Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rant on PR Speak (Sparked by comments by EA CEO RE: "Online Pass")

NOTE Major expletive filled rant here, so consider yourself forewarned. Also, please note that this was written quite some time ago, as you would have ascertained yourself. Just thought I'd fill you in. It's still relevant, but a couple of the things mentioned are now in the past. D'oh!                                                                                                                          

Still here? Great, let us begin.

So, EA  recently unveiled their so called  "Online Pass" venture. It's basically a measure taken against the used games market, and it applies to all of their sports titles, starting with the 2011 lineup (usually released in the fall of the year before, so a few months from now). People who buy new copies will find a code in the box that they have to enter online. This will allow them access to online multiplayer. If you buy a used version of an EA sports title going forward (soon to include all EA titles, guaranteed) you will be locked out of the multiplayer, unless you purchase one of these "online passes." A pass can be purchased for $10. Seven day free trials are available.

Now, I have my thoughts on this venture, but a) they're not fully realized yet, and b) that's not the point of this particular blog post. What I want to do is simply point out how fucking STUPID and INSIPID the PR speak employed by EA's CEO, John Riccitiello, in defence of this new venture, is. Here's what he said:

"We think it's a great idea, we think it's going to build our business, and we think it's a positive consumer experience." "Invariably, the consumer is getting a boat load more content to experience than they otherwise would." "By giving people this access code, we got them into the online world."
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! PR speak always kills me. I don't get how companies can employ programs and initiatives that clearly serve no purpose other than padding the bottom line, yet manage to come up with ridiculous justifications that are so EASILY seen for what they are. I mean, they are easily seen through, right? It's not just me, is it? I mean, here, let's briefly break this one down:

 "We think it's a great idea, we think it's going to build our business."

 -Build our business (aka make more money)...yep. Obvious and true. Off to a good start, even though they of course employed cutesie language to say increase the bottom line. Gotta love PR euphemisms, but whatever, I can let that slide.

 "...and we think it's a positive consumer experience."

 -Uh, how, exactly? Now we're getting into bullshit territory. The new game buyers always had access to the multiplayer. In fact, it was easier before. Now, they have to go through this code entry process, which we gamers all know have a tendency to fuck up. And then you've also screwed anyone who starts a new account, or wants to play at their friends' house on their friends' account. As for the people buying used, you're making them spend more $$.

 I don't, at ALL, see a positive consumer experience here, and this is the type of LYING BULLSHIT that I am always AMAZED to see come unchallenged from these guys. I mean, really, they're OBVIOUSLY talking bullshit, which, and I am wondering if I am the only one here, shows me that they are wiling to lie, and do it in an obvious, stupid, and insipid manner, to their customer base. So what exactly do they think of their customers, then, if they can make one group of them have to do more work and be inconvenienced, and make the other spend more money, yet flat out say that you're giving them a "positive experience?"

Answer: They must think you're fucking stupid.

If you ask me, any company that lies like this should get NO MONEY from anyone. It's fucking insulting. Now, I can hear business people and EA fans yelling at their computer screens, "but mag, it's just PR speak, everybody does it. It's not even lying, it's just spin. Creative language. It's just business" and to that I say BULLSHIT! If lying to people, and doing it in the most insipid, obvious manner possible, is "just business," then something is seriously FUCKED UP with business, and I don't understand how we all allowed this to happen. If companies are so willing to employ lies....okay, sorry, "spin,"  in such an obvious manner, and about such minor shit, then what the FUCK else are they willing to lie about?

"Invariably, the consumer is getting a boat load more content to experience than they otherwise would."

  -Do I even have to say anything to this shit? I mean, this is blatantly circular, and fucking STUPID.

  "By giving people this access code, we got them into the online world."

-AHAHAHAHA! 2 things: 1) Am I fucking insane, or have people been in this miraculous "online world" for fucking YEARS now? And 2), online world? Give me a break. If by world you mean glitchy, cheater and hacker filled, latency challenged mess that you cancel after a year in order to force people to buy your next "positive experience," then you can take your fucking "online world" and shove it up your bloated asses.

 Not that I play in your stupid "online world" as it is. The day you catch me buying an EA sports game (new, I have purchased NHL 08 and NHL 10 this gen for $5 and $8, money for EA hahaha) is the day you catch me 12 minutes after sustaining a serious brain injury resulting in lesions to the frontal lobe, which have removed any and all ability to critically assess my impulses and decisions, and employ restraint.

Oh, and you're not GIVING anyone SHIT, assholes.

From myself and any gamer with half a brain, including your poor customers, go fuck yourselves, EA.

You and Activision can kiss my fucking ass. You guys are taking the hobby I, and most of my generation, grew up with, and you're slowly shitting all over it and us, as you suck the fucking life out of it and turn it into just another corporate, commercial, shareholder fueled enterprise.

And if anyone thinks I am being too harsh, don't forget the TRULY bad shit EA has done, like buying up smaller studios and shutting them down (Redwood, anyone?), working their employees like slaves, refusing to pay them overtime, only paying up when they fucking SUED your asses, setting ridiculous deadlines for games and refusing to extend them, not including the ability to dodge cancel out of combos, a fucking staple of the hack n slash genre, and then adding that ability as fucking paid DLC (Dante's Inferno), and much, much more.

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