Servers Are Burning
For Electronic Arts, Madden is obviously their most frequently launched title as it comes out every year around the same time with its new version of the game. However, I feel that it may be few inside Electronic Arts are even aware of this title’s existence at all, and I’m willing to support this claim.
Yet again it happens to be that on the official launch day for this year’s Madden game the servers have once again went down, as they seem to do every year without fail. This isn’t just an off an on occurrence that has happened this time either, the servers must be physically burning down, because the game has been unplayable online for upwards of 14 hours now. That’s simply obscene on behalf of EA. It’s not like Madden NFL 21 is this new title launching that has no benchmark for an expected playerbase. The game may have the most easily predictable playerbase of any game that I know in terms of strictly the total number of people that can be expected to play it. Knowing that, and the fact that EA usually decides to launch the game at the beginning of a weekend, you would think that after 31 years of annual launches the company may be able to figure out how to set up and structure their servers in a way that doesn’t lead to an annual meltdown of their system every time a new Madden game is released. Although, if most of the people working inside EA just don’t acknowledge the fact that these events take place, then in their eyes I guess everything could seem fine.
Profit is King to EA
You can say what you want about the current situation of the world, and how it may have led to these problems, but for a company to be the size that EA is and to continue to just have a complete disregard for how they seem to prepare and handle the launch of one of their most profitable games should show players where they rank in the company’s priorities. Their sole concern as a company is placed on throwing out a new skin for their annual whitewashed sports franchises so that they can continue to bring in well over a billion dollars of revenue from the game’s Ultimate Team modes. That’s right, for the last three years running EA has received over a billion dollars just from FIFA’s and Madden’s Ultimate Team microtransactions alone.
The company is well aware that players will put up with issues like these launch day, or launch week server crashes, and additionally, they will expect few, if any game altering changes to come to the new game. EA offers just enough to keep players interested in what next year’s game will bring in order to continue to keep players coming back. They know that all they need to do is to get these games out on time, and they will instantly pay for a quarter of the company’s billings for the upcoming year. Why waste time on prepping servers for these high traffic situations when EA can instead place those people on more important tasks like creating attractive, and more importantly purchasable, Ultimate Team packs.
This is EA in a nutshell, and as a community we should be demanding better from them. Not enough are willing, and that is why nothing will ever change. This particular post may not fall under one of my many prophecies, but EA’s questionable community morals, and their thoughtless development conduct are as set in stone as 10 Commandments themselves.