Posts Tagged EA

Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 88

Super Podcast Action CommitteeOn this week’s show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about why Flappy Bird was pulled from various App Stores, Candy Swipe v. King, Norwegian killer Anders Brevik asking for a better class of video games in prison, and EA’s denial that SimCity and Battlefield 4 had crappy launches. Download Episode 88 now: SuperPAC Episode 88(1 hour, 7 minutes) 76.9 MB.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook, on Twitter@SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. The show is edited by Jose Betancourt. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 81

Super Podcast Action Committee After a two week hiatus (thanks mostly to the holidays and Andrew’s self-imposed exile to a small town in Kentucky) we return with Super Podcast Action Committee Episode 81! On this week’s show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the Killer Instinct DRM that popped up during a recent competition at a NYC college, the EFF’s annual Wish List, and investors suing EA over the shaky Battlefield 4 launch. Download Episode 81 now: SuperPAC Episode 81 (1 hour, 17 minutes) 88.4 MB.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook, on Twitter@SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. The show is edited by Jose Betancourt. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 65

Super Podcast Action CommitteeOn this week’s show we talk about extreme developer harassment, GameStop’s Xenoblade pricing, EA’s Humble Origin Bundle, the latest poll from GamePolitics, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 65 now: SuperPAC Episode 65 (1 hour, 15 minutes) 69.3 MB.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook, on Twitter@SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

Followup: Here is that video Andrew mentioned. Kindergartener fights Agnaktor

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Sorry Humble Bundle. You May Have Gone Too Far.

Humble Origin Bundle? Ummm. I think Not.Not too long ago, I joined in with Good Old Games to question the direction the Humble Bundle has been going recently. When they started out, they were all about cross-platform play without the annoyance of DRM. Over time, they have slowly abandoned both those ideals in favor of grabbing more high profile games from much larger studies than their indie origins.

While I had continued to support them through the years, buying every cross-platform bundle and a couple non-linux bundles, I think I may have reached a breaking point with this latest bundle. While they have often done Steam-only bundles, which violates their original DRM-free ideal, at least Steam is a service that many gamers love and support. Additionally, Steam has made great strides to make Linux a viable platform for both gamers and game developers. But this recent bundle makes a mockery of even that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 49

Super Podcast Action CommitteeIn Episode 49 of the show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the ongoing turmoil inside EA, Nintendo’s decision to not host an E3 press conference, results of the latest poll and catch up on some mail that went into the silly spam filter. Download Episode 49 now: SuperPAC Episode 49 (1 hour, 3 minutes) 58.5 MB.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook, on Twitter@SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 47

Super Podcast Action CommitteeEpisode 47 of the Super Podcast Action Committee is finally available after a rocky start to the week for Andrew and EZK, who both are apparently very sick. Nevertheless, they tough it out to catch up on the last two polls (one about dying Xbox 360s and another about punishing politicians for creating unconstitutional laws) and take some time to give EA kudos for winning the Worst Company in America for a second year in a row. Will 2014 make the third time the charm? Stay tuned! Download Episode 47 now: SuperPAC Episode 47 (1 hour, 16 minutes) 69.6 MB.

Programming note: due to this week’s show being published so late in the week (we are sorry we made you wait so long!) we will not be recording an episode this coming weekend. The next episode (barring any further calamites or illnesses) will go live on Monday, April 22.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook, on Twitter @SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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What Does It Mean To Win Worst Company In America?

EA Golden PooLast year, Electronic Arts came out of nowhere and won The Consumerist’s annual Worst Company in America competition. This competition was designed to highlight the worst of the worst companies when it came to its consumer presence. When EA graciously accepted the award, it kindly reminded voters just who its real competition is by listing previous award winners.

We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.

What does it mean for the games industry, and EA specifically, to be likened to some of the largest insurance, oil, tobacco and weapons companies in the world? Companies that have a more direct connection to the quality of life of billions of people. What does it mean to be crowned worst of the worst in America?

Regardless of the over impact or seriousness of its faults, we know much of what EA did to win that award. Online passes, NFL monopolies, Spore, and Mass Effect 3, just to name a few. But really after all the brewhaha last year during and following the contest, what does it mean to be nominated a second time? Even after declaring that you were cleaning up your ways?

“I think we will see a dramatic shift in the company,” Lawder told CNET. “We’re not there yet. There’s still a ways to go before we’re considered a world-class customer experience.”

For the second year in a row, EA has been nominated for the Golden Poo award. It seems that despite Lawder’s claims, EA has yet to improve on its image. The whole SimCity thing hasn’t helped things out either. Things are so bad at EA, from a consumer perspective, that it handed Anheuser Busch a sound thrashing in the first round. Seriously, EA is worse than a beer monopoly wannabe. Add that to the list above of who EA is worse than.

