Do I really need to say more than what the title says? Fair warning: This turns into a bit of an editorial.Today’s brand of EA stupidity comes from former Sega of America President and former Vice-President of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Peter Moore. You know, the tattoo guy? Yes the one that is currently running EA Sports. No I am not trying to avoid talking about this stupidity, I just need time to process it all. Okay, I think I’m ready.
Petere Moore spoke recently talking about why retail stores are still needed even in the coming digital age. Let’s start with the part of this article that makes sense. Moore said that a lot of their customers don’t have credit cards so they need retail to buy games and point cards for their services, he also said that some people just prefer to buy point cards from stores. Both of these points make a lot of sense. After this however the stupidity begins. Moore says that the reason people don’t want to put their cards on PSN or XBL is because of the PSN hack. There would be some logic in this if not due to a little thing we like to call logic. If the PSN hack is the major reason people don’t use their cards on these services what about those people that didn’t do it prior to the hack? They can’t all be accounted for by the previous two categories. Now I am not saying that the hack didn’t make people wary, you’d have to be very dense not to be wary after it. What makes this stupid though is that it ignores larger issues.
Larger issues? Yes. Microsoft and Sony have failed multiple times at providing good customer service. It can be painfully hard to remove cards from XBL and to stop payments and Sony’s total disrespect for customers is pretty well known. I’m not usually one to rely on other people’s opinions to make my point but I think a tweet by Destructiod’s Jim Sterling covers it pretty well. He said that the reason he sticks to retail isn’t fear of being scammed by hackers it’s fear of being scammed by EA. I know I’ve been kicking EA a lot lately but this does make for an interesting point. Hackers suck and cause all sorts of trouble, but the problem isn’t just the hackers. The problem is in how these companies deal with it and in how publishers treat their customers.
To further drive this home let us look at where the article gets really stupid. We all know publishers are DLC happy lately, but Moore hit a home run with this one. Let me just quote what he said:
The other key thing is selling digital content on the day of launch … When we sold Mass Effect 3 back in March, we saw a 40% attach rate that first week to DLC at GameStop in the United States. Not only are you selling a $60 game … you’re selling $20 DLC, so the sale becomes $80.
The quote speaks for itself and for the industry as a whole. I would love to single EA out on stuff like that, but I can’t. 2K, Activision, Capcom, etc they are all guilty of horrible DLC practices designed not to provide good content, but instead to sell content ripped from the game itself or locked on the game we already bought. EA is just completely upfront about their bad practices, I don’t know if that makes it better or worse. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to smash head against the wall in an attempt to forget the stupidity of this article.