EA might seem like one of the gaming industry's biggest supervillains, but its EVP has tried to explain why that is simply a misconception.
When a company reaches a certain size, it is going to be seen by a large chunk of society as evil, regardless of industry. Corporations such as Google and Apple, which most of us use on a daily basis, are viewed as evil, faceless conglomerates that are out to squash the little guy. The amount of good those companies might be trying to do often gets overlooked.
In the video game world, that company is EA. In 2019 alone, EA has not done well to make it seem like a good guy to gamers. It laid off hundreds of employees, seemingly with little reason, has crashed and burned when it comes to what was the highly anticipated Anthem, and don't even get us started on its stance towards loot boxes... Sorry, "Surprise Mechanics."
EA's EVP of strategic growth, Matt Bilbey, recently explained to Gamesindustry.biz that he struggles to deal with the villainous image of the company. "25 years at EA and I still struggle with the external perception that we're just a bunch of bad guys," Bilbey admitted during the interview.
Bilbey attributes this hatred for EA to the company's size. "When we make mistakes on games, the world knows about it because it's of a size and scale." What he wishes more people took notice of is the amount of help EA doles out to independent developers via EA Originals. Just last month, it signed three more developers to the label, yet that news was massively overshadowed by the aforementioned talk of loot boxes.
Not only does EA help independent developers, but its contracts with those people and smaller companies are also extremely unbalanced in favor of the smaller party. EA takes whatever it needs to cover its costs, and everything else goes to the developer. To those people, EA is far from gaming's super-villain. Nevertheless, since EA is one of gaming's biggest giants, people will continue to wait for it to make mistakes and then pick them apart for it.