EA doesn't have the best reputation among gamers, ranking as the fifth most hated company in the U.S. despite the fact that it's responsible for publishing some of gaming's greatest hits. Apparently, the fact hasn't gone unnoticed, as one EA head is now reporting that the company is well aware of its reputation.
Matt Bilbey, who works as EA's EVP of Strategic Growth, sat down for an interview recently and discussed the company's reputation. Bilbey had this to say on the matter:
"25 years at EA and I still struggle with the external perception that we're just a bunch of bad guys. We love making and playing games. Unfortunately, when we make mistakes on games, the world knows about it because it's of a size and scale."
Bilbey went on to discuss EA Originals, expressing that it's part philanthropy on the company's part, and partially an attempt to reach out and embrace new ideas from smaller developers. The deal brokered with indie developers through EA Originals is evidently a positive one, with EA only deducting from the profits its basic costs and returning the profit to the developer themselves. The recognition from EA and promotional capabilities of the publisher has no doubt launched indie games with more attention from gamers than they might have received otherwise due in large part to this program, which was described in detail during E3 2019.
While EA's agreement with indie devs no doubt delights the developers themselves, there are still many unaddressed issues that gamers would surely like to see changed by EA. The company has gained its current reputation for a wide variety of reasons, including its reliance upon loot boxes, which are now being referred to as "surprise mechanics" in the UK. There are of course also fumbled game releases to blame, like those of Star Wars: Battlefront II and Anthem, which saw a major outcry from gamers due to in-game real money transactions and being considered incomplete, respectively.
It seems unlikely that EA will make any major changes in the way that its games are released and function anytime soon, so players will probably continue to see a wide range of loot boxes, real money transactions, and stuff packs. While the company may be disliked by many for its business practices, it has made notable efforts to support the gaming community in the past, too, including by donating money to the victims of the Jacksonville Madden shooting.