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EA Bashing

In the vein of the 2004 EA Spouse incident comes a blog called EA Louse, which is ostensibly by an EA/Mythic employee disgruntled because he will be laid off next month. The blog has scathing comments, saying Mythic is dying, the project leaders on Warhammer "did not know what they were doing," Mark Jacobs was fired, that BioWare has spent more money on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ($300 million) than James Cameron spent on Avatar, that in spite of that the Star Wars MMOG is "a joke," and more. He sums up his concerns saying: "So there it is. Rewarding the incompetent. Firing the competent," and explains his anonymity saying: "I say it anonymously so I can keep my next few paychecks coming." It should be stressed again, however, that this has not been confirmed as being genuine. Thanks Computer and Video Games.

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21. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:16 bhcompy
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 12:09:
EA has whittled down the Mythic team and replaced with their own people since the buyout. It's what EA does to everyone.

I'd like to think this is changing. Like to. You see examples of the opposite more often.

It's not hard to understand, though. You buy a company for three reasons:
1) It's a great core that has a lot of room to grow.
2) It's got potential but not all the pieces to get there
3) It's useless outside of IP

Company 1 you fund and leave alone. Company 2 you put your people in but for god'ssake recognize the culture and don't destroy what makes the company as good as it is. Company 3 you let go.

Seems like publishers love taking Company 1 and meddling with them until they become Company 2 due to departures, and end up driving them into becoming Company 3. Do not get it. You buy a company because of their core and their abilities and then you destroy it?

I so want to get into a publisher and see their reasoning, as there has to be some. And I want to be the guy that does it right.

The problem can be identified with one sole cause. Shareholders. Take a private company public and you have major problems, especially when the insiders don't have control over the majority of the stock.

Google is experiencing problems, as reported yesterday, because they make many long term investments with a great deal of risk. Shareholders are complaining that the company could be making more money than they currently are because of these investments(and Google already makes money hand of fist), but since Google retains the bulk of it's shares, it's able to deflect that criticism, which is something EA and Activision can't do.
 
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20. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:15 Kxmode
 
Let us assume that EA Louse is a "he". He probably forgot to read his Non-Disclosure Agreement that likely forbids someone from talking about company's internal operations, their trade secrets, but probably more important: talking smack about a company after their employment is terminated, especially a publicly traded company with shareholder interest. This story may pick up steam within the video game industry's circle of influence. If his words cause financial harm EA is well within their right to seek legal action to protect not only their brand but the money shareholders have invested in the company. Of course I am not a lawyer but the case for such action seems reasonable.

I also like to eat poptarts in the morning. Mmmmmm....
 
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19. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:09 Beamer
 
EA has whittled down the Mythic team and replaced with their own people since the buyout. It's what EA does to everyone.

I'd like to think this is changing. Like to. You see examples of the opposite more often.

It's not hard to understand, though. You buy a company for three reasons:
1) It's a great core that has a lot of room to grow.
2) It's got potential but not all the pieces to get there
3) It's useless outside of IP

Company 1 you fund and leave alone. Company 2 you put your people in but for god'ssake recognize the culture and don't destroy what makes the company as good as it is. Company 3 you let go.

Seems like publishers love taking Company 1 and meddling with them until they become Company 2 due to departures, and end up driving them into becoming Company 3. Do not get it. You buy a company because of their core and their abilities and then you destroy it?

I so want to get into a publisher and see their reasoning, as there has to be some. And I want to be the guy that does it right.
 
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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18. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:04 Kajetan
 
ASeven wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:42:
I have to wonder if the game is indeed as bad as EAlouse says the tremendous impact on EA's bottom line this game potentially can be. If, and I repeat IF the game does fail it has the potential of hurting EA more than most things in the past years, $300 millions for a publisher like EA is still a lot of money, IF all the guy's said is true and IF the game is as bad as he paints it to be. Otherwise if it's a great MMO I can see EA start to see a ROI in 4-5 years time no doubt.

