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EA Selling Tutorials Via Xbox Live 45

So, not only is EA selling in-game money for the Godfather via Xbox Live, but now they're actually trying to wring money from consumers so they can know how to play the games they bought. Joystiq has some commentary on EA's newest practice: charging for tutorials. From the article: "We decided to try one of the videos out, purchasing a Passing strategy guide for Madden NFL 07. The 246.34 MB downloaded provided little that would help our game. The video depicts a series of in-game passes with the occasional overhead view; once or twice arrows and yellow circles were used to highlight a player but it did not complement the announcer. To understand the voice-over commentary, it is assumed that you have a good grasp on formation and position terminology. If 'using the safety to cover the back' goes over your head, this video is not for you -- then again, if you are well-versed in football slang, you will likely learn nothing new anyways." I know Microsoft has kept a hands-off policy on this so far, but this stuff has to stop before companies like EA and Q! drag their product through the mud.
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EA Selling Tutorials Via Xbox Live

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  • very old news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Nance ( 645531 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:47PM (#16583426)
    Wow, welcome to about a month ago. EA has done like 10 more attrocious things since then even. I can understand it is hard to keep up, since they are constantly innovating new and improved ways to stick it to the gaming community.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rob Nance ( 645531 )
      ...and yes, I know I am just trolling, but look at the dates. The tutorial article was a couple days old on Joystiq when it was posted on October 4th. The way this post reads you'd think the Godfather thing was a month old and the tutorials were new, but the Godfather article was from yesterday. Slow news day?
  • If the safety you're using to cover your back goes over your head, then you might be getting sacked soon.
  • Before they drag them through the mud? I thought they pretty much had not only dragged them through the mud, but then doused them in jet fuel, lit them on fire, and then to top it off took a nice long piss on the ashes. Or maybe that was their customers. I can never keep track. But I'm not bitter or anything.
  • The precedent here is obviously Prima, which publishes strategy guides and charges money for them. Evil bastards. I've been boycotting them, but it doesn't seem to have put them out of business. However, with a big company like EA setting a precedent like this, not only are gamers in trouble, but it's likely to creep out and affect everything. Soon enough, mark my words, companies are going to charge for things like food and housing, and that's when we're really in trouble.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Either you're just trying to be funny or you're trolling. That said, Prima is not at fault here. They don't sell guides as so much as walkthroughs.

      Teaching the basics is guiding (hence the name).

      To put things in perspective, Perfect Dark had a tutorial system and that was on a cartridge. UT2004 had a built-in tutorial maps IIRC.

      But you know, that's really not the point. If you're not into football, you wouldn't be getting this game. If you are, you'll know about football and will have likely played prior ve
  • It isn't actualy that evil of a concept. selling strategy guides online? so what?

    I know, in this case aparently the strategy guides are not worth the paper they are not printed on. However as a general concept it is nifty, especialy if it was done video commentary style.

    Note: I would never buy one, but that is b/c strategy guides are pointless as there are pleanty of sites out there that offer these things for free (gamefaqs).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kinglink ( 195330 )
      If you look at it that way, you're right. It might be cool.

      If you look at it another way, the worse instruction manual they give you or ingame hint system, the more money they can get this way. Madden has always been a hard game to master, but if they remove all the "how to's" in the game it would be stupid, but now it makes more money for the company.

      I'm not saying EA would. But they are EA...
  • It's "Q?" Not "Q!"

  • Let them burn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxkrn ( 635044 ) <[moc.nigolxunil] [ta] [nostawg]> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:57PM (#16583596)
    but this stuff has to stop before companies like EA and Q! drag their product through the mud.

    Why? I'd like nothing better then to see the money hungry EA go up in flames. I stopped buying their games because
    • They release limited feature games, then SELL you an expansion later that the game was supposed to be from the start (C&C Generals, BF2, etc)
    • Almost all of the games I have from them contain critical gameplay bugs that keep you from completing the game. Tech support ignores you and tells you to reinstall and try again. (Look for Attack Troll in BFM2)(
    • On-line games such as BF2 have server issues that again, their tech support deny and blame on other things. Tell you to re-install a patch. But if you wait a few days and do nothing they start working with no comments from EA (search for BF2 Auth server was down for days)
    • Lastly their new money hungry angle to add spyware to games to make even more money off of consumers. (BF2142)
    I vote with my money, and they will not be getting any of it. Let them burn. Maybe after the dust settles they might get a clue what they've done to their customers.
    • I think what Zonk meant was MS stands to end up having a Live! Marketplace that everyone views as filled with cheats and swindlers if they don't throw the smack down on content providers that cheat and swindle.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      It appears that many people enjoy being served the same warmed up shit year after year. Not me.

      I just ignore EA games now simply because every time I've bought one its turned out to be superficially OK but bugged, slow to load, mediocre and sometimes downright broken. And their business model means you are unlikely to get much support for your game if it does turn out to be broken since they'll use that as a reason you should buy the expansion pack / sequel which allegedly fixes the problem.

      Simply put,

  • by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:16PM (#16583842) Homepage Journal
    Nothing particularly evil about selling tutorials or strategy guides. Just let the market decide. If these online guides are worth anything, then people will buy, if not, they won't. It'll be interesting to see how these online guides develop in the console world and if the games begin to be built with hooks for the optional guides that will allow the player to easily try out what he/she just learned. No one wants to be nickel and dimed to death, but if the guides add real value and aren't just a cynical afterthought, then good things could be ahead.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 )
      Unfortunately, that was the attitude that brought down the gaming industry in 84.

