Friday, February 16, 2007

Mea Culpa: I love EA

I'll admit it. I'm a bit obnoxious when it comes to industry giants, like Microsoft, Oracle, EA, or even Google. They're easy targets. Not because they make mistakes, but because everyone knows about their mistakes.

That's important, because when you're being funny you have to rely on the audience to ALREADY know the subject that you're mocking. That's why comedians make fun of Oprah, because you don't need to explain to people who Oprah is. Anytime you have to explain the joke, it ain't gonna be funny.

It's easy to forget that these giant companies started just like Tenuki, just a couple of over-caffeinated geeks with a big idea. I was just reminded of this fact, by an article on Gamasutra about the history of EA.

In the past, I made fun of EA, mainly because I think their current crop of games are pretty cookie-cutter, Sims excepted. But dear God, look back at all the amazing stuff they've put out, especially in the early years: Archon, Bard's Tale, Wasteland(my favorite RPG of all time). Trip Hawkins, the founder of EA, had an amazing eye for talent. Nowadays, EA is like a Hollywood studio pumping out big-budget franchises with an eye for reducing risk, and maximizing profits. I can't blame them, the Madden Football franchise easily has netted them over a billion dollars.

So maybe, there's just a hint of jealousy when I mock the big boys. Well, okay, probably a lot of jealousy. I wish our company had a billion dollar cash reserve like Google. Instead, we have a few thousand bucks and a Wii (yep, John scored one). But give us a few years to claw our way to the top of the heap, then all you funny guys out there in the blogosphere can mock us. I promise I won't take it personally.