset that innovation is prone to failure as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Look at the state of the PC market. You hear a lot of publishers complaining that they don't want to spend money on PC games because they're not selling," Stefan says. "And so, as a consequence, when they do make PC games, they tend to be low budget. They tend to be safe, unoriginal concepts. They tend to be derivative of things they've already produced. And then they don't sell well. And then they say, 'Well, see, I told you the PC market is no good.' So, how do you fix that?"

While the bottom-line-oriented mindset of the publishers might be the source of much of Stefan's dismay (Castaway is currently looking for another publisher for their action-RPG), Michael believes that same mentality will serve to keep innovation alive.

"It's almost like some sort of a Darwinian process for games that the most profitable ones are the ones that survive and the reason that innovation has not gone away entirely is because there is a balance in which innovation is needed for profitability," Michael says. "Eventually, you crank out enough sequels and your series has lost all of its gas, all of its power, all of its momentum, and you need those new products to start up the new chain of conquering blockbusters."

Garriott is likewise optimistic about the fate of innovation, even if he thinks the smaller development houses espousing the ideal won't survive to achieve it.

"There is no question that games will continue to become more and more expensive and distribution of them will become more and more complicated," Garriott says. "And so the small guys and the startups will continue to be squeezed out at a greater and greater rate. Just like the other mature industries, be it movies or cars or other things, the cost to even come to the table to play will continue to go up. And so that will weed out some of the potentially interesting low-budget innovations. However, since hardware will continue to keep its high pace [of advancement], that will give plenty of opportunity for people such as myself and other established publishers and developers to really run amok and have a great time producing a continuing array of innovative products."

So to oversimplify the situation, developers have their hands tied by limitations of what they can get funded and published. Publishers have their hands tied by needing to turn over significant yearly profits to stockholders. Stockholders could choose to invest in innovation-driven companies, but the point of investing is to get the most return for one's money, and such companies are going to be fundamentally unreliable.

Customers can do their part to support innovation in the industry by actually buying ambitious new games when they're released, but whose hands aren't tied by limited discretionary income? And why shouldn't that income go to a licensed football game or a World War II first-person shooter if that's what a customer feels like playing?

Looking further out, say two to four years ahead, the rise of alternative revenue streams and methods of funding for developers (micropayments, independent financing), as well as advancements like digital distribution, could easily threaten to disrupt the current landscape in such ways that innovation might make more business sense. But the reality today is that only limited, incremental innovation will carry the day. Companies will still take shots at truly innovative products in the hopes of finding the next hugely successful breakthrough hit, but rising development costs on next-generation hardware and the myriad difficulties of creating something new (and convincing people they want it) will likely keep those ambitions few and far between.

Whatever the fate of innovation in gaming is, you can expect EA to play a significant part in it, for better or worse. Young's point of view suggests innovation to be a force as inexorable as the march of time, and no company, not even one the size of EA, can keep it from coming.

"At the very center of what our business is about is innovation if you think about it," Young says. "Every four or five years a new piece of technology innovation advances the market. And if we don’t match that hardware innovation with software innovation, distribution innovation, we run the risk of being left behind."

Written By

Want the latest news about Madden NFL 06?

Madden NFL 06

Madden NFL 06

Follow

Discussion

149 comments
DJDeji
DJDeji

Wow... Who Can Be Bothered To Read All That Lol. It's Like An Essay

Karjah
Karjah

anyone remember Interplay and Black Isle. Interplay used to be a big name publisher then they opened Black Isle to make their own games and gave them free reign and money. The result....some of the greatest pc games of all time Baldur's gate and fallout among them. EA needs to start opening and sponsoring a lot of small studios.

