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Op Ed

games.on.net - Ubisoft and PC gamers- This new relationship is not off to a good start.
It’s a broken system that Ubisoft is even cramming into its Steam titles, forcing you to launch uPlay even when you’ve purchased your game through Steam — or even Origin! Why would I want to use one DRM system that launches another? Why would I want to have to maintain all these different friends lists?

And now, we’re seeing that this system is so broken — so completely broken — that players can actually manually tear the curtains aside, using something as simple as a text editor, and see what they’re not allowed to have. Or even take other games they haven’t paid for!

This is really, really, dumb. Why are we using uPlay again?

Consumerist - EA Admits It “Can Do Better” But Blames Worst Company Success On Homophobes And Whiny Madden Fans. Thanks GamePolitics
In coming out and responding to its previous win — and possible repeat victory — EA had the opportunity to show the gaming community the respect it deserves, but instead has insulted its intelligence by asking it to accept that its quite obvious faults are really just minor problems and that the actual source of trouble are faceless, homophobic hatemongers.

IncGamers.com - The bird, or the cage: What BioShock Infinite says about choice and fatalism.
It’s an elegant meta-comment on the many, many people in the real world playing through BioShock Infinite, but also seems like a bit of a cheeky way of suggesting that the sort of choices offered in other games are ultimately meaningless if they bring you to the same point every time.

What’s your take on all of this?

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57 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 3 ] Older >

57. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 10, 2013, 08:00 InBlack
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 07:39:
InBlack wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 06:26:
The_Pink_Tiger wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 20:15:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 11:57:
You could pretty much go into EA and do the opposite and become a hero.

That's sort of an interesting concept. Imagine if we actually had a CEO who did just that; looked at the course laid out by the previous CEO of EA and then went the opposite direction. What would this consist of? Would it make EA's customers happier (and I mean its general customers, not we cynical, whining PC gamers)? Would EA remain profitable?

It's an idea to play around with. For instance:

- No online DRM built into the game. Activation not required.

- Origin is binned (or at least made completely optional). Software is available through retail, Steam and any other similar venues (GOG.Com even!)

- No Day-One DLC. In fact, no DLC except on proven successes; development on DLC isn't even started until a certain number of sales are achieved.

- Equal focus on PC gaming.

- Less emphasis on a yearly release schedule for existing IPs. Sequels come out when the developers are ready to make the sequel, not just to keep the franchise name "out there"

- Multiplayer components added only to games that need them. Similarly, online-only requirements should actually provide benefit from being online.

- Instead of purchasing existing developers and then shuttering them, he would push them into EA Partnerships. If a developer was purchased and it wasn't profitable, it would be sold rather than shuttered.

- Ditto for IPs. If EA isn't making use of them, they sell them so somebody can.

- Better work conditions for its employees; crunch-time, unfortunately, seems to be an unavoidable part of software development but at least the coders get proper remuneration for their services.

Those are just off the top of my head. Anything else? Anyone have a multi-billion dollar corporation we can use to experiment with?

A few more points:

- More focus on developing smaller, cheaper games, but in a greater number or in other words copying the indie scene

- Cutting back marketing costs for AAA titles by at least 50%. Use some of that money to ease the work of developers actually working on said games. Aditional bonus, shareholders are always happy when costs are cut.

- No interference from publisher execs into studio developers decisions with regards to actual game design. Executives should handle what they handle best, money and deadlines. Leave the game development to actual developers.

You always say "cut marketing."
First, you mean advertising. If ads didn't factor heavily into sales, it wouldn't be done. Ads are one of the easiest factors to track. A solid ad campaign will influence sales more than adding an extra hour of gameplay. Sorry, simple economics.

But no one should take sales advice from someone that can't differentiate between "marketing" and "advertising." You can talk gameplay all you want, but seriously, it's amazing how repeatedly no one here knows what marketing actually is.

Here's a hint: the marketing guys are responsible for making sure the game that gets made is one people want. Do you know who is often advocating for a game to be longer? Marketing guys. They're the ones in meetings saying "4 hours of single player? We can't release that."

Aha, so now you read minds as well and put words into my mouth? No. I mean cut marketing, by that I mean advertising & marketing (and yes advertising falls UNDER the marketing umbrella). And yes I fully understand that marketing execs are the douches responsible for game length 'padding', pandering to the lowest common denominator, ramming 'social networking' aspects into games, developing game trailers that have nothing to do with actual gameplay, and hundreds of others shady shenanigans designed to sell the product to Joe Shmoe. Yeaaah, marketing execs suuure know what we want. Go on believing that Beamer, but that statement right there is the main reason why AAA games being produced today are of such poor quality compared to titles made before the industry went mainstream.

