Later this month, EA will release its third game apart of its EA Originals program, A Way Out, a co-op only game from Brother: A Tale of Two Sons director Josef Fares and his studio Hazelight Studios that was first revealed at last year's E3.
As you may know, first two games to release under the wings of EA, Fe and Unravel, both failed to set the world on fire, in terms of either sales or reception. While neither were bad or even mediocre games, by the measure of success EA is used to generating with every release, they both must have been underwhelming for the giant company. Well, that's what you would think at least, but a new quote from the aforementioned Fares, seems to suggest EA may not care.
While speaking with TheSixthAxis, Fares revealed a rather surprising thing about his game, that is uncharacteristic of an EA release: it isn't making any money on it.
“Here’s the thing, and you have to understand this: with this deal that I have for this game, EA is not making a single dollar out of this,” said Fares. “Every single dollar is going to the developer. They’re not even making any money and all I’ve got is support from EA.
They’ve not questioned the vision – they can’t because I won’t allow it – so they’ve been super supportive all the way. Even with this buy one [Friend Pass] thing, no problem.”
Now, what exactly Fares means when he says “not making a single dollar out of this,” is unclear. Does he mean that the company is getting no returns on the revenue? Or does he mean they've put more into the game than they are likely to get out? It's not clear, however, it still doesn't change the sentiment, and that is that is EA is releasing a game it isn't making any money on, which is very un-EA of it.
Beyond revealing perhaps what a generous and good program EA Originals is, Fares' quote also sheds light on what it is like to develop a game within the system. Fares mentions that not once has EA questioned the vision of the game (not that he would let them), but that they were even every supportive of the game's co-op nature that allows a friend of yours to play the game with you, local or online, without buying it. It's an awesome gesture, but not exactly business savvy. Again, not business savvy is not something I would ever say about EA, but it looks like they aren't as money hungry and oppressive with their developers as well may think sometimes.