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I may not like the way Activision runs their franchises into the ground and the way they move up the ranks by using dated gameplay mechanics and pretty much zero innovation in their mainstream games, but EA isn’t too far behind Activision on the Evil-Business-Empire Meter, properly referred to as E-BEM.
Well, EA has shown their teeth once again blocking any and all attempts from Microsoft, Turn 10 and video game corporate lobbyists from having any Porsches appear in Forza Motorsport 4.
The news comes courtesy of a report from MCVUK, where Turn 10’s creative director, Dan Greenwalt, admittedly says that…
“In Forza 3, we were able to feature more than 35 different Porsche models by offering to collaborate with EA. For Forza 4, we were looking forward to adding even more Porsche cars. In the end, however, EA couldn’t see their way towards collaborating again.18 months? Really? EA….really?!
For those of you who don’t know, Electronic Arts’ corporate communications director, Jeff Brown, recently stated that Activision’s bad business practices with their franchises would eventually kill off Call of Duty within two or three years. It’s a sentiment many intelligent gamers would agree with, but at the same time that sentiment is coming from a studio that seems to enjoy putting a stranglehold on the industry.
Not too long ago Valve had to remove Battlefield 3 from their digital distribution service, Steam, because EA broke their terms of service agreement. EA’s response was that Valve wouldn’t let them “connect directly with consumers”. In other words, EA couldn’t digitally pick-pocket gamers by nickel-and-diming consumers with hidden fees or other nefarious corporate schemes that would more-than-likely raise their standing on the E-BEM.
In regards to Forza Motorsport 4, Dan Greenwalt conceded that even Turn 10 had exclusive licenses to some cars, but didn’t play the “You can’t have it because it’s mine!” card. Instead, Greenwalt stated that…
“Forza had the exclusive license for all Ferrari cars, for example, on the Xbox and PC platforms. But at the end of the day, we’ve always found that we just weren’t willing to block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem.”Greenwalt also apologized to gamers for not being able to race with Porsches in the upcoming Forza 4.
For those wondering why EA would pull such a truculent scheme, it’s because they want to maintain exclusivity rights for their own racing games, particularly the upcoming Need for Speed: The Run and future Need for Speed: Shift games. Basically, if you want to race in a Porsche you’ll have to buy an EA racing game.
I suppose if we consider Activision to be pricks, EA would most certainly be considered douche bags. It’s a really sad thing that politics such as this permeates the gaming industry, because in the end only the gamers are the ones who are losing out.