Electronic Arts: From worst rated company to major comeback
In 2012 and 2013, the Electronic Arts (EA) gaming company was voted “worst company in America” on a Consumerist poll, but recently they have become one of the top developers in the United States.
After receiving too much negative PR in 2012, EA’s stock prices sunk below $12 a share. The company decided it was time to make some major changes to their business, and as a result, the value of their stock has soared to over $70. What changes did EA make that could have lead to this drastic turnaround?
In the past, EA was known for releasing a large number of titles each year, many of which were seen by gamers as hastily made cash grabs. Even their big name titles, like “Mass Effect 3” and “SimCity,” caused outrage because many people believed EA made them quickly and poorly, knowing they would sell well regardless of their quality. The company’s chief operating officer, Peter Moore, says EA no longer spews out games, and they now focus on quality over quantity.
“Eight years ago when I joined EA, we were publishing 70 games a year — 70. And this year, we might do 12,” said Moore to GameSpot editor Rob Crossley.
In 2014, EA created the Xbox One subscription service EA Access, which may have been the spark that started the company’s big turnaround. Gamers pay $5 a month for this service, and they receive a 10 percent discount on all digital downloads and unlimited access to a variety of games without having to purchase them. More EA titles were being purchased once there was more incentive for gamers to do so.
“EA Access customers get to play more, because of the Vault, they get to play early, ahead of general release date, and they get to pay less because of the discounts it offers,” said Moore.
EA may have turned their profits around, but some gamers are skeptical of the company after they announced that there will be no single-player campaign in “Star Wars: Battlefront.” This decision could be seen as EA going back to their habit of cutting corners now that they’re doing well financially. Moore assures gamers that their decision was solely based on data showing that “very few people actually play the single-player on these kinds of games.”
Has EA gained back your trust? Will they continue to turn things around, or will they gain back their bad reputation? Leave a comment to talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.