In early July, publisher EA came under fire for an erroneous tweet that seemed to imply liking single player games was bad – and while the company was quick to douse the fire with subsequent tweets owning the error, and alleged behind-the-scenes talks, the controversy continues to to cause waves. In an August earnings call, Andrew Wilson, CEO, called this tweet out directly in an attempt to re-establish EA’s dedication to single player games.
‘As we think about single-player games, we think it’s a really, really important part of the overall portfolio that we deliver in fulfilment of those core motivations,’ Wilson reportedly said of the company’s future plans. ‘The way we think about this is really less about which game, and more about which motivations these games fulfil.’
‘We know that our players, they have these core motivations; inspiration, escape, social connection, competition, self-improvement, creation; these things that bring us together as players of games and the creation of worlds and the building of characters. And the telling of stories is really important in the fulfilment of some of those motivations.’
While EA will continue to provide support to live service games going forward, it’s now very keen to emphasise the importance of its single player portfolio. Given some of its most popular titles – The Sims 4, Mass Effect, Jedi: Fallen Order and Dragon Age – are single player games, it’s likely the company is keen to put a better foot forward.
According to sources speaking to USA Today, the person who made the initial ‘single player’ tweet that alienated many gamers may not have been familiar with the wider video games industry. The tweet was widely disliked even within EA, with many blaming the poor reception on the tweet coming from a third party source – likely a marketing agency.
Despite this alleged third party involvement, the tweet still came from an official EA social media channel, and was believed to align with the views of the company. With Wilson now speaking out against this sentiment, and confirming the company is committed to supporting single player games, it appears the ship is on the way to being righted.
Just in time, too – Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Mass Effect 4 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor are on the cusp of being fully revealed as EA enters a new phase of its gaming lineup, one where single player games will have an essential role to play.