Opinion - EA And DICE Have Lost Consumer Trust
Since the launch of Battlefield 4 in late October, we’ve written many stories highlighting the ongoing problems with the game. Throughout, EA and DICE have been slow to respond to requests for information. When we follow up to understand what’s going on, why discrepancies in information exist, and how the publisher will be getting the game back on track, we receive very little useful information we can pass on to our readers.
Battlefield 4 has had a lot of problems. Connectivity issues, crashes, lost progress, and more have set developer DICE back. EA has put off the studio’s future projects pending improvement to the game, which has yet to be fully realized. There is clearly something wrong internally, and for every small step forward, there are big steps back. The latest comes from the game’s producer, Daniel Matros.
Yesterday, Matros took to Twitter to ask players what it’s like to play his team’s game. The answers, as you might expect, were aggressive. Accusations of trolling were levied, leaving Matros to admit that he hasn’t been aware of the current status of the game.
Haven't had time to play bf since november. What's it like?— Daniel Matros (@zh1nt0) January 2, 2014
Genuinely sorry guys and girls. I was not trolling when asking about the game, still on vacay, email turned off and curious about the game— Daniel Matros (@zh1nt0) January 2, 2014
These tweets aren’t just unwise. They are flat-out insulting. Matros used to be the global community manager for the Battlefield brand. He should know better.
No one begrudges an employee’s right to step away from work, especially over the holidays. However, to blatantly demonstrate a disregard for the fans and a clear lack of knowledge for the game in his care is foolish.
EA and DICE haven’t simply released a broken game. They have cracked the foundation of the brand and driven a wedge between themselves and a loyal fan base.
EA continues to cash in on a la carte DLC, fails to fulfill the promise made (via Twitter) that pre-order bonuses would carry over across generations, and willingly takes in money for Premium ($50 above the $60 retail purchase price) despite a broken core product.
EA might not be the worst company in America, but it didn't make many friends in 2013 (and this year hasn't started any better). CEO Andrew Wilson has his work cut out for him, and his first months at the head of the table haven’t been brilliant. The first step in turning that around is changing a culture that places so little value on consumers.