Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 08:02:35 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...  (Read 4079 times)

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Seems Electronic Arts is going through a bad patch.

First there was the SimCity debacle.

Next was the apparently unplanned departure of CEO John Riccitiello effective at the end of this month.

Now there's news of a verifiable security flaw in EA's Origin platform which can facilitate local vulnerability exploits on an Origin user's PC. That makes for a potential target pool of 40 million PCs.

TechDirt (as usual) is on it. Good article complete with link to a video showing an exploit in action. Amazing! (Link to article here.)

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 09:48:58 AM by 40hz »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 02:46:41 AM »
Now there's news of a verifiable security flaw in EA's Origin platform can facilitate local vulnerability exploits on Origin user's PCs.
At first I was "meh, local exploit - whatever". Decided to take a look anyway, flipped through the ReVuln PDF (linked to from the Vimeo site), and turns out it's slightly more interesting - allowing you to launch arbitrary processes on systems that have Origin installed, if you can get it to launch an URL. It's still fairly boring technically, but could actually be dangerous.

Now, how much and what kind of REALLY BAD DRUGS does somebody need to come up with to design a system that launches local games by installing a custom URL handlers Wtf is wrong with these people?
- carpe noctem

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 03:41:03 AM »

Too many Quiche Eater programmers?

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/mel.html

Tinman57

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,702
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 04:12:40 PM »
  Like I've said many times before, I stopped buying EA software a very long time ago....

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 04:15:33 PM »
Now, how much and what kind of REALLY BAD DRUGS does somebody need to come up with to design a system that launches local games by installing a custom URL handlers Wtf is wrong with these people?

I think Valve (Steam) was on some really strong drugs.  Everyone else just copied them without the high.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 05:52:08 PM »
Now, how much and what kind of REALLY BAD DRUGS does somebody need to come up with to design a system that launches local games by installing a custom URL handlers Wtf is wrong with these people?
I think Valve (Steam) was on some really strong drugs.  Everyone else just copied them without the high.
Ugh Valve did (does?) that as well? And started it? *sigh*

I generally like Steam pretty well, but protocol handlers to launch games is just... plain old fscked up.
- carpe noctem

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 06:09:27 PM »
For an example... my shortcut to Borderlands on the desktop - steam://rungameid/8980.  If I run that from Chrome, it doesn't work, however.  Only from IE.  Not sure if it works from Firefox, as I don't have that installed any longer.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 07:08:53 PM »
The Real Resignation Reason

cad-20130320-c775d.png

(via CAD)

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 08:22:44 PM »
Ha!  :Thmbsup:


app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 06:23:19 PM »
And now they are shutting down all of their most popular games on Facebook....SimCity Social, The Sims Social, and possibly others, anything that isn't a PopCap game. Players, many whom have spent a ton of cash on the games affected, are really freaking out over it, vowing never to play another EA game again.

And what reason does EA give for shutting down these incredibly popular games?

Quote
Why is The Sims Social being retired?

We had to make the difficult decision to close down The Sims Social so we can reallocate development resources to other titles that we hope you’ll have just as much fun playing. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we thank you for everything you've added to the community.

This is EA's generic canned excuse they give whenever they shut down a game and screw the players out of their cash, refusing to refund unspent credits or allow transferring them to another EA game. Their announcements and FAQ posts are almost verbatim, every time, with only the game name and dates changing.

This part of the announcement and FAQ is especially darling:

Quote
What if I have an existing balance of SimCash in The Sims Social on Facebook?

Players are encouraged to spend their remaining balance of SimCash in The Sims Social before the game is retired on June 14th. As of that date, any remaining SimCash left in the game will be invalid.

What they are saying is "Hurry up and spend your credits that you paid for on virtual items that we will be deleting on June 14, otherwise you'll lose the credits on June 14th, any way, and won't be able to spend them."

Really? What's the point in that, from a player's perspective?


app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 10:27:43 AM »
Just in case you have no idea what disgruntled players look like...

https://www.facebook...osts/638679509479839

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 04:24:09 PM »
Just in case you have no idea what disgruntled players look like...

https://www.facebook...osts/638679509479839

Care to summarize? Some of us don't have Facebook accounts. And never will. :)

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 04:36:08 PM »
Just in case you have no idea what disgruntled players look like...

https://www.facebook...osts/638679509479839

Care to summarize? Some of us don't have Facebook accounts. And never will. :)

I was going to post a screenshot but I'm not sure of, eh, the etiquette :-) - is it okay to post people's thumbnails from FB etc.

