Erm: EA Voted ‘Worst Company In America’

By John Walker on April 5th, 2012 at 12:30 pm.

DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE?

There’s a slight problem with internet polls. And that problem is the internet. I can think of no greater example than in 2009, the year Time’s Top 100 Most Influential People list not only saw 4Chan’s ‘moot’ take the top spot, but the top 21 entries be arranged in the order 4Chan wanted them. It was magnificent. (Heck, as long ago as 1998 internet voting saw Time’s Person Of The Year go to wrestler Mick Foley, which the magazine then vetoed.) So, while there are clearly serious lessons for the company to learn, yesterday’s announcement that EA is the worst company in America, according to readers of the Consumerist, should perhaps be taken with a pinch of incredulity.

Arguably a poll that awards a company the “Golden Poo” is not to be taken overly seriously, but seeing EA voted as the most hated corporation actually deserves some questions. People are angry at the publisher – we get that. I like to assume it’s not something as petty as not liking the ending of Mass Effect 3 that drove people’s votes, but rather the corp’s reputation for over-monetising, day one DLCing, and their awful practice of banning people from accessing their games because of forum infractions. And while those are things RPS certainly takes very seriously, and I would argue has taken EA to task over more seriously than any other gaming site, perhaps they’re not quite as serious as illegally foreclosing on soldiers’ homes.

The final came down to EA versus Bank Of America, who it had recently been revealed had illegally taken the houses of American service members while they were fighting abroad. And I’ve a loose memory that it was banks who were somehow connected to the current financiapocalypse. Other money-lending nominees appearing were Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, SallieMae and Capital One.

Also in the list were Apple, a company constantly criticised for its use of Foxconn factories in China (alongside many other manufacturers, it must be noted), which has seen employee suicides in response to conditions. There were Paypal and Walmart, who competed in the quarter finals of the vote, with winners Walmart eventually taken out by Bank Of America.

But of course what’s more significant is who’s not listed in the awards at all. When asked about how they felt about the award, a spokesperson for EA told Kotaku,

“We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year.”

See, the thing about the award is it’s really about which companies crap on their customers. The Consumerist is a website all about that. The real issue here, if it’s not the slightly odd choice of a games publisher over a bank based on recent events, is the name of the award. It’s not about who is the “Worst Company In America”. It’s about which company has most pissed off people who read a watchdog website. If you’re arguing for worstest companies, I’d venture that Monsanto, or perhaps Academi (nee Blackwater), or any number of weapons manufacturers might just pip the company that publishes video games for the title.

Of course, the other important point to make is that EA really needs to sit up and take notice of this. It’s not the first time they’ve been so widely loathed, and it’s a reputation for a few years there they managed to escape, Activision kindly swooping in to take the honours. But Activision’s peculiar quietness combined with EA’s stepping up in the dick stakes, has seen that unrivalry swap over once more. EA should be extremely concerned by the animosity felt toward them, and really start addressing where they’ve gone so wrong. These things can be turned around, but they won’t be so long as EA continues with the attitude that was present in the second half of their issued statement:

“We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”

So, “We’re going to carry on exactly as we are,” seems to be the implied response, which is perhaps a really damned stupid one in the face of such a clear message from their consumers. Hubris, even in the face of such a hyperbolic ‘award’, isn’t the right direction for any major company, least of all one that has such a direct face-to-face relationship with their customers. EA – it’s time to listen.

__________________

« | »

, , .

228 Comments »

  1. postwar says:

    I wish “infarctions” was an actual word, because it sounds farcting appropriate.

  2. Soulstrider says:

    Other truly worse companies aside, in videogaming I still consider Activision way worse than EA.

    • Jumwa says:

      Agreed. At least EA has made some moves to improve in recent years by taking an active effort to do more new IPs for instance. I’m not defending EA, of course, but Activision has been doing far more to tarnish gaming for me, they’ve just learned to have their PR people STFU about it more than EA has.