So what can the games industry learn from this? Here are some lessons I think we should be paying attention to:

  1. If you have bad policies or terrible relations with your customers, they will complain and complain loudly. If they aren’t declaring you the worst company in America, they are certainly going to complain in private and in some cases publicly.
  2. Despite all the minor flaws that grate on our customers’ nerves, it is the big fiascoes that will send them over the edge. People understand that companies are run by other people. They understand that sometimes things just won’t go right or that mistakes happen. They can brush off a good number of flaws and frustrations. However, when you make such boneheaded disasters as SimCity, Spore or Mass Effect 3, you will send your customers into a frenzy.
  3. Making promises of change and then doing nothing positive quickly will not make people happy. EA won the award last year due to years of neglect and abuse of its customers. All that culminated in the award. People expected some kind of change for the better. Instead, they received empty promises and even bigger blunders. People expect and deserve to be treated well if they are expected to buy your products.
  4. Bad policies are bad and deserve to die. Whether it is high prices, DRM, too much bad DLC or whatever, if people are complaining about it, something needs to be done. EA had many years of people complaining about always online requirements in thier games and other companies’ games, yet it learned nothing and implemented it in one of its most high profile games, with disastrous results. Failure to learn from your own and others’ past mistakes will doom you to repeat them and reap the rewards.

Those are just four big lessons to be learned. But the biggest is that your customers are king. If they are not happy, they will make you miserable. So let us all take a lesson from EA, even if it refuses to learn these lessons itself, and go out and serve your fans and customers well.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 43

Super Podcast Action CommitteeOn this week’s show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to discuss the new Six Strikes anti-piracy scheme, Time Warner Cable’s insistence that customers don’t want faster broadband and the latest poll on the PS4′s lack of backwards compatibility. Download it now:SuperPAC Episode 43 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 67.8 MB. You can also check out the show on YouTube if you prefer an unedited and more visual experience.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us onFacebook, on Twitter @SuperPACPodcast and Google +. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note tosuperpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 29

Super Podcast Action CommitteeIn Episode 29 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the shaky launch of the Wii U console over the weekend, Sony perma-bans for PS3 ‘hackers,’ and the good and bad side of Electronic Arts. It’s a show to remember unless you stopped that Wii U firmware update – then it’s a painful reminder that getting your brand new console ‘bricked’ kind of sucks! Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 29 (1 hour, 20 minutes) 73.3 MB.

As always, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes and use our RSS Feed to add the show to your favorite news reader. You can also find us on Facebook (where there’s an app that will let you listen to the show), and on Twitter @SuperPACPodcast. You can send us feedback on the show by dropping a note to superpacpodcast@gmail.com.

Credits: The Super Podcast Action Committee is hosted by E. Zachary Knight and Andrew Eisen, and produced by James Fudge. Music in the show includes “Albino” by Brian Boyko and “Barroom Ballet” by Kevin MacLeod. Both are in the public domain and free to use. ECA bumper created by Andrew Eisen.

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Zynga Fires Back At EA With Claims Of Innocence And Accusations Of Wrongdoing On EA’s Part

Originally Published on Techdirt.

We last left Zynga back in August with EA filing a lawsuit against the casual game company in which EA makes claims of copyright infringement. EA had accused Zynga of cloning its Sims Social game when Zynga made its game, The Ville. Well, Zynga has finally fired back with filings claiming innocence of copyright infringement as well as accusations that EA had attempted to establish a “no hire” agreement between the two companies.

In the first filing, Zynga moves to have a bunch of language from EA’s filings stricken as it feels that much of it is “redundant, immaterial, impertinent and/or scandalous.” It feels that a lot of the information presented, such as third party disputes, games and comments that do not pertain to EA’s specific claims of copyright infringement, are simply included to paint Zynga in as negative a light as possible.

Zynga also specifically rejects the idea that The Ville infringes The Sims Social by attempting to show that much of what EA claims to be infringing is either a natural part of a life sim or part of an evolution in design of other Zynga created games. This can be found in the second filing in which Zynga shows successive screen shots of its games YoVille, Cafe World and The Ville. Each with very similar UI elements.

Next, Zynga brings in a comparison of Zynga’s CityVille and EA’s SimCity Social games. It does so to highlight that even EA gives in to tropes and design choices common to the genre it works in. Coming off this, Zynga makes the claim that this lawsuit is nothing more than EA’s response to being unable to compete in the social gaming marketplace.

Finally, we have the third filing in which Zynga makes its most bold claim yet.

Zynga claims that EA CEO John Riccitiello wanted to establish an illegal “no-hire” agreement with Zynga that would prevent the company from hiring employees away from EA. The filing says Riccitiello had grown upset that many EA employees had moved over to Zynga, and had gone “on the war path” to put an end to the talent bleed.

The company also says EA filed its lawsuit in August not because it believes Zynga copied The Sims Social, but because the company wanted to discourage its employees from jumping ship.

If Zynga’s accusation is true, then EA’s attempt at establishing such an agreement is serious business. These types of agreements, in which the companies agree not to hire anyone that applies, if they work for the competing company, and will often report the employee to his/her boss, are generally very bad for workers and quite possibly illegal.

These agreements are so serious that the Department of Justice had been investigating a number of tech companies, including Apple and Google, for this practice back in 2010 with evidence finally surfacing earlier this year.

Of course, EA believes this claim by Zynga is just a smokescreen.

This is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga’s persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios. Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more.

Regardless of whether these claims are true or not, this shows just how far this legal dispute could go over the coming months. Here we have two powerhouse game companies fighting over something that really in the end will have no bearing on the future of the games industry.

In the end, what do we actually get out of dragging two companies’ reputations through the mud? What will either company get out of winning this lawsuit? If EA wins, it will get to claim that it slayed the big bad cloning monster and Zynga will slink away and only clone the games of much smaller companies. If Zynga wins, the games industry as it is now will continue forward exactly as it had been. Either way, nothing substantial will change. So again, what’s the point?

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