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On EA and Indies

An interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks with Nels Anderson of Klei about working with EA's Partners program. After EA took some heat for offering an "indie" bundle, Anderson explains that a lot of those games could not have been created without EA, which some would say is the reason this all doesn't qualify as "indie." Here's one of his comments:

First, all the games in this bundle were published via the EA Partners program. Itís the same group that Valve uses to release their games on consoles. Itís actually a very small group of people within EA and the people that run it are separate from EAís internal studios.

And it really is a partnership. I never saw anything that could even be vaguely considered creative pressure. EAP got on board with the games because they liked the concepts and the developers! I think they understood that total creative freedom was very important to all the developers involved in these projects.

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20. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 22:54 Jerykk
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on May 6, 2012, 11:43:
For as much as I agree that it's scummy as Hell for EA to be using the term in this way, no one seems to mind that Humble Bundle, Inc. is heavily backed by venture capital. How indie is it even in that case?

The games that are included in the bundle were developed and distributed without publisher involvement. That's where the "indie" part of the bundle is derived from.
 
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19. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 11:43 Parallax Abstraction
 
For as much as I agree that it's scummy as Hell for EA to be using the term in this way, no one seems to mind that Humble Bundle, Inc. is heavily backed by venture capital. How indie is it even in that case?  
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18. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 10:32 Silicon Avatar
 
If the games couldn't have been made without EAP's help, they're not indie.

EA doesn't get it and they never will. Other publishers at least try to make games. EA just tries to make money.

 
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17. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 03:52 spindoctor
 
Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

While I generally agree with the rest of your post, this paragraph is just flat out wrong. An indie bundle doesn't necessarily and automatically mean that it will be pay what you want and partially for charity. In fact I would say that the people who believe is would be in an incredibly small minority. There were indie bundles even before the Humble Bundle came along and became a thing.

This comment was edited on May 6, 2012, 11:59.
 
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16. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 00:28 Lesaonar
 
Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

Even though I can't stand EA, that's more than just a stretch. Only a simp would equate a $20 game bundle, sold on digital distribution, to a pay what you want and split who gets what ideology sold from the humble bundle site.

Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
What EA did was co-opt the "indie bundle" brand, and charge 20.00 for it, with no money going to charity. If they don't see why people are upset about it, they're more tone deaf than I imagined.

What EA did was call the bundle something it wasn't, to cash in on the "indie" craze going on. Again only a simp would confuse the humble bundle ideology and what EA offered as an indie product.

Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
Are these games technically made by indie studios? Yeah, but that's not what people are pissed about here. It's EA brazenly using the "indie bundle" concept to turn a quick buck for themselves.

Technically, no they're not indie if EA is involved as a publisher. And that's what people are upset about. Not your assertion that EA attempted to cash in on the humble bundle craze by using indie bundle as a name for a group of games. The only thing you got right, and only that partially, is the fact that EA's attempting to cash in on the indie game craze.

This comment was edited on May 6, 2012, 01:48.
 
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15. Re: On EA and Indies May 6, 2012, 00:01 Creston
 
I love that the name EA is now so toxic that everyone involved with them in some fashion has to immediately defend themselves, and quickly make sure that everyone understands that they're "separate from EA's internal studios."

I hope seeing that makes you proud, EA. You worthless sacks of shit.

Creston
 
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14. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 23:09 Jerykk
 
Quboid wrote on May 5, 2012, 22:56:
I don't mind EA as a distributer but if there is any question of them being involved in the creative process, it's not indie. Standing over their shoulders is being involved.

If a publisher has to spend any money, they will most definitely get themselves involved in the creative process, even if it's just to choose which platforms a game will be released on.
 
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13. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 22:56 Quboid
 
I don't mind EA as a distributer but if there is any question of them being involved in the creative process, it's not indie. Standing over their shoulders is being involved.  
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12. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 22:17 Jerykk
 
ViRGE wrote on May 5, 2012, 20:10:
Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
Here is the problem.

They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

What EA did was co-opt the "indie bundle" brand, and charge 20.00 for it, with no money going to charity. If they don't see why people are upset about it, they're more tone deaf than I imagined.
But the brand isn't "Indie Bundle", it's "Humble Bundle". I would hope no one got that confused with EA's game bundle on Steam as those are two very different things.

