EA – Lack of Quality & Out of Touch

An article posted on Slashdot just set me off today. Custom PC reports a quote from EA‘s CEO, John Riccitiello, about DRM & their recent games:

‘We implemented a form of DRM and it’s something that 99.8 per cent of users wouldn’t notice,’ claimed Riccitiello, ‘but for the other 0.2 percent, it became an issue and a number of them launched a cabal online to protest against it.’ The use of SecuROM in EA’s recent PC games, including Spore, Mass Effect and Crysis Warhead, has caused a lot of controversy on the Internet, resulting in hundreds of one-star reviews on Amazon.

99.8%? That is magical statistics at its best. I bought Spore, and I had an insanse time trying to get it to read the disc and install on my machine. SecuROM is extremely evasive, and when I re-format my machine, I have to go through the entire hassel again. To think that normal “gamers” don’t know mind these DRM tatics is total ignorance. I can’t backup my Spore DVD incase I lose it or it gets damanged. I’ve already written about my thoughts on DRM, but I can’t help re-emphasis my point:

DRM doesn’t stop illegal downloads. It harms legal users try to use their purchase legally. DRM will never, ever, be succcessfully until it makes the users life easier.

The one example of DRM I love is Steam. I buy a game once and it handles everything else for me. If I move computers, it works. If my computer blows up, it works. I can delete and re-download my game as many times as I want. It handles all updates for me. I can buy a game and play it within minutes, not needing to drive to the store. Even if I go to a friends and show him a game on HIS PC it works. Only one person can use it at a time, which for legal Steam owners is great. Steam has make my life easier so I accept it. I bought the game Crysis Warhead, and while the game’s quality was okay, I bought it on Steam and I had no problems with it.

Now, my other problem with EA is their quality of games. EA has turned into a video game assembly line. They pump out more games than any other company. But I will say their quality has also gone down the shaft. My personal latest example is with their game Tiger Woods 09. I managed to completely render my game on XBox 360 completely unplayable, all due to a clitch with the game, and took me several days to solve.

Somehow I managed to equip two gloves, right hand and left hand, on my character. I’m not sure how I did it, and I was playing when I realized “hey…. I have two gloves on?” I didn’t think much of it at the moment, saved and turned off my game, and waited several days before playing again. I went to turn on my game and it froze. I tried it several times, same behavior. After several hours of trial and error, I discovered the solution:

I had to first delete my game settings on my profile on the XBoX 360 hard drive. Then, I had to load the game and go the golfer manager. I then loaded my character, went to the “Pro Shop”, had to do an “item” search with several different combonations (which figuring it out crashed my xbox 7 or 8 times alone), and unquip the item. Finally I could save, restart my XBox, and play the game like normal.

Searching the internet for hours didn’t yeild any results. I tried to figure out how to contact EA for support, but gave up in the end after trying to create support acounts and jump through their hoops. Had it not been for me noticing my playered glitched, and understanding programming logic, I most likely would have never got my game to work again. What happened to Quality Assurance over at EA? I’m sure some poor gamer out there can’t play his game because he on accidently equiped a right-handed glove instead of a left.

I dunno, but I’m started to think I might just boycott EA all together.  Here are imagines of my dual wielding glove golfer, for proof that I really did go through all this mess:

Note: I took these on my iPhone quickly, so I know the quality isn’t that great.

2 thoughts on “EA – Lack of Quality & Out of Touch

  1. It’s not surprising in the least that EA would disappoint. Their Madden franchise has been getting progressively worse for years.

    You’re dead-on about the assembly line… all they do is poop out another game that looks like the last one in that particular series and stamp it with a new number. Then they usually add a few more half-baked concepts to give fans more stuff to hate about the game. Great Job.

    And SecureROM? Please. That pretty much guarantees I won’t buy the game. They deserve the 1-star Amazon rating. And thanks to the response by that pinhead John Riccitiello, I doubt I’ll bother picking up another EA title so long as he’s in charge.

    You and I both have a little experience with an application that works for 99% of all users. But that doesn’t mean we give the finger to the 1% or less who have problems. No, we take an earnest interest in their problem and try to help them solve it.


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