Great EA games 'fell below expectations' says big boss man. Sshhhh, don't listen Mirror's Edge!

What are two of the best new IPs EA has published in recent years? The correct answer, is Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. While neither title did a shedload of sales, both were imaginative, polished and damn good fun to run around/gut things in. It’s a bit surprising then, to hear EA Games head honcho Frank Gibeau paint both in a disappointing light.

Speaking in an interview with Develop he admitted: “both had some degree of success, but they didn't quite meet our expectations, for sure."

It seems the thing that irked Gibeau most about the brilliant space-set survival horror was the lack of multiplayer. “It made money for us, but didn't hit expectations. We felt like we had an IP that struck a chord, and one that hit quality, but it missed multiplayer modes.”

Above: Screw multiplayer, the creepy loners in us love a bit of space isolation

Now, we’ve played the multiplayer in Dead Space 2 recently, and while it has a certain stabby charm, we’d be surprised if many gamers don’t just treat it as an afterthought after single-player. Isaac got off easy next to Faith in Mirror’s Edge, though, because Gibeau really sticks the boot in DICE’s parkour-inspired adventure. 

He said: “First-person parkour across buildings is fun, but to be blunt, Mirror's Edge's' execution fell short. There were issues with the learning curve, the difficulty, the narrative, and then there was no multiplayer either," he added. "The key learning from us was that if you're going to be bold with that kind of concept, you need to take it as far as it can go in development."

Above: Despite a steep learning curve, I love (LOVE!) Mirror's Edge

For this writer, Mirror’s Edge not only didn’t need multiplayer (if you were looking for a competitive edge there were the addictive online time trials that let you race other gamers’ ghosts), but it was also one of the freshest, boldest new IPs of the generation. So it’s worrying to hear the man who could well be responsible for commissioning a sequel to Faith’s game being so negative about the original.  

Anyhoo, don't you listen Isaac and Faith. We still love you. Now, lets all copy Google Images chimpanzee and forget we ever heard any of this unpleasantness.

Nov 30, 2010


  • LizarDAZZLE - December 2, 2010 4:13 a.m.

    Could VALVe pick up Mirror's Edge pleeeaaase? I know it would take yeeaaars for them to crank out ME2, but it would be so excellent!
  • Firenzeta - December 1, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    If Frank Gibeau needed proof that a lack of multiplayer doesn't mean a subpar franchise, he should look no further than Bioshock and Assassin's Creed (ironically, another game featuring freerunning). Sure, both franchises have multiplayer now, but they waited until the second and third outings, respectively, before they considered adding the feature.
  • CH3BURASHKA - December 1, 2010 5:19 a.m.

    I'm so sad that Dead Space got the sequel love and Mirror's Edge is left by the wayside. What I'm confused as hell about, though, is that ME had and has WAY more multi-player potential than DS! All the previews/impressions of the DS MP have all said that it's generic and bland, much like you would expect it to be. Mirror's Edge, however, has excellent potential and avenues for co-op and competitive play via the free-running, as opposed to dumb shit like Team Deathmatch, which I'm sure they'd totally include in ME2 if they ever would make it.
  • hanktherapper - December 1, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    I agree with him about Mirror's Edge except for the multiplayer. I loved the look and when it flowed, it was extremely fun but the execution was flawed. There was too much trial and error and the combat was poorly thought out. It also had the signature horrible DICE story. There should be a sequel as long as it isn't handled by DICE.
  • freddyqaqualung - December 1, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    Lack of multiplayer is rarely, if ever, a valid criticism. If the singleplayer is great, why add multiplayer? I mean, besides to make more money.
  • Grif - November 30, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    As one of the biggest Mirror's Edge fans, I would have to disagree. Yes the learning curve was steep, but the feeling of a perfect run was worth it. Yes the story could have been better, but the characters were actually interesting. Just make Mirror's Edge 2 a prequel, so you can actually deliver stuff and have all the characters alive and on the Runner's side (Merc and Cel). Maybe open up different routes on each level to avoid strict linearity. The only multiplayer I can think of would be sort of like a race, and there were time trials so what's the point?
  • Overlord153 - November 30, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    Althought i love(LOVE!!) Mirror's Edge I can't see multiplayer being a big thing. I'll remain optimistic and maybe it'll pull an AC Brotherhood. reCAPTCHA example Gonstive Must be the first game to focus only on multiplayer
  • bron1417 - November 30, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    both Dead Space and Mirror's Edge are AMAZING!! they dont need multiplayer to make them better i agree with the people who said that. after reading this article it makes me want to put Mirror's Edge in my game Q for GameFly.....i might just do that.
  • Ovenman - November 30, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    Mirror's Edge had a learning curve? It never even had a chance thanks to the massive cuts, it certainly was not steep.
  • n00b - November 30, 2010 8:14 p.m.

