Electronic Arts executive Chris Bruzzo makes a statement regarding the publisher’s recently reversed delisting of several classic games.
Electronic Arts is fairly controversial within the gaming community. In fact, it is one of the most hated video game publishers, infamous for its embrace of loot boxes and other “games as a service” policies. The publisher’s decision to delist several classic games from GOG.com didn’t do much to improve its reputation.
Good Old Games announced that several games would be removed at the publisher’s request in late June. The games in question were Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld 2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars. Electronic Arts published all four on DOS in the 1990s, and physical copies are now relatively difficult to get a hold of. While delisting the games didn’t affect players who’d already downloaded them, it prevented any new players from trying out these classic titles.
The publisher did an about-face on August 6th, and they are once again available from the digital distributor. Electronic Arts additionally made them free to play through September 3rd. The company also issued a statement partially explaining the original decision to remove the games from GOG, which the publisher acknowledged “didn’t fully consider players’ perspective.”
The company’s marketing Vice President, Chris Bruzzo, explained what happened in a statement to gamesindustry.biz. According to Bruzzo, EA usually takes time to carefully consider changes that affect players. However, the publisher neglected to do so in this instance. He claims the studio didn’t realize the strength of fans’ passion for these games before delisting them. Bruzzo says that the company changed its mind after realizing the depth of fans’ love for these games. The company has pledged to create a process to make sure the same misunderstanding doesn’t happen again. Bruzzo also explained that the month-long free game promotion is the company’s way of helping bring the classic titles to gamers who haven’t had a chance to play them before.
Of course, there are a few things that the VP’s statement failed to explain. The first is why EA chose to remove the games without the supposedly standard level of consideration. He also never addressed EA’s reason for having GOG delist the games in the first place. Both series have been mostly dormant for some time. Syndicate had an underperforming reboot in 2007, while the most recent Ultima games were a pair of now-discontinued mobile titles.
EA may be considering giving them updated re-releases similar to what it did with the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection last year. Alternatively, the publisher may be considering another attempt at rebooting both series. However, this is ultimately little more than conjecture. Regardless of EA’s motivations, all four games are once again available on GOG.com, and will hopefully remain there for the foreseeable future. That means there’s no time like the present to take a look back at these pieces of gaming history.
Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld 2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars are available on PC from GOG.com.
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Sony to keep making PlayStation 4 as PS5 output hits snag – New York Post
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Sony’s plans to mass produce its new PlayStation 5 gaming console have been put on hold because of disruptions in the global supply chain — forcing the company to keep cranking out its older PS4 systems.
The Japanese tech giant had initially planned to phase out manufacturing of PS4 at the end of last year and move to a full transition to its newer consoles, according to Bloomberg. But now it is pivoting to produce as many as 1 million of the old models in 2022.
After introducing the PS5 in November 2020, supply has been scarce due to shortages in advanced chips and other commodities needed to mass produce the hardware.
This past November, Sony reduced its PS5 production outlook. Initially, it aimed to make more than 16 million units in the year ending in March, but that number was trimmed to 14.8 million.
The older PS4 is cheaper to make and uses less advanced chips and software than its successor. Released in 2013, the PS4 has sold more than 116 million units and remains popular among gamers.
The PS5, which offers more sophisticated graphics and faster loading times than the PS4, was also met with great fanfare. As of September 2021, it has sold 13.3 million total units — surpassing the 7.6 million units that the PS4 sold in its first year of availability nearly a decade ago.
Sony told assembly partners late last year that it is pivoting to manufacture more PS4 consoles this year, though a company spokesperson denied that it had planned to discontinue production altogether.
“It is one of the best-selling consoles ever and there is always crossover between generations,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg.
This past fall, Sony reported a 27% increase in sales in its gaming division for the three-month fiscal quarter that ended on Sept. 30. The firm credited the popularity of the PS5.
In total, the Japanese conglomerate’s gaming division recorded $5.7 billion in sales during the three month period starting in July. Operating income fell 21% to $727 million while the company generated $10.8 billion in revenue.
Sony isn’t the only gaming company that is relying on its older technologies to keep profits flowing during the supply chain crunch.
Last year, Nvidia, the US firm that makes processing units for gaming consoles, revived its previous generation of GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards due to the shortage in semiconductors.
While the company never officially discontinued production of the card, it was not listed for sale as recently as November 2020.
The card was first introduced in 2016, but was gradually phased out in favor of the newer 16-series cards, according to PC Gamer.
Market observers say that the supply chain crisis and chip shortages will likely last through this year.
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