      But yes, definitely a lot of other companies I would list as worse than EA. In the realm of the net, PayPal tops my list. Though the financial sector is rife with endless names that deserve top spot.

      • Delusibeta says:

        I suppose if there’s one thing that can be taken away from this, it’s that EA has utterly cashed in their goodwill gained by the experiment in new IPs around 2007 by their actions since Dragon Age 2 turned out to be a massive disappointment.

        • Jumwa says:

          Against the norm, I actually preferred DA2 to the original. But of course, I was victim of EAs blatantly false advertizing for DAO, which proclaimed it a heavy action RPG, when in reality it was an old-school CRPG in new clothes. Which is fine, but just not what I was sold by EAs ad department.

          Blasted EA.

          • Keymonk says:

            I also enjoyed DA2 more than DAO, but I didn’t really feel false advertised in either case.

          • Jumwa says:

            Wasn’t really a ‘feeling’. The link I have is no longer there, but when I first played the game at launch, EAs official promo video was accompanied with text that proclaimed the game is “a heavy action-RPG”, to which I responded (mentally) “Action-RPG? I love action-RPGs!”

            Instead I found myself fiddling through menus with the screen paused more often than not. Which is fine if that’s what you like (I used to be an obsessive lover of tactical-RPGs, in fact), just not the goods I was sold, so to speak.

          • Blackcompany says:

            Funny. This is the exact same feeling I was left with after buying Skyrim on the premise of its being an “RPG.” Not that I hate the game; its still fun as an open world action game (which is what it is) but I was sold an RPG by their advertising, which is not what I received.

            I reference this because one: its similar to your experience and two: I can see Bethesda slowing sliding down the same investor-driven-design slope EA has tumbled down in recent years.

      • InternetBatman says:

        All the annoying things around Diablo III is good enough reason. Cannibalizing WoW with stupid updates remaking old dungeons instead of new ones is another.

      • sqparadox says:

        This has always confused me. I understand the hatred toward EA (Origin, monetizing of games, Day 1 DLC, etc), and toward Ubisoft (DRM designed and approved by Satan) but I’ve never seen or heard of anything Activision has done to deserve such vitriol.

        Not saying they haven’t done things to deserve the hate either, just that I haven’t seen it, read about it, or experienced it. I mean, I hate Blizzard, but that’s a personal thing. I don’t like the decisions and choices they’ve made, but I still respect them… and on that note, Activision != Blizzard any more than EA = Bioware.

        • devlocke says:

          Activision’s full name being “Activision Blizzard” and the two companies having merged makes Activision and Blizzard slightly more entwined than EA and Bioware, who EA bought outright and now own, if I recall correctly. I might not.

          There was a bunch of stuff over the past couple of years that Activision was vilified in the hobbyist press for, I think, but nothing is coming to mind at the moment. I think that’s what John was talking about; Activision hasn’t recently done anything that pissed off a gajillion people, so even tho they are still presumably doing the things that pissed the aforementioned gajillion off, they aren’t getting voted evil in online polls. It also might just be that, for a while there, EA was getting actively lauded for things it was doing, and Activision became the bad-guy by default. The fact that I can’t remember why Activision was the bad-guy is kind of irritating me. But there totally was a period of time where it was true, as far as headlines and general-consensus-on-hobbyist-sites goes.

          Also, I feel like there’s a word I should be using there that isn’t “hobbyist” but I can’t remember that either. I should probably just not be commenting on things when I’m this un-together.

    • djbriandamage says:

      For me it would go to Ubisoft or Sega.

      Ubisoft has always-on DRM, 3 “machine” install limits, and they even lied to the public last year about the DRM of From Dust. I never buy Ubisoft games now without reading reviews and the Steam forums to first learn what’s really in the box.

      I’ve bought 2 Sega games for PC and neither of them worked. I contacted Sega support about them. One time I got a canned reply 2 and a half weeks later with instructions on cleaning my Dreamcast. The other time I never got a reply at all. Both times I had to get Steam to intervene to refund my purchases and I doubt I’ll ever buy their products again.