300 Mio, all from EA or money that Bioware has invested? We dont know ...
 
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17. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:01 Beamer
 
This is just pedantic ranting by a guy who's about to get fired. Here's a hint, buddy: If you don't want to be treated like shit, don't work in the gaming industry. Find yourself a job somewhere where they treat you decently. Like, say, the energy industry

Odds of this guy getting outed: high.
Odds of this guy getting another job in the industry: low.

There are companies in this industry that are a joy to work for. Companies that treat employees well. Companies that don't ask you to work 10+ hours a day outside of crunch (and every company crunches) but that you do it because you genuinely like being there and like the work.
Valve is like this.
Epic is like this.
Bungie is like this.
I'm pretty sure Gearbox is like this.
And I'm pretty sure several of the much smaller companies that won't put a sports car in your driveway are like this.

You need to earn your way into them, though. The companies like this are the ones that have had huge successes and built up enough capital and credibility to be their own boss. They got this way for being the best (at something) and stay that way by hiring the best.

Sometimes you need to eat shit making GBA games for EA in order to prove you belong. If you do it without publically whining about it you'll move on. If you air your grievances for all to see you're probably screwed.
Although, then again, if done right... isn't that partially how Randy Pitchford made a name for himself? Haha. I guess as did Paul Steed, although a lot of good that did him.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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16. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 12:01 Kajetan
 
ASeven wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:36:
Now if only the gaming industry followed the same path.
As long as gamers buy products made by slaves and yell at dev spouses, who protest against harsh working enviroments and devs are too afraid or too young to stand up for themselves ... nothing will change at all.
 
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15. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:55 bhcompy
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:33:
Like I said, when was the last time Mythic made two games that sold 10 million copies plus in the space of a few months?

Creston

When was the last time Bioware made an MMO that was pulling in millions a month in subscriber fees for years at a time?

Most businessmen will tell you that the best model is the one that generates you revenue consistently rather than at one time. That is why Bioware and Blizzard got in to the MMO business, and Mythic has been there longer than both of them.

As far as the bashing, knowing people that worked for Mythic before and after the EA merge, I believe what this person is saying based on my own personal conversations with these people. EA has whittled down the Mythic team and replaced with their own people since the buyout. It's what EA does to everyone. And, realistically, it's not all that different from what happened at SOE with Galaxies(again, based on personal experience as a member of the press).
 
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14. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:46 Creston
 
I'm reading the comments on that blog now (bored at work,) and in the blog itself he seems to lay praise on Mark Jacobs, and that it's all everyone else's fault, and then in the comments he says this :

"But Mark Jacobs, who loved posting, especially about things he couldn't guarantee and made our lives hell because he would essentially promise them,"

So, which is it, EA Louse? Mark Jacobs WAS to blame for the project's failure, or he wasn't?

This is just pedantic ranting by a guy who's about to get fired. Here's a hint, buddy: If you don't want to be treated like shit, don't work in the gaming industry. Find yourself a job somewhere where they treat you decently. Like, say, the energy industry


As for the team making KOR being a fairly new team, sure, but it's still being overseen by Bioware. It's not like guys like Casey Hudson don't occasionally throw a peek at it and see if it's actually shaping up well? I can't imagine they'd release it as a piece of shit, it's probably the most anticipated MMORPG since Galaxies. And after the fucking disaster that was Galaxies, they HAVE to do this one well.

But we'll see. It's hard to predict what makes a succesful MMORPG. Nobody ever dreamed that Warcraft, of all things, would translate into such a behemoth MMO.

Creston
 
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13. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:42 ASeven
 
Ruffiana wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:37:
$300 million is an insane amount of money though. Of course they're free to spend it, but for that price tag the expectations for success are going to be extremely high. That means that even if the game launches and immediately draws in half a million subscribers, it may not be enough to keep it running. That's an important consideration for anyone thinking about investing $60 + $15/mo to play a game that may not be around for more than a few months.

