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Electronic Arts has received a hugely negative response to a tweet appearing to mock people who “only like playing single-player games”.
On Thursday, the FIFA and Battlefield publisher put its own spin on a popular meme by posting: “They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games”.
The message, while likely intended as a light-hearted joke, received an overwhelming negative response in its more than 7,000 replies.
Jacksepticeye, the Irish YouTuber with nearly 30 million subscribers, wrote: “They’re a 10 but thought this tweet was a good idea.”
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - official teaser
Responses even came from EA’s own employees. Vince Zampella, head of EA’s Respawn Entertainment – creator of single-player games Titanfall and Jedi: Fallen Order – replied with a hand-on-face emoji, while the design director of Jedi: Survivor simply posted a wink.
And former Dragon Age series designer Sebastian Hanlon wrote: “’Remember,’ the Community Manager in the group, waiting for our flight to board, said, ‘just be more careful than usual about what you say while we’re there; you represent the whole company, whether you like it or not. Even if you _think_ you’re ‘outside the show’.’”
The most high-profile criticism came from Zach Mumbach, who was formerly a producer for games such as Dead Space 2 and Dante’s Inferno at Visceral Games, the studio closed by EA in 2017.
“This is the company that shut down my studio and laid off ~100 great developers because we were making a single player game,” he wrote in a message retweeted over one thousand times.
“Also, if you break game rating scores down to a 10 point scale most EA games are a solid 6 or 7. Not because the developers are bad but because ea the corporation forces them to rush games out. EA corporate leadership wouldn’t know what a ’10’ looks like in terms of video games.”
Hours after EA posted the original tweet, it appeared to backpedal following the criticism, posting: “Roast well deserved. We’ll take this L cause playing single player games actually makes them an 11.”
The tweet was unfortunately timed given that EA has recently started making more linear single-player games, after spending a significant period dismissing their viability.
In 2010, an EA executive even claimed that the traditional single-play games model was “finished”. More recently in 2017, EA’s CFO suggested that players “don’t like [linear games] as much today as they did five years ago”.
The success of Respawn’s 2019 release Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which has been “played” by over 20 million people, has contributed to EA warming to the idea of releasing more single-player games.