      Activision’s been alright as far as I can remember, with the exception of the upcoming always-on, unpausable Diablo 3 DRM.

      • Wisq says:

        Honestly, it feels like all the “AAA” game producers are openly competing to see who can piss off the most people the most thoroughly.

        I half expect one of them to start burning live puppies, while another starts poisoning town wells in Africa, etc.

        Really loving some of the Indies and smaller pubs by comparison. Paradox in particular seems to have a knack for producing some of the best stuff while having absolutely nothing objectionable about them.

        • deke913 says:

          Some puppies are evil. I saw it on tv. And I don’t know about Africa, but there are water supplies within a 10 mile radius of my parents home that are off limits due the 4 football field sized waste contamination storage areas. Go USA!

        • HammertoesVI says:

          (Bah, first bit is at OP >>)

          …? As if! :P. EA takes the cake, simply because they aren’t just pulling any and every “business” practice to screw over the consumer, they’re not even trying to be careful or hide it from us. Because they don’t have to anymore.

          @Wisq – Yup. Pretty much. It’s not like people know who EA is anyway. Hell, the masses never know who they’re throwing thier money at anymore. At least companies like these used to be a little less obvious about being assholes, therefore having less time to actually commit such pointless evils. Then they realised that we don’t care what they do, as long as we get the next latest and greatest tech/games.

          @Mirdini – Wut? I think what you mean to say is “at least they’re acting like assholes instead of just taking my money.” In my mind, making the game pausable means they’re only taking 2 steps back instead of 3. Meh. Oh well, whatever makes us feel like they don’t have us by the balls, huh? :P

          It’s horrific really but the people have spoken; We don’t care.

          Yet.

      • Mirdini says:

        Diablo III is pausable now!

        Doesn’t make the always-on any less annoying if you just want to play on the train or plane but it’s at least somewhat of a step in the right direction.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I can’t understand this. I tend to enjoy Activision products less than that of EA, but Activision doesn’t have the reputation for ruining as many good studios and ideas. Wherever EA treads, promising game concepts and developers wilt and die.

    • Kolchak says:

      Activision hasn’t had the nasty habit of acquiring and then shortly closing good game studios. So Activision pretty much ruined Call of Duty and Tony Hawk, so what. I’ll never see another Ultima, Wing Commander, Dungeon Keeper, or a good Command and Conquer ever again.

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed. For all the stink over EAs business practices at least they do try and do new things.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Activision is just a johnny-come-lately as far as being a weeping anus of a game company is concerned. Sure, they’ve been around for a while, but they haven’t started being truly evil until relatively recently. EA, on the other hand, has been at this for decades.

  3. Phantoon says:

    I hear EA’s damage control amounts to having “troll accounts” post to rile the communities that voted against them for this up about strawmen that don’t matter so they can marginalize complaints.

    And as conspiracy theory crazy as that sounds, at this point I’d believe it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      well, I know of at least one case related to SWTOR, but astro-turfing is hardly new.

      There’s even one case of deliberately trying to get people to troll GW2 and Tera threads, but at that point it’s a myriad of trolls trolling trolls.

    • deke913 says:

      I gave up on EA while playing SWTOR , when the mods made posts asking people to go to metacritic and post high scores to counter the low ones. True story.

    • inawarminister says:

      Yep, I saw this earlier in the day (here) in /v/
      It was really obvious, and a bit sad somehow.

      Also, one shill (we think, could be an unrelated troll) posted an anti-Semitic and homophobic-statements filled paragraph defending EA. Good job!

  4. Sembiance says:

    Electronic Art’s has the BUGGIEST iPad games on the planet.

    Go read the reviews for Monopoly, Sim City Deluxe and Yahtzee. Crash, crash, crash, crash. They clearly DO NOT CARE because some of them haven’t been updated in over a year.

    I wish Apple would punish them for having such buggy crap on the app store.

