EA Admits It Has Not Been A Great Listener In The Past But It Is Improving

Written by Neil Soutter on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 11:30 AM
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EA hasn’t been in a lot of gamer’s good books over the last few years, lurching from one controversy to the next. Whether it’s SimCity’s always-online approach and teeny tiny cities, Battlefield 4’s atrociously buggy launch, FIFA 14 on PC using the last-gen engine, or Maxis enraging fans by removing swimming pools and toddlers from The Sims 4, not much has gone quite right.

All that’s just a snippet from the last 18 months though, but EA has admitted it’s not blind to this criticism, with CEO Andrew Wilson claiming that while the publishing giant hasn't always been a great listener in the past, he insists it's getting better going forward.

It’s a case of damage limitation for EA, who hasn’t exactly had a treasure trove of good will to fall back upon. We're seeing the first instances of an alternate approach with Battlefield Hardline, which after a host of criticism following the open beta has been pushed back to a 2015 release. EA and Visceral claim this was to make a number of significant changes to the gameplay and polish it up in time for launch. Another bad reception for the Battlefield series could spell doom for the franchise, so this is taking a high priority.

One of the things that we’re learning as we make the digital transformation is that we don’t need to guess what players want any more,” said Wilson during a recent interview. “For the longest time we had to guess, and the first opportunity to find out whether you got it right or not was when you saw the game on the shelf.

Now players can give feedback at earlier stages and Wilson is keen to address this, claiming that players want choice, and a core platform to build from. “We haven’t always been great listeners, but we’re getting better,” he said.

We know so far that this has resulted in the EA Access platform on the Xbox One; a monthly subscription giving gamers access to certain EA titles. Whether this is what gamers actually want still isn’t clear yet, but it’s at least novel to see Electronic Arts changing its approach. Do you think EA is learning from its past mistakes? Has its conduct in the past put you off purchasing EA titles? Let us know!

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19:03 Aug-21-2014

I find it amusing how everyone is hating EA. EA is able to do all this crap and still keep up being a rather successful company because we are letting them. Its the customers that buy their games despite all of their faults and issues. It is very easy to over hype a game and influence the younger gamers to buy into crappy titles, it certainly is easier(and cheaper) than putting effort into a decent product. Just ignore anything with EA logo on it.

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15:00 Aug-22-2014

I enjoy a lot of EA games, but there is no denying that they screw up their games at release and it takes too long before they (completely) fix it and they could learn a lesson from Rockstar with GTA Online where they fixed it in a couple of days.

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02:52 Aug-21-2014

bla bla bla bla...


SHUT UP EA we are the ones that will make final verdict, personally i already made mine long time ago you greedy bastards !!!

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02:30 Aug-21-2014

Won't take long until this statement is thrown out the window. I'll be continuing to stand by my vow to never buy any game developed by EA or published by EA. They've already done irreparable damage in my opinion such as buying out so many great studios and destroying them. Think of all the awesome games we could have had!

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01:51 Aug-21-2014

We will definitely see if this is real from what EA said. But I lost faith in them a long time ago and I wouldn't be surprised if they wouldn't improve.


Disappointed already with The Sims 4 limitations and their way of saying it's a new generation of Sims. I mean who doesn't want to have toddlers and pools in Sims? It's one of the key factors in the Sims. Removing it is a totally bust. :/

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20:52 Aug-20-2014

Tiberian sun, Command & Conquer 3, Red Alert, was great titles. But at some point EA release Command & Conquer 4: must always play online or lost progress, also a worst game than previous ones. From then i don´t buy anything more from EA.

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16:40 Aug-20-2014

They are getting better and better, I'm starting to love them again and I really can't wait for the next NFS game to be revealed. :)

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16:35 Aug-20-2014

Oh look,another marketing strategy....

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16:17 Aug-20-2014

"We haven't always been good listeners, but we're getting better". Alright, can we be the one to decide that? Thank you.

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19:12 Aug-20-2014

Well put m8 +1

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15:22 Aug-20-2014

EA never change. They will do anything for money.

