EA tweet about single player games causes company turmoil

An official tweet implying it's bad to only play single player games has sparked outrage at EA.
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Social media is a dangerous game. You want to be funny, but you also need to be sharp and clever. Everyone should be in on the jokes you make, whether you’re jumping onto the latest trend, or trying to pull humour from unique circumstances. Unfortunately, EA learned this the hard way in early July 2022, when a social media manager posted a poor-taste joke that appeared to imply playing only single-player games was for chumps.

‘They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games,’ the tweet from EA read. In the context of the popular meme, this implies that while a person may be attractive, a desire to only play single-player games (ie. adventures, RPGs, and other genres) makes them instantly unlikeable.

The true irony of the statement is that EA is known for publishing award-winning single-player games, many of which remain a prominent part of the company’s library – titles like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, which currently have major sequels in the works, or even a game like The Sims 4. These games also have loud, passionate fanbases – who made their hurt feelings known on Twitter.

While the erroneous tweet remains live, it’s become a sore point for EA after dealing with weeks of backlash from annoyed fans – and apparently, from developers themselves.

Read: The best Sims 4 expansion packs for beginners

A new report from USA Today claims the tweet made several EA staff members angry, with many planning retaliation in the form of dogpiling the tweet via other official EA accounts. While this plan was scrapped for fear it would paint EA in a poor light, the sentiment appears to remain, with many allegedly complaining directly to management about the tweet.

‘The most agreed-on idea was to take responsibility for it and apologise,’ a source told USA Today. Instead, the solution to this matter was a public follow-up tweet that did little to douse the fire. According to the report, the tweet is continuing to cause drama behind the scenes, with EA now planning to host roundtable meetings with executives who were offended by the implication of the joke and how poorly it reflected on their upcoming projects.

Vince Zampella is the head of EA’s Respawn Entertainment, developers of critically acclaimed single-player games (Jedi Fallen Order) and multiplayer games (Apex Legends) alike.

Sources speaking to USA Today claim the social media account isn’t run by EA, and may not be helmed by an experienced video game fan – it’s common practice for companies to outsource social media management to PR agencies or other specialists – but that hasn’t softened the blow.

From the sounds of it, EA will be dealing with the fallout from this poorly-received joke for quite some time. This will almost certainly become a lesson in knowing your target audience, and focussing on inclusivity over a cheap laugh.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.