To many gamers, Electronic Arts and its business practices plague the industry. The publisher, who in the past has championed season passes, online passes, and loot boxes, is walking back some of its more contentious practices. However, doubt and uncertainty never strays far in conversations where EA shares the spotlight. Being voted America’s worst company more than once does that to a business. At the outset, EA seemingly values profit ahead of quality. Star Wars Battlefront II’s loot box and microtransaction-ridden launch evidences as much. Still, there’s a side of the publisher that seldom earns the attention granted to controversy–indie game development.
According to A Way Out director, Josef Fares, EA treats his Hazelight studio far better than anyone could guess. On his end, at least, he and his company receive nothing short of incredible support. Fares expresses his feelings on the matter during an interview with VG24/7.
“I would love to release some internal emails,” Fares says. “I think people would be jaw-dropping surprised if they saw the internal emails–at least the way I’m being treated by EA. Super good support.
“I know nobody believes this. I say this all the time, every publisher fucks up at some point–Microsoft, Nintendo, I don’t care who. And here’s the thing, when you’re in the industry people jump around all the time. It’s all bullshit. The only thing we should care about is good games.
“It’s also important to react when there’s something to react to. I do think that lootboxes, you should be like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ There should be a reaction. As long as we can focus creatively on what we’re doing, it’s super good.”
EA’s dealings with indie developers is an aspect of its business that deserves more acclaim. In 2016, when announcing plans for EA Originals, the publisher set out a plan that ensures indie teams receive 100% of the profits from their work. Therefore, while EA helps fund independent projects, it never sees a dime in return–not even for A Way Out’s one million copies sold.