I have to wonder if the game is indeed as bad as EAlouse says the tremendous impact on EA's bottom line this game potentially can be. If, and I repeat IF the game does fail it has the potential of hurting EA more than most things in the past years, $300 millions for a publisher like EA is still a lot of money, IF all the guy's said is true and IF the game is as bad as he paints it to be. Otherwise if it's a great MMO I can see EA start to see a ROI in 4-5 years time no doubt.
 
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12. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:39 ASeven
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:33:
Yeah, I've read it. It's incoherent whining, basically. (Anyone who says that the old Ultima games suck ass doesn't have a fucking clue of what makes a good RPG to begin with.) I'm sure the guy feels bad about being laid off, but every time they asked their boss to talk to the guys above, the boss would never do it, and they would basically just suck it up and go with the flow.

Don't expect me to feel much sympathy for you if you don't have the fucking balls to stand up for yourself. If your boss is a fucking toolshed, go over his head. My department did that not too long ago with our boss, and the end-result of it is that she's not our boss anymore. Sometimes you gotta take a risk and stand up for yourself.

And sure, he's bashing EA, but he's also bitching (basically) that Bioware gets preferential treatment over Mythic. Well... duh? Like I said, when was the last time Mythic made two games that sold 10 million copies plus in the space of a few months? (not to mention the absolute ASSLOADS of money they're making off the DLCs and the expansion.)

Oh yes, agree with you on all points (Ultima IV FTW). I got the impression that you didn't believe him on the working conditions, not on his lack of balls and opinions of great games. Then again, my impressions aren't what they used to be so don't scare me again like that Creston, we need your axe to hack away all the bullshit the gaming industry throws at us.

You have my... erm... axe.
 
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11. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:37 Ruffiana
 
So if Bioware is spending that much money, I'd say they've earned that right. You know, on account of them actually making games that are pretty damn awesome and sell really well.

I'd say that 300 million is a fuckton of money, but didn't a dev say a few years back that if anyone wanted to compete with WoW, they had to spend like a billion dollars to do so, just because WoW is so massive and so smoothly polished? It's not fair to have to go up against a MMORPG that's been refined for six years, but that IS the reality of the market place. Players expect a certain level of polish, and if your new MMORPG doesn't deliver that, they'll just keep playing WoW.

So if Bioware wants KOR to be succesful, it seems fairly logical that they're spending a load of money. (I still think 300 million is too much to spend on a game, but whatever. I understand the thought process behind it.)

Bioware is not a singular entity. This team in Austin is pretty new, and this would be their first MMO. EA slapping the Bioware label on them is accomplishing exactly what they want it to, people thinking that this will be an MMO by the same guys who made Mass Effect, Jade Empire, and Baldur's Gate. Even if it were the same team, past success does not guarantee success, all it guarantees is that they can probably get the funding they thing they need. Teams change over time, they grow, they shrink, people move on, people get fired...you never know when that one person gets pulled out of the mix and changes the chemistry for the whole team.

$300 million is an insane amount of money though. Of course they're free to spend it, but for that price tag the expectations for success are going to be extremely high. That means that even if the game launches and immediately draws in half a million subscribers, it may not be enough to keep it running. That's an important consideration for anyone thinking about investing $60 + $15/mo to play a game that may not be around for more than a few months.

This very much has the ring of truth to it, especially as I've just been layed off myself from a company who had recently brought in someone from Mythic to oversee our project, and I was seeing many of the same things myself.

It's a shame, but most game development studios are not run by people who actually like games. They're business-men who see games as a great way to make money for themselves.

This comment was edited on Oct 13, 2010, 12:04.
 
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10. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:36 vrok
 
I have no problem believing that KOR is going to suck major balls.  
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9. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:36 ASeven
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:30:
What's wrong with working in the oil and energy industry? You do realize that the decisions to manually inflate prices to screw over the customer are made by like a dozen people over the entire world, and the few million peons who do the actual work have no say over this, right?

I work in the energy industry, and it's a very nice place to work.

Well, last time I dealt with it, admittedly many years ago, it didn't come across as a good place to work in. Glad to see things have gone for the much better. Now if only the gaming industry followed the same path.
 
