Is EA innovating the gaming industry for the better (pro) or for worse (con)?
Debate Rounds (5)
Electronic Arts has been changing the gaming industry, and with such innovations as the Online Pass, it shows that EA does have a place in the gaming industry. The question is, is it good or is it bad?
We will be using Bsh1's rules, slightly tweaked.
1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/end notes must be provided in the text of the debate
3. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
4. You agree to the following definitions, these cannot be rebutted in any argument.
5. No trolling or semantics
6. You must follow the layout of the debate as set below.
7. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss
EA: Electronic Arts, Inc.
Innovate: To make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. (1)
The Video Game Industry: The economic sector involved with the development, marketing and sales of video games. (2)
Round 1: Acceptance (No opening statement)
Round 2: Opening Statements (no rebutting)
Round 3: Rebuttal of Round 2
Round 4: Second Round of Statements
Round 5: Closing Arguments/ Rebuttals
Note: This is an argument about EA business practices NOT the games that they make.
(This will be hard...)
Theme: The Effect to the Consumer
Electronic Arts, it is the second most profitable major publisher of video games, only beaten by Tencent. For being such a major company, EA has made some horrid policy choices. These policies have lost a moderate portion of their fan base, and have gained them ridicule from across the gaming community. EA has also one the Worst Company in America award from the Consumerist, twice in a row. (1)
I will start out by stating one of the first bad policies that EA has committed to, the online pass. In case you don't know, "an online pass is a digital rights management system for restricting access to supplemental functionality in a product by using a single-use serial number." (2) The online pass is a way to prevent used game sales at stores such as Gamestop or EBay. EA fans hated the online pass so much that in May, 2013 they destroyed the online pass for it's new games and made the price free on Xbox Live and PSN for titles that launched with the online pass. (3)
Bad launches and rushed titles
People who pre ordered the games Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 and Simcity were irate when they discovered that, in the case of Battlefield 3/4, that the games were riddled with bugs, and did not work properly. (4) Simcity had a bad launch due to Origin servers being down. (5) While EA did give a free game to people who bought the game, some just saw this as an easy way out. Natedoggcata on Kotaku.com said,
".... they have every right to complain about EA. They shouldn't even have to do this in the first place. This whole launch debacle is inexcusable,"
and Jonnyboon on the same matter said,
"And now people will roll over and forget it ever happened, because hey! Free game! And then they'll go and screwed the next time, but hey! Free game! How about people get a spine and actually stand up against the bullsh*t! Say no to both. Or else you are just going to get more of it in the future."
(5) This proves that the launch went so horribly wrong that EA has no excuse, especially being a company of this size.
EA raises money through equity financing - that is, it sells stocks to investors (1). This allows the company to raise money grow in a competitive field. However, it will eventually have to return a large share of its gains to its investors. What's more, that shareholder now owns a tiny fraction of the company and can have an impact on the company. This method of expanding is profitable for a small company, such as EA in its earliest years. For a large company like present-day EA, however, equity financing is rather consuming (2).
That is why EA has to maximize its earnings - so that it can either attract investors or buy back some shares. To ensure growth and stability, EA has often needed to resort to tactics that may otherwise seem immoral, such as their acquisition and reorganization of smaller developers. From a purely financial perspective, this makes sense. EA can eliminate competitors before they become a major threat and, if their games are popular enough, can gain valuable intellectual property.
From a financial perspective, one can see that EA is not a "bad company"; it is just trying to survive in an increasingly-competitive industry.
(1) - http://money.howstuffworks.com...
(2) - http://www.entrepreneur.com...
Even though EA is not a "bad company" from a purely financial perspective, it has made some very poor decisions for anybody that does not have a stake in the company. They have started to bring free to play game mechanics in to AAA titles. While this does make more money for EA and it's investors, it does not make the game more valuable for the customer. EA is actually trying to push it's Ultimate Team system into more than just it's sports games too, said Blake Jorgensen the CFO of EA. (1)
I have run out of time due to personal time constraints.
The opponent also stated that EA has had some bad launches in the past. However, not all starts are perfect and they can be easily fixed. This is not just EA's problem, it is a problem that affects the vast majority of developers and publishers. The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launch was not perfect, either (1). Players experienced severe lag, but with fixes, it turned out to be a fun game, some even saying that compared to other Call of Duty games, it was second only to Black Ops 2.
(1) - http://www.forbes.com...
Newton1 forfeited this round.
Does EA deserve its reputation as the "evil empire"? Does it really deserve the "Worst Company in America"? There are companies that are arguably much more deserving of this award. Human Rights Campaign has awarded EA for being exceptionally inclusive of LGBT employees (1). Meanwhile, Walmart held a food drive for its own mistreated employees (2). When you compare these two events that happened at around the same time, should EA get the excessive hate it often faces?
In analyzing the source the opponent used for round 3 (3), I have found 3 quotes that contradict the claims he made in round 2, and some that add entirely new arguments to the debate.
1: " Dragon Age: Inquisition was named to more than 200 Game of the Year lists
globally" . Surely if EA's launches were so horrible its products would not be recognized as outstanding games.
2: " Dragon Age: Inquisition captivated fans and critics worldwide as it launched in November. And it quickly became the most successful launch in BioWare history. More than 113 million hours have already been spent exploring the depth and detail of the single player experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition and more players are joining each day" . See explanation for quote #1.
3: "In our Ultimate Team services, engagement is deeper than ever. The total number of players entering Ultimate Team across FIFA 15, Madden NFL 15, and NHL 15 has increased nearly 45% year over year" . EA's choices have not lost them a "moderate portion of their fan base", as Con stated in round 2. Rather, it seems as if EA is gaining fans.
I urge viewers to vote Pro for the reasons I have given and because of Con's failure to follow his own rules. No matter how strongly voters may feel against EA, vote Pro.
(1) - http://www.engadget.com...
(2) - http://www.forbes.com...
(3) - http://files.shareholder.com...
Sorry I missed the deadline, according to the rules I have lost, vote pro.
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