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EA/Bioware in Full PR Damage Control Mode v3 *UPDATED 5/7/12, 12:34 PM UTC/GMT -4 hours*

Discussion in 'Role Playing Games' started by BaChuck, Apr 10, 2012.

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  1. BaChuck

    BaChuck Elite Member

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    Since the release of Mass Effect 3 and the subsequent ending controversy, EA/Bioware have chosen to deflect, dismiss or flat-out ignore the complaints from their consumers. Instead they've employed the usual PR spin that addresses, and answers, nothing and they've used all their available resources - Facebook, Twitter, Bioware Social Network (BSN), Bioware.blog, etc. - to marginalize the outcry to no avail.

    That is the purpose of this thread - to analyze EA/Bioware's public relations tactics and stay informed, and one step ahead, on how they plan on dealing with their customers. We'll begin at the beginning with Casey Hudson's original statement regarding the endings:

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012
    - Casey Hudson remarks on the ME3 ending controversy.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Here is the original post by atghunter where he analyzed EA/Bioware PR maneuvers.

    Friday, March 16, 2012
    - Bioware announces the MP Operation: Goliath event with promises of Free Stuff.
    - atghunter's view of the 'Goliath' event from a PR perspective.
    - Casey Hudson releases his second statement late Friday evening.
    - atghunters thoughts on the timing of Casey's statement.
    - A thread is created on behalf of Jessica Merizan requesting fan feedback.
    - atghunter's analysis of this request.
    - BaChuck's view of the situation (I linked to a Twitter post by Jessica where she insinuated fans weren't using "Critical Thinking" regarding the endings. She has since deleted that tweet).
    - A Bioware employee from the Marketing division - Jarrett Lee - begins posting in the PR thread.

    From that point onward, the thread derailed into desperate posts saying, "Thank you for talking to us like human beings". That night, emotions were running high and there were disagreements (naturally) between members with some people believing Jarrett was sincere, while others did not. Even atghunter and I didn't see eye-to-eye initially.

    - atghunter replies to Jarrett.
    - My view of the Jarret situation.
    - atghunter replies to me.
    - My reply to atghunter.

    Disagreements happen. It was settled and we all moved on.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012
    - Gexora offers his take on Jarrett Lee's involvement.
    - atghunter's post on Jarrett Lee's involvement.
    - KeldoreKatern offers his analysis of the PR situation.
    - Redknight38's suggestions for the 'Retake' movement.
    - cokohpuffs41 provides a financial analysis of EA/Bioware.
    - atghunter's response to anointing "leaders" for the Retake movement.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012
    Late that evening, on the official ME3 Twitter and Facebook accounts, a Bioware employee posted, “At this time we have no plans to change the ending.” The post was quickly removed but not before customers saw it and the forums exploded in outrage.

    Monday, March 19, 2012
    - Here’s atghunter’s analysis of that social media faux pas.
    - atghunter's view on Amazon.com taking open box returns of ME3 (thirteen days after release).
    - Fans organize a protests to mail back their N7 patches to Bioware.
    - An in-depth analysis of the situation from Skaldfish.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012
    - Bioware Community Manager Jessica Merizan post in the PR thread.

    I feel the following posts sum up her time in the thread perfectly:

    - Mister Mida
    - Nefelius
    - Mavaras
    - rfrombrazil
    - Darkeus
    - mattynuts
    - Doug M

    - Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka releases a statement on ending controversy.
    - Forbes analyzes Muzyka's statement with a scintillating article.
    - Shortly after Muzyka's statement, a forum post from a "supposed" ME3 writer hit the internet.
    - Bioware quickly dismissed it as being fake.
    - JohnnyG provides Dr. Muzyka with “constructive criticism”.
    - Forbes article states that "Indoctrination Theory" is the easy way out, but not in a good way.

    Thursday, March 22, 2012
    - Community Manager Jessica Merizan says she's disengaging from the community.
    - mattynuts responds.
    - Jessica clarifies her stance (says the community twists her words).
    - mattynuts replies.
    - BaChuck's response to Jessica's decision to disengage.
    - One hour later, Jessica decides NOT to disengage from the community.

    - Forbes article stating that Bioware changing the ending would be a good thing.
    - Mass Effect Drone Volume 5: The Customer Is Always Right. Why Bioware Should Change Mass Effect 3′s Ending.

    Friday, March 23, 2012
    -After the original PR thread is closed on BSN, atghunter makes his first post on the moved thread.

    Saturday, March 24, 2012
    -After further settling in, atghunter makes another post about a few things he hadn't brought up yet.
    -atghunter also comments on Retake Mass Effect 3 reaching 50,000 people.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    -atghunter on whether or not EA/BioWare should admit to their mistakes from a PR prospective.

    Here's a round-up of all of atghunter's post between March 29 and April 7.