Also notice I said cut marketing by 50%, not entirely which would be stupid.

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2013, 08:11.
 
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56. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 10, 2013, 07:39 Beamer
 
InBlack wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 06:26:
The_Pink_Tiger wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 20:15:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 11:57:
You could pretty much go into EA and do the opposite and become a hero.

That's sort of an interesting concept. Imagine if we actually had a CEO who did just that; looked at the course laid out by the previous CEO of EA and then went the opposite direction. What would this consist of? Would it make EA's customers happier (and I mean its general customers, not we cynical, whining PC gamers)? Would EA remain profitable?

It's an idea to play around with. For instance:

- No online DRM built into the game. Activation not required.

- Origin is binned (or at least made completely optional). Software is available through retail, Steam and any other similar venues (GOG.Com even!)

- No Day-One DLC. In fact, no DLC except on proven successes; development on DLC isn't even started until a certain number of sales are achieved.

- Equal focus on PC gaming.

- Less emphasis on a yearly release schedule for existing IPs. Sequels come out when the developers are ready to make the sequel, not just to keep the franchise name "out there"

- Multiplayer components added only to games that need them. Similarly, online-only requirements should actually provide benefit from being online.

- Instead of purchasing existing developers and then shuttering them, he would push them into EA Partnerships. If a developer was purchased and it wasn't profitable, it would be sold rather than shuttered.

- Ditto for IPs. If EA isn't making use of them, they sell them so somebody can.

- Better work conditions for its employees; crunch-time, unfortunately, seems to be an unavoidable part of software development but at least the coders get proper remuneration for their services.

Those are just off the top of my head. Anything else? Anyone have a multi-billion dollar corporation we can use to experiment with?

A few more points:

- More focus on developing smaller, cheaper games, but in a greater number or in other words copying the indie scene

- Cutting back marketing costs for AAA titles by at least 50%. Use some of that money to ease the work of developers actually working on said games. Aditional bonus, shareholders are always happy when costs are cut.

- No interference from publisher execs into studio developers decisions with regards to actual game design. Executives should handle what they handle best, money and deadlines. Leave the game development to actual developers.

You always say "cut marketing."
First, you mean advertising. If ads didn't factor heavily into sales, it wouldn't be done. Ads are one of the easiest factors to track. A solid ad campaign will influence sales more than adding an extra hour of gameplay. Sorry, simple economics.

But no one should take sales advice from someone that can't differentiate between "marketing" and "advertising." You can talk gameplay all you want, but seriously, it's amazing how repeatedly no one here knows what marketing actually is.

Here's a hint: the marketing guys are responsible for making sure the game that gets made is one people want. Do you know who is often advocating for a game to be longer? Marketing guys. They're the ones in meetings saying "4 hours of single player? We can't release that."
 
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55. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 10, 2013, 06:26 InBlack
 
The_Pink_Tiger wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 20:15:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 11:57:
You could pretty much go into EA and do the opposite and become a hero.

That's sort of an interesting concept. Imagine if we actually had a CEO who did just that; looked at the course laid out by the previous CEO of EA and then went the opposite direction. What would this consist of? Would it make EA's customers happier (and I mean its general customers, not we cynical, whining PC gamers)? Would EA remain profitable?

It's an idea to play around with. For instance:

- No online DRM built into the game. Activation not required.

- Origin is binned (or at least made completely optional). Software is available through retail, Steam and any other similar venues (GOG.Com even!)

- No Day-One DLC. In fact, no DLC except on proven successes; development on DLC isn't even started until a certain number of sales are achieved.

- Equal focus on PC gaming.

- Less emphasis on a yearly release schedule for existing IPs. Sequels come out when the developers are ready to make the sequel, not just to keep the franchise name "out there"

- Multiplayer components added only to games that need them. Similarly, online-only requirements should actually provide benefit from being online.

- Instead of purchasing existing developers and then shuttering them, he would push them into EA Partnerships. If a developer was purchased and it wasn't profitable, it would be sold rather than shuttered.

- Ditto for IPs. If EA isn't making use of them, they sell them so somebody can.

- Better work conditions for its employees; crunch-time, unfortunately, seems to be an unavoidable part of software development but at least the coders get proper remuneration for their services.

Those are just off the top of my head. Anything else? Anyone have a multi-billion dollar corporation we can use to experiment with?

A few more points:

- More focus on developing smaller, cheaper games, but in a greater number or in other words copying the indie scene

- Cutting back marketing costs for AAA titles by at least 50%. Use some of that money to ease the work of developers actually working on said games. Aditional bonus, shareholders are always happy when costs are cut.

