Recently the CEO of Electronics Arts in an interview with Bloomberg threw out the idea that EA may not release new editions of the games we know and love every year. The alternative will be digital patches and updates like they do in Asia. Before you get enraged think about the product you’re getting year in and year out. Is it really that good? Do you see a discernible difference from the year before? I see a visible and tangible decline in FIFA and MLB The Show, there is no doubt in my mind. I’m not a Madden fan but I’ve heard the same complaint there. The gameplay gets progressively worse and worse but the CCM (card collecting modes) keep us coming back for more because it feels “fresh”, you always start back at ground zero during each launch.
To over simplify, they’re keeping the base game intact (the same “engine”) and tweaking a few cosmetic areas to lead you to believe the gameplay is all new and improved. But we hear that every year and every year the games become more and more insufferable. The CPU A.I. in FIFA has been and forever will be the dumbest players on the planet. The hitting engine in MLB The Show is the most broken and frustrating thing I’ve ever played in a video game. It’s inexplicable just how bad the products are and we pump out $60, $70 or even $100 for these each of these games annually. And that’s just the base layer, add on top of that money for Ultimate Team or Diamond Dynasty. You also have the broken controllers and don’t act like you haven’t because we all have. The investment in gaming isn’t cheap.
If EA does go down this path of skipping annual releases then I’m interested to see what happens with the game’s pricing. Are they going to charge more because the game lasts longer? Does the base fee remain the same but the intermittent updates cost money? If there’s one thing we know EA isn’t going to do anything that will jeopardize their revenue. Would they technically save on expenses by skipping yearly releases? Most likely but no one wants to see their revenue dip. Stock prices are driven off two things: Earns Per Share and Revenue growth.
The biggest piece holding EA back would be the lost revenue in Ultimate Team. Every year when the game releases you’re back at square one, you aren’t allowed to carry anything forward. The amount of money that pours in from players trying to build up their team early on must be a huge inflow of cash. If annual releases are no more then your Ultimate Team will live on for longer and thus the amount of money needed to invest in Ultimate Team would be less. If EA tried to skip new launches and force annual restarts for Ultimate Team then they can go fuck themselves as I’m sure there would be riots. Digital content is more or less 100% profit to walk away from that would be stupid and we know EA isn’t stupid, they’re just greedy pigs.
The year 2017 in my opinion has been the worst year for video game releases that I can remember. When I say that I’m referring to the actual gameplay in these games. I was highly impressed with Longshot in Madden 18, I’ve enjoyed the thorough and rich content in Diamond Dynasty and FIFA but are the core of each of these games are flawed, frustrating and fucked up gameplay. I’ve grown tired of it all….
MLB The Show
- The pop-ups on balls you absolutely squared up with players who are gold / diamond
- The base runners disobeying commands when playing online with “lag”
- The frozen fielders who won’t move three inches for a ground ball or line drive
- The PCI wedge shown no where near the vicinity of where you had it
- Defenders trying to run on ice with socks on
- 45th and 90th minute magic every single game
- The lack of fouls / free kicks in online games and offline games vs. CPU
- The magnetic ball that always bounces in your opponents favor in the box
- The excessive shield and shoulder-to-shoulder tactics
- The CPU defense who plays like Jesus Christ
This is the earliest that I’ve hit the wall with these games. It’s two weeks prior to Thanksgiving and I’m so over it. I’m to the point where I need a long hiatus from gaming aside from buying and selling cards on FUT. I have zero desire to play online FIFA ever again. If I play another Battle Royal game in The Show it will be too soon. The satisfaction I’m receiving from these games are less and less and with that I think if EA is kicking around the idea of skipping releases then I’m going to float the idea of walking away from games until they truly put in an effort to make these games the best they can be.