Despite their recent return to Steam and promise that the upcoming Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order won't have any microtransactions, Electronic Arts still has a very long way to go when it comes to winning back the trust of consumers. From the debacle that was 2017's Battlefront II launch to the alarmingly unfinished state of most of their recent releases, gamers are right to mock a business that literally won awards for being the worst company in American twice.
While those unfamiliar with the industry likely won't understand exactly why they are so disliked, here are ten EA memes that gamers will definitely be able to get behind.
10 BattEAlfront II
Though other AAA publishers like Bethesda and Ubisoft have since become the predominant purveyors of dubious microtransactions and unwanted loot boxes, EA, in the not too distant past, was at the forefront of this controversy.
Ramped up to the point at which governments across the globe felt the need to step in, Electronic Arts' relentless monetization of Star Wars Battlefront II marked a turning point in public perception of in-game gambling and was perhaps the lowest of the company's myriad low moments. They didn't quite charge a dollar per step thanks to audience backlash, but, had they had it their way, they would have.
EA's greed truly knows no bounds, and they've become so notorious for carving features out of their games and selling them later for a premium that they quite seriously wouldn't think twice about selling a sleep apnea machine and then charging to run oxygen through it.
They've claimed to have reformed, and many of their more recent titles like Anthem and Battlefield V have offered up their DLC seasons entirely free of charge. Yet, factoring in all of the extra cosmetics, weapons, and ancillary knick-knacks, it's still fair to say that EA loves to disassemble a whole product and then hold bits and pieces of it for ransom.
8 Looks Familiar
Sports games are, by their very nature, repetitive and a bit homogeneous, as there's really only so much a dev can do to change up the game from year to year. Yet, annualized releases have made it so that development teams only have the time to change team rosters and make a few barebones changes before shipping off yet another title.
Were the number not included on the box, it would be tough to tell most of the Fifa games apart, and the same goes for Madden, NBA Live, or any other yearly sports release. Seriously, some of these games are running on decade-old architecture, which is just unacceptable.
7 Jedi Mind Tricks
EA may have "confirmed" that there won't be any extra monetization schemes present in Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order when it launches next weekend, but, as all Star Wars fans know, only Sith deal in absolutes.
In recent years, there's been a disturbing trend of publishers abstaining from including microtransactions in games at launch, only to go back on their words and introduce them a few months later, long after a game's review cycle has passed. Many fear that this will be the fate of Fallen Order, and, though none can currently say for sure, EA has lied once, and we can sure that they'll lie again.
6 I Hope We Lose
EA has a history of abusing its workforce; be it the destructive crunch mandated from BioWare during the development of Anthem or the horrific launch of nearly every DICE product, it's safe to say that rallying under the company's banner isn't easy.
In fact, with reports of workers routinely quitting or dropping out for months on end to avoid EA's life-disrupting policies, it seems like even those on EA's payroll hope they lose in the end. With a corporate culture focused on pleasing none but their shareholders, it seems that very few people are willing to go to bat for EA these days.
5 Imma H(EA)d Out
"Ight, Imma head out." A classic SpongeBob meme twisted to fit the ludicrous standards of EA. Just think of all of the studios and franchises EA destroyed by forcing extra DLC and season passes down everyone's throats. Remember Dead Space 3? What about Sim City? Or The Sims 4? It seems that everything EA touches these days wilts — Imma head out, indeed.
As previously mentioned, the era of the season pass seems to be on the way out with more AAA publishers desperately trying to look like the good guy by offering up post-launch content for free. The issue with that is that, should the game fail to meet sales expectations, these promises almost never come true.
4 I Love Democracy
By most accounts, EA has disappointed in regard to their handling of the Star Wars license. Having released a mere two games since their acquisition of the brand in 2013 — both being undercooked, underwhelming entrants in the Star Wars Battlefront series — it isn't surprising to see that their games, in the opinions of fans, don't stack up to titles released before they got a hold of the license.
The funniest thing about this meme is that, on paper, LEGO Star Wars shouldn't stack up to massive AAA titles featuring huge Hollywood IPs, yet EA has been bested by Lucasarts' whimsical, childlike take on the prequels. EA probably doesn't think the system works, but we do.
3 Up To Something
Plants Vs. Zombies may have been a big mobile title nearly a decade ago, but most would have believed that EA would have abandoned the title as soon as it money could no longer be wrung out of it. Not the case.
They've somehow released a well-reviewed trilogy of PvP PvZ titles, the most recent of which being mid-October's Plants Vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville. As far as anyone can tell, this is a well-meaning, genuinely likable experience... what's going on.
It would be nice to buy into the idea that EA has turned a corner, but once-bitten-twice-shy gamers wager that the publisher is hiding something up its sleeve.
2 This Is No Time To Be Stingy!
EA leverage every opportunity to work microtransactions into their games, and, when there aren't any opportunities, they crowbar them in, anyway. It may be heinous in premium titles, but things only get worse on mobile.
Remember Command & Conquer Rivals? What about The Simpsons: Tapped Out? Dungeon Keeper Mobile? These games weren't so much games as they were nexuses to siphon money out of an unassuming player base. These games did quite a bit to sully EA's reputation, and it wasn't long before gamers gave up on their mobile output entirely. Time will tell if they ever get back on track, but that doesn't seem likely.
1 Release Now, Patch Later
Improved broadband speeds may have made patching games post-release a viable strategy, but it's now not uncommon to see some games release with 50 GB day-one patches. With AAA titles now hogging up more than 100 GBs of hard drive space, it's getting tougher and tougher to tolerate these practices.
What's worse is titles like Anthem; games released as broken, buggy alpha builds predicated on the promise that things will eventually be fixed. No other industry could get away with selling faulty products, and EA and other publishers may well need to course-correct before governments once again intervene on behalf of consumers.