    games don't need multiplayer dead space was damn fine and never once did i say "hey this game need multiplayer for it to be complete" no, never said that. just look what happened to resident evil 5
  • Person5 - November 30, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    what this sounds like to me is the beginning of the end of great single player games, games are going to be MP games with SP modes attached to them instead of vice versa, I thought this same thing when I saw AC: Brotherhood MP, while the MP is allright it makes me ask the question: "Why does EVERY game need Multiplayer?" it just rubs me the wrong way to think all games are going to be focused on MP just because MP is the new "it" thing, its going to get to the point where if you don't have XBL or PSN, you shouldn't even OWN the system (though with games like any COD,that's already true)
  • GwaR - November 30, 2010 5:55 p.m.

    I know everyone's enjoying hating on EA's CEO, because after all he is their CEO (all CEOs are evil). That being said, he IS right about mirror's edge. Re-read what he said, he's pretty much spot on. The game was fun and good when it was firing on all cylinders, but that was the exception in Mirror's Edge, as other lame caveats kept bringing the experience down. Lame story, mandatory combat in WAY too many areas for a game that's based on avoiding combat, the indoor environments (almost all of them were terrible), and the utter lack of replay value. The time trials were fun for a little while, but there was nothing else to come back for after that. I loved Mirror's Edge in spite of it's flaws, which is a testament to how strong the core concept was, but it was very flawed. What the CEO is saying here, though, is that they should've done more. They should've gone all out and put everything they could into these IPs rather than just 'dipping their toes in the water' to see if they could make money. I agree with him. With a little more polish and a better story, Mirror's Edge could've been the 'next big thing' rather than another cult game.
  • Crabhand - November 30, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    @llyere, snowjoe, alan_partridge I'm just going to go ahead and employ the Bobby Kotick defense and remind you that he is ultimately a slave to the shareholders. It totally sucks dick that these CEOs are like this, but it's ultimately what allows them to stay afloat. Granted, Bobby Kotick sounds more like a total ass when he talks, but it boils down to the same concept.
  • papergoon - November 30, 2010 4:06 p.m.

    do you mean the game is bad without multiplayer? that is just a ludicrous statement. bioshock, batman arkham asylum and assassin's creed 2 were great games without multiplayer. they too were new ips. i'm just disappointed that this person is just so corporate minded, almost like that activision dick.
  • 510BrotherPanda - November 30, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    I don't know... I don't think the people who got Bioshock 2 did it for the MULTIPLAYER...
  • RoeTaKa - November 30, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    Some Mirror's Edge racing wouldn't go a miss. Competitive free running, maybe some people play as the police and stop the runner. I can imagine some sort of american football style deliver the package, one of ME's first levels had you take a package off another runner and complete the mission. I can imagine loads of fun multiplayer idea's for it because the engine and gameplay is there in spades.
  • Ilyere - November 30, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    It's not that hard to see that this guy's in it just for the money.
  • NeelEvil - November 30, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    I think NEPAL has hit the nail on the head as to why it didn't do that well. Only problem with Mirror's Edge is it was really short. If the sequel was to introduce a competitive multiplayer, essentially a parkour racing game, I think it could be really good.
  • cronoman66 - November 30, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    For mirror's edge i'm in agreement up until the multiplayer, ME had problems but it's completely deserving of a sequel that could fix those narration, and difficulty problems. I loved Mirror's Edge's parkour, hated the combat.
  • NEPAL - November 30, 2010 2:48 p.m.

    its the executives fault for relesing a new IP in the busiest time of the year against COD WAW.

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