Electronic Arts has been in the news for many reasons, one of them being information an ex-BioWare developer revealed in an interview. The things Manveer Heir had to say really weren't surprising, but they did cause a bit of a hubbub. Surprise, surprise, EA is making video games for the money. Rather than focusing on engaging single-player content, EA would rather work on open-world multiplayer games that “have [players] coming back again and again.” If you can sell all kinds of DLC, loot boxes, and card packs, why wouldn't you do that over selling a game that gets you paid once? When it comes to profits, it makes total sense. But in regards to how the players are affected, it's kind of negative.
While EA's money-grubbing tendencies aren't really news, they have come back into the spotlight. That's why when I saw news of fan-hosted legacy Battlefield servers being taken down, I wasn't very surprised. It was unusual that EA was so polite about it. Their letter to the fans who were hosting games like Battlefield 2, 2142, and Heroes was really casual. It made some bizarre jokes like “... we're the only ones that get to wear the 'Official EA' dog tag,” and “I write on behalf of EA... 'those guys that make Battlefield'.” It was bizarrely egotistical, while being casual and polite at the same time. If you're interested in reading it, feel free to find it here.
It felt like EA was trying to be the nice guy, trying to garner some public favor in a landscape which doesn't really like it. While they did that by not immediately sending lawyers or official cease-and-desist legal letters, they still didn't do themselves much of a kindness. The letter showed a disconnect between fans and the company with a sort of holier-than-thou feeling. And also there's the simple fact that the Battlefield legacy servers weren't causing any sort of problems for EA. The assumption is that it might have down the road, so they took it down. But why not give it a chance?
EA could have let the Revive Network versions of Battlefield exist. If anything, it would have only driven sales towards any new Battlefield games coming out in the future. If fans are playing and loving your older games, they're more likely to buy the new ones when they release. The Revive Network fans are the real gentlemen here, as they bowed out without protest. They understood that this could happen to them and, while they were sad, they didn't put up a fight. That kind of understanding can be hard to come by, and it was nice to see.
What wasn't nice to see was a confirmation of the current manner of thinking surrounding EA. While the company makes video games, products that are a form of entertainment, joy, and fun for the general public, their foundation is in exploiting consumerist thinking. I generally try to avoid being too wordy in my writing, but that's the best way to put it. EA wants to take advantage of the current popularity and (relative) acceptance of microtransactions. They want to benefit from it before the cards turn over and fans stop buying them. This means a lack of single-player content from the company and a sort of predatory feel to their games.
Players shouldn't have to spend astronomical amounts of extra money to enjoy a game. Companies with business models similar to EA are not going to be in the public favor for much longer.