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  1. #1
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    EA sucks of course. But this is just sad.

    http://sports.ign.com/articles/574/....html?fromint=1

    December 20, 2004 - Last week, Electronic Arts, the NFL, and Players Inc. sent shockwaves throughout the gaming industry as they announced an unprecedented five-year exclusivity partnership. But it looks like Electronic Arts had even bigger plans as they also bid on exclusive arrangements with the NBA. Sources have told me, however, that the NBA has rejected EA's initial offer.
    In other EA news, they were able to purchase 20% of Ubisoft on Monday. What does that have to do with sports games, you might ask. Well, Ubisoft is developing the And1 street hoops game to compete with NBA Street V3. Whether or not this puts an end to the game's development, we'll have to wait and see.
    EA is evil... They never make an enjoyable game they are so out for the money it's not even sad, and they're trying to bring Ubisoft down now. That's not all of the news from there but that's the points that really tick me off.

    http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds...ap1720133.html


    http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuot...c003746_newsml

    That last one is the worse one.

    I feel that EA is really going to hurt the biz badly... don't ask me how yet but I feel it's gonna happen. Workers being pushed like psycho, trying to push games that aren't even intuitive. Terrible.
    "Do the best that you wanna do." -My personal quote.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35829

    Sketchbook Thread. Look at it, rate it, post and crit on it.


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  3. #2
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    In all honesty...most of the sports titles from EA couldn't cut it.

    FIFA plays inferior to Winning Eleven.
    Madden Football plays inferior to NFL2K series. (both are Japanese products)
    EA NASCAR was never in the game until the NASCAR licence with Papyrus (Sierra) expired in 2003.

    Other sports games in their library like Cricket, Rugby were prominent coz there wasn't a huge following of those sports around the world and there weren't really any notable developers developing for these sports. (unless you're in India, Pakistan or New Zealand).

    Tiger Woods 2004 was probably fresher but golf is boring anyway LOL.

    If anything they are buying out the competition coz they know they don't have a better product. The sports games market is lucrative in the sense you can come up with roster updates, team uniform updates and then ship it out as NFL2005 and fans will sink their money into it....nevermind the fact they already made tonnes of cash from product placement in the game....they'll still charge you $50 a piece.


    I've bought only 4 EA games (EA and EA subsidaries) since 1998 when I started my boycott after learning their business practices. I should've bought none.
    Last edited by darth massacre; December 21st, 2004 at 04:11 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Well that's the sad thing about it though. Pretty soon they are going to own a LARGE sum of the game industry, and even though a lot of other companies are respectable they are still companies. They are going to see EA's success and feel that the only way that they can survive and prosper is to become like EA. I mean there has to be some shady business if NONE!!! of the top go get em games are from EA yet they are still the top company in the world. Just not right.

    I hope other companies don't follow the ol' phrase, "Monkey see monkey do." We will be in a grave situation... concept artists are gonna be out of a job since everybodies producing repetitive clonesof another game.
    "Do the best that you wanna do." -My personal quote.

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    What can we do about it then? I don't believe anything is going to happen if we just sit here and whine about it

    Get people to understand that EA is evil? That probably won't work...people are stupid, and why believe something a "random" person tells you? I know I wouldn't...
    Get people to understand that EA's games are bad? Well, at least the sports games...Same problem here, but probably easier to prove to someone.
    Stop buying EA games? Of course. At least don't buy them if you don't think they're worth the money.
    Buy more of other games? Can't decide if you should get that game from [insert anything but EA here]? Buy it! Can't decide between the EA game and the other? Buy the other! Etc....

    It might make a small difference...but EA still has The Sims (including expansions and version 2) and it sells like crazy. I mean...how do we stop 10 year old girls from buying, or making their parents buy, it?

  6. #5
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    Honestly not all EA's franchises are bad. Underground was so-so, Generals was somewhat, starting to, but not quite emulating Starcraft's ability to balance 3 sides, Sims and Sims 2 were great stuff.

    The sports games are another story. Maybe the NFL franchise will see better improvement with just one developer...but I highly doubt it was because of "product excellence" that drove NFL to sign that exclusive deal with EA.

    In any case I wouldn't preach to others to join my lone quest to not purchase EA games...but if you feel you want to...then just don't buy anything from them.



