EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and Battlefield 4 Had 'Terrible Launches'

February 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In (what comes off as) a contentious back-and-forth interview between Rock, Paper, Shotgun's EA chief creative officer Rich Hilleman, the EA executive vigorously defends the launch of Battlefield 4 and said that with big communities comes much more noise. The interview's tone was likely set by the tough on-the-spot questions by RPS and the setting for the interview (a red carpet interview on the spot as Hilleman was heading into the D.I.C.E Awards ceremony).

When asked about overhauling future launches of games in the wake of what RPS called "terrible launches," Hilleman said that he did not accept the categorization of those game launches.

"I’m not sure I accept your premise," he told RPS. "Battlefield 4 has been an exceedingly successful product on both consoles and PC. From a sales perspective, from a gameplay perspective."

While conceding that bother were good games, RPS countered that the glitches and technical issues with both games couldn't be "written off," to which Hilleman said:

"I think there was a lot of noise about the game, but some of that is a function of your surface area. The more customers you have, the more noise becomes available. We did things wrong. We know that. We’re gonna fix those things. We’re gonna try to be smart about what customers want in the future."

"But I’m not willing to accept – and I don’t think most of my customers are willing to say – 'it’s a bad product, I wish I didn’t buy it.' That’s not the conversation we’re having now. I think what we’re hearing is, 'You made a game we really liked. We would’ve liked it a little better if it didn’t have these problems.' Many of those problems we can fix, and we have and will."

It's a short but excellent interview, and it gives players an idea of how EA corporate feels about the press coverage of those launches versus their own opinions (that they weren't as bad as some vocal fans and the media have made them out to be).

You can check out the rest of it on RPS.


Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

lol.. someone has their PR face on and its showing!

I'd bet the only reason he's holding that facade is to keep the stocks from taking a hit, and the investors from getting antsy at the idea they may have actually put money into a lemon of a company.

Which isn't true at all, but they will become one if they keep denying obvious facts to anyone who has been around the web for more than 5 minutes.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

"EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and Battlefield 4 Had 'Terrible Launches'"

Someone over at EA needs to stop drinking the Kool-Aid there.

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

Ummm? Didn't SimCity's launch get EA's long time idiot CEO finally Riccietello fired? No serriously the fact that EA is failing to see the failure of these two games launching,a nd the fact that they seem to think Dungeon Keeper being packed with outright fraud is a good idea goes a long way to explain the failings of the company. The whole place needs a deep upper level house cleaning.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

Yeah, EA's definitely looking like they're starting to give some politicians a run for their money on rewriting history...

/it's filled with bugs!

//no no, those are 'features'!

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

I do accept the premise that Hilleman is living in his own little bubble of reality.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

Sure, Battlefield 4 was buggy as hell and SimCity was literally unplayable because of their bull-headed insistence on that horrible always-on bullshit, but why should they give a fuck? They got your money.

While I don't think the games industry as a whole is going to crash, a lot of the large publishers are going to wake up in a ditch, and this attitude is exactly why.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

The sad thing is all the developers who want to make awesome games and work hard to make awesome games but in the end we get the shitty, crippled, rushed version that the publisher wants because EA is only in it for the money (yes, obviously video games are made for money but that doesn't have to be the only driving factor).

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

There are developers out there like Roberta Williams from the King's Quest series who publishers refuse to touch because her games and the way she wants to make them do not sell. She once famously said,

"Back when I got started, which sounds like ancient history, back then the demographics of people who were into computer games, was totally different, in my opinion, than they are today. Back then, computers were more expensive, which made them more exclusive to people who were maybe at a certain income level, or education level. So the people that played computer games 15 years ago were that type of person. They probably didn't watch television as much, and the instant gratification era hadn't quite grown the way it has lately. I think in the last 5 or 6 years, the demographics have really changed, now this is my opinion, because computers are less expensive so more people can afford them. More "average" people now feel they should own one."

So Publishers are not always the problem. There are many wonderful publishers out there who are willing to allow talented studios to do as they please as long as they make money. Just imagine Take-Two was downgraded by credit firms and lambasted by agencies because they took to long to make their games but in the end Rockstar gave us GTA 5 which proved all of them wrong.

On the other end EA has allowed this to happen with Bioware in which they took over many EA Studios and even gave them the reigns of the Command and Conquer series as well as one of the most expensive games ever made. However after key employees left and employees who wished to push political views that were against the general public and these new caretakers attacked their 'fans' cause EA not the customers paid Bioware anymore we had three flops from Bioware that sunk all the good will that company once had and it also lost them the Command and Conquer series as well as control over Mythic studios. 

EA has done many things wrong in my eyes but they have not always done as you said. Sometimes as one of the Bioware founders once said "EA gives you enough rope to hang yourself." Am I saying EA is totally not to blame? No but developers are also not innocent angels.

Re: EA 'Does Not Accept' The Premise That SimCity and ...

Publishers aren't always the problem, but that doesn't magically make this particular publisher not one of the worst.

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