Electronic Arts hasn’t had the greatest of decades. A company that was once praised for being synonymous with quality has since starred a string of high-profile corporate blunders that put the tech giant in gamers’ bad books.
The company started the decade receiving back-to-back “Worst Company in America” awards in 2012 and 2013. Then they released Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 within weeks of each other in 2016, thwarting sales of both titles.
But the faux pas that really ground gamers’ gears occurred in 2017 when EA greedily ruined Star Wars Battlefront 2 by inserting pay-to-win microtransactions. What could’ve been the game of the year turned into what could be the biggest community backlash the industry has ever seen and caused a slump in the company’s stock market value.
They also published a mediocre Mass Effect: Andromeda, and pushed the controversial loot box business model on Need for Speed Payback. One bad decision after the other.
At E3 2018, the company had the opportunity to make amends with their customer base. Their task was to acknowledge past mistakes, promise to never do them again and announce a killer game in the process. The mea culpa had to be convincing, otherwise, among such fierce competition, fans will simply turn to other developers in the blink of an eye.
The reveal of Battlefield 5 and the gorgeous platformer Unravel 2 surely made plenty of jaws drop, but as long as the company doesn’t take a clear, comprehensive stand against content season passes and loot boxes, it’s reasonable to suggest these and future releases won’t reach their full potential.
During the EA Play press conference at E3 2018, the company did give some signs of repentance and confirmed a couple of speculated releases.
Anthem, the first original title in 10 years from BioWare – the creators of Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – has been circling the rumour mill for quite some time.
EA confirmed the release at EA Play along with a new trailer. The company also promised they wouldn’t incorporate the “loot box” monetisation model in it.
EA also unveiled more information on Battlefield V, announcing it will ditch the premium pass model in favour of cosmetic upgrades. They showed a new trailer and confirmed the WWII based game will have a Battle Royale mode. A Battle Royale mode set in the hellish scenes of WWII? Amazing!
After the debacle that was Battlefront 2, Star Wars is a bit of a thorny subject for EA. The company acknowledged in their press conference that “they didn’t get it quite right” and that they had to take “a step back”.
New revamps to the game were announced, along with new Clone Wars-themed DLC and the incorporation of Obi-Wan, General Grievous, and Count Dooku among the playable heroes.
Another big announcement the company dropped at EA Play was the introduction of the Champions League in FIFA 19, poaching the licence of the biggest club competition in the planet from Konami and PES for the first time in 10 years.