Talk:Electronic Arts/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Deleting The "Editing of Wikipedia" Section and Accusations of Personal Bias?

In a recent series of reverts, one wikipedian made the claim that Braidedheadman (talk) (me) is personally biased against EA in an attempt to invalidate his protests against the removal of certain sections from the "Criticism" section of this article. In my own defense, I feel that I would like to submit the following argument to show that I (Braidedheadman), am not biased in so far as I only make edits that can be substantiated by facts supported by credible sources.

It is true that the bulk of my edits have contributed to the growth of the "Criticism" section in question. The reason for that being the case is simply that, prior to my contributions, in addition to those added by other, like-minded wikignomes, the EA wiki article ran more like corporate promotional material or a press brochure rather than an encyclopedic article written from a non-neutral POV. The article needed a criticism section in order to balance all the fluff that persists in this document body to this day.

And so I took it upon myself to identify and document points upon which EA could be fairly criticized, with supporting documentation attributed to credible sources (sometimes with help from others =P ), in order to preserve some sense of NPOV throughout this article. More than that, without criticism like this, there can't be the kind of healthy debates that encourage growth elsewhere. While I admit I do feel that, without making them one's soap-box, publicly controlled articles like these - seen by hundreds of thousands if, indeed, not millions - are a perfect place for such things and for leveraging large corporations like EA into examining themselves closely to look for ways to change for the better; to the best of my knowledge, I have not made this article my personal soap-box and, to my credit, I have opposed points of criticism here in the past that were either not sufficiently notable, were not NPOV, or could not be substantiated through proper documentation.

As far as EA's staffers editing wiki articles in which they have a vested interest goes, and people's continued efforts to remove EA's recent involvement in such activities; yes, I know it happens and, no, I don't have any problem with it in so far as they are not the kind of historical-revisionist entries like those that were made here in the past or are not full of salacious, corporate disinformation.

When companies do stoop to this level, however, I strongly believe that these are notable events, particularly when major news media outlets like the NY Times et al pick up on it and run them in their periodicals. As such, they are confirmed points of historical record and have a place of value in encyclopedic articles. Bias does not factor into including them in such articles one bit. I might even contend that not including them, in fact, shows a particularly favorable bias toward EA's interests in direct opposition to allegations made of my own supposedly non-neutral points of view. It's worth noting here that Wikipedia is not a corporate public relations entity where everything that is said about the corporations they document has to be all peachy and nice.

Anecdotally, I made edits in the past wherein I quoted EA's current CEO, John Riccitiello, for his comments regarding EA's apparent stagnation and lack of innovation. The edits at the time received a fair bit of resistance given that there was some ambiguity in his comments with regard to whether they pertained to EA specifically or the industry at large, generally. I'd like to thank those who contributed toward making those comments as NPOV as possible in that regard. At the same time, however, I'd like to direct everyone's attention to this article by the NY Times, which pretty much vindicates my interpretation of the older articles currently cited in the criticism section. If Mr. Riccitiello was not specifically talking about his company's stagnated growth in new and innovative IPs then, he certainly is now. =P