The problem is that the bundle is referred to as an indie bundle when EA was involved in either the publishing or distribution of the games contained within. An indie game is one that was developed and released without any publisher.
 
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11. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 21:37 {PH}88fingers
 
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10. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 20:10 ViRGE
 
Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
Here is the problem.

They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

What EA did was co-opt the "indie bundle" brand, and charge 20.00 for it, with no money going to charity. If they don't see why people are upset about it, they're more tone deaf than I imagined.
But the brand isn't "Indie Bundle", it's "Humble Bundle". I would hope no one got that confused with EA's game bundle on Steam as those are two very different things.
 
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9. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 19:57 Bhruic
 
Let's be perfectly honest - in the eyes of many here, EA can't do anything right. That's irrational.

I agree, although in their defense, EA does do a lot of wrong.
 
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8. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 19:46 SimplyMonk
 
killer_roach wrote on May 5, 2012, 19:39:
EA can't do anything right. That's irrational.

I liked the Dead Space series. That's pretty much it though. There are other series I liked, but EA made me regret that.
 
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7. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 19:39 killer_roach
 
RollinThundr wrote on May 5, 2012, 16:33:
Really what EA does with EA Partners is the same thing Valve does. Look for a cut, and if they like you enough they'll buy you out like they did with Bioware & Pandemic. Unfortunately that's where the greed and EA's shift from being about artist way back when and profits now collide. Pandemic is no more, Bioware I'll be shocked to not see shuttered in 5 years time.

I'd imagine Trip Hawkins is pretty disappointed at what EA has become.

Valve has bought out developers whose work they liked as well.

Let's be perfectly honest - in the eyes of many here, EA can't do anything right. That's irrational.
 
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6. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 19:36 Cutter
 
Indie by definition means self-published. It's pretty cut and dry.
 
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5. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 16:33 RollinThundr
 
Really what EA does with EA Partners is the same thing Valve does. Look for a cut, and if they like you enough they'll buy you out like they did with Bioware & Pandemic. Unfortunately that's where the greed and EA's shift from being about artist way back when and profits now collide. Pandemic is no more, Bioware I'll be shocked to not see shuttered in 5 years time.

I'd imagine Trip Hawkins is pretty disappointed at what EA has become.
 
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4. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 16:29 Prez
 
EAP got on board with the games because they liked the concepts and the developers!

What exactly does "got on board with" mean? If it's financial of any other nature than charitable donation, then none of any of this qualifies as "indie" in my book.

Honestly, I think what has everyone so riled up about this is that EA is cynically and shamefully trying to co-opt a scene that is the complete antithesis of what they have been for many years now - a massive soulless, clueless, greed-driven monster that destroys creativity and originality. The indie scene exists as a counter to entities like EA, and for them to make any claim whatsoever to it is nothing short of offensive.
 
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3. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 16:04 deqer
 
Beelzebud wrote on May 5, 2012, 15:49:
Here is the problem.

They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

What EA did was co-opt the "indie bundle" brand, and charge 20.00 for it, with no money going to charity. If they don't see why people are upset about it, they're more tone deaf than I imagined.

Are these games technically made by indie studios? Yeah, but that's not what people are pissed about here. It's EA brazenly using the "indie bundle" concept to turn a quick buck for themselves.
I bet you million bucks they already know that, but they're just playing dumb with us. They most likely knew all along, ever since the meeting they had about it in their secret board room.
 
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2. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 15:57 [VG]Reagle
 
EA will do anything for money. This is a disgrace.  
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1. Re: On EA and Indies May 5, 2012, 15:49 Beelzebud
 
Here is the problem.

They took the concept from the Humble Indie Bundle, so when people see "Indie Bundle" they assume that this is being handled as a 'pay what you want' promotion, and some of the money goes to charity.

What EA did was co-opt the "indie bundle" brand, and charge 20.00 for it, with no money going to charity. If they don't see why people are upset about it, they're more tone deaf than I imagined.

Are these games technically made by indie studios? Yeah, but that's not what people are pissed about here. It's EA brazenly using the "indie bundle" concept to turn a quick buck for themselves.
 
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