Many gamers grew up with Electronic Arts, and the vast library of original games they released.

We grew up with games like “Def Jam Vendetta,” a wrestling game where rappers were fighting one another in a ring game with flair and flash unlike anything out at the time.

This game released in the early 2000s still holds up 15 years later. A few years

later, Def Jam Icon came out with an original story mode that was wacky and showed what EA and the team behind “Fight Night Round 3” could do when they were left alone to truly create.

Alongside the Def Jam games, we had “SSX Snowboarding Series,” a game where players got an over-the-top snowboard that had insane tricks with more air than a flight simulator. With a large map and some special moves that made you the envy of your friends when pulled off, EA was still flying high about six years ago.

Then a change of CEOs in 2013 and the company went in a new direction and in many gamers’ eyes was no longer producing new and original games.

EA has the same old catalogue of games coming out year after year like “FIFA,” “Madden” and “NBA.” These games really don’t offer anything new other then updated rosters. The visuals barely see an upgrade and the same is said for the game play.

When EA showed “Anthem” many years ago at E3, gamers were excited for something truly unique. I sadly was a bit hesitant with a track record that was questionable at best with EA. When “Anthem” was released, it was a large world of not much content and a story that was short and lackluster. Even the game play and visuals didn’t match what players seen at E3.

EA promised to add more content and keep players invested when they just stuck to trying nickel and dime the player with the dreaded micro-transition. “Star Wars,” “Battlefront 2” and “FIFA” took these transactions even further with loot boxes and basically pay to win.

In “FIFA” alone, players pay real world money for a chance to get a player or item they want. If they offered these loot boxes with only earned in game currency, it would be something different.

These games are played by young children which don’t see it as gambling or developing an addiction. Without much time they can easily rack up their parent’s credit card or drain their bank account all trying to get a in-game character.

EA’s justification of these loot boxes is laughable and maddening at the same time. They don’t see it as promoting gambling to children and others.

For Electronic Arts to get back into the good graces of gamers, they need to stop with all these underhanded ways of earning money from gamers and focus on the games.

Bring back loved series like the “Street” games or “SSX,” but give the people creating these games freedom to do what they want and don’t mandate a certain release date or the inclusion of loot boxes and other pay-to-win mechanics.

Gamers will buy your games and the revenue you want if you bring more content- like stories such as “DLC.”

Sascha Heist is a lifetime gamer who resides in Penticton.

Feel free to contact Sascha at sggall@telus.net with gaming questions and more.

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