Please expect further updates to the criticism section in the near future. =D Peace. 04:41, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Internet: Serious Business. Look, it was not massively discussed (pertaining to notability) anywhere except for game-related blogs, which are barely a reliable source of information, and ONLY focus on gaming, not general news. I did not hear a peep from any major news source (ABC, CBS, CNBC, Faux- I mean, Fox News, etc.) about the incident. Besides, if you check the Wikipedia IP Scanner here, you'll find that many companies do what EA did, which was make a couple edits on their behalf. And since you seem to dig blogs so much, check this. It's a short list of notable companies and organizations (including EA) that have edited the Wiki on it's own behalf. And you might want to read up on Wikipedia:Ownership of articles, because your account has few past edits that do NOT pertain to this article. And if you think that the article needs balancing, it does not become fixed by simply keeping one small section that is both not encyclopedic AND fluff itself. Go ahead and keep reverting my edits. Can't stop me from re-reverting. Blacklist (talk) 05:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I have no interest in getting into an edit war over something like this, so I won't bother taking part. What I will say is that a corporation editing Wikipedia is neither inherently notable and should be included, nor inherently not notable, and should not be included. I agree that there are lots of edits made to Wikipedia by big corporations, and many of these are not worthy of mention. I feel, however, that this deserves a mention in the article, as it did get coverage, even if largely only in videogame and tech-related sites. Other similar cases of Wikipedia editing which are mentioned in their relevant articles are Exxon Valdez, Raytheon, Congressional staff, CIA, "Internet brigades", NYT, Cult Awareness Network, Diebold, BBC, Fox News, and likely many more. Some of those articles have less references for that section, others have more. The section that there is a revert war over at the moment was fully referenced, from three different references. Those are Joystiq, Shacknews, and, which are used as references all over Wikipedia. They are clearly reliable enough, in my opinion, and this section got wide enough coverage to warrant inclusion, in my opinion. Dreaded Walrus t c 06:03, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
If both of you could avoid reverting for a while, and just discuss on this talk page, that would be great, and would avoid the possibility of either of you getting blocked for violating WP:3RR. Dreaded Walrus t c 06:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
In accordance with this, I have put 3RR notices on each of your talk pages, for making two reverts each in the past 24 hours, just incase either of you was to revert before reading this talk page (fair warning and all. :) ). Dreaded Walrus t c 06:08, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Noted. You'll also note that I twice requested in history comments that this come to discussion before this revert war escalated and yet I see the original page content has been changed, yet again, before a consensus has been reached. Furthermore, as I also pointed out in history comments, this topic indeed has been discussed extensively in the past (check the archives) and has been at rest for several months now. '@Blacklist:' If you are suggesting, sir, by your references to Wikipedia:Ownership of articles that I cannot work with the other editors on board here, you are mistaken. As it stands, since you haven't come up with a better argument than, "I don't think it's notable," and your fallacious assertion that this topic has not been widely covered by credible sources, I simply happen to disagree with your reasons for removing the section.Braidedheadman (talk) 06:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Fine. Since an Admin got into the mix and is threatening to block people and stuff, do what you wish. If it DOES need to be mentioned, it should not be in it's OWN underlined section. Regular folk work at EA, especially those who gain outside Internet access inside of the Quality Assurance department (since it hires regular folk once every six months or so), so then they get to edit the article to defend their employer while on the clock, and by doing so, make it from EA's IP Address. Not that big a deal that it deserves a header, if you ask me. Blacklist (talk) 00:29, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Hold on, hold on. I'm not an admin, I'm just a regular editor like yourselves. I wasn't threatening a block, just placing a notice to inform both of you that edit warring is not productive, and if both of you continued to revert without discussing it on the talk page, that you would end up violating WP:3RR and that usually leads to a block for all violating parties. Do not think that I used that to stop you from taking part in this discussion. I think it is important that a consensus is reached here. Apologies if it felt I was throwing around any kind of authority. :) Dreaded Walrus t c 00:41, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
... Isn't there a general rule on the Internet that if you're not a moderator, then you don't go around acting like one by warning other users that they're somehow breaking the rules? You warned us both, and I assumed that since you had the ability, you would go on and pull it off if such an event would come to fruition. But whatever, I'm past this. Blacklist (talk) 00:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I am an admin here. Any user can issue warnings for vandalism, 3RR, etc, so Dreaded Walrus acted quite correctly in issuing warnings, but would need to request an admin to issue blocks. That's why we have WP:AIV, for example. Meanwhile, I'd suggest, as a fellow editor, rather than acting qua admin, that the issues in this debate are *how encyclopedic is the section under discussion?, *what understanding does it give a reader?, and *how well-sourced is it? Can we move on on that basis, please? --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 01:12, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Reverted your edit. I'm for keeping it up there. Just because it wasn't covered by "major" news doesn't mean it isn't news. And if you're perception of "news" is limited to the "major" networks, you may need to do some serious thinking. And i'm sure other companies do this whole dirty business of wikipedia editing, wikiscanner shows it! Unfortunately, they aren't reported in the news generally, much less so in any of the avenue(s) you are used to (READ: TELEVISION). Haracas (talk) 20:51, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
