Now we must admit that the timing of this supposed leak is incredibly convenient, as BioWare only recently decided against using EA’s matchmaking system in its upcoming game Anthem. The supposed leaks show ethically questionable marketing techniques and an included screenshot seems to indeed point at Anthem.
Dubbed the ‘Online Game Revenue Models With AI’, the ‘leak’ to Reddit starts off with the idea of using AI “to increase revenue streams in game. The idea is to combine “real life information and out of game AI generated activities with in-game premium activities.”, seeing as how altering a player’s gameplay experience causes “a dramatic increase or recurrent revenue streams.”
The gaming community reacted somewhat hypocritically to the entire ordeal, appearing more outraged over indications that it is EA behind them than by the actual practices involved. After all, many of these are perfectly legitimate marketing tactics that have been used longer than EA has been ruining gaming.
Besides, with the timing conveniently coinciding with Bioware's decision against using EA's matchmaking engine, the 'leak' reeks of foul play.
That having been said, some techniques listed in the document make us really wonder what kind of future gaming is looking at. Predictability and the resulting manipulation of group dynamics has long meant that customers are but a number for larger entities such as corporations, but rarely anyone gets outraged until someone sticks an Anthem screenshot on such behaviour.
Until we get actual confirmation of what the documents are, we’ll refrain from speculating and instead admit that perhaps the most depressing is that the entire document feels “normal” for this day and age.
Now it’s too easy to jump on EA, what with the company’s practices indicating their CEO is eventually going to have build a Death Star. EA’s far from a model company, but we don’t think they should be lynched over every other napkin-scribbled hint at money grabbing. After all, this is the age of spin and a random screenshot in midst of a document proves nothing really. It should make us think though.