- No interference from publisher execs into studio developers decisions with regards to actual game design. Executives should handle what they handle best, money and deadlines. Leave the game development to actual developers.
 
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54. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2013, 04:37 Ant
 
Killswitch wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:58:
Steele Johnson wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:34:
The only thing that you can do, is not support them. [...] Look at a company like Comcast.

I hate Comcast as much as the next guy, but I'm not going to drop them as an ISP in favor of ASDL or ISDN.
Ditto for my TWC ISP. Verizon is here with its FIOS, but not in my neighborhoods.
 
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53. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 22:34 HorrorScope
 
The_Pink_Tiger wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 20:15:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 11:57:
You could pretty much go into EA and do the opposite and become a hero.

That's sort of an interesting concept. Imagine if we actually had a CEO who did just that; looked at the course laid out by the previous CEO of EA and then went the opposite direction. What would this consist of? Would it make EA's customers happier (and I mean its general customers, not we cynical, whining PC gamers)? Would EA remain profitable?

It's an idea to play around with. For instance:

- No online DRM built into the game. Activation not required.

- Origin is binned (or at least made completely optional). Software is available through retail, Steam and any other similar venues (GOG.Com even!)

- No Day-One DLC. In fact, no DLC except on proven successes; development on DLC isn't even started until a certain number of sales are achieved.

- Equal focus on PC gaming.

- Less emphasis on a yearly release schedule for existing IPs. Sequels come out when the developers are ready to make the sequel, not just to keep the franchise name "out there"

- Multiplayer components added only to games that need them. Similarly, online-only requirements should actually provide benefit from being online.

- Instead of purchasing existing developers and then shuttering them, he would push them into EA Partnerships. If a developer was purchased and it wasn't profitable, it would be sold rather than shuttered.

- Ditto for IPs. If EA isn't making use of them, they sell them so somebody can.

- Better work conditions for its employees; crunch-time, unfortunately, seems to be an unavoidable part of software development but at least the coders get proper remuneration for their services.

Those are just off the top of my head. Anything else? Anyone have a multi-billion dollar corporation we can use to experiment with?

Pretty much all of that. I think it's easy to buy back favor, people tear down, but also rebuild. If someone took over, and pretty much laid it out like you state, we did this... we are now doing that.

In fact, in my company, we are doing pretty great, but we've seen too many cuts to beni's and such, since we are public we know this and well people are a bit pissed.

A person could come in and without giving up the ghost, could state "We do appreciate and respect stockholders, but we also truly value our own employees which make profits possible for everyone". Then go on to say what their givebacks are.

It would really help my companies morale and that will have a pay off without a doubt. I'm not sure what happened, why owners are so pissed at us.... Once they said and treated us as vital cogs, now it's "can we make them all PT and give up all benefits?". What the fuckity fuck?

I applaud the rare CEO/Owner that bites back at shareholders that suggest employee cuts in one form or another and say "I don't give 2 shits about you, I'm taking care of my company and it's people." Yes that does happen, rare as a dodo, but it does happen.
 
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52. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 20:33 Saboth
 
As a life-long gamer, and long time reader of Consumerist, I'll shed some light on this. The contest is called "Worst Company in America", but the intent behind it is: "Which Company in America has gone out of their way to inconvenience their customers and generally treat the consumer like crap, in the past year?" Remember, this site is "Consumerist", and it is related to customer service problems and stories about companies treating customers poorly. It's not "Cosmic Karma" about how evil Walmart is to deny their employees health insurance and put mom and pop stores out of business.

Yes, we've all heard of Goldman-Sachs, but that was 5+ years ago. Yes, we are aware of Monsanto being genuinely evil, but what have they directly done to their *customers* this year? I've got Comcast, and I can tell you, they've done nothing wrong to me personally this year. Who has implemented policies that have harmed their customers and their good will? While we can all agree there are generally more "evil" companies than EA, the contest is really about who has sh*t on their customers the most in the last 12 months, and who has more anti-consumer policies?
 
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51. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 20:15 The_Pink_Tiger
 
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 11:57:
You could pretty much go into EA and do the opposite and become a hero.

That's sort of an interesting concept. Imagine if we actually had a CEO who did just that; looked at the course laid out by the previous CEO of EA and then went the opposite direction. What would this consist of? Would it make EA's customers happier (and I mean its general customers, not we cynical, whining PC gamers)? Would EA remain profitable?

It's an idea to play around with. For instance:

- No online DRM built into the game. Activation not required.

- Origin is binned (or at least made completely optional). Software is available through retail, Steam and any other similar venues (GOG.Com even!)