First off, it's considered news if it reaches a general and major populous that then acknowledge the events depicted in said news. Second, I don't need to do any thinking, for anybody. Thank you very much. Finally, you never touched on the fact of whether or not it was encyclopedic, which is what half of this debate is about. Also, I personally did watch a News Report out of my local KGO 7 News about Microsoft editing Wikipedia. Oops, I guess they are reported in the avenues I am used to. Blacklist (talk) 05:35, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Well as for how "encyclopedic" this is, i would say its worthy of being placed in here. We are dealing with EA's criticism. Their editing of Wikipedia and subsequent press release is an excellent example of how their PR practices, in my opinion. Including it in Wikipedia will give readers a better understanding of what EA is like. I also do think this is a notable event such that even EA itself issued a press release, in which it did not deny its practices (but nor did it condone them). I don't think that the article is biased nor is Braidedsomethingsomething (sorry, i can't find your name!) biased in his opinion. Judging his POV based on the fact that all the edits he has made are in the criticism section and then accusing him of being biased is a bit far-fetched. He cited sources in his edits, and EA's own press release regarding this issue was included in the reference too, that, by my definition is not biased. Biased is when you accuse someone or something of doing something despite evidence to the contrary. Finally, your maturity (or dire lack thereof) as an editor of Wikipedia is somewhat alarming, but i'm sure you're over this whole fiasco now as you said so yourself and hopefully you won't be so rude next time to fellow editors. <3, Haracas (talk) 10:52, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Your own comment just lacked maturity also. Don't try to put one over on me, punk. Blacklist (talk) 07:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Uh, ok, so rather than use this talk page to move towards a compromise, you once again decided to just dive in, even with name-calling added! Moving aside from all that hatred and anger for punks, i would like to once again focus on the topic at hand and offer some suggestions(if you're still interested in working out a resolution that is). I do still strongly feel that the topic about Wikipedia editing should stay up. I think it is important to let the readers know that the material they are reading was at (a) point(s) heavily tempered with and from the company itself too. I don't mind if it was scaled down to one or two sentences though, and merged with the main paragraphs under criticism, eliminating the need for its own section. If you (and anyone else opposing the current situation) do not mind this suggestion, then be my guest and carry out the necessary edits. Punk, out. Haracas (talk) 14:13, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
With regards to how well sourced the section was, it had three separate pages used as citations, but there are many more, as the story was picked up by many other big names, such as CVG [1], Kotaku [2], Destructoid [3], and even GameSpot [4]. The story was also picked up by foreign-language sites such as FOK!games [5], so I would say it's certainly important enough for inclusion. Many of our entire articles don't have as many sources as that. Dreaded Walrus t c 01:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I am prepared to let the page sit as it is for another couple of days at least in order that this can be discussed thoroughly, at the end of which time I plan on reverting the changes. IMHO, however, I feel that since this has been discussed before and that the section in question as it was had been at rest for several months, someone (*ahem*) other than myself should step up and do the honors. =P Braidedheadman (talk) 20:36, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
The section should stay up. I think the fact that EA (or more specifically, an EA IP address) is editing out criticism should make it notable. It would be a much different scenario if the article added something like, EA is the best company and worth $2 BILLION which could just be attributed to employee enthusiasm/spamming(?). However, I don't believe "criticism" sections are required just because a corporation is non-negative things written about it.Strongsauce (talk) 03:03, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
My perspective: I don't think this is notable or worth inclusion especially considering the GameSpot "story" cited appears to be a personal blog. If at least one real newspaper or periodical covers this issue then I would change my position. --Coolcaesar (talk) 08:19, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
GameSpot isn't cited in the section in question. The three citations used are, ShackNews (the originator of the story), and Dreaded Walrus t c 08:34, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
(as an aside, if you're talking about the GameSpot page I linked to above, that appears to be from Sidebar, GameSpot's official news blog, named such because it appears in the sidebar on their main news page). Dreaded Walrus t c 08:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this is noteworthy. Unless someone knows WHO at EA edited the article, it is a criticism of unknown EA employees, not the company. There is no reason to believe it was sanctioned by the company, and every reason to believe it was not (since EA is a software company, and the edits must have been made by a non-technical person if they did not understand that vandalizing a wiki won't accomplish much and can be tracked). I think it reeks of petty bias, and I don't particularly like EA myself. Your comment, "please expect further updates to the criticism section in the near future," makes it sound like you're on a mission to destroy EA, and your edit history reiterates it. --Mugsywwiii (talk) 23:36, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
While I don't agree with most of what you've said - if it wasn't noteworthy, major gaming eZines (legitimate, credible news/media sources) would not have run with the story in droves - you are dead wrong about the last part. I would like nothing more than for EA to get back to producing great games again as they have in the past rather than the reiterated franchise material that has been their bread and butter for the better part of the last decade. I feel that criticism such as that found in articles like these and elsewhere go a fair ways toward accomplishing that goal. But the ad hominem attacks made here in recent weeks do nothing to address the facts and, so far, no one has been able to show why this section is not notable outside of their own opinion. I argue that it is notable because it is supported by substantiating documents. Moreover, the comment you quoted, and took out of context BTW, was intended as a friendly jab at my fellow wikignomes who some months ago resisted the idea that Riccitiello might actually have been talking about his own company in comments he made in an article that I cited at the time. As the new article I linked to above is explicit in Riccitiello's comments (rather than implicit) this time, I could not resist the opportunity to poke some of these guys in the ribs =P. It has nothing to do with me wanting to see EA fail.Braidedheadman (talk) 07:40, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Wasn't sure if it warranted a new heading but I have had previous experience with an EA staffer editing unfavourable information out of a Need for Speed article. I can't quite find it at the moment but it was an edit by an anonymous user who I tracked down using WHOIS to an EA owned IP address. Probably doesn't warrant a mention in the article but thought it was interesting that it wasn't the only time this has happened. USER - Pretender2j (sorry have forgotten my wiki markup :S) 13/9/2008 2239 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


