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Creator / Electronic Arts

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"Challenge everything."

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is the second-oldest independent video game publisher to remain in existence (since the demise of Acclaim). Beginning life in 1982 as the brainchild of electronics entrepreneur and corporate raider Trip Hawkins, the company first made its name publishing titles for the home computer market on machines like the Commodore 64 and Apple ][ rather than attempting to follow Activision into the home console market. As a result of this, they largely avoided becoming embroiled in The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 which killed off many of their rivals. In their early days, they justified their name by attempting to treat computer games as art, and the authors as artists in their own right, sending them to network television interviews and nationwide press junkets. They also did various non-videogame projects during the era, including the animation in the title sequence of the British Game Show Catchphrase for its' first few years. They also compared game designers to "rock stars," to the point where they issued early games in LP-style sleeves, complete with gatefolds.

The modern company is divided into two main domains: EA Sports (the big money-maker and where most of their revenue comes from) and the more-controversial EA Games. The company's first big break in the modern era was the Sega Genesis release of Madden NFL, one of the first football games to represent the game to a reasonably accurate degree (True to their tagline, If it's in the [real] game, it's in the [video] game) and was also fun to play. Their sports games would eventually expand to become their most profitable line after signing licenses with the NHL, NBA, PGA, FIFA and others, and a new title for each sporting organization comes out every year like clockwork.

The "Games" half of the company has also grown over the years, acquiring many other smaller companies and their intellectual properties: Maxis (SimCity, The Sims, Spore), Origin Systems (Strike Commander, Ultima, Wing Commander, Wing Commander: Privateer), Westwood Studios (Command & Conquer), Bullfrog Productions (Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate), Pandemic Studios (Star Wars: Battlefront), BioWare (Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect, Dragon Age) and Pop Cap (Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies). Occasionally, EA even publishes its own unique games, such as Mirror's Edge.

A lesser-known, third division of the company is called EA Partners, which handles publishing duties in the West for many games developed by Japanese publishers who lack a presence outside Japan, as well as offering publishing and distributing channels for smaller Western developers that wouldn't normally have access to those channels by themselves. The most prominent of those was a short-lived partnership with Squaresoft in the days before their merging with Enix. Today, EA Partners is the publisher of a number of titles from smaller developers, including the Rock Band series, the Crysis series, the Shank games, and, surprisingly, being the retail distributor of games developed by Valve before the company seemingly abandoned console gaming altogether.

EA is also notable for the sheer amount of controversies and boycotts over the years from their questionable business practices, which resulted in them "winning" Consumer Media LLC'snote  "worst company of America award" for 2012 and 2013.

On May 6, 2013, about a month after LucasArts' closing, it was announced that EA Games and its subsidiaries, DICE, Visceral Games, and BioWare (which previously worked on both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Star Wars: The Old Republic) will be taking over duties for creating Star Wars video games.

On EA Play 2016, Electronic Arts announced the EA Originals program, giving support to independent developers and helping to publish their games.

EA has been proven to be extremely successful over its lifetime, despite several controversies as noted above, outdoing their profit projections for the eighteenth consecutive quarter in Q4 FY 2019.

Although the company launched its own service, Origin, in 2011, to compete with Steam and gradually began to stop releasing games on Steam (with Warp being the last game they would release on Steam), on October 29, 2019, they reversed this policy, announcing that they would be bringing several of their titles released over the course of the previous year (as well as the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order) to Steam (though you still have to have an Origin account). In late 2022, the Origin is replaced by the functionally similar but technically different "EA App" (as some games have trouble verifying Origin initially due to not identifying it).

On a funny note, their record label used for their games' music (EA™ Recordings, formerly EA™ TRAX) used to be abbreviated as E.A.R.S., now named Electronic Arts Music after 2016.

EA Subsidiaries

Defunct Studios

Early Electronic Arts games:

EA Sports properties:

EA Games properties/standalone titles:

Properties acquired through buyouts:

Published-only properties/standalone titles:

EA Originals

Licenced Games


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Alternative Title(s): EA, EA Games, Electronic Arts Inc


Need for Speed Unbound

The start screen of Electronic Arts and Criterion Games' "Need for Speed Unbound" (2022) begins with EA, Criterion, and Frostbite engine logos (past and present) and street art glitching in and out in a similar vein to the beginning of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018) as the camera zooms into the Chicago-inspired setting of Lakeshore City. Then it cuts to a slow-mo shot of some of the games' characters posing at a meetup with a car, and then another cut shows two cars, one of them being A$AP Rocky's modified Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 featured as the game's cover car, starting a race with cartoonish smoke coming off the rear tires of A$AP Rocky's car as it burns out to start. It then cuts to a couple of extended clips of a car in bumper cam driving through the streets of downtown Lakeshore as the game's logo appears and sometimes glitches out itself, with A$AP Rocky's original song for the game "Shittin' Me" playing. The Need for Speed 'N' logo from "Undercover" (2008) to "No Limits" (2015) also makes a brief appearance at the beginning and end of the bumper cam clips.

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