    • Innovacious says:

      Reminds me of this website http://uk.pogo.com. Me and some friends wanted to play some monopoly online so we thought we would try it out, wasn’t until it said my account already existed that i noticed the EA logo in the corner. The game itself seems to be a very poorly made java app. Long story short, it was broken and we never got it to work. Another friend said they had tried it months before and it was the same then,

    • djbriandamage says:

      I bought The Sims 3 for my old Android phone. It worked once ever. I own 3 Android devices now (including the phone on which I bought the game) and it doesn’t work on any of them.

  5. Tams80 says:

    Comparing themselves to “British Petroleum”. That would work if “British Petroleum” actually existed and if BP did nothing to clean up that oil spill…

    • Runty McTall says:

      This. EA calling out “British Petroleum” was a dick move.

      • psyk says:

        LMAO BP fucked up big time. BP is way worse than EA

        • Verio says:

          In the big picture, yes BP may be “worse”.

          However BP sells a product that is nearly identical to that of it’s competitors, and I can buy my gasoline and petroleum products from any number of competitors for a similar/identical cost.

          EA however, I can’t go get Blizzard’s Mass Effect 3. They have a monopoly on that product, and if I want that product, I gotta do business with EA. Which is what makes their response of “lol whatever, scoreboard bitch” so lulzy. It’s like they can’t possibly fathom that maybe everyone bought mass effect 3 because you hooked them 6 years ago, and they want to see the completion.

          Come out with new IP, lets see how that does today…

          • psyk says:

            What clones are for, you might not be getting the same product but close enough :p

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Regardless of the fact BP weren’t responsible for that spill Americans hate BP mainly because they were told to hate it because there’s a huge well of British government money behind it to soak up any fine it got whereas the American companies responsible employed Americans and didn’t have any money.

    • Guvornator says:

      I didn’t know BP employees read RPS…

      • Tams80 says:

        Haha, no I don’t work for BP. I was just pointing out that EA where referencing a company that no longer exists and that by stretching this, one could assume EA are ignorant.

        I wouldn’t take any of this seriously though. ;-)

    • ucfalumknight says:

      To be fair, I don’t think BP is really that hated in the states anymore. As a resident of the effected part of Florida, BP spent a great deal of money trying to help our tourist driven economy. They also spent a huge sum of money on a PR campaign trying to repair their image. I’m not saying BP is a loved company here in the states, but it is certainly not hated. We have BP stations all over the place that have not gone out of business because of this hatred.

      EA is still by far a more vile company in the way it willingly treats its customers.

      • Lamb Chop says:

        The ‘look we’re cleaning all this oil off the turtle we spilled it on’ campaign was on of the most laughable PR moves I’ve ever seen. It should be duly noted that it was found that the rig that caused the spill failed something like 3/4 of its inspection tests and no action was taken except to cover it up. Was it worse than other oil companies? If you have a bunch of drunk drivers on the road and one of them happens to hit somebody, is he worse than the others? Maybe, maybe not.

        • ucfalumknight says:

          I agree the “We’re cleaning the animal we probably have already killed” campaign is laughable, but it is straight out of the Oil Spill PR Book. What I am saying is, while no one is running around with a Hug A BP Executive bumper sticker, they at least gave a frig about their image. I think that is what separates them from EA.

          For an EA rep to say “We’re not BP” is to say, we don’t give two shits about what the customer and general public thinks of us. We are going to continue business as usual. BP attempted (at least locally) to fix their huge blunder, where as EA simply says “there is no blunder” and flips the bird.

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    >It’s about which company has most pissed off people who read a watchdog website.

    Not even that, I think few of the voters had heard of the Consumerist before. The corps in question pissed off a group with strong online connectivity and intrest in mutual support.

    • Unaco says:

      The people BofA pissed off, don’t have a house or internet connection anymore. So they weren’t able to vote.

      • inawarminister says:

        Sad truth, but yes.
        I guess it’d be impossible to ask you people that live where it matters (currently) to oppose these kinds of cruelty?
        All of us are being brainwashed to be sheeps…

      • Kadayi says:

        Indeed. I think this entire situation is a fine example a lack of perspective by gamers.

