EA under heavy fire for "indie" game bundle

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Independent developers aren't exactly pleased that Electronic Arts recently rolled out a new compilation dubbed the "EA Indie Bundle."

The bundle includes several titles from independent software devs published under the auspices of EA, including DeathSpank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue from Hothead Games, Gatling Gears from Vanguard Games, Shank and Shank 2 from Klei Entertainment and Warp from Trapdoor Incorporated.

The problem? Developers around the world are quite displeased that the term "indie" is being bandied about in such an irreverent manner.

And they may have a point. I mean, think about it: EA - a huge corporation -  is about as far from independent developers as you can get.

As Minecraft creator Markus Persson tweeted: "EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA. Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards... Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it."

However, other developers supported the naming of the game pack. For example, Rob Fearon, developer of the game "Squid Yes, Not so Octopus" said: "The EA bundle is EA Partners stuff. The studios/people behind the games are indie." (EA Partners is the arm of the company that publishes independently developed game titles).

He continued, "It's dead easy, don't worry what is/isn't indie. Worry whether people/corps are abusive towards you. That's the important one."

EA has been under a lot of heat with some claiming the company is running gaming. Back in September of 2010, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick blasted Electronic Arts, claiming the company had lost its way.

"We have no shortage of opportunity to recruit out of EA - that's their biggest challenge: its stock options have no value. It's lost its way. But it's been struggling for a really long time," Kotick said at the time.

"The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don't really want to work there. It's like, if you have no other option, you might consider them... [Yeah], they [do] have some [talent]. [For example], the team that makes Madden is a really great team - it's been able to manage, capture and keep some good people."