I don't think the math works out,it doesn't make any sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

"EA's CEO: How I Learned To Acquire Developers And Not Screw Them Up"

I want to bring this into attention, seeing how this Wikipedia article has ended up being staunchly anti-EA and needs some NPOV writing:

John Riccitiello is apologetic about what happened to Bullfrog, Westwood, Origin Systems; acknowledges important of retaining corporate culture, as seen with Bioware and Maxis. - (talk) 07:24, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that the article has become "anti-EA" per se. One could just as easily argue that there's lots of material in there that is decidedly "pro-EA". But with respect to your comments, a few weeks ago I noted a similar article above from the NY Times. Like you, I'm sure, I felt that it was a good article and shows that EA is aware of its past mistakes and is moving toward making corrections. I had intended to incorporate it under the criticism section after it had mellowed a bit in order to avoid "recentism" in the wiki, but it looks as though Haracas beat me to the punch. =P I'd like to note, however, that the article cited here and in the wiki, as good as it is, appears to be a blog rather than an article from a reputable source. This article from the NY Times would probably be a more appropriate document to use. It also has the advantage having been titled a little better than "How I Learned To Acquire Developers And Not Screw Them Up", which I find to be on the NNPOV-side. The wiki may also benefit from having commentary related to this article placed more strategically than it currently is, but it's getting late. I'll have more ideas to offer on this matter later in the week. Cheers. Braidedheadman (talk) 07:04, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I will add it soon under the company timeline and see if theres anything that should be added under the "Company development strategy" section.Haracas (talk) 15:19, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd say that phrase is false anyway, given that they acquired Maxis for SimCity, etc. then got Tilted Mill to do SimCity Socities Evils Dark (talk) 00:46, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Too bad EA doesn't seem to have learned as much as their CEO has claimed. If the past 10 months of EA games are any indication they still seem to rush products to completion before they're ready and interfere a lot with developer's creative freedoms and attempt to dumb down their games. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Semi protection?

I think this should have semi production because especially recently, there has been a high concentration of vandilism in this article, and to stop furute re vandilism? Please respond --PandaSaver (talk) 21:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)PandaSaver

If you'd like to request semi-protection, go to WP:RfPP and follow the instructions. :) Dreaded Walrus t c 21:29, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


Seems to me that the History section needs some work to pull out the most relevant company timeline. I'd suggest that it be primarily split between the eras that define EA's three CEOs.17reasons (talk) 04:40, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the page is not well-organized, particularly when compared to the best practices laid out by the Companies WIkiproject (Microsoft is a good example). Splitting the history into three distinct periods, defined by CEO leadership (1982-1991, 1991-2007, and 2007 - present) is intuitive. It also is consistent with what could be described as three very different periods in EA's evolution as a company. Hawkins' tenure saw the creation of not just EA but an entire industry; Probst oversaw the explosive growth of videogames and EA, the consolidation of the industry, and some company growing pains; Riccitiello has led a complete restructuring of the company and its approach to the industry. Doyle75 (talk) 21:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