        • Highstorm says:

          Or it was a silly, completely ineffectual internet vote for which company you hate most, based on individual experiences. It’s not like getting this “golden poo” is going to make any real changes in whoever wins it (and I do believe BoA receives a “silver poo” for runner-up, but I’m not certain on that). So it’s not as if we the internet missed a big opportunity here to effect real change in people’s lives.

          Why even have the contest if the ‘winner’ is a foregone conclusion? Why not just give BoA the award to start with and be done with it? Maybe because that’s not the point. Also it’s a contest to determine who is the worst. Coming in second place doesn’t mean you’re clear of the hate and everyone must love you. If I were running a company and I made it to the final round, I’d certainly reflect on that (not that I anticipate any of the nominees doing so).

          For me personally, I use BoA for my banking and while I believe and am just as horrified as everyone else when the stories of illegal foreclosures and such come out, I haven’t had many problems with them in my own experience. So when I see a casual “anyone can vote” poll for who I think is worse, I go with the one that more negatively affects me in my day-to-day. I’m sure the vast majority of voters had a similar thought process. If the poll were more serious and had real, perhaps legal consequences down the line, of course I would vote for the evil bank.

          It just feels like everyone who’s in an uproar that EA won over BoA needs to step off their high horse for a moment and take a breath.

          • Kadayi says:

            Given that I’ve seen man baby posts elsewhere on the internet cheering about this because EA apparently ‘killed’ Bullfrog & Westwood studios (over 10 years ago and under a different CEO). I do genuinely wonder whether such people understand the concept of letting something go and moving on wiith their lives? No doubt they likely still burn effigies of Peter Molyneux because he ‘lied’ about Fable. When’s the expiry date on these sorts of grudges exactly? So yeah, I think I’ll stick with lack of perspective.

  7. DevilSShadoW says:

    EA would love to listen but sadly it cant because of the sound isolating wall of money they have built around their office.

    • Tritagonist says:

      I’m no financial expert, but a quick look at these Yearly Graphs give me the impression that EA hasn’t generated any profit for the last five years: http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:EA&fstype=ii

      There’s a lot of revenue, sure, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of profit to go around.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        That’s how global corporations report earnings in the US. They never make real profit because that’s taxable. But it’s all reinvested or whatever to fudge the reports.

        • Tritagonist says:

          Fair enough.

          • Jesus H. Christ says:

            actually, what you want to look at is debt and Dividends per Share, both of which show ea has been sinking for the last 5 years. Their stock declines have been deserved.

  8. Josh04 says:

    Academi? I thought they were called Xe!

  9. psyk says:

    You have got to be kidding me, worst company in america? really not.

    “ERM:EA Voted Worst Company In America”
    “It’s not about who is the “Worst Company In America”.”

    LMAO

    “The final came down to EA versus Bank Of America, who it had recently been revealed had illegally taken the houses of American service members while they were fighting abroad. And I’ve a loose memory that it was banks who were somehow connected to the current”

    I think im going to piss myself……EA,EA LMAO ah gamers what good priorities we have.

    • Casshern says:

      I voted for EA as well. And I don’t even buy their games.
      I just couldn’t care less about Americans loosing their houses.

    • Kadayi says:

      I’m no fan of EAs business practices, but this ‘victory’ as many would deem it is kind of embarrassing for gamers over all.

  10. The-Sexy-Duke says:

    “EA – it’s time to listen” Pretty sure it was time for them to listen a looooooooooooong time ago. Voting for that poll was all good and nice but really people need to be voting with their wallets….

    • huw says:

      Yeah, exactly. These are nice words from John and all, but this is just some little poll. If people are still buying EA games in their millions, why should EA give a damn? They simply won’t.

  11. Hoaxfish says:

    It’s probably a good thing to note that Bank of America has had a long string of winning this award, and have show roughly the same attitude EA has shown here… ignoring it/pretending they’re great anyway.