- No Day-One DLC. In fact, no DLC except on proven successes; development on DLC isn't even started until a certain number of sales are achieved.

- Equal focus on PC gaming.

- Less emphasis on a yearly release schedule for existing IPs. Sequels come out when the developers are ready to make the sequel, not just to keep the franchise name "out there"

- Multiplayer components added only to games that need them. Similarly, online-only requirements should actually provide benefit from being online.

- Instead of purchasing existing developers and then shuttering them, he would push them into EA Partnerships. If a developer was purchased and it wasn't profitable, it would be sold rather than shuttered.

- Ditto for IPs. If EA isn't making use of them, they sell them so somebody can.

- Better work conditions for its employees; crunch-time, unfortunately, seems to be an unavoidable part of software development but at least the coders get proper remuneration for their services.

Those are just off the top of my head. Anything else? Anyone have a multi-billion dollar corporation we can use to experiment with?
 
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50. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 19:31 TurdFergasun
 
ViRGE wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 19:12:
NKD wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 18:55:
So people have EVERY opportunity to tell EA to fuck off, yet they choose not to. Which is why the "Worst Company in America" label is some bullshit.
Exactly. Every time EA wins this I just bury my face in my hands.

Are they a terrible company? Absolutely!

But the worst company in America? Not by a long shot. This is a case of The Consumerist's readers having unrealistic priorities.

They are the worst company in merica that effects people who vote in polls on the internet. Whats so hard to understand? You can shake your fist at fannie mac or boa all you want, but they're the head of a much larger international effort. EA is the main umbrella company working under it's own guidance, it's a great place to place anger, because it's directed right at the appropriate target, and sends a clear message to those pulling the strings(although they're too incompetent and arrogant to bother seeing it that way)

There aren't many underlying factors other than straight retarded dickbaggery, and greed that have landed EA into this position. 1 single bank won't give a damn whether or not they're the worst in murica, it should be the entire financial system thats under severe scrutiny, and public pressure, not one head off an army of multi-headed beasts.
 
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49. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 19:12 ViRGE
 
NKD wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 18:55:
So people have EVERY opportunity to tell EA to fuck off, yet they choose not to. Which is why the "Worst Company in America" label is some bullshit.
Exactly. Every time EA wins this I just bury my face in my hands.

Are they a terrible company? Absolutely!

But the worst company in America? Not by a long shot. This is a case of The Consumerist's readers having unrealistic priorities.
 
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48. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 18:55 NKD
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:34:
Look at a company like Comcast. I think they hold a world record for the most BBB complaints against them, yet their prices still go up by nickle-and-diming the consumer and they laugh all the way to the bank.

The thing people need to realize that sets EA apart from Comcast, or Bank of America, or AT&T, etc. is that EA doesn't lock you into a contract, it doesn't provide an essential service you can't do without, and so on.

So people have EVERY opportunity to tell EA to fuck off, yet they choose not to. Which is why the "Worst Company in America" label is some bullshit. If they are the worst, why the fuck do these people keep giving them money? They aren't locked into a contract ala AT&T, they don't have a mortgage from EA ala Bank of America. They aren't the only provider of games or internet in their area, ala Comcast and cable.

With the exception of MAYBE some of the sports titles, in no way does EA have people by the balls, yet they continue to buy their product. When EA says "We dont give a fuck, because we're making fistfuls of money." they are absolutely on point. If people really thought they were the worst company in America, then people wouldn't be giving them money.

Stop paying them you idiots. Slapping them with one hand, and giving them a phat roll of cash with the other isn't sending the message you think it is sending.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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47. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 16:28 Julio
 
I'm waiting for Ubi to "blame the Homophobes" for piracy next. Hey if it works for EA...  
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46. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 15:58 Killswitch
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:34:
The only thing that you can do, is not support them. [...] Look at a company like Comcast.

I hate Comcast as much as the next guy, but I'm not going to drop them as an ISP in favor of ASDL or ISDN.
 
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45. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 15:57 wtf_man
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:34:
The only thing that you can do, is not support them.

Well... I don't. The last EA game I bought at full price was Dragon Age: Origins. I did buy Mass Effect (1) much later and on a huge sale, if you want to count that. But pretty much I haven't bought any EA game since they imposed the Origin requirement, and I won't. Ever. I may still get some of their backlog games on Steam that don't require, Origin, though... but there isn't all that many that I want.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2013, 16:03.
 
