Do you remember last week? It happened about 34 years ago, so I understand if you don’t. But last Thursday The official EA Twitter account tweeted a bad joke about single player games that led to an internet-wide toast and eventually an apology from the battlefield Publisher. And apparently EA is still dealing with disgruntled employees who took the tweet as an insult to them, their employees and the games they make.
A new report from United States today sheds some light on how the horrific tweet came about, the reaction to it internally at EA, what plans were developed to deal with the situation, and what the consequences are. The whole mess is equally confusing and funny.
According to the report, the tweet landed in EA’s internal Slack chat room an hour after it went live last week, where staff and social media workers began sharing all the roasts and angry replies (some from current EA managers) that popped up everywhere. As the negative reactions spiraled out of control and the discourse began, the folks at EA began formulating a plan to turn the tweet into a positive one. It just wasn’t a good one.
The initial plan was to get all other EA social media accounts to engage with the tweet and hopefully draw more attention to the tweet various single player games the publisher is in the works. However, some employees pointed out that this “roasting EA strategy” would only reinforce the online narrative that EA’s own studios and teams hate the company. After many social media executives resigned from this plan, it fell apart.
“The most agreed upon idea was to take responsibility and apologize,” a source told USA Today. However, that apology ended in an equally embarrassing tweet stating that people who play single player games are actually 11s.
But as the internet turned to its next target, senior officials at EA continued to grapple with the fallout from the tweet. United States today reports that the FIFA publisher hosts roundtable discussions and team meetings with executives who found the joke an insult to the games they work on and the staff who develop them.
How that happened, well, it turns out that EA’s official Twitter account isn’t run by anyone from EA or its social teams. According to sources spoken to United States todayit’s very likely that the person who tweeted the soon-to-be-infamous joke had no idea how poorly it would be received online.
“I’m 99 percent sure the person who posted the tweet and their manager don’t even know about the comment on the single player games from a decade ago,” a source said United States today. (The comment they are referring to was the infamous quote from 2010 by then-President of EA Games, Frank Gibeau, who said that single-player games were “done.”)
Also, this source says that the staff running the Twitter account are “all new” and that most of them are “not really game industry people” and probably unaware of EA’s long, bad history with single-player games had.
It seems crazy that the official Twitter account for one of the biggest video game publishers in the world isn’t run by people who know video games and the industry, but then again, when do big companies make logical decisions?