    • Mattressi says:

      The problem is that EA could possibly be negatively affected for ignoring it. If BofA is negatively affected, they can just legally steal taxpayer money to recover their losses and maybe consider paying it back later or just give some of it back to the right government officials to make their problems go away.

  12. frightlever says:

    Monsanto – who’ll sue you if the wind pollinates your bean crop with pollen from their magic super-beans. They’re drawing a little attention at the minute but I expect it’ll come to nothing.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I think most are upset with Monsanto for attempting to monopolize seeds and trying to push Terminator GM seeds to monopolize planting.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Mosanto sued ONE GUY over cross polination, and that’s when he purposefully isolated the GM seed and then replanted it. And terminator tech has never been implemented.

      Sorry, just hate when people spew this BS. Mosanto is nowhere near perfect, but they’re not the great satan reddit makes them out to be.

      • faelnor says:

        Any company that sells seeds, fruits or tubers that cannot reproduce is a great satan in my book.

      • Crimsoneer says:

        Well, it’s a good thing they don’t then. The technology has never been implemented…they just ask farmers to pay every year. Monsanto said they wouldn’t use it back in 99.

      • theleif says:

        Well, they do use the same means as the RIAA, and just the threat of a trial is often enough for a farmer to just pay up instead of taking it to court.
        They don’t manufacture any Terminator seeds, but they do have many seeds (especially maize) that are bred or genetically manipulated as to give less yield after each season, thus forcing farmers to continually buy new seeds.
        They develop seeds that contain highly toxic fungicides and pesticides and sell them to third world farmers with no real capacity to protect themselves from it.
        They have a business strategy based on monocropping, something widely known as very detrimental to long term sustainability.
        Even after the discovery that DDT was highly dangerous and banned in most countries, they continued to manufactured it and sell it to poor countries (typically latin american countries with a USA backed dictator, i.e practically every latin american country until the 90:s) knowing the dangers of it.
        Just the fact that it is a company built on the idea of owning specific plants and animals should make you feel sick.
        Want me to go on?

        • Klaus says:

          Jesus, who knew the fruit business was so cutthroat.

          Not this ignorant fellow, that’s for sure.

        • Crimsoneer says:

          Except a lot of that is utter crap. When you sign a contract with Monsanto, you agree to buy new seeds yearly…that’s kind of the agreement. The only reason they have to modify them to decay over time is specifically because people don’t abide by those terms.

          As to the risk of monocropping, that has nothing to do with GM crops – it’s an issue with reduced crop diversity, which happens whether you’re using Monsanto seeds or not.

          Monsanto aren’t saints, and yes, use lawyers to make sure people stick to their contracts. They spend a lot of money developing those crops, they’re perfectly bloody entitled to sue somebody when they don’t stick to their agreements.

          • Lamb Chop says:

            The major reason to hate Monsanto is that just about every one of their practices is environmentally abhorrent, and their ability to drive down prices is based on ignoring externalities. Monocropping destroys soil which they obviate by using nitrogen rich fertilizers that both create horrible runoff pollution and themselves take huge energy inputs to create compared to natural processes that restore the soil (like, say, just growing another crop for a season). Their practices of severe genetic engineering creates fundamental vulnerabilities by standardizing genetic makeup. It’s the same exercise in short-sighted, brittle efficiency that caused the economic crash. Local diversification breeds a stability that these mega-producers can’t maintain. As long as we have a market that inaccurately values the costs of the practices and we value the short-term benefits over the long-term costs (a fundamental weakness of the way our markets incentivize profits), we’re just plowing ourselves further into the ground.

          • Cryo says:

            You know what, I don’t think Monsanto even pays you. I think you are just a natural born bootlicker.

  13. Ritashi says:

    Oh 4chan… Why you so beautiful?

    Oh, and, uh, ya. EA really aren’t popular. Not surprising, really, but there you have it. I’m not *exactly* sure why they’re hated (I just don’t have any desire to play games they’re involved with), but their business practices were never going to result in them being much liked. But as long as people give them money for it, it’s all fair game I guess.

