EA’s Bad Single Player Games Tweet Depends on an Outdated Narrative
You may have seen a tone-deaf tweet on Twitter over the past week. It was a joke about single-player gamers and riffed on an old meme. You’re familiar with Mass Effect and Dead Space. As you would expect, the developers on the publisher’s teams were not happy about it. A follow-up tweet was sent that apologized but made clear that the account was retracing its steps.
According to USA Today, the tweet received enough backlash from internal and external sources. It prompted an “all hands” planning session for social media executives to create the follow-up tweet. USA Today reports discussions about having studio accounts respond to and roast the original tweet. However, employees pointed out that seeing accounts like BioWare or Respawn blaming their parent company would contribute to negative narratives surrounding EA. For example, they were named the Worst American Company by The Consummator.
USA Today sources say that multiple managers rejected the original plan and opted out. Then, USA Today published the not-apologetic statement. It turned out that EA did not send the original tweet. USA Today sources informed the outlet that the EA account was not managed internally by EA’s social teams and that the tweet came directly from an outside team. One source pointed out that the tweeter was likely not familiar with EA’s history regarding single-player gaming. This has been not very easy, to say the very least.
EA is one of the most prominent publishers in the industry. Over its 40-year-old history, it and its studios have produced many single-player games. As the years passed, my EEA’srelationship with them changed. Frank Gibeau, then EA GGames’label president, stated that single-player games had been “inished” in 2010. This was less than one year after the EA-published Mass Effect 2 launched in January. It went on to win numerous Game of the Year Awards.
Even series that had been purely single-player initially started to include online and social elements over time. BBioWare’sMass Effect 3 and Andromedaboth allowed for cooperative play. Dragon Age Inquisition also included a multiplayer component. Dead Space was a survival horror series that thrived on isolation. It had multiplayer modes in both sequels. MMirror’sEdge was launched in 2008 with a single-player campaign. However, a soft reboot in MMirror’sEdge included live elements and asynchronous multiplayer so that friends could compete.
However, over the years, the ccompany’stune has slowly changed. According to Bloomberg reports, BioWare is removing the multiplayer component from Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. This was after Star Wars Jedi: Fallen OOrder’ssuccess and AAnthem’scancellation. This isn’t very pleasant to me because I ddon’twant Dragon Age multiplayer. IIt’smore like EA ddoesn’tcare enough to see how other companies, such as Sony and Nintendo, are doing well with single-player games and refuses to consider its failures and successes as a market indicator. However, EA did approve the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remasters. This included three single-player RPGs that were not Mass Effect 33’smultiplayer
People who work on these projects must find it frustrating. Some even openly posted their frustrations online. Because those people are doing work that would, ostensibly, help change the narrative around the company as a single-player opposed corporation and bring attention to the single-player-centric projects happening there. Then, a public-facing account they were not involved in throws them under a bus and reinforces their narrative. Although the tweet was sent from outside sources, EEA’shistory makes it plausible. I feel for those who felt EA dismissed their work.