    3/29/12 - The Cupcake Project and an analysis of EA's response.
    3/31/12 - An extended discussion pre-PAX, the Normandy crash, and comments by Mr. Gamble
    4/3/12 - When corporations mis-tweet, the EA article south of the border, and more on PAX.
    4/4/12 - The PR of winning Poo Awards (and how to make your response as bad as the award you won).
    4/4/12 - The PR of winning Poo Awards Part II (spending more PR efforts to clean up the silly response you made to winning the award in the first place).
    4/5/12 - The enhanced endings announcement, it’s PR correlation to PAX, and long term thoughts of the Retake consumer movement.
    4/6/12 - A Post PAX discussion and the more important PR tea leaves in the cup.
    4/7/12 - A brief discussion of the presence of several Retake flags and one unifying goal.
    4/8/12 - A firmly positive PR nod for Mr. Weekes’ impromptu interview at PAX.
    4/8/12 - A follow-up on Mr. Weekes’ interview, the PR use of third party shields, and EA’s bottom line.
    4/9/12 - PR thoughts on new comments from Mr. Gamble, Gamefront’s article on the company-customer disconnect, and investor confidence (or lack thereof).
    4/10/12 - The BBB blog post and (the currently invisible man) Mr. Hudson.
    4/10/12 - A strongly worded comment on the PR corporate spin of EA portraying itself as a victim.

    A fine analysis on the company/customer relationship by Merras
    4/7/12 - The customer ladder: the true problem of EA/Bioware

    I NEED YOUR HELP KEEPING THIS TOPIC UPDATED. I need links to every press release, statement, forum reply, forum topics and everything else PR-related that's transpired since March 27. So please PM me whatever you have.

    Updates as I receive them...

    Related Links:
    Official "Retake Mass Effect 3" Facebook page
    Retake Mass Effect on Twitter
    Retake Mass Effect - Child's Play ***Please Donate***
    Forbes article
    CNN video segment about ME3 controversy (starts @ 4:00)
    BBC article on ME3
    Mass Effect 3 debacle - Pre-release developer quotes
    Poll About The Ending
    'Official' Poll For Mass Effect 3 Ending DLC
    [POLL] What exactly would you change with the ending?
    EA/Bioware in Full PR Damage Control Mode ***Regularly UPDATED***
    Retake Mass Effect Banner Templates
    Mission Statement Thread
    Retake Mass Effect Group on BSN ***Please Join***
    Mass Effect 3 Resource Site with collection of statements and reports
    Retake Mass Effect 3 Statistics
    Retake Mass Effect on Youtube
    Retake Mass Effect 3 Endings - Extranet Site - Resource Collector
    Theorycrafting HUB (a forum for, among other games, ME3 theories and speculation)

    Angry Joe's top 10 reasons to hate the ME3 ending
    ME3 endings comparison
    Jeremy Jahns - Mass Effect 3 Ending and Why We Hate It!
    Reaping the Harvest of Poor Choices

    Inspirational stuff:
    The Commander Shepard song!
    The Hold the Line video
    Commander Shepard is still a jerk

    Satire and Parody:
    ME3 Recontextualised
    Mass Deffect 7 Shepard's Reaction
    The Animal House ending
    The World Reacts to the Mass Effect 3 Ending
    Mass Effect 3 - The Controversial Ending

    Articles for Reading:
    A Logical Breakdown of Why the Mass Effect 3 Ending Makes No Sense
    Mass Effect 3 Ending-Hatred: 5 Reasons The Fans Are Right
    Why you enjoy art and the one problem with Mass Effect 3

    Volion likes this.
  2. Jetfire99

    Jetfire99 Elite Member

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  3. argos1281

    argos1281 Supreme Member

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    If this by accident. Then EA/Bioware has a communication problem with Microsoft, similar like the beta leak.
    Another thing is maybe the publishing process for xbox downloads. It takes weeks for the paper work and you are stuck with the initial decision, till it goes live.
  4. Robin

    Robin Elite Member

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  5. Giskler

    Giskler Elite Member

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    Its pretty obvious that the MP pack was intended to be purchased, not free. Its all damage control.
  6. Kurokenshi

    Kurokenshi Supreme Member

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  7. Merras

    Merras Elite Member

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    Robinia and Kurokenshi like this.
  8. cyrrant

    cyrrant Supreme Member

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    Yo BaChuck, think we can take the time/date/numbers out of the thread title now? The website automatically updates us with alerts when atghunter posts.

    Oh, nevermind, you're updating them now! Welcome back, dude.
  9. Craven

    Craven Elite Member

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    From MeldarthX post (sorry I can't quote poperly, as previous thread was closed):

    What can I say. I remember when it popped up way before Resurgence DLC. I didn't believe it, mostly due to second part - "The Truth", way whole thing is written, with "new enemies", "you should bring Javik" and many other bits make it seem like troll fantasy, feeding on whole controversy.