The Label Architecture and the Studios sections are out-of-date and inaccurate, and don't really reflect the current structure of the company. The Studio section in particular lumps game-making studios with EA publishing offices, which aren't studios at all. I suggest that these two sections be combined to give more accurate information about each of the four labels, and the studios that fall under each of them. Cba2000 (talk) 16:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

3 Activation Policy

Apparently any games published from now on by EA or it's subsidiaries will only allow the user 3 activations before they have to purchase a new copy(!) Activations are used up when you reformat your PC, change the hardware as well as when you initially install the software. This has been confirmed on the Spore forums where any new posts on the subject are now banned. I'm wondering if I can find an official statement from EA on this matter (most likely a forum post by an authorised employee) whether this would be worth mentioning in the criticism of EA? This system has already been used in Mass Effect for the PC and EA has received criticism for it as it is penalising legitimate users as it is quite possible to go through those activations in a limited time. I'm still trying to find out what the legal situation is here in the UK, but it looks like it might well be yet another area where the legal system lags behind developments by companies... I'm hoping it'll fall under one of the unfair trading rules. --Tethran (talk) 11:32, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I apologise in advance for the long links. There is vague reference to it here, however, anecdotal evidence suggests what is meant by "case-by-case basis" is actually "never" and that people are being told they will have to buy a new copy.
Here's the support page for DRM and Mass Effect:
I'll try and paste some pertinant quotes from the link above:
"EA Customer Service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting Customer Support."
"First, authentication of your game disc has changed from a physical format to an online format, eliminating the need to have a disc in the drive when playing." This also means that you have to have internet access to authenticate and play the game.
"Re-authentication is required if the game is re-installed on a previously authorized machine for any reason." So, that's 3 re-installs then before you have to contact EA support and hope that they give you a new copy. Users of Mass Effect found themselves being told to buy a new copy to get more activations.
A similar series of answers is found on the support for the Spore Creature Creator support section:*nMcj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9OTUsOTUmcF9wcm9kcz03LDYyMjAmcF9jYXRzPTAmcF9wdj0yLjYyMjAmcF9jdj0mcF9wYWdlPTM*&p_li=&p_topview=1
If I can find solid examples that a lot of customers are being just told to purchase new copies I'll post links to them here as well. I don't want to just leap in and start editing the article, potentially controverisally, without talking about it here first. --Tethran (talk) 11:58, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
And an article discussing the 3 activation policy with regards Mass Effect and Spore. Again, I apologise for the length of the links. Honestly. When playing your legally purchased game is more troublesome than playing a pirated copy would be, somebody somewhere should realise the system is messed up... Unfortunately EA doesn't seem to understand that the way to reduce piracy would be to make it easier on the customers that are paying for it (see Stardock's Galactic Civilizations 1 and 2 for example...) --Tethran (talk) 12:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Here's an article of interest, related to this topic: Spore's Piracy Problem - Notable exerpts include:

Electronic Arts (nasdaq: ERTS - news - people ) had hoped to limit users to installing the game only three times through its use of digital rights management software, or DRM. But not only have those constraints failed, says Garland [Big Champagne Chief Executive Eric Garland], they may have inadvertently spurred the pirates on.
On several top file-sharing sites, "Spore"'s most downloaded BitTorrent "tracker"--a file that maps which users had the game available for downloading--also included step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble the copy protections, along with a set of numerical keys for breaking the software's encryption. For many users, that made the pirated version more appealing than the legitimate one.
DRM only limits the ability of consumers who wouldn't typically pirate media to make copies or share it with friends and family, agrees Big Champagne's Garland. But because encryption is so easily broken by savvier--and more morally flexible--users, it does little to stop the flood of intellectual property pirated over the Internet, he contends.
"DRM can encourage the best customers to behave slightly better," he says. "It will never address the masses of non-customers downloading your product."
Braidedheadman (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)