Fun Facts From EA’s Annual Report

The annual report of game publishing giant Electronic Arts landed in GP’s inbox this morning. Typically, reading through these things is a surefire remedy for insomnia, but EA’s contains a few tidbits worth mentioning.

1.) EA’s failed bid to gobble up Take-Two cost the company $21 million:

As a result of the terminated discussions [with T2], we recognized $21 million in related costs consisting of legal, banking and other consulting fees…

2.) EA uses DRM (you knew that) and is watching for piracy online:

We typically distribute our PC products using copy protection technology, digital rights management technology or other technological protection measures to prevent piracy… We are actively engaged in enforcement and other activities to protect against unauthorized copying and piracy, including monitoring online channels for distribution of pirated copies, and participating in various industry-wide enforcement initiatives, education programs and legislative activity around the world.

3.) Only 3% of EA employees are unionized, and they all work for DICE:

As of March 31, 2009, we had approximately 9,100 regular, full-time employees, of whom over 5,100 were outside the United States… Approximately 3 percent of our employees, all of whom work for DICE, our Swedish development studio, are represented by a union, guild or other collective bargaining organization.

4.) GameStop and Wal-Mart are EA’s biggest customers; each accounts for 14% of EA sales:

Worldwide, we had direct sales to two customers, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which each represented approximately 14 percent of total net revenue for the fiscal year… the concentration of our sales in one, or a few, large customers could lead to a short-term disruption in our sales if one or more of these customers significantly reduced their purchases or ceased to carry our products…

5.) EA worries about game content legislation and its potential effect on sales:

Legislation is continually being introduced in the United States… for the establishment of government mandated rating requirements or restrictions on distribution of entertainment software based on content… Other countries have adopted or are considering laws regulating or mandating ratings requirements…  Adoption of government ratings system or restrictions… could harm our business by limiting the products we are able to offer to our customers…

6.) EA worries about falling victim to a Hot Coffee incident but has taken steps to prevent it from happening:

If one or more of our titles were found to contain hidden, objectionable content, our business could suffer… Retailers have on occasion reacted to the discovery of such hidden content by removing these games from their shelves, refusing to sell them, and demanding that their publishers accept them as product returns.

We have implemented preventative measures designed to reduce the possibility of hidden, objectionable content from appearing in the video games we publish. Nonetheless, these preventative measures are subject to human error, circumvention, overriding, and reasonable resource constraints.

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  1. 0
    petkov06 says:
    The entire arguement is <a href="">fetish</a> based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can't figure out the controls for Halo so it's frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it's in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given
  2. 0
    dans says:

    I wanted to buy a few of their games, but i have decided not to, due to their drm-stuff. The other day i wanted to uninstall a game to free up some diskspace, but securom insisted that i insert the CD. I am tired of these things…

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    At least EA has been improving somewhat lately.  Backing down a bit on their DRM stance, trying some new IP (Like Mirror’s Edge.  Sweet, sweet Mirror’s Edge)…  They’ve still got a ways to go, but they’re headed in the right direction at least.  Now Activision, on the other hand… :/

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "…Rockstar was supposed to have told the ESRB about it and those extra files got it an Ao rating."

    Actually, at the time, locked out content such as Hot Coffee was not considered pertinent and did not need to be disclosed.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    Father Time says:

    Because people were surprised to see dry humping in a game chock full of violence swearing and innuendo.

    That’s all.

    Also since the files were actually in the game and not a 3rd party download Rockstar was supposed to have told the ESRB about it and those extra files got it an Ao rating.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  6. 0
    Vaemer-Riit Sneaky Cheetah says:

    I still don’t understand what the big deal about the whole Hot Coffee Scandle was.


    The content wasnt acessable without 3rd party tools and the only way to get the required files you had to dowload them yourself.

  7. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Stoli has the right of it here. Religion mixing with politics is what made this issue bigger than it should have been.

    I thought the Hot Coffee unlock was hilarious and I can think of far more egregious violations in games that were not even discussed because HC was the "topic de jour."

  8. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Yeah, politicians are pretty fantastic about blowing shit out of proportion. Also, they’re great at out and out lying. 



    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  9. 0
    beemoh says:

    Also: the HC stuff was left in without the people upstairs (IE: Execs, not the dev team) knowing- how do you set up a system to block something you don’t know exists?


  10. 0
    insanejedi says:

    If you were a programer then you would know that removing assests is a lot more dangerous and a lot more frustrating than just hiding it away somewhere. When you delete models, animations, or other assests then you risk damaging those areas of the game related to those assests. Thats what creates bugs, clipping, and other such oddities in games. So what Rockstar did essentially because they were lazy was just make in inacessable by normal means.

  11. 0
    Father Time says:

    Does EA explain why the anti- Hot Coffee measures would be so hard to implement? I know they’re a big company but still I can’t imagine it being as hard as they imply.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

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