    I wonder what Egerie has to say about this since she works in Ubisoft.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daunting
    Pretty soon they are going to own a LARGE sum of the game industry...
    EA already own a very large chunk of the games industry, and their recent acquisition of Criterion Software and the Renderware middleware platform means they now have their fingers in a great many more pies than before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daunting
    I hope other companies don't follow the ol' phrase, "Monkey see monkey do."
    Whatever you may think about EA's games or conduct, it's an extremely successful business, and I'm afraid that most other companies do behave the same way. We see EA in the news so much because their activities are often so high profile, but don't be under the illusion that other companies aren't run to be successful and make a profit. It's business. It's all about money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daunting
    ... concept artists are gonna be out of a job since everybodies producing repetitive clonesof another game.
    Actually, a large company like EA has far more resources to put into pre-production and design than smaller publishers / developers, even though the independents may be more 'game orientated'. I would think a substantial percentage of the concept art gigs in the game industry are with or for EA in some way.

    I've had some rough times working with EA, so I'm just playing devil's advocate here. It should be interesting to watch them over the next few years, particularly as the next generation of consoles come along - the games industry is only just beginning to mature and EA are at the forefront of this. Other publishers are likely to look to them to see how they handle increased dev team sizes, higher production values, engine and tools development for advanced hardware, and so on, and etcetera...

    Hey, at least they're considering offering overtime to certain employees now. It's not all bad.

  8. #7
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    Someone said the same thing on my videogame community Matt....I will agree to your points only if EA is sweeping up smaller developers with potential titles in the works, ie, making sure potential titles aren't being buried under by lack of resources. Ubisoft isn't exactly small and they have their own AAA titles that are unique to them.

    Still EA's bid is subject to antitrust ruling and we'll have to see how it goes.
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    I'm done with EA. I'll never send another dollar their way. In the past few years I haven't bought many EA titles anyway (SSX, Madden, Sims, not a whole lot since the days of NHL Hockey for Genesis). But still, I'm done with them. I can find alternatives to their sports games, and from what I've read lately it seems like their competitors are putting out superior games anyway.

    Funny though... looking down EAs list of games titles on their website, it definitely seems like they've been going after alot of the pre-established money-maker titles for their non-sports games. Harry Potter, Batman Begins, James Bond, Lord of the Rings, Def Jam Fight, Catwoman, etc. It seems like they are mostly producing their sports franchise and anything else that already has a big name attached to it so they can get a few bucks out of sponsorships. I'm not saying other companies don't do it too, but EA's game list seems to be made up almost exclusively of sports games, big-name titles, or long-running series (Sims, etc). Why don't they produce more one-time original games with new characters and stuff? That's a rhetorical question by the way...

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    Whatever you may think about EA's games or conduct, it's an extremely successful business, and I'm afraid that most other companies do behave the same way. We see EA in the news so much because their activities are often so high profile, but don't be under the illusion that other companies aren't run to be successful and make a profit. It's business. It's all about money.
    I guess it depends on your definition of good/successful business. I think there are alot of ethical companies out there (I dunno about the game industry though) which I consider good businesses. It is unfortunate that the prevailing thought in business is so machiavellian.

    Personally I wish there were laws against companies taking over the little guy. Would EA be violating some kind of law of aggressive take over or something?
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    ... concept artists are gonna be out of a job since everybodies producing repetitive clonesof another game.
    I wasn't serious ya know... Just kind of a jab at the lack of imagination that a lot of EA's games have that's all. Litterally we would be in more of a job since EA is prolly gonna push buttons with Pixar on the public.

    But I didn't create this thread to do something about it. Most of the things people post you can't really do anything about it just sit back and take in knowledge. But oh well... I guess I'll still play Street anytimes my buds call me over so I'm not a total anti-EA person.

    Of course companies are going to go after the money in most cases but I hope they don't just push out quick cash games. Especially just filler games right after the movie comes out, those games almost ALWAYS suck. Oh well I just hope they go to a less hostile route in this industry.
    "Do the best that you wanna do." -My personal quote.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35829

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    Now see I was just at the EA complex in Burnaby and I met about 20-30 staff over the course of the day. Entry level animators, long terms producers, voice talent, you name it and all of them had nothing but amazing things to say about the company and how lucky they felt working there.

