EA employees speak out after controversial single-player games Tweet sparks backlash

Andrew Highton
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EA

Details about EA’s “They’re a 10” single-player Tweet have leaked and it appears as if the game company tried to capitalize on the public’s negative reaction and turn it into a “marketing win” for themselves, despite not actually composing the Tweet.

EA’s now-notorious attempt to capitalize on a popular meme went down like a ton of bricks and left gamers, and people within the industry, agast at the company’s apparent tone-deaf response.

The popular “They’re a 10, but” trend is another creation at the hands of TikTok that implies a person could be absolutely stunning, but they have a flaw that overshadows their beauty. Twitter became rampant with variations of it and EA tried to do the same — only, it wasn’t actually EA that did it.

EA single-player Tweet caused widespread condemnation

According to USA Today regarding the recent Tweet, the “main EA account isn’t actually managed by EA’s internal social brand or communications teams,” and one of the outlets’ sources said: “I’m 99 percent sure the person who posted the tweet and their manager don’t even know about the single-player games comment from a decade ago.”

The comment refers to EA’s Game Chief Frank Gibeau, back in 2010, saying: “They’re [developers] very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours – and you’re out. I think that model is finished.”

If any other game company had Tweeted this sentiment then it may not have drawn the hostility it did. However, EA’s reputation has been on a downward spiral for over 10 years now with focus seemingly transfixed on microtransactions through games such as FIFA and Madden.

The reaction to EA’s Tweet received responses from all sorts of people, even Vince Zampella — Head of Respawn Entertainment, the devs behind Apex Legends.

What’s worse is that instead of owning up and explaining the origins of the Tweet, the cogs behind the EA machine started turning and the company wanted to use the public outcry to its advantage.

“There was a call to action in the Slack channel featuring an “all hands on deck” plan asking social managers to workshop replies where EA studios would publicly ridicule their publisher online. The idea was to get more attention on the tweet, then use it to highlight some of EA’s single-player games. They wanted to flip the narrative and turn it into a marketing win,” the report said.

It continued: “Some EA employees pointed out that the “roasting EA strategy” would feed into the “big, bad EA” narrative that even their own studios and franchises don’t like them. Multiple social media managers opted out straight away, according to our sources. With a lack of solidarity, the plan fell apart.”

EA’s only real response so far has been a follow-up Tweet saying: “Roast well deserved. We’ll take this L cause playing single-player games actually makes them an 11,” and it’ll be interesting to see if they have any further comments.

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