The Jimquisition: Unicronic Arts

So Electronic Arts has shut down Maxis and, really, should we be surprised? Given EA’s track record, it’s never truly shocking (though it IS always sad) to see it kill off one of its acquisitions.

Even so, there’s more to EA’s behavior than simply buying studios and snapping their necks. There’s a pattern of degradation at play as the Unicron of videogames strips its victims bare, and tosses out the husks.

Rafael
Guest

Well, Dragon Age II was exactly what EA wanted and it turned into crap. Technically it wasn’t a core Bioware product, but with the designers of DA:I attempting to justify the slurry that was II at every turn it is just a matter of time before EA takes a nose dive back into the Sisyphean Pit along side Ubisoft.

ATBro
Guest
ATBro

There are a few things all these studios have in common… they all had strings of poor performing releases, and they are EA’s studios to close. EA bought these studios, and often times for a boatload of money and when it comes down to it, they don’t owe it to these guys to keep the doors open. After spending a lot of and not seeing a viable return on investment, EA doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.

The Spearman
Guest
The Spearman

Well, this was definitely an interesting listen after getting back from work. Oddly enough, I was perusing a certain recently restructured ‘gaming’ website on and off today and there was no mention of this. Not on the forums, not in the news feed, nothing. Apparently Jim is not unlike EA himself, just leaving battered, silent husks in his wake. Slightly more OT: Not really surprising, Maxis pretty much gave up it’s whole hand to players with The Sims 2, it literally can’t be improved. The only way they can justify a more limited scope/smaller feature release in the future is… Read more »

Hammer Rockwell
Guest
Hammer Rockwell

I agree totally. BTW: HE’S A WITCH!!!! BURN HIM!!!!!!!

Chris
Guest

Thank GOD for you, sir. It feels good deep in my bones to hear at least SOMEONE calling out these terrible and sadly more common practices dumped on video game developers. This may sound like a naive question: but why don’t developers and publishers risk letting titles be creative and unique more often? ….why with such an active gaming community online, and criticism so important to a title’s success these days, wouldn’t companies like EA aim to create original titles that give people a truly great experience? I get that DLC and the like translates to real money for a… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

Here an idea that Jim would never say that its our fault as we let EA get away with it We moan at EA actions on the one hand but then throw our knickers at EA every crappy Fifa game or any EA sports game made every year in the same fashion we moan at EA but still throw money at EA access as we magically trusted them again even thought Jim and sony was the only ones to warned us about it We can,t moan at EA bad business practices and forget are own We hate DLC ,micro transaction… Read more »

Alex V
Guest
Alex V

Game companies should hire old people with shotguns to sit at the entrance of their buildings. That way, whenever EA shows up with pale white skin and black suits they’ll realize, when hiding behind a car as a crazed guy shoots buckshot, that perhaps they shouldn’t have been such assholes.

Oh, and the old guys should probably have holy water and a stake just in case.

ElektroDragon
Guest
ElektroDragon

Classic, Brilliant Jimquisition. Prophetic. True. Uncompromising.

This is why I come here.

Undead
Guest
Undead

Is Dragon Age inquisition worth playing, I pretty much bailed out because DA 2 was so linear, I literally never was killed in that game, and the combat boiled down to mash x. Is it like Origins that I still love to this day

Anton
Guest
Anton

I just want a decent Dead Space game to get the sub-par taste of DS3 out of my mouth and finish out the series in a dignified manner.

But that’s entirely too much to ask for, clearly EA are allergic to good products that aren’t COD.

Dave Dogge
Guest
Dave Dogge

Watching this video I was shocked to find out that Mythic were involved in the mobile device mico-transaction ridden debacle that was Dungeon Keeper, they were the daddy back in 2001 with Dark Age of Camelot. Also I hope EA Visceral pull through Dead Space is a classic series and I’m a massive Battlefield fan which is why I pre-ordered (stupid I know) Battlefield Hardline. Thinking about it all Battlefield fans should recite a little prayer for EA DICE who deal with the main Battlefield franchises and are doing the Star Wars Battlefield game due to be released this year… Read more »

Sray
Guest
Sray

EA hasn’t shut down Maxis: they only shut down the Emeryville studio. (http://www.pcgamer.com/maxis-emeryville-dev-talks-closure-always-online-and-working-with-ea/)

