EA Caught Red-Handed In Damage Control Attempt
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-04-24 18:36:01
We all know EA likes to try to keep their slate clean. We all know that those boot-kickers wipe the grease off the floor wherever they go. Well, this time they got caught in the act of attempting to "damage control" the words of one of their employees.
Just recently Dead Space story creator Chuck Beaver, a member of the EA subsidiary Visceral Games, let loose some harsh words about Epic Games' third-person shooter franchise, Gears of War, saying...
"Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it's a conditional answer. For instance, Gears of War. It contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn't seem to ruin it for many, many people. It's literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects."
The above quote and the link in the story we ran here on Gaming Blend has since been erased by Electronic Arts, as if it never existed. In its place is a new, "rectified" comment from Beaver that the PR sent out, which we covered here on Gaming Blend earlier, where he allegedly issues a PR safe response, saying...
“I just wanted to jump in and clarify some of my comments that were taken out of context about Gears of War. First, let me say that I’m a huge fan. It is an epic franchise that has trail-blazed more than a few industry-leading player experiences and mechanics. It is deservedly recognized as a top-tier title. Its success as a property is evidenced by its giant sales and rabid fan base. The industry is far better for Epic’s contributions, and we all owe a great deal of inspiration to their work.”
Eh, yes well that doesn't absolve Gears of War from its simplistic and low-brow storytelling mechanics. While Beaver's original post was harsh and curt, it was at least authentic and realistic...or more importantly, honest.
The second statement from Beaver is riddled with corrected PR doublespeak. Like saying "First, let me say that I'm a huge fan"...only people making politically correct statements under the watchful eye of a PR rep starts off saying something like that.
Another thing, I don't even think Beaver even wanted to write part of it -- wild speculation on my part -- but this comment here, "Its success as a property is evidenced by its giant sales and rabid fan base.", dude seriously? That's corporate marketing spiel right there. No gamer or someone speaking honestly makes a statement like that. What does "giant sales" and "rabid fan base" have to do with storytelling? Again, PR spiel used as damage control for Beaver's previous statements. Glossing over the fact that Gears of Wars storytelling, while I wouldn't say atrocious, is about equivalent to a 14-year old boy's fantasy action universe.
Anyways, the corrected statements weren't even exclusive to IGN the way we've been led to believe (and I'm doubting they're actually from Beaver himself). They were originally sent from publicist Melissa Ojeda out of EA's California offices with the general quote, allegedly from Chuck, tacked on in an e-mail with a request to update the story because Beaver's comments were, as quoted from Ojeda herself...
Over the weekend, you posted an article LINK about the story dev on Dead Space 2, Chuck Beaver that seemed to be taken out of context. Can you please update your story with the below quote from Chuck?
What's worse is that the statement is just a PR friendly "correction" with no official endorsement from Beaver himself. How do we even know Beaver wanted to correct his statements? The whole thing reeks of EA muscling in a PR safe agenda for the whole situation in an attempt to quell openness and transparency. Quite a shame really.
Of course, EA has not responded to IGN or anyone else for that matter to further clarify anything regarding this matter. Much like the day-one DLC debacle with Mass Effect 3, the layoff rumors, the Child's Play campaign, Origin's account policy update and everything else in between, this will fade into the digital ethers of the yesterdays only to never be spoken of again.
However...there's always this article here proving that EA was caught red-handed trying to run damage control over what an employee said. I say let the transparency hang loose, let it hang out, let it jiggle and dangle in front of everybody for everyone to see...there's no shame in it, really.
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