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44. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 15:34 Steele Johnson
 
The only thing that you can do, is not support them. I feel like no matter how many people complain, they'll still go out and buy their games. As long as they keep pulling in the money, they don't care if they've been voted worst company in America x 10. Look at a company like Comcast. I think they hold a world record for the most BBB complaints against them, yet their prices still go up by nickle-and-diming the consumer and they laugh all the way to the bank.  
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43. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 15:04 Beamer
 
Sallie Mae not winning is a travesty.

Consider the venue, though. This is an internet poll. Yes, not on a gaming site, but it isn't much of a surprise a gaming company won. Who tends to vote for things on the internet? Gamers. There's huge overlap between gamers and people who spend a ton of time on the internet and care enough to go to sites they otherwise avoid to vote for something.

I wouldn't be surprised if 4chan sent tons of people to this poll. 4chan people definitely feel more passion for games than they do for personal finances.

Which isn't to defend EA. It made it to this list for a reason. But the impact of their evil is far less than, say, Sallie Mae, which has contributed to the largest source of individual debt in this country, or Bank of America, which is too big to fail and too stupid not to.

Gamers are a passionate bunch, and an internet focused bunch, and that shows on polls like this. Rather than brush it off, EA should realize how passionate and connected their fanbase is and... wait, no, I don't want it thinking about how connected they are, that's what gives us SimCity.
 
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42. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 14:57 Verno
 
NegaDeath wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 14:39:
The title is "Worst company" not "Worst customer service". The article itself says "The point of this contest, now in its 8th year, is to enable consumers to send a message to a company that provides goods or services to them". There are companies out there that provide goods and services and have willingly ruined peoples lives, bankrupted people, poisoned people, straight up killed people. I guess they didn't vote.

The mortgage crisis didn't happen last year so people are probably less likely to vote that way where as EA is in in the news practically every month with a new debacle. These things are dependent on who is voting, how they have been affected and so on.

Worst company doesn't really mean "did the worst things" either, it means the worst company which encompasses a variety of elements - customer service, public relations, product quality, price, etc. It's an online poll which will skew towards tech companies anyway.
 
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41. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 14:56 wtf_man
 
NegaDeath wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 14:39:
The title is "Worst company" not "Worst customer service". The article itself says "The point of this contest, now in its 8th year, is to enable consumers to send a message to a company that provides goods or services to them". There are companies out there that provide goods and services and have willingly ruined peoples lives, bankrupted people, poisoned people, straight up killed people. I guess they didn't vote.

If you look at whole chart:

WCIA Chart

You will see most of those companies deserve to be on it. And those were the companies to choose from, via a "consumer's perspective". So you need to put the "Worst Company" title, in THAT context.

I have to admit... it is a real toss-up on who will bend you over more, for your money... EA or Bank of America.
 
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40. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 14:47 nin
 
The article itself says "The point of this contest, now in its 8th year, is to enable consumers to send a message to a company that provides goods or services to them".

And EA was chosen. Twice. Maybe they should work on that? I doubt they will, but still...



 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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39. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 14:41 RollinThundr
 
nin wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:53:
Redmask wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:50:
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:44:
Redmask wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:31:
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:23:
Army of Two, Mirrors Edge, Dragon Age, Dead Space, all in just the past few years. How many new IP's have Activision put out lately?

Those franchises are almost 5 years old now, not 'a few years' and they're not new anymore nor have been for awhile. EA hasn't done anything really new outside of mobile and partners in a long time and don't seem to be starting any time soon. Activision launches new IP all the time, they just aim for different market segments than EA. Activisions main push over the past few years has been kids, they're investing in a future market where EA is instead trying to milk its IP bank for all its worth.

Semantics, what new ip has activision put out lately that isn't either a COD sequel or a WoW expansion?

No, it's not semantics. 2 + 2 = 4, not 2. It is important because it nullifies your entire statement, it not a semantical difference.

As for Activision, Ubisoft or any other publisher; no one cares whether they new IP all the time or not as their list of sins wasn't enough to get them winning this dubious honor two years running. EA didn't win because they failed to launch a new IP this year.


Activisions new IP is Skylanders. Someone get Trollindunder a tissue...


One new IP vs a handful that no one supported, Mirror's flopped, the Army of Two games don't sell. Jesus Christ you people can't even discuss a topic without name calling or calling someone a troll. I swear BN has to have the most toxic regular posters of just about any gaming site.
 
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38. Re: Op Ed Apr 9, 2013, 14:39 NegaDeath
 
The title is "Worst company" not "Worst customer service". The article itself says "The point of this contest, now in its 8th year, is to enable consumers to send a message to a company that provides goods or services to them". There are companies out there that provide goods and services and have willingly ruined peoples lives, bankrupted people, poisoned people, straight up killed people. I guess they didn't vote.  
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