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 Jan 01, 2005 - 08:41 PM - by Michael
* The year's top gaming lows

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Gamepro comes up with a new variant of the top-something lists: this year's top 20 lows for the gaming industry. Domestic strife, Duke Nukem ToBeReleasedNever, overpriced Half-Life 2 bundles, and more on the list.

Number one: EA's disturbing relations with its staff over forced overtime.

1) EA, the Sweatshop Empire
No company has been more successful this year of painting itself as an evil gaming empire. Sports fans who celebrated ESPN Videogames' bargain-priced sports titles were mortified to find that EA signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL, essentially nuking any future hopes for the ESPN NFL series. The power of the internet was unleashed on the publishing giant with the "anonymous wife" blog, which alleged that EA's managers and HR were reincarnated Egyptian slave drivers. And the company gave a troublesome jolt to Ubisoft by abruptly announcing that it took a 20 percent stake in the French publisher--saying it was an "investment." Not to mention shutting down studios in California and Texas, cutting 117 jobs, effectively shutting down Maxis' office and consolidating the studio into EA, trying to acquire Battlefield developer D.I.C.E., and creating drab titles from once-prestigious franchises (Golden Eye, Medal of Honor). All while making more money than all other publishers can hope for.

 

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