  14. WMain00 says:

    EA wins for being worst company this year, is hated by gamers.

    Activision wins for being worst company next year, is hated by gamers.

    Excuse me while I go and try give a fuck.

  15. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Apparently the foxconn factory the suicides took place had 4 suicides to 100,000 people which is dramatically low for china, I don’t vouch for those numbers, but I suspect we’re probably being played by both sides in that political debate, esp. since Apple got the flak for it, but every other electronics industry giant uses foxconn to manufacture their products and didn’t get any negative PR.

  16. AmateurScience says:

    I do wish they’d stop gouging cash so aggressively. Shareholders + creative industry = infinite sadness.

  17. The Sombrero Kid says:

    The share holders will most likely sack Riccitellio and hire a true motherfucker of a dick only to see their share prices plummet and crawl back to him, where he’ll get to be a nice guy for a bit before they start moaning again, i.e. like last time round.

  18. Bhazor says:

    Surely they mean Activision.

    • Khemm says:

      It’s trendy to hate EA at the moment.

      • sneetch says:

        Yeah, because of… you know… erm… I missed the memo so I’m not quite sure why we hate them, something to do with Mass Effect or BF3 or Origin or something but grrrrr at the bastards, publishing their games all over us!

        • Khemm says:

          Origin and Steam are pretty much identical when it comes to DRM, functionality and basic design philosophy, also, the companies behind those clients have the exact same goal – control.
          Whoever hates Origin, yet loves Steam is a total hypocrite.

          • trjp says:

            Steam has never EVER stopped me playing a game I own – not once in the whole time I’ve used it.

            Origin (and EA Downloader before it) have on several occasions managed to screw-up their patches to the extent I couldn’t launch them and couldn’t play the games they contains until the patch was fixed. I’ve also had 2 games which refused to activate within it resulting in a 2-3 day wait for Customer Services to fix it.

            So Origin is worse – simples…

            I don’t “hate” it or “avoid it” as some people do – but given a straight choice you’d be crazy to choose Origin over Steam on my experience alone.

          • Kadayi says:

            Indeed. I’m amazed people are still banging on about Origin as if it somehow the most egregious thing ever. It might not be as feature rich as Steam yet, but it does exactly the same thing.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Oh for christ sake, Khemm we know you hate steam (but for some reason say that Uplay is fine in other threads, depsite being the same as both steam and origin by your own sodding descriptions of how they work)

            But there is one very big difference between ea and origin, data collection done by EA is required to use the product and sent off , this is not the requirement for steam, in fact it askes you “do you want to upload”.

            Its one of many but an example.

            Hell blizz upload without your permission (eulas are rubbish and don’t count, being mostly unenforcable and all)

            Now please stop spouting that you don’t get why origin isn’t liked when there are a few good reasons out there, the whole hiding and not admitting to data collection, removal from steam at about the same time origin was released being purly coincidental and not to do with pushing own product at all (considign some of the things removed apaprently about dlc had no more dlc released)

          • Brun says:

            For once Khemm I agree with you completely. Origin and Steam are functionally equivalent.

          • theleif says:

            “But there is one very big difference between ea and origin, data collection done by EA is required to use the product and sent off , this is not the requirement for steam, in fact it askes you “do you want to upload”.”

            I’m sorry, but that is just bull. Steam does that every time you want to add a non steam game to steam. Origin does scan your computer when you install it, as to automatically add any EA game to your account. Unlike Steam, you don’t have to install all your games in the Steam folder. That’s it.
            It has not, to my knowledge been one case where it has been proven that Origin actually collect any information other than login credentials.
            Am I the only one who remember that at release, to play HL2 you had to be online AND have the DVD in you drive to play it ? I had to actually crack the game as the DRM didn’t recognise my DVD as legit.
            I’ve been using Origin since release, and I’ve had much fewer problems with it than I’ve had with Steam, and Origin is still in “pre release” and was in beta status until just a couple of months ago.