Blazer88
Blazer88

EA actually used to be a cool company before it became the house that Madden built.Well it took them a little longer to become the monster they are now,.but that was what started them doen the road. Kinda of an irony that when a company has more money thier product suffers because they are willing to take any chances.Happens in all the entertainment industries really,..but I think gaming is the worst,...cause its very hard for someone to churn out a game with just a few poeple that they can get out there and people will notice,..and well even if they could sell it,..file sharing would probably kill it chances from there.Much easier for somebody with a camera to make a movie,..or a few dudes with instuments to make a demo tape that why you can stilll find stuff that isn't totally studioized and mainstreamed for everyones pleasure.On the other hand to back up my point,..played a whole lot of independant Company games in the last year?Last five years?Somthing wasn't owned or published by some bigger company?Probably not a whole lot. Further you go back the more likely so. Why pick on EA though?You think Capcom is any different?How many years on a row did they churn out Street Fighter games?Or Mega Man?Another Resident Evil for ya?How about Konami?Hell if I was the guy who makes the Metal Gear series I would probably threaten to quit cause ever since they made Metal Gear Solid on the PS1 he has been churning out nothing but sequals to it since. Not that sequal are bad.I think most people like to see there favorite chacter/s continue on or game/s.But it would be nice in my opinion if they mixed it up some huh?Take a break put out something new,..then revisit,....Learn lesson from movies and music industry,..both have been having been doing all that great for a bit now.Some of that probably has to with file sharing yeah,..but probably more-so it has to do with just too much of the same stuff,..you've seen it already,...or this sounds all to familiar huh? You know I don't think thier ever be a game crash like thier was in the 80's,..but it wouldn't be a bad thing if thier was.Takes something big like that to shake things up,... corporations would pack up and leave,..and with that everything starts anew. But since that isn't going to happen I'll settle for getting rid of marketing depts. since it's all to obvious who drives the the more-of-the-same-train,...all aboard!woo!woo! There's my two cents and rant :P

Sil3n7Knight
Sil3n7Knight

"The problem is that such a large percentage of the gaming industry is driven by casual gamers -- those people who only own a PS2 or an Xbox just so they can play Madden and Socom. You can almost look at it as a separate industry: there's the gaming industry, and then there's EA. EA doesn't cater to gamers, they cater to meatheads who swallow the same Madden game every year. Even if hardcore gamers were to organize some kind of boycott of EA, it wouldn't really make a difference, because most hardcore gamers don't often buy EA games anyway. Yeah, EA sucks, but they really shouldn't concern hardcore gamers all that much. True, they're watering down the sports game market, but there are so many options out there. Read reviews, ask around, buy games that are *good*, and not just what you see advertised. If we start rewarding quality over quantity and support innovative developers buy purchasing well-developed and creative games, we can start a cycle where innovative games become the norm rather than the exception. Oh, and when you go to Gamestop or EB, buy it new, not used. " Dac u hit the nail on the head!

Soulja_West
Soulja_West

EA sucks went it comes to bring something new to the table.

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

It's really hard to read all this and think of EA been innovative. Oh sure, at one time I think they were one of the most innovative companies in the world, but now the would prefer to go out and buy a innovative company doing great work then trying to be it themshelves. Come on, look at Madden, we are in the 10th version and they still don't have it right.

ryokinshin
ryokinshin

as long as devs actually put new elements into a game, they should remain fun

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

EA, the greedy Wal-Mart of the video game industry.

pungaboy
pungaboy

Speaking of Zelda, haven't the last 2 Zelda games been (essentially) the same as Ocarina of Time? Even Twilight princess is looking very similar. I mean, really, the new features in Zelda have seemed to be along the lines of what Neil Young talked about in this article; "two or three major feature upgrades". If you think about it, Zelda has changed very little from it's most successful formula. Truth be told, I'm happy. I really liked Ocarina of Time, and then only thing I didn't like about it was when I'd seen everything and done everything to do. So more of the same really didn't bother me. The problem I think everybody has with EA, is not that their games suck, it's just that the games (sports, 007 and MOH in particular) are pretty much annual releases. So while playing the first Medal of Honor game was an amazing experience, with each iteration the franchise has gotten less and less impressive. Not because the quality of the games has gone down, but because it's hard to continuously impress people with the same thing. The way I see it, in all likelihood, the latest version of Madden is probably the best football game ever. The latest version of Tiger Woods is probably the best golf game ever. The latest version of NBA Live is (definitely IMO) the best basketball game ever; etc... They just don't impress us as much now as they did when they were the first 3D games we ever saw.

