In an interview by RockPaperShotgun, reporter Nathan Grayson sought to find out what EA were doing to avoid iffy launches such as those experienced with Battlefield 4 and SimCity. Hilleman doesn’t think they were iffy.
“I’m not sure I accept your premise,” said a defiant Hilleman when asked what EA were doing internally to avoid dodgy launches. “Battlefield 4 has been an exceedingly successful product on both consoles and PC. From a sales perspective, from a gameplay perspective.”
Grayson’s objective was clear: he wanted answers. To the more discerning press, the “noise” surrounding some of EA’s launches is very important. It’s indicative of culture where ultimate sales numbers and review scores determine success. The past doesn’t matter if the product works now, and if they got away with it, then screw everyone who still has an issue. We live in a world where the majority dictates the important voice, and anyone else is just complaining. That’s how many people view EA’s attitude toward gamers. That’s how I view EA’s attitude towards gamers.
As Grayson points out “Trust is massively important, and EA’s effort to re-earn it in the past many months has been confused at best.” EA were given an opportunity to at least PR-side-step questions by offering easy-to-digest solutions, such as “we’re always talking about how to make launches smoother,” or something, but Hillman’s attitude is seemingly indicative of the apathy towards consumers that many gamers attribute to EA.
Almost every question in the RPS interview was a reiteration of the first, which ultimately culminated famous EA-isms such as “The more customers you have, the more noise becomes available,” and “We’re gonna try to be smart about what customers want in the future.”
If he’d have tossed in a “resonate well with the consumer,” we’d have a best of EA medley.
Check out the full interview over on RockPaperShotgun.com for all important context, and Hilleman’s full answers.
The final question, “why should buy in during another EA launch,” is a legitimate question, and one that EA have since failed to answer.