Mick P.
Guest

Maybe I’m stupid, but EA is a publisher right? So why does it own studios? Were these studios not solvent when EA bought them, as a way to keep them afloat? In which case maybe these studios were on the out already? Or does publisher–in video games–also mean owning every studio it publishes things of? I remember there being Electronic Arts games back in the day. Like a weird little shmup I had as a kid for the Genesis that had a full screen bomb, but didn’t have a Japanese vibe to it. Can’t even locate that game in the… Read more »

Hans
Guest

Sorry Jim but I’ve read Dune and know that by seeing the future you are dooming it to come true. That being said while I do blame you for the closure of Maxis I still look forward to your eventual transformation into a sandworm and ascension to God-Emperor.

ShuiGor
Guest
ShuiGor

Provided Mass Effect 4 is a step in the right direction (as in, no BS-forced-multiplayer-material-mandated-by-EA), Bioware should be safe (not that I’m a fan of the studio anymore post-Mass Effect 3), but I definitely agree Visceral is standing on the edge of the proverbial cliff into the abyss should Battlefield: Hardline turn into another Battlefield 4 fiasco at launch (a “Battlefield 4 2.0”, if you will).

GodEmperorofDune
Guest
GodEmperorofDune

I’m hopeful for Bioware. After the PR disasters surrounding Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, EA seemed to realize that they have a golden goose with tons of extremely vocal fans. A few years ago, it seemed that Bioware was on the road to the slaughter house, but judging from how devoid of EA crap DA:I was, it seems EA is letting Bioware do their thing without interference, DA:I’s multi-player notwithstanding, but then again, Bioware fans typically don’t care about multi-player.

Sanlumiere
Guest

For sure, the explanation given by Jim seems to be entirely acceptable – they are saving face for various awful games – but, that argument hardly seems sufficient when you consider that EA has any number of pathetic disasters directly tied to it’s own name, and additionally it, as a company, is becoming almost universally despised by the gaming public. So, assuming that PR really the entire story, is there a more comprehensive explanation? I think that EA is a touch more cynical than even Jim’s interpretation indicates. Acquiring companies, and by extension, acquiring their intellectual property, clients, code and… Read more »

Exley97
Guest
Exley97

I don’t understand why EA and other publishers don’t simply release/spin off studios they no longer want. Besides Microsoft releasing Bungie and Valve Software freeing Turtle Rock, are there any other examples of this?

Ushio
Guest
Ushio

Visceral? no way it’s Criterion games who will close next they’ve already has the mass layoffs.

Wally-G.
Guest
Wally-G.

You want to deal with the Devil and it’s board members, don’t be surprised at what they do to you. Don’t feel bad about this at all, and in many ways this seems like filler episode really. Was there really nothing to talk about other than this? I thought from the title this had to do with unicorns, and that would have been more interesting to hear about than this weeks topic.

Steven
Guest
Steven

But grandaddy Nerg- I mean EA gave us money and gifts. All we had to do was listen. Though grandad is getting hungry again….

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

I dunno Jim, I think the fact Bioware is doing so well without EA is prime reason for EA to close them. Dragon Age Inq was fun WITHOUT any of the EA bells and whistles, and other devs are going to notice that. Why would new devs sell to EA when other devs like Bioware are doing just fine basically without them. EA might need to make an example of them, full Game of Thrones style.

Remember, the squeaky wheel is the first to be replaced.

Inwoods
Guest
Inwoods

Not sure if sock thing was a stab at Tim or GG…

While I miss Maxis for nostalgic reasons, I never had any love for the Sims and with Simcity(5) it was obvious that whatever I had once loved about them was long dead.

Anyone have any words about Cities XL or other games? Anything else step up to fill the Simcity gap with low maintenance fun and lovely Jerry Martin jazz?

Dungus
Guest
Dungus

Holy crap, Jim. Way to transport a guy back to the 80s in a micro-instant. Shoe People, Jesus!

ZippyDSMlee
Guest

Visceral Games is dead in the water I doubt they will make it a year.

Bioware might not die this year but its close as all their RPG’s have been EAized and suck these days. The dev teams need to make their own studio far far far away from EA….

Dice I am surprised they made it this long….. I wonder when EA will figure out they do not need experienced dev teams, just use cheaper staff. LOL >< Side note:Whos working on Star Wars Battle Front 3?