Summary:
the message from "SimCity Social" is:
Quote
For players who have enjoyed our games, we will be making a special offer to introduce you to a PopCap game.
You’re a valued fan and we want to make sure you get a smooth transition to PopCap.

the response from *everyone* and their mother is very upset, and/or impolite - the general vibe is it's the end of the world for "SimCity Social".
And all those negative posts are getting hundreds of thumbs-up's (one has 477).

It's very entertaining - having a FB account has it's compensations ;)
Tom

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »
I was going to post a screenshot but I'm not sure of, eh, the etiquette :-) - is it okay to post people's thumbnails from FB etc.

That was why I posted the link.

the response from *everyone* and their mother is very upset, and/or impolite - the general vibe is it's the end of the world for "SimCity Social".
And all those negative posts are getting hundreds of thumbs-up's (one has 477).

It's very entertaining - having a FB account has it's compensations  ;)

It is a sight to behold.  :D

If I did share anything from there, I'd have to put it in a spoiler, like this screenshot that has gone viral, of a player's city with buildings arranged to spell out her NSFW feelings about the whole thing...

NSFW
simcity.jpg


Jibz

  • Developer
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,125
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 01:30:10 AM »
My sympathies to the people who will be loosing their virtual estate here -- it is never fun when you invest time and/or money in an activity just to see it disappear.

On the other hand, I must admit there is a tiny cynic on my shoulder, who thinks that if you invest more time and/or money on pixels than you are comfortable loosing, in a free-to-play, and worst of all on facebook, then perhaps you have been steering towards a disappointment that was not entirely impossible to predict :(.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 07:09:09 AM »
My sympathies to the people who will be loosing their virtual estate here -- it is never fun when you invest time and/or money in an activity just to see it disappear.

On the other hand, I must admit there is a tiny cynic on my shoulder, who thinks that if you invest more time and/or money on pixels than you are comfortable loosing, in a free-to-play, and worst of all on facebook, then perhaps you have been steering towards a disappointment that was not entirely impossible to predict :(.

I can agree with you to a certain point.

The problem is when a company allows their players to spend money on virtual currency in their games, knowing that they will be shutting the game down, and not offering those players a refund on unspent credits or an opportunity to transfer those credits to another of their games. What about those players that spent money only hours before the announcement? What about those players that hadn't seen the announcement yet, and EA gladly took their cash? What about the holders of the gift cards purchased at local retailers? They will still take your cash right now, if you try to buy game credits.

In the Sims Social, they released a castle recently, with tons of premium stuff available to furnish it. Many players haven't even finished the quest yet, associated with fully unlocking that castle. They purchased credits to spend on decorations, in anticipation of finishing it. I am pretty sure EA knew they would be shutting down the game when they released the castle. It wasn't like a typical quest where you do things in a building that will only be around for a limited time, like Cupid's Garden, the Titanic ship, and some of the other temporary quest locations. Knowing they were going to shut the game down, it would have made sense to make the castle a temporary location, too. But no, this one the players were supposed to get to keep, which doesn't happen very often.

And we are not talking about one small developer that has one crappy facebook game that fails 6 months after launch. That's usually pretty easy to predict and supporting those games with your cash is usually a rather noble act, not much unlike donating to individual developers of tiny desktop apps.

We are talking about a big company with multiple highly successful games based on successful, popular, classic game titles, that could easily be spun off of facebook and stand on their own website for many years to come.

I have played both of these games. They are awesome games with a lot of money making potential and not just from players spending money on virtual game currencies. There is commercial sponsorship with branded items from some pretty big name companies, like Toyota, Dunkin Donuts (one of their biggest sponsors in both games), Proctor & Gamble, Mercedes Benz, Lowes, Progressive insurance, American Express, etc.

I saw the advertising potential from Day 1 in SimCity Social, when I thought to myself "wouldn't it be great if you could stick a McDonalds or Burger King in your city instead of a generic burger shop?" Within a couple of weeks I had my first sponsored building (a Mercedes Benz dealership), so EA knew and planned for that, from the start.

This is advertising that gets around ad blockers, that players are more than happy to do whatever they have to do to get the sponsored items, including watching commercials, visiting the sponsor's site, sign up for the sponsor's newsletter, like their facebook page, hand over personal info to receive coupons in the mail (which lead to purchases), etc. Not to mention the free game credits that can come from making purchases at various websites, like Walmart, Target, Yves Rocher, Walgreens, etc. (I took advantage of a couple of those offers, for things I actually needed, instead of buying from Amazon) What would you pay for a couple million players to eagerly interact with your brand in those ways? There is probably more profit potential from ad revenue in these games than EA could ever hope to get from sales of their latest release of the PC version of SimCity.

So, no, the loss and disappointment was not that easy to predict. It was far easier to predict the shutting down of Google Reader.  :(

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,129
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: When it comes to EA, it just keeps getting better - or worse...
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 02:47:09 PM »