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8. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:33 Creston
 
ASeven wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:27:
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:22:
...

Who are you and what have you done to Creston?!?!!!?

I trust you read the article? He bashes the corporate culture of EA more than anything specific. He's spreading his aim all over the place to put it mildly.

Yeah, I've read it. It's incoherent whining, basically. (Anyone who says that the old Ultima games suck ass doesn't have a fucking clue of what makes a good RPG to begin with.) I'm sure the guy feels bad about being laid off, but every time they asked their boss to talk to the guys above, the boss would never do it, and they would basically just suck it up and go with the flow.

Don't expect me to feel much sympathy for you if you don't have the fucking balls to stand up for yourself. If your boss is a fucking toolshed, go over his head. My department did that not too long ago with our boss, and the end-result of it is that she's not our boss anymore. Sometimes you gotta take a risk and stand up for yourself.

And sure, he's bashing EA, but he's also bitching (basically) that Bioware gets preferential treatment over Mythic. Well... duh? Like I said, when was the last time Mythic made two games that sold 10 million copies plus in the space of a few months? (not to mention the absolute ASSLOADS of money they're making off the DLCs and the expansion.)

Creston
 
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7. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:33 nin
 

Could be worse - he/she could have been working for Activision.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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6. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:30 Creston
 
ASeven wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:25:
To say the oil and energy industry is far more friendly to work in than the gaming industry should be enough to paint a very dark picture of how bad working in the gaming industry today is.

What's wrong with working in the oil and energy industry? You do realize that the decisions to manually inflate prices to screw over the customer are made by like a dozen people over the entire world, and the few million peons who do the actual work have no say over this, right?

I work in the energy industry, and it's a very nice place to work.

Creston
 
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5. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:27 ASeven
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:22:
...

Who are you and what have you done to Creston?!?!!!?

I trust you read the article? He bashes the corporate culture of EA more than anything specific. He's spreading his aim all over the place to put it mildly.
 
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4. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:26 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 13, 2010, 11:15:
as I'm pretty much being charged with overhauling company morale, the company culture, and company's innovation practices.

Here's some advice: Don't be anti-consumer. Generally doesn't work very well in the corporate environment.

Creston
 
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3. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:25 ASeven
 
Having dealt with a lot of corporations I tend to incline into believing this post is the RealThing(tm). I can't put my finger on it but it comes across as, I don't know, genuine. I could be wrong and this could be a fake but somehow certain things just don't seem to sound like outright lies and slander, I believe this man is actually spilling it all out and telling all he knows.

Either way, if indeed it's true, holy fuck, more than $300 millions??? And the comments sections also ha him posting more stuff.

I can't see anyone wanting to work at a publisher to be honest, one has to be truly insane to go work in those conditions that can kill your soul. To say the oil and energy industry is far more friendly to work in than the gaming industry should be enough to paint a very dark picture of how bad working in the gaming industry today is.
 
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2. Re: EA Bashing Oct 13, 2010, 11:22 Creston
 
Ehm, bitching at EA is one thing, bitching at Bioware is something completely different. When was the last time you sold 5 million copies of two different games in three months time, EA Louse?

So if Bioware is spending that much money, I'd say they've earned that right. You know, on account of them actually making games that are pretty damn awesome and sell really well.

I'd say that 300 million is a fuckton of money, but didn't a dev say a few years back that if anyone wanted to compete with WoW, they had to spend like a billion dollars to do so, just because WoW is so massive and so smoothly polished? It's not fair to have to go up against a MMORPG that's been refined for six years, but that IS the reality of the market place. Players expect a certain level of polish, and if your new MMORPG doesn't deliver that, they'll just keep playing WoW.

So if Bioware wants KOR to be succesful, it seems fairly logical that they're spending a load of money. (I still think 300 million is too much to spend on a game, but whatever. I understand the thought process behind it.)

As for the "incompetent being rewarded and the competent being fired", ehm, so is he saying that Mythic is competent? Because I'd rather like to know WHAT Mythic is competent at? It sure as fuck isn't making "good computer games."

Creston
 
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