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14:59 Aug-20-2014

I think that EA will change and be better,they are already in my opinion better than ubisoft for pc games(far better optimization,origin is much better than uplay),i seriously hope that ubisoft keep their word about optimization.

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15:01 Aug-20-2014

it's funny how quickly people (not directly meaning you buddy) change opinions after just one game release, Watch Dogs :Đ

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17:36 Aug-20-2014

AC 4 and AC 3 also had bad optimization

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08:38 Aug-21-2014

It is still hard for me to believe so many perordered Watch Dogs after AC series on PC. I knew before the game came out that it was going to be a mess so I didn't even bother.

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17:35 Aug-20-2014

did you copy my comment ?

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14:29 Aug-20-2014

EA are d!cks, more trolling and marketing, nothing else :P

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13:49 Aug-20-2014

Ea can stick hardline up their bumbum. It's like having one retarded brother and your parents decide to adopt another one.

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13:34 Aug-20-2014

So First we have Cry Tek admitting their failure and now EA? What is going on?

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15:06 Aug-20-2014

Next stop, Ubisoft!

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13:26 Aug-20-2014

i think that EA will change and be better,they are already in my opinion better than ubisoft for pc games(far better optimization,origin is much better than uplay),i seriously hope that ubisoft keep their word about optimization for pc

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06:51 Aug-27-2014

Week old comment but funny reading this after reading about how Ubisoft capped The Crew at 30 fps on pc. Actions over words. Ubi and EA have been talking a lot over the past year+ but their actions are terrible.

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13:10 Aug-20-2014

EA just desperatly wants you to Pre-Order Hardline.

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12:59 Aug-20-2014

Really EA? Then why have you cancelled to publish your games for PC in the Indian market. I think EA has really lost its mind. Not buying a single thing from them from now. And this move will only help to increase Piracy in India rather than decrease it. Shame on you EA.

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13:06 Aug-20-2014

you know the answer to that question. India is one of the countries with the highest piracy rate...

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16:59 Aug-20-2014

But if EA resolves to such schemes or policies then God only bless them

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13:58 Aug-20-2014

The problem here is that there is still a majority of the population which still cannot afford to buy original copies of the game and hence the high piracy numbers but to alltogether abandon publishing physical copies will not help them achieve anything, Infact IMO it will only make matters worse for them and i expect the piracy numbers to go even further up. I have all the physical copies of the FIFA series right from 11.

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14:19 Aug-20-2014

Well I didn't mean they made the right choice...it's as stupid as everything else they have been doing lately..

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14:04 Aug-20-2014

Also they had it coming to them since they hiked the price of PC games in India to almost 133% since last year. I wonder what they might achieve by not selling physical copies of their games. Also there is this huge problem in India that the bandwidth is very poor (only 1 Mbps avg speed in India).We all know that EA's Origin is a total waste of time and so downloading games from it will take forever. This really is a stupid stupid move from EA.

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14:08 Aug-20-2014

Why can't you guys just order the physical games online?
Well you will have some shipping for sure, but well.

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14:15 Aug-20-2014

As i have mentioned above the Internet speed in India is very poor and so it will take an eternity to download games online especially the ones like the Battlefield series. Also if I buy boxed version I have the liberty to uninstall the game whenever I want rather than wasting my drive space. And what if decide to do a clean install of my Windows. Atleast with the boxed version I will be able to install the game. That is why I prefer buying physical copies.

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14:54 Aug-20-2014

Well that's what I said, why not ordering PHYSICAL copies of games you want, online, like on Amazon or something. You'll have to pay for the shipping, but save yourself the download (beside updates).

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16:08 Aug-20-2014

Thing is Indians dont trust the Internet

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16:14 Aug-20-2014

Just don't create a Facebook account and your privacy is safe.

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16:51 Aug-20-2014

Who would explain it to Indians . There was a blog here some days ago saying origin,steam,flipkart,etc is all fake we get original games for Rs 200 in local shop

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16:57 Aug-20-2014

That just like saying: When you buy something from a real store, it disappears.

