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EA: Is There Anybody Out There?

July has come and gone and EA's promised Mac titles are still missing in action. Are you surprised? Not me.

As I outlined in my previous blog entry, I'm very happy to see Electronic Arts back in the Mac market but I'm terribly nervous about them screwing this up...again.

First, let's go back to June 11th. At WWDC 2007, EA announced it would be shipping four titles in July for the Mac including Command & Conquer 3, Battlefiled 2142, Need For Speed: Carbon, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix followed by Madden NFL 2008, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 in August.

A few weeks later, on June 29th, EA announced that it had begun shipping Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix for every platform except the Mac. The EA press release at the time mentioned that the Mac version would be available "next week". Yeah, right.

Now let me give you a little insight on what's been happening behind the scenes here at IMG and Shortly after the announcement, IMG contacted EA's press department about doing previews of the games, reviews, etc. In fact, we've tried to contact EA several times and EA's PR department has NEVER bothered to email us or call us back. Our friend at Macworld, Peter Cohen, recently wrote in his Game Room column about also being ignored by EA's press people.

I did, however, get one phone call back from EA's distribution department. When we inquired about carrying EA's new products on, the person on the other end pretty much flat out said that we wouldn't be able to order any games through EA. Not only that, but EA had decided it would give Apple a 90-day exclusive on their first four Mac titles. When I asked why EA would do that, the person responded, "it's a way to say thanks to Steve for putting us in the keynote". Huh? After some more small talk, the lady promised to get back to me but never did.

Although I'm sure that the delays in shipping EA new Mac titles are due to development issues, the lack of communication from EA is, well, frustrating. But let's face's to be expected. EA is a huge company that develops games for many platforms. The Mac, especially to EA's internal departments, I'm sure is regarding as more of a nuisance than anything else.

This is kind of why I was hoping that EA would work with a real and proven Mac game company such as Aspyr to release the titles. Aspyr has been working with EA on bringing their titles to the Mac and going at it alone smell like trouble. With il-advised antics like Apple's 3 month exclusive, no Mac marketing or PR, EA is once again destined to fail on the Mac.

EA's Wake Up Call
EA needs a wake up call. First, they need to give Mac gamers a status update on their Mac titles. Where is EA's press department and why are they ignoring the Mac media?

Second. A 3 month Apple exclusive on the first four titles is just plain stupid. EA's games should be available to everyone, not just Apple stores, when they finally launch. Imagine going to or Amazon or whatever, and not being able to find these titles.

Third. Where's EA's Mac marketing? Have you seen any ads for EA's Mac titles in print or web sites? Frankly, I don't care if EA advertises on IMG or not, but let's not forget that marketing Mac games is also important in ensuring good Mac sales. there anybody out there?

Posted on August 8, 2007 at 1:24 am | 42 Comments

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