ryokinshin
ryokinshin

well EA has put out a number of good games

NoMercy2000
NoMercy2000

EA chew out a game every 24 hours so its not surprising that they have to be innovative or else all EA would make would be crappy expansions for The Sims (3 WAS ENOUGH!!).

innerwar
innerwar

Nice article. Worthy of an actual feature outside of this narrow awkward news format. I remember when EA meant LHX attach chopper and Origin titles. Those were the days. I don't think there's any question that EA is a corporation first and a game developer second. They also make huge amounts of money. Go figure ;) Not that that's "right" though. Personally i'd rather play Meteos ;)

MrShenmue
MrShenmue

EA is the worst game company in the world.

somejobro
somejobro

1)I don't think creating a new franchise is innovative if it follows a conventional formula.If you think it does,then games like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger would have to be considered innovative. 2)Not every gamer is looking for a new gameplay experience.Sales figures back this up.EA is simply giving people what they want.Hollywood does the same thing every year by making cookie cutter action movies.There's an audience for it.And EA is the company to supply the video game equivalent for the masses.Let them.You don't have to buy the games. 3)Sports games should not be included in conversations on innovation.They're derivative by nature.If you mess with the formula too much you will upset the sports fans who are the biggest fans of these games to begin with.The problem is that the people who buy these games are paying $50 every year for little more than a roster update and maybe a new gameplay feature.But once again,why blame the companies? They're doing their jobs....to make money. 4)Fresh ideas will leak out a little here,a little there,usually to little or no fanfare.If you want these games,hunt them out.They're out there.Nobody can make you buy the big franchises.And your life won't be anymore empty if you don't.

ultimo8
ultimo8

EA is not not that innovative, but being innovative all the time is so risky, and there is no money in that. I understand why people hate EA but they have constantly been bringing the innovation to the forefront. Need for Speed Underground, Def Jam: Vendetta, Fight for NY, Medal of Honor, Burnout, Fight Night, Freedom Fighters (Awesome game that only sold okay), NBA Street, 007: EON, Many others that sell outstandingly and they are recent. Ubisoft makes some of the most innovative stuff, but they have to make their bottom line aka POP, Splinter Cell, so everyone quit hating, let them get their money and lets enjoy these games. P.S. It is hard sometimes to establish new franchises so I say it's okay to innovate a brand and put it in different wrapping for 3 years or so. You know God of War 2 is coming right?

asianstarr35
asianstarr35

people want the new games that are shiny and stuff but not wait. take blizzard they have not came out with starcraft 3, 4, 5, and 6 yet (although im dieing for starcraft 3 to come out). they are letting there market for the game to develope and after the release they back up there game. i can go play brood war right now online because its still alive even with dated graphics. all there games are winners from the sc, to diablo 2 to wow. they care about there games and the pple that play not just the money

snirmana
snirmana

well if u think about EA is innovative, by unconsciously making other companys look at her and say: "we want to create something new (not like EA)" ,so EA actually pushes other companys to be innovative.

