EA Creates Revisionist History on Wikipedia

It would be impossible to tell the story of game publishing giant Electronic Arts without including its founder Trip Hawkins. Or, for that matter, the famed EA Spouse, whose anonymous postings helped change the way the video game industry treats its creative talent.

But that was apparently the intention of an unnamed EA staffer who doctored the company’s Wikipedia entry to remove traces of both Hawkins and EA Spouse. As reported by ShackNews:

Someone at EA doesn’t want you to know about Trip Hawkins, the publishing giant’s original founder. On multiple occasions, a user with an IP address of 159.153.4.50–within a range registered to Electronic Arts’ Redwood City headquarters–has tried to remove several references to Hawkins’ legacy from the Electronic Arts Wikipedia page…

A user at the same Redwood City IP address attempted to further purge Hawkins’ name… while adding a paragraph emphasizing the achievements of Larry Probst, former EA CEO and current chairman, when he became sales VP in 1984…

In addition to removing several paragraphs from the “Criticism” section, the user deleted references to the notorious ea_spouse debacle and spun the class action lawsuit brought on by overworked, undercompensated employees to portray the company in a good light.

GP: There’s not much to say about this other than it is despicable corporate behavior on EA’s part, a not-so-subtle attempt to massage the company’s history.

Kudos to Shacknews, which used a tool called Wikipedia Scanner to examine the EA Wikipedia entry.

UPDATE: GP reader Lazy informs us that EA is far from the only offender uncovered by Wikipedia Scanner. See – and vote – on the list of questionable edits.

UPDATE 2: Joystiq reports that EA isn’t apologizing.

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