Rather than issue a press release to the markets, Electronic Arts Chief Operating Officer, Peter Moore, has taken to one media outlet to lash out at another media outlet with a non-denial/denial regarding the alleged death of Dead Space 4.
This follows the furore regarding micotransactions in all EA games
. Moore took to GI.biz comments to state that:
"Standard, shoddy website journalism recipe, born out of a desperate need to increase click-thru rates to support advertising revenue. Fabricate a story using an 'unnamed source', post it first thing in the morning, add the letters" EA" to the story (oh, and link it to micro-transactions - always a fan favourite) and then stand back and enjoy the vitriol which you turn into revenue. Rinse and repeat..."He then took time to confirm his own identity, before letting rip again
"...my comments were fairly and squarely aimed at Videogamer (which ran the original, anonymously and single sourcedl DS4
story and has defended it
).My issue is not the rejection of community feedback (we get that in bucketloads all day long and we learn from it in real time), rather it was the fabrication of a story in order to generate controversy and ultimately readership."
Frankly, although its games have ruled the charts
, it's not been a good week or so for EA's PR face. Its use of opaque management language in the initial microstransactions analysts report
resulted in a clarification that appeared to appease no one. Its recent Sim City refund problems - problems that arose from server under-provisioning as the company attempts early transition from High Street retail to Digital only - have also done it no favours (more of that in Svend's story
Peter Moore seeming to favour one media outlet over an another is clumsy at best. Doing so to slam the smaller media outlet when he could have issued a press release stating, "There is no truth to the story" smells a little off and could indeed be read as a non-denial/denial aligned with that staple of management/press relations "plausible deniabilty". This PD enables companies further down the line to state, "All we said was that the story was a fabrication... we never said the underlying truth wasn't in fact reliable".
To be frank though, after decades writing about games - and dealing with real monsters such as Robert Maxwell - for me EA's current communication foul-ups and bids to get away from traditional retail without pissing off traditional retail just yet seem largely down a heady mix. It's a mix of arrogance and fear. Basically kids, it's a new marketing landscape out here on the web and in digital-only-land, and even the grown ups are confused by the territory.