@jski: Nah, you need to back off on that one. Origin crashed and burned because of Origin, not because EA bought them.
So here is what happened with Origin Systems. "LOrd British" Richard Garriott was running that place into the fucking ground. Granted Ultima Online was making money but it cost a TON to develop. Also the Wing Commander games, Chris Roberts had a budget of 20 million for the last couple of games. This was back in the 90s. Games just didn't cost that much to make. While I think they ended up making their money on them they did not make cheap games the development costs were through the roof.
EA came in and originally they just handled the money and management. In fact they did the same thing they did with the Bioware guys. The owners of Origin became executives within EA. Unfortunately EA was a business and Origin Systems was not. Its the classic tale of Creative vs Business. In the end EA made the decisions to stick with what was actually profitable. And that was Ultima Online. Richard Garriotts magnum Opus of a Ultima game was never really finished, and he had some awesome ideas. But hampered by technical flaws.
In the end EA is successful because they people who understand the business of making games. This often gets in the way of creativity. You think EA wanted to buy a company whose IP's are all just sitting there gathering dust? Hell they even offered Chris Roberts a job to make his game with them. Wing Commander and Ultima is just sitting in their vaults making them absolutely no money.
Origin crashed and burned because of Garriott. and his friends.