    Fact that multiplayer stuff turned out to be 100% real shines new light on it.

    Yet, I still can't believe it. I guess my hopes were busted by BW/EA too many times. But I think this is a thing worth discussion.
    Kurokenshi likes this.
  10. Kurokenshi

    Kurokenshi Supreme Member

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    Craven Hope died for me last week, what we need now is cold hard facts. Still it is very tempting info.
  11. argos1281

    argos1281 Supreme Member

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  12. EndTimes

    EndTimes Ultra Member

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  13. cyrrant

    cyrrant Supreme Member

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    So long as grim determination to see this through remains, then hope springs eternal.
  14. argos1281

    argos1281 Supreme Member

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  15. fieryace

    fieryace Elite Member

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  16. MeldarthX

    MeldarthX Supreme Member

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    :D Like I've said feeds into my theory - BW did this on purpose - they tried to indoctrinate not just Shepard but us - all the leaks - tweets about saving your saves after the ending because they will matter - Mark - if they only knew what we were working on there wouldn't be any hate.

    Its become a PR cluster fook - they can't/won't admit it now - but I completely believe BW has either been working hard to finish the full endings - polishing them now adding some to them with the feedback.....

    Casey's point of wanting polarising the audience with the ending - they knew this was going to happen - they just didn't think so many would hate the ending or gather so quickly :D

    The guy that leaked about MP - completely spot on - now - the ending dlc won't be named the truth - though if it plays into IT theory - would of been perfect name :D
  17. Prophet Tenebrae

    Prophet Tenebrae Elite Member

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    Sorry but the notion that "The Truth" is anything but someone trolling is ridiculous.

    You seriously think Bioware would be sitting on their hands as they get absolutely hammered by their own fanbase and EA sits and watches sales for ME3 fall through the floor while they still have possibly 2m units lying around?

    Hell, I'm guessing at this point in proceeding Bioware WISHES that it was true.

    Not to mention the sheer improbability of an ending being dramatically altered simply because of a leak.
  18. MeldarthX

    MeldarthX Supreme Member

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    OMG - I'm almost in tears of laughter after reading that - I'm so joining in there........
  19. MeldarthX

    MeldarthX Supreme Member

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    Yes actually - after I spoke with my dad - who was a CFO Ex VP - aka number 2 in fortune 500 company - if company has a timeline for releasing an add on for an item that has just been put out which your customers are very upset. If said item is not finished or still needs to polishing - they will pull all resources into it to get it out on the market as quickly as possible.

    Will they admit it? No - because the PR scheme failed - listen to what's being said inbetween the lines; Specially from the beginning. ME3 - Jessica; Mark were all going I'm not sure why there is all the hate - we've got something that in the works that will make everyone happy. Save your saves - they will matter etc.......

    BW said - they've repriarised*sp* DLC to get "Extended cut" out the door as soon as possible - aka the truth dlc.

    The guy that leaked - MP DLC - a lot said it was trolling - others stopped and looked - said hmm..... same thing with the truth DLC - time line.

    BW still hasn't had a vacation from ME3 - because they've been working on something since feburary - Mark - I will see if I can find that tweet.

    Like I said end of April and beginning of May will get very interesting.
  20. BaChuck

    BaChuck Elite Member

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    As someone who's played multiplayer games from EA in the past, I can tell you right now that the ME3 Resurgence Pack DLC was NEVER intended to be free. This has damage control written all over it.

    All EA MP games contain micro transactions and day one DLC. EA was even so kind as to provide a store within the MP lobby where players have the option of buying weapon packs with real money instead of using the in game currency (XP). Considering EA's business model when it comes to MP games, there's no way they intended to give this wealth of content (new characters, maps, weapons) for free. Remember, this is the same company that charged its ME2 consumers for non-gameplay aesthetics - a leather jacket and sunglasses (Jack), new armor (Garrus) and a visor (Shepard) - to see what the community was willing to pay for.

    My personal feeling on this is that its two-fold. You're correct, this is clearly damage control, but if the dissatisfaction over ME3 was having little-to-no effect on daily MP numbers (which EA tracks through its servers), then there's no way in hell this DLC is free. It's not in EA's nature to freely give content when there are people willing to pay for it. Of course that's all businesses, but EA especially so.

    You want to know how bad EA has gotten with DLC? Go here and read the first post as it pertains to the recently released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. The excel spreadsheet is a good indication of how EA views games and DLC. I love gold games and, prior to this ME3 debacle, I wanted TW13, but to get the full game would cost me over $100.

    I decided to vote against such practices with my wallet.

    Thanks for the welcome back, cyrrant. I'll keep the time/date in the title because though the site alerts you to new posts, it won't when I update the OP. This is, assuming, that I'm able to update the OP since no one has bothered to PM me anything all the relevant links since March 27. ;)
    Elusive Man likes this.
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