For the last five or six years, EA has become the butt of most jokes among players when it comes to publishing finished and immersive games. Franchises have been scrapped of their DLC, online shooters become wastelands, and other great games receive little to no development, including patching or love, after their release dates.
But I’ve spent my time conquering multiple galaxies. I’ve watched empires rise and fall, seen sentient AI attempt to take over the galaxy, extradimensional invaders surprise the collective minds of empires with large space fleets, and I’ve even seen aliens fly in from another galaxy to conquer the galaxy myself and other empires are playing in-game. And yes, it has co-op, but you can also play it single player, which is my preferred method of play.
I’m talking about the game Stellaris. Now, the gameplay itself has something to do with fixing EA’s problems, as it is a fun, immersive, and complete game. But what I am trying to bring up is the great community surrounding the game, curated by both the developer, the publisher, and the fan base. Here are some examples.
First screenshot is below; they give the soundtrack some love. They know people like the soundtrack, and they continuously update and release more music for the OST from DLC and updates.
In fact, the game jumped from update 1.7 to 2.0 since I began playing in May of 2018. And not only that, the update completely revitalized the game and changed multiple mechanics. Not only that, but the gameplay was already great, and still great, if not better.
Here is a screenshot of the game that the Facebook page shared from a player who posted to Twitter. Not only are they sharing updates to DLC and Content THREE years after the game was completely released, they’re sharing community contributions as well. And they shared from one social media platform to another.
Here is a good one. They are helping find books to read for people with either cats or colonization in them. Not sure what they’ll recommend, but the personality and community engagement is there. And it’s not toxic.
If you’ll notice, the curators for the Facebook page are nice, friendly, and funny. Strange how being personal works not just as a person, but for a game developer that sells millions of copies per year and doesn’t consider the game a “commercial failure”. Weird, right?
By comparison, let’s take a look at EA press for their games.
The post above was the last update about Anthem posted to Facebook. In the time that it has taken EA to provide updates and create community engagement, or at least, do it blindfolded on a tree stump with a potato, the Stellaris Facebook curators posted three times, possibly more, per day. At the time of this writing, it is May 27th.
And this even goes for Apex Legends, another game released under EA.
Now, admittedly, games released by EA have a much bigger player base than Paradox games. This has to do with the genre of games they each make. Where EA makes online shooters, RPGs, and other popular forms of game genre, Paradox publishes grand strategy games, both turn-based and real-time.
But Apex Legends Facebook page hasn’t been updated in seven days. And while the community curators might focus on other social media platforms instead, my point stands that not only does EA put out half-baked games, but they don’t even bother to keep the community interested in the game itself outside of the gameplay. There’s personal engagement, unlike say Paradox or
And that’s the problem that’s been continuously plaguing EAs engagement. It’s as if they’re releasing the Nigerian Prince Email equivalent of gaming and gaming communities.
Even Fortnite has a grasp of community engagement.
This was also posted today. Granted, I have no idea what they’re talking about in the post as I don’t play Fortnite. But they post Facebook content for the community everyday. Not just between sparse updates. Everyday.
So what will it take to fix EA’s community problems? Here’s my bullet point list of fixes.
Create content across social media platforms everyday. Each game should have a team that individually engages with fans of the game. No more hiding in the shadows. Bethesda tried this after the disaster released of Fallout 76 and the community didn’t take too kindly to that.EA published Mass Effect 1-3, and each game was great both as a series and standalone. Why are they releasing games with multiplay and no storylines? What happened to Titanfall, a finished game? An unfinished game is not a substitute for cash-cows. At some point, the money will dry up.
- Understandably, EA is a corporation worth billions of dollars, and typically large corporations keep things under wraps and are essentially robots overlooking a vast sea of hardworking kids and adults looking to relax after a long day at school or work. But if they keep released unfinished games and avoid adding personality to their content curation, then they’re going to fall behind the current age of gaming like a stone age mammoth meeting its end at the hands of two human hunters.
And if they’re scared to change their ways because of what their fan base might see them as, if they are already receiving criticism for failure to create finished games and not building build great gaming communities, why not see what happens if they do the opposite?