    I have said this before but it is in human nature at times to focus and exploit the negative, despite long hours, challenging deadlines etc. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DROPPED OFF THEIR RESUMES!! If they have a massive problem with it, leave! End of story, and if enough people have the same problem enough people will leave and EA will get the hint.

    90% of these people are working full time at a solid wage with a car or two in the garage and have enough money to consider themselves secure as well as able to do what alot of families can not in America.

    So you know what

    Then again I might be some disillusioned guy who watched his mom work at a food bank in her spare time to help out those who were nearly starving to death as they looked down at their children on Christmas handing them a chocolate bar as a present.

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    Ya I have to agree that people exploit the bad most of the time. And of course people are going to love the opportunity to work at the biggest game company in the world but hey if there is something wrong going on it should not be overlooked even if the average joe can not do anything.

    The 90-page “Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices” white paper was prepared by the IGDA's Quality of Life Committee, representing a wide range of game development professions and companies.

    The white paper discusses the problems and consequences developers face when trying to maintain a career in the industry and the solutions for establishing a better work/life balance.

    The white paper is partly based on the results of the “Quality of Life Survey” commissioned by the IGDA in early 2004, which garnered nearly one thousand responses from developers. The survey examined developers' attitude toward work, their internal pressures (salary, long hours, job instability), external pressures (family and relationships), inadequate staffing and work organization problems. Some of the alarming findings from the survey include:

    34.3% of developers expect to leave the industry within 5 years, and 51.2% within 10 years.
    Only 3.4% said that their coworkers averaged 10 or more years of experience.
    Crunch time is omnipresent, during which respondents work 65 to 80 hours a week (35.2%). The average crunch work week exceeds 80 hours (13%). Overtime is often uncompensated (46.8%).
    44% of developers claim they could use more people or special skills on their projects.
    Spouses are likely to respond that “You work too much...” (61.5%); “You are always stressed out.” (43.5%); “You don't make enough money.” (35.6%).
    Contrary to expectations, more people said that games were only one of many career options for them (34%) than said games were their only choice (32%).
    The IGDA white paper explains how studios can adopt best practices to help alleviate some of the stress and allow for a more balanced life:

    Family friendly practices
    A conscious effort to minimize overtime
    Better communication between management and developers
    Better contracts between individuals, studios and publishers
    Better planning and budgeting
    Better human resource management
    http://www.igda.org/qol/whitepaper.php

    Not trying to act all intelligent or nothing, just regurgitating what I saw over at cgtalk.com. Very cool read... but hey that's the same at almost all business so I see where you're coming from Presence.
    "Do the best that you wanna do." -My personal quote.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35829

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  15. #14
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    Dunno man, there are many ways to view EA.
    here an interresting little read, but it doesnt necessarily apply for all EA studios.

    EA

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    EA has been the least innovative game company for so many years... I can't even remember the last time I cared about an EA game.. maybe Desert Strike for the SNES, wasn't bad. They've always done more harm than good with their constant exclusivity contracts.

    Remember Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City? I don't even think they were trying to make a real game, just thumb their nose at the video game industry.

    I guess we could talk as much shit about them as we want, EA has never had an interest in doing something that isn't 100% revolved around static, real world material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Presence
    THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DROPPED OFF THEIR RESUMES!! If they have a massive problem with it, leave! End of story, and if enough people have the same problem enough people will leave and EA will get the hint.
    Oh yeah.. obviously it's just that simple for everyone.

    For some people, landing that EA job was the result of years of school, training, other jobs, gaining the necessary experience, struggling through one shit job after another with a larger goal in mind. If you're working at a big company like EA, that's not something you can easily walk away from. Nor should you have to. Alot of those people were likely never told that as part of their employment they would be subjected to sweatshop-like conditions. People are entitled to fair workplace practices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Presence
    Then again I might be some disillusioned guy who watched his mom work at a food bank in her spare time to help out those who were nearly starving to death as they looked down at their children on Christmas handing them a chocolate bar as a present.
    And this is just fucking stupid. There is a big difference between being able to survive and being satisfied in your career. If it was either work at EA or starve, obviously people wouldn't quit. But we're not talking about poverty here. I don't know how you can even make that kind of comparison.