Warchyldgames
Warchyldgames

Reality check. New, fun and original titles often dont sell!!!! Even if a companyt puts out an amazing game people might still miss it and the company can loose lots of money. Think logically about beaing a publisher.......you need a steady income of "always sells" titles to be able to afford to try new franchises with new ideas. Imagine that your a company, you put out a completely fun and original new title...but no one buys it because the latest Halo, MGS, Mario...etc..games just came out so the consumers just dont have any money left. SO your company goes under...your completely broke..all just because you had bad timing. On the other hand if you have a company that has 7 to 10 titles that will always sell you can then afford to try 1 to 3 a year that are a risk. If EA isnt innovating thats not because they keep releasing madden titles...in fact with all of those sports titles that always sell it only gives them more ability to try new things with other franchises. But you know what....forget about EA. what about the consumers. are we part of the solution or part of the problem? Yes it sucks that companies rely on things that have worked before...but unless we are going to really go out there and search for the unique and lesser known titles we are just part of the problem. If we dont buy games just because they are unique and fun, then how can we expect companies to be able to afford to make them?

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

well I've never seen EA give any of their boring, repeatitive bland franchises even a 1 year rest before. Even if they had absolutely nothing to improve they would jsut change the box art and slap a higher price on it. EA is just too big and the executives with all the power are too far removed from the heart of gaming that they will never be able to use their enourmous profits to design innovative gaems. It's very ironic that EA, the least innovative company in this business also has the most means to creating a groundbreaking game but won't do it simply becuase of the shareholders who probably never played a game in their life. What this industry needs is for the developers to be freed from the chains of EA and I hope these new distribution models will allow smaller companies to get their games up for download so they wont' need a big publisher like EA anymore.

JimTheEvilBird
JimTheEvilBird

EA monster hungry!! FEED ME!!! ............... no more video game customers.......... time for MADDEN THE MOVIE!!

Ander_Fodel
Ander_Fodel

Lol now i understand why EA games suck, the guys there think that adding some new camera to a football game is being innovative, i feel sorry for them

Burin077
Burin077

I actually have an uncle that used to work at EA, he even used to work with some of the people that helped with Ultima Online's "Sequels", he was not impressed himself, and even believed himself that had Garriot never been brought under EA's fold, Ultima would have been a lot more than what it is today, which is now a second-rate MMORPG that could have gone further than Everquest or World of Warcraft. Personally, I enjoyed the variety of Ultima from day 1, I have been a fan of Garriot's work even since the NES days with Ultima: Exodus and his various PC releases such as the Stygian Abyss. I suppose it seems almost akin to the caged animal theory, restrict one from their creative freedom, and they'll lose it, to the point where they won't want to do it anymore, I can truly empathize why Garriot went off to build a new developer and begin Tabula Rasa, in fact I encourage him to keep on going!

Texas69
Texas69

C'mon, by now we should all know that "size" matters.

Writeous
Writeous

WTF... EA is Incredibly innovative.. if Not their Sports Games wouldn't Sell Year-After-Year.. And the Release of BLACK will be the First FPS of its Kind And Need for Speed: Underground was the First Racing Game of its Kind.. Fight Night is the First Boxing Game of its Kind Burnout is the First Racing Game of its kind. The List goes on.. And all these Game Got Very High Scores.. And they got High Scores cuz of their Innovation .. Medal of Honor: Frontline & Allied Assult got 9.0 Ratings. But the other Medal of Honor Series got lower and lower ratings.. which caused people to over-look the Series cuz they Stopped becoming Innovative !!! Common-sense

Toribor
Toribor

EA games, Challenge Everything? or EA games, for everything challenged... I've seen plenty of people wasting precious money purchasing every sports game with a year next to it from 1999 to 2006 and other years that haven't even happened yet. And still no one can tell me a difference. All EA does is add new players, tweak the stats and add a few more 'features' that are entirely unnecissary. Waste of my time...

nycpunjabii
nycpunjabii

For whoever didn't read the whole article, i suggest reading the second half at least. Its quite interesting, about EA's strict policies ruining games unlike Blizzard.

kevmeister95
kevmeister95

if innovation means turning out a buggy product, not even bothering to try and fix it PROPERLY and just dropping the whole thing because you don't want to spend the money to fix it properly, then I guess that EA REALLY is an innovative company (of course, there are other words for this, but...apparently EA's thesaurus doesn't list any words other than innovative)

Ortadragoon
Ortadragoon

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ortadragoon
Ortadragoon

Electronic Arts? Innovative. That is like saying Windows doesn't get viruses. Also, Cooper. Why the hell would you want a single company to take over the video-game business? I mean, give me a good reason. Even if they publish (keyword) good games, they have no right to have a stranglehold on the industry. Competition is what keeps this industry alive. Frankly, I don't want another OS industry where Microsoft owns every freakin' thing.

