EALA's Verdu: PC support a "chronic issue" and "we need to fix it"
Posted: 08.07.2008 12:38 by Simon Priest Comments: 2
General manager Mike Verdu of EA's Los Angeles studio has posted an apology and pledge to fans over the lacking support their games have received post-launch.

He confesses to being "downright unhappy" with how it has been handled and formed a dedicated patch team mandated to "protect and serve Command & Conquer".

His apology comes as they're on the "cusp of releasing a long overdue" patch for Kane's Wrath, the latest in the C&C franchise.

"I am very proud of our games and the teams that made them. From C&C Generals to the two Battle for Middle-earth games to C&C3, I feel like we have brought great RTS experiences to millions of people who have spent tens of millions of hours playing the games and having fun. That's what I live for… it's why I'm in this business," says Verdu, but he's more than aware not everything is coming up roses in the C&C garden.

"I am not as proud of our record in supporting our games after launch. In fact, I'm downright unhappy with that aspect of our business. There have been some bright spots: For example, our community manager's passionate advocacy on behalf of our customers, the huge patch 1.05 for Battle for Middle-earth II that was a labor of love between our team and the community, and our fast response to some initial problems on C&C3," continues Verdu.

"But overall, the level of support has been lacking. We tend to put out a limited number of patches for our products and in many cases those patches take longer than they should to finish, test, and release. It’s been a chronic issue for more than four years, and we need to fix it."

He says the problem lies in the logistics, the pressure on the development teams to split their time between work on the latest games and revisiting launched titles to give them a tune up.

"We've been wrestling with the logistics of support for a long time and we need a new approach. After all, some of our competitors have been providing a high level of post-launch support for years, so we know it can be done...and done well."

Verdu admits that this new approach isn't a magic fix, so he won't declare "this initiative is going to instantly solve all of our support issues" and he doesn't feel EALA has the "credibility with our customers to make that claim anyway."

"My hope is that the community will be able to look back on this period and say, "this was the low point – and then things started getting better"," he concluded.

Click here to read Mike Verdu's letter to the C&C community.

Source: Shacknews


By Orv (SI Core) on Jul 08, 2008
I hope this epiphany also covers customer support for other titles such as BF2142.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jul 08, 2008
EALA seems to have finally received the message that gamers are tired of EALA's poor product support. The patches ARE long in coming, and tend to bring the game from beta to Alpha rather than fixing problems with a finished product. They lost worldwide support amongst thousands of gamers, and were it not for the successful franchises they own (C&C), they would go the way of all poor service companies.