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    im evil!!!! evil i tell you..
    i love the battlefield games.... im sorry!!! i just can't help it!!

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    There is a big difference between being able to survive and being satisfied in your career. If it was either work at EA or starve, obviously people wouldn't quit. But we're not talking about poverty here.
    Yes we are. Those who need those jobs, those who are not in the top third of the company and are just making their way up. Those who do not have a saving account or a significant other to take care of a couple of months on the mortgage while he/she looks for another job.

    Helix the film and game industry are nearly identical, could you imagine if some PA who had been to film school for four years, had spent another 20K on his film projects over the course of that time was worked 18 hours straight for base pay 9 weeks straight. It should be easy to because it happens in both industries every day. Do you think he bitches? No, why? Because it happens every day on nearly every feature shoot in North America.

    Because it is a part of the monster, the industry and he damn well knows that if he has a career goal mind in that industry, like all others before him and after him those "sweat shop conditions" are par and parcel with the career HE CHOSE.

    The nievity blows me away and for those who do have a massive problem and can find a majority rule to make some changes, all the power to them though even with this negative publicity I doubt the change will happen soon.

    It isn't 1996 anymore, where you sit infront of that headhunter who tells you "Well there are some long hours, nothing too heavy but it can get busy, would you be ok with that?" And answer "Sure, you know as long as I still get weekends off." Half of my senior class in highschool was pulled and given jobs at EA, they worked the same conditions they do now and have they ever complained? No, because of what that job despite the crazy hours has given them, a car, a house, a friggn retirement savings.

    EA gets treated as this entity as most corporations do, and that is where there power is, this smoke screen that there are not individuals (Producers/Execs) who are handing down these conditions and for anyone who has been in the game industry the teams are a very tight knit group, it isn't a bunch of factory workers who are sent annonymous emails telling them what to do next.

    This is why EA invests in litteral multi million dollar extras like sleeping quarters, full size soccor fields, day care etc. Because they AND the employees know what it takes to get these games made.

    Helix when you say fair workplace practices they have them, they have the workplace practices of the industry end of story.
    If you're working at a big company like EA, that's not something you can easily walk away from.
    But you talk about EA as though it is outside of those shit jobs, those brutal hours to get onto something bigger and better, EA is bigger, the games are better but it is still in the same industry to which the same rules apply, anyone who walks into that office and thinks otherwise is setting themselves up for a serious suprise.

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    I know people who like working at EA and others who hated it. Granted I only know people from the Vancouver and San Fran offices. My problem isn't with hours and screwing over workers (which doesn't have to happen, the company I'm currently at is making a big game, but puts workers and workers families first), but is EA's "If you can't make it better, just get rid of the competition" mentality.

    Visual Concepts, which I think is actually an American company, made a better game. It looked better, played better and had better polish in plays and interface design. When it came out for the Dreamcast the Pres of EA went on and on about how much it would suck and only EA can make good sports games. He was wrong, dead wrong. Unfortunately the Dreamcast never fully caight on like PS2. Once Visual Concepts started making the ESPN sports games people took notice. I think that scared the shit out of EA.

    So now they own the entire NFL liscense and are working on the NBA. Now, I should say that EA Big makes some of the best games around (SSX was the f'n shit!).

    That's my biggest beef with all this. Everything is getting more, and more mediocre, and it sucks!!!

    PS: EA only publishes the Battlefield games, and yeah they do rock!

  21. #20
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    Dougbot, I see your point exactly.

    Especially for sports games, EA has trailed behind all along but their games look great and they had the beef to gain official license from the various organizations. Like I mentioned, FIFA 2004..and now FIFA2005, plays inferior to Winning Eleven on the PS2. It looks beautiful, its got licensed players and even licensed soccer uniforms.....but on a level of play that allows interactivity with the ball....Winning Eleven still tops the chart....And one may make use of this point to fight the case if the NFL exclusive license case gets brought up on charges of monopoly in a franchise.....Then they're contradicting themselves.....coz if exclusivity don't mean better quality, then why the hell did NFL sign that 5-yr exclusive deal with EA when they know Madden isn't a better product than the NFL2K series?