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12:49 Aug-23-2014
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15:11 Aug-20-2014

Usually in India the price of PC games is very low as compared to their console counterparts. Hence ordering online from some place else will eventually cost me the same as downloading it online from origin. That is what was good about PC games in India. They were priced extremely low as compared to any other country. In the end I will eventually have to do what you say or download it online via origin. And yes I preorder most of my games from amazon or flipkart here in India

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10:31 Aug-21-2014

PRICE, PRICE AND PRICE :( All games will only buy when the price will be less than 500rs

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12:55 Aug-20-2014

EA should be listening considering the growth of Steam.. To market conversion to Free To Play.. or that the fact it's loosing money with each stupid decision they make!

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19:18 Aug-20-2014

I agree EA's management is ridiculously incompetent. When will this large companies learn that this industry requires non traditional management?.

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08:41 Aug-21-2014

Would you want EA to do Free To Play games as a major release? I wouldn't. Pay to Win and 10,000 Microtransactions all day. Just think Dungeon Keeper.

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23:10 Aug-26-2014

And who's talking about free to play?? you...

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06:46 Aug-27-2014

"EA should be listening considering the growth of Steam.. To market conversion to Free To Play.. " -Lockonstrattoss

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16:15 Sep-06-2014

Actually i misspeled there! I wanted to write the market conversion to free to play! Meaning That The Game Market Is Slowly Changing To Free To Play!

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16:16 Sep-06-2014

And NO! EA as a Free To Play Publisher is the worst idea they could have!

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08:45 Aug-21-2014

They should also take into consideration about their crappy servers, especially Origin. Each day when an AAA title comes out, it's either First come First Serve and others fall in line while server crashes because of their DRMs. They should also make a move of removing DRMs first if they want to have a big 360 turn from bad to great. :/

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12:51 Aug-20-2014

Yeah.... I still don't believe EA will change, they had lied hundreds of times, so why should i believe them :/

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12:00 Aug-20-2014

EA will be a great boyfriend... That doesn't even make sense.

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11:45 Aug-20-2014

Is that so? Then why is Sims 4 being released without toddlers and pools when ALL fans are saying that is a huge mistake and makes no sense?

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12:09 Aug-20-2014

If only if was just that. Here, have some reading about what's NOT going to be in the game :)

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12:18 Aug-20-2014

Loading Screens again? :/

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12:27 Aug-20-2014

They said a while ago that they were going to work on improving their image, and basically everything they've done in the past 18 months just proves they were talking out of their arse.

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12:52 Aug-20-2014

No open world? wtf. That was one of the things about sims 3 that they improved over Sims 2.

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12:54 Aug-20-2014

OMG...RLY? I just saw...I have to wait to get out of the house, I can't raise the terrain, I can't create ponds, pools and other stuff? I mean..ok , they might be in an EP, but...I don't think so.Why would you spned money on this game. If you aleady bought TS3 don't buy TS4...you'll miss that dishwasher.

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12:56 Aug-20-2014

it has a new overall charm. We are all gonna get it, we just don't wanna admit it. It is really frustrating and sad..

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13:31 Aug-20-2014

Wow after seeing all that is missing from the sims 4 it's a no go for me.

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13:50 Aug-20-2014

@Pip , I'll be a Pirate with this game since I'm not going to spend money on missing stuff. Instead of adding, they remove...how is this supposed to work?

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13:53 Aug-20-2014

And 1 more thing. Rember all those craftable bombs in Assassins Creed Revelations? Well, they removed that stuff in AC3 because they we're too many and nobody wanted them. That's when you remove, not when we want more. All Simmers wanted TS4 with incorporated seasons and many things. I belive we won't get any of those.

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16:10 Aug-20-2014

It was all bout History in AC and the Americans lacked the Panache or the brains of the Europeans. There werent no bombs used in the American revolution except Grenadiers used grenades .

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04:23 Aug-21-2014

So uh...does Sims 4 have ANYTHING? That game will flop...hard.

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16:21 Aug-20-2014

Because MONEY, duh

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