Op Ed

Clifford Unchained - Nickels, dimes, and quarters. By Cliff Bleszinski.
If you don’t like EA, don’t buy their games. If you don’t like their microtransactions, don’t spend money on them. It’s that simple. EA has many smart people working for them (Hi, Frank, JR, and Patrick!) and they wouldn’t attempt these things if they didn’t work. Turns out, they do. I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behavior over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash.

If you’re currently raging about this on GAF, or on the IGN forums, or on Gamespot, guess what? You’re the vocal minority. Your average guy that buys just Madden and GTA every year doesn’t know, nor does he care. He has no problem throwing a few bucks more at a game because, hey, why not?

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Mar 2, 2013, 19:51
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Mar 2, 2013, 19:51
 
HorrorScope wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 13:59:
Now I won't say you are wrong at all, because bottom line I do not know if it's a paper loss or not and your beliefs are not all that uncommon. But then we don't want to hear from others in rainbow land:
Since their public they have to report accurate financials.

Because what you are saying is not only are they not, it's not even close. Instead of hundreds of million in losses (approaching a billion) it's actually making money. I mean really if that is true there has to be an investigation. As Marv from Sin City would say "that's a whopper". Sarbanes oxley right out the window along with another 1/2 dozen laws.


You're not understanding what I'm saying. I am not saying they are flatout lying in their financials—of course they aren't. The FTC and the IRS would skewer their ass in a second if they did that.

But there are so many loopholes in how you can report things, in how you can amortize them, in what you can claim as costs vs expenses etc, that any decently smart accountant can put all these deductions on paper and turn a few hundred million dollars of profit into a few hundred million dollars of losses.

Add into this the fact that seemingly every government is now practically THROWING money (in the form of tax breaks) at whatever game developer, and see that big publishers open studios everywhere around the world just to catch those tax breaks, and it's not that hard to see that this is just losses on paper. As in: everything cleverly filed in the proper loophole bracket so that profits turn into losses.

For a great example in a slightly different field, look at what Hollywood did to Peter Jackson. He was supposed to get royalties for the Lord of the Rings movies. However, according to Hollywood's accountants, none of the LotR movies ever made a single dime's worth of profit. And there's fuck-all he can do about it, because it's all... Clever Accounting / Arthur Andersen 101. And yes, Beamer, before you complain, Hollywood is different from EA, and it's perhaps not the best applicable example.


And if true, who in their right mind would own their stock? You own stock in a company that wants to lose money aka it's not going to produce the results you want. Are you that stupid

Well, A) EA's stock has fallen to like 15 year lows, so not that many investors are really happy with EA anymore, and B) why would anyone own stock in a company that consistently posts loss after loss after loss? Seriously, go look up the last quarter EA actually posted a profit. I think it was in 2002 or thereabouts. So either these people are just throwing money away, OR, they realize that these losses are just paper losses, and EA is actually a fairly sound company that just does business the way the government encourages them to.

As for the republican bit, the democrats are just as happily allowing corporations to dodge taxes. This isn't a party-deal. This is a simple case where it's much easier to just get taxes from the population, because their accounting skills aren't nearly as clever.

HorrorScope wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 14:10:
Creston wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 12:10:
Since this is about the most active EA thread right now, can someone who uses Origin check something for me?
Thanks in advance.

Creston

Getting 22 mbps/sec, which is actually 2 more than my limit!

Thanks for checking it for me. I guess I'll open a ticket with EA, who will undoubtedly either ignore it (fun reference: My original Dragon Age ticket is STILL open!) or tell me to "shut down any other programs that might be eating up your internet" even though resmon shows that only origin is even running and it's running at half my bandwith. Sigh.

Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 2, 2013, 19:59.
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