      As anyone who has worked in the industry can tell you, gaming guides are always a cynical afterthought. Ever wonder why they're frequently encased in impenetrable plastic wrap before you buy them?

  • the shops, and they too are usually pretty useless, so what's the difference when they're selling them through Live or whatever else?
    • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

      I wouldn't call them useless. I've always enjoyed strategy guides, but I admit, the only one I can recall buying was the Neverwinter Nights guide on how to create your own modules and scripting... which was pretty worth while I think. I often just go to GameFAQs [] to get quick tips or locations for those last lost items or treasure chests.

      However, I'd buy a WoW guide or other MMO guide, if it was expansive enough, contained full color maps, and in a well organized format, to prevent myself from having to

      • by Tyger ( 126248 )
        I'd say MMO guides are the worst to buy, not the best. The games just change to rapidly, so the better the production quality of the guide, the more time it takes to produce and review, and the more the game has changed by the time the guide is released. Sure, some strategy still applies, and maps don't tend to change, but any aspect of a MMO can change at any time, and many times you don't find out until it's too late that the guide was completely wrong because of a patch last month.
    • by Mr2001 ( 90979 )
      You can flip through a strategy guide in the store to see how useless it is before you buy it.
  • This stuff wouldn't exist if people didn't pay for it, but the fact is that there are people dumb enough to buy this (Or cheat codes, uniforms, etc.), this will only make the problem worse.
  • Before EA did this, the game was what it was, and there were strategy guides available on the net or in book form. There were even people (seriously) selling one-on-one "training" sessions. Now that EA has released this, the game is still unchanged, all those strategy guides are still available, and now there is an additional resource to maybe learn something if you are a football fan but not-so-great at Madden.

    So, how exactly is selling a new informational product "evil"? Oh that's right, it's informati
  • just wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov ( 793804 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:35PM (#16584178) Homepage
    they will try to get GameFaqs and others shut down to "protect their IP" or some other stupid shit.

    The next version of Doom IDKFA won't give you keys and ammo, it will open up the menu where you can pay 5$ to have keys and ammo (on a per level per session basis of course).
  • it effects their bottom line. If no one buys it, they'll tweak it or called it a failed experiment. It seems to me that they have no clue nor care about what gamers want. Rile yourselves up and post wherever you can to complain but they won't care unless no one buys which I hope, really hope that very few people do.
  • They aren't selling the tutorial, they are selling strategy guides online. I don't like EA, but with all the crap they do you don't have to make stuff up to make them look bad. In this case, what they are doing is fine. Seriously editors, act like adults and professionals by not allowing false titles. Even if you are personally biased, it shouldn't show in the job you do.
  • by thebaron2 ( 1008833 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:51PM (#16584418)
    This is what companies do when they're given access to brand new markets or distribution options - they're going to throw a bunch of new ideas/concepts at us and they'll see what we'll buy.

    This shouldn't be very shocking to anyone. For the first time, these developers can reach the console audience sans middle-man, which means that they can develop and offer products that distribution costs alone once prohibited. It never would have been worth developing bite-size tutorials that would ship on CDs to retail outlets and then to the consumer - retail markup, distribution costs, and physical materials would have been far too prohibitive. Now they can create material and just upload it.

    The problem now is sorting out what gamers are willing to pay for, and at what price. If they don't try a whole bunch of new ideas and offer diverse products, then we'll never see anything REALLY cool come out of this. And of course many ideas will flop - this one looks like a prime candidate - but we've still got to cut these guys some slack as they determine what's realistic to sell online.
    • As much as I hate EA, I agree. This online distribution thing is new to everyone, and EA is testing what they can do with it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zardus ( 464755 )
      You have a good point. This stuff is happening all over, with spyware and advertising in games along with this macrotransaction gouging. I think right now is the most important time to vote with your dollars: don't buy BF2142 (advertising, possibly spyware depending on whose report you read), consider the amount of un-realistic in-game advertising in a game before your purchase (Dodge ads have no place in the post-apocalyptic future), and so forth.
      • Exactly - and to tell you the truth, I really don't mind in-game ads that much, as long as they're placed in realistic context.

        If I'm racing around in Burnout!, sure, show me some real billboards with some real companies. A Pepsi or Coke billboard makes the game feel a lot more realistic than a Buzz Cola billboard or some other made up name.

        Now, do I need Cheerio's ads in a futuristic warfare simulator? Not particularly.
  • That's why people still shell out tons of money on Textbooks, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Thesauruses etc. Information is valuable, and thus it makes sense that people charge for it.

    However, no one's going to pay me $2 to find out what my favorite food is. There is information which is largely worthless, and information which is so close to worthless that it might as well be.

    When information is worthless, charging for it makes people angry. This is one of those cases. Anyone who understands these tutorials
  • Sigh.. EA is charging gamers for the instruction manual it sounds like. It sounds like the major issue here is the shoddy quality of the video produced along with the cheap method of distribution. It's not costing EA a ton of money to send the video, and from the review it doesn't sound like it took a lot of money to produce it either. In the end they're just trying to take those extra 6 bucks from you. Nintendo has sold paper guides for its games for years, however Nintendo guides are generally of except
  • It's a dilema every gamer has. Who is the worst?
  • Why is it that these videos are included with all the other platforms except the 360? I haven't had the chance to play Madden '07 on the PS2, but I was told that those same videos that the 360 users are paying for are included for free with the PS2, the GC and the standard XBox version of the game. Why should 360 owners have to pay more for freely included content when they already pay a premium for the title that the other consoles don't have to pay for?
  • 1) Make difficult game with unobvious solutions

    2) Sell tutorials for game

    3) More profit!!!

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.