KingOfSlackers
KingOfSlackers

Hey Cooper, just so you know, Burnout and Timesplitters were originally produced by Acclaim and Eidos. Ironically, EA took the reigns for each series third entry. And for your arguement on EA adding innovative features to every new entry to their sports franchises, well, they have to or else they are releasing the same game year after year. Though you are right about the Spore, even if you forgot to mention the Sims. Shame on you.

CooperAces11
CooperAces11

What are you guys talking about? EA is the greatest innovater in video game history. Ever heard of a game called Spore, a game that encourages you to crash called Burnout or how 'bout a boxing game that takes full advantage of both anolog sticks. EA makes a new innovative feature for every sports game they release for every single year (including Madden, NCAA Football, NCAA basketball, NFL Street, Arena football, MVP, NCAA Baseball, NBA Live, Fight Night, Fifa, Tiger Woods, Rugby, Cricket, NBA Street, Fifa Street, and SSX. They even release new features for all their "EA Games" games. Whether that be Black, Burnout, Timesplitters, or Need for Speed. EA makes all of the games that we all love and play whenever we have the chance but all of you guys are just too stuborn to admit that.

pidow
pidow

I personally do not care who makes the games. My only concern is that for what I pay for I get (ex. levels, replay, story , etc.). PC was first, and the very idea that the market for PC games should dry up, or is, is crazy. I only play PC games and am sick of all the attention going to platforms. I personally demand more PC games period and am willing to pay to play.

tannernin
tannernin

Nice analigie Chrono :) Ea is to inovation, as swimming, is to football FAR APART

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

him - If that ever happened, I'd be one of the people more concerned with emulation.

dttr
dttr

The botom line is, it's down to us, customers, to support innovation and put a stop to the vicious circle in motion.

him_8913
him_8913

imagine if they completely monopolised the gaming industry. having no other choices for games, it would be like communism

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

EA is as innovative as oatmeal, at least put some honey or cinnamon on it man.

sneaktip
sneaktip

It's understandable that EA has a large corporate entity to deal with, but how many hardcore gamers trust EA to move the industry in the right direction? EA is trying to take over Ubisoft and eliminate competition from the sports genre. For those reasons alone I strongly dislike EA.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

EA, Sony, Midway... anytime anyone applies the term inovative to these guys I have to laugh, but sadly, lately even my favorite developers have been lacking in true innovation... Come on Square-Enix! you've still got it! I have faith in you!

navbains
navbains

EA depends on the sequels way too much, given their size they should work on at least few truly innovative games for a change. :(

MiKaNoH
MiKaNoH

if EA really want innovation in games, just make good game for the Revolution, this is enough to a company that have fame of non-creative...EA could left some series to other small companies make them better and be known as a good company like Retro Studios had the chance to make one of the biggest fanchises of Nintendo, Metroid.i think some series of EA could be VERY,VERY,VERY better in other hands, like 007 series, 007 could have the same game for each platform, but in each of them, the game would be made by one first-party from the company of the console.Example, 007 in 360 made by Bungie or Rare, in the PS3 made by SCEA or other, in the REV made by Retro Studios(this is just one example)the game in each platform would have his own features like each Soul Calibur II had exclusive characters in each platform, i'm not saying only about 007 frachise, madden, fifa,etc...

dawooten
dawooten

i dont like to read big articles