    If I didn't remember wrongly, EA's biggest earnings come from their sports titles, so I'm not at all surprised if they were aggressive against developers that might have something better than they do. But of course the easy way is to buy out your rival....not make a better product.
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    yeah EA is pissing me off lately, especially for buying 20 % of ubisoft, i mean EA makes a game in like 6months, and its crap..ubisoft,valve,squaresoft etcc...... Make games in like 2 - 3 years, or so... And they are good... cause they take the time to make it... I mean even a small game company just starting out could probably kick EA's ass in making a good game. I also agree if they keep this up there gonna ruin the game industry and yes there just in for the money.

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    I've done a good job these past years of not purchasing any cram-ware that they've put out ......

    They've started to make the games industry look like it did back in 1978, before cram-ware destroyed it completely ...... If history is any indication, then something BIG and AWESOME will happen soon and put EA to shame.

    20% of Ubi-soft is just plain crazy... the OWNERS of Ubi-soft only own 22% .....
    And there are rumors of another HUGE purchase on EA's part.. (involving nintendo)

    I just don't like where it's all heading .... if the mass-public is accepting of mediocre-at-best cram-ware, that's fine ... but don't let it consume the good of interactivity.

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    Publishing houses that own developers = will always produce mediocre controlled product. And anyway the game market is an employers market right now. They can dictate the rules to the little guy ... unless they stand together in say a union (although then the company will hire new talent to replace you, so the point is to make yourself indispensable to the company so then you aren't easily replaced, then form a union and you can call the shots).
    Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Presence
    ...Because it is a part of the monster, the industry and he damn well knows that if he has a career goal mind in that industry, like all others before him and after him those "sweat shop conditions" are par and parcel with the career HE CHOSE....

    ...Helix when you say fair workplace practices they have them, they have the workplace practices of the industry end of story...
    I just can't agree with this type of generalization. Isn't this exactly the problem here? That this industry has developed into such a harsh environment? Why should everyone in the games industry have to settle for a life of unpaid overtime and grueling hours?

    It's not the nature of the industry, and there are many examples of companies who don't follow the EA model and are still some of the best in the business. Look at Pixar. Sure they put in some long hours here and there, but from what I've read and heard, generally their employees work a 9am-6pm day. The company I work for is the leading producer of handheld educational assessment software. We have competitors, but they don't even come close to making a product at the level we do. With the exception of working an occasional Saturday during a product release (we always release over a weekend), I (and the other artists and programmers here) usually work 9-6 or 10-7. These are just two examples I know of, one in film and the other in software that are leaders in their respective markets but are still fair to employees.

    If you ask me, it's naive to think that all companies in an entire industry operate in the exact same way, and that we should all just bend over and take it.

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    EA's attention to Ubisoft is nothing new. They built a brand new studio in Montreal & then headhunted the lead developers from Ubisoft's studio. Then when Ubisoft tried to inforce an employment clause that was meant to prevent that ( kind of a you can't work in for a competitor for a set period if you leave thing ) from happening EA dumped loads of money in legal fee to squash that.

    Aside from that EA is huge. In turns of the volume of assets it could theoritically buy/merge most north american developers. They also have to report to shareholders in turns of earnings & a return on investment. That is why they want franchises. They are low risk for a better return. Period. If they want inovation then they buy it. Better to invest in a proven technology than risking huge losses devolping one. How many inovative studios produce the next big thing with the hopes of a big publishing house buying them out & stiking it rich? They are doing nothing that any company their size needs to. Maximize profits, reduce expenses to increase revenue to the shareholders

    To get to a company like EA you have to hit them were it hurts. On their stock price. Nothing effect a share price like bad news. Don't just say that your going to ban their games. Tell everyone you know & the media. The HR director didn't respond to the EA_Spouse blog until it made the news channels. This is after it made the rounds on the web

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    As long as EA never gain control over Bethesda, id, Pirahna bytes, bioware, nintendo or gsc, im gonna sleep at night...

    But i dont like these things.. microsoft, ea, hitler, vanilla coke...

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    I tried to get my family to boycott them, but my sisters really wanted the new Harry Potter game. I hate EA games. I CHALLENGE NOTHING!

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    Last Post: January 16th, 2006, 12:38 PM
  5. This REALLY sucks.
    By darth massacre in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: April 9th, 2005, 06:36 AM

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