            Note: I own more than 200 games on Steam.

          • Kadayi says:

            @theleif

            Actually Origin only scans your system registry, it doesn’t even scan the rest of your hard drive. Still I’m sure people will be rolling out the ‘Origin is spyware!!’ myth for the next 20 years, because after all why let the truth in the way of a nice juicy conspiracy.

        • Arona Daal says:

          Some dislike them for devouring/killing all the good developers (Bullfrog for example) and their franchises.
          Some dislike them for things like Gamespy.
          or the less than Stellar Customer Support.
          or the DLC.
          or all the Crap they try to pull (for example ingame Advertising in bf 2142).

          I am much more primitive, I just dislike their unskippable Logo in front of every Game *g*.

          But in the end they produced some pretty good Games beginning with Archon over Generals: Zero Hour to the Battlefield Series.

          But Valve / Paradox and so on,are usually better liked ,because they are not so damn annoying in so many ways.

      • Plivesey says:

        Fortunately I have disliked EA since Bullfrog/Westwood days. It’s the Activision hate that I don’t really get – that did seem to just be a passing fad.

        • Wisq says:

          (Recent) Activision hate is 100% about Bobby Kotick, and Bobby Kotick hate is 100% justified IMO.

        • Kadayi says:

          You do realise that the management team as EA changed since Bullfrog/Westwood were required? Effectively your hating on people for what their predecessors did.

      • Delusibeta says:

        It’s been trendy to hate EA since March 8th 2011.

        • Kadayi says:

          I’d say more misguided. It was Casey Hudson and Mac Walters who were to blame for the terrible ending of Mass Effect 3 given they wrote it (not EA) Up until the last 20 minutes the game qualified for its high review scores.

  19. klepac10 says:

    Not only in America , in Europe we have language restrictions.

  20. Runs With Foxes says:

    Gotta sting when even websites usually unrelated to games take a swipe at your shitty ending.

    Traditionally, the Poo has been delivered on its little red pillow. But this year, we’ll give EA three different color options for its pillow, though in the end it’s still the same old Poo.

    • psyk says:

      “After more than 250,000 votes” LMAO
      http://consumerist.com/2012/04/congratulations-ea-you-are-the-worst-company-in-america-for-2012.html

      “BofA can claim it had no idea it was buying such a toxic pile of crap when it scooped up the remains of Countrywide for virtually nothing. Even if you can believe that, the fact remains that Bank of America spent the years after the Countrywide acquisition doing little to nothing to repair the damage. False foreclosures, improper property seizures, misleading mortgage adjustment programs, robosigned documents and the subsequent lawsuits and settlements, have done significant damage to BofA’s public image and its coffers.”

      The masses have spoken LMAO

  21. El_MUERkO says:

    As I posted elsewhere, the people who voted for EA over companies who do real harm around the world are oxygen thieves, I hope their home has oil or shale gas underneath it.

    • Plivesey says:

      You really posted THAT elsewhere? Hah, you’re worse than the people who voted on this internet poll. It’s not a particularly serious poll, I wouldn’t call people who voted for a company that you’d disagree with as “oxygen thieves”.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Well they’re either ignorant and live in bubbles, or they’re seriously selfish to think EA is such a bad company while other corporations are killing people, destroying the environment, ruining lives, etc. Sure EA sucks, and I’m positive they’re as evil as anyone, but being a game publisher their impact is actually much smaller than other, more notorious companies. Obviously “oxygen thieves” is an idiom. Whose oxygen is it to steal? But the sentiment is accurate. The same people would probably say one of the biggest crises in the world today is their favorite show got cancelled.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          I think the hit is it’s “consumer” view points. People vote for what they see. If some cats are being skinned in the back kitchen, well, they don’t realise. It may not be their fault, they only saw the “worse” that was out front of the shop.
          EA sell a lot of things, that’s a lot of stuff out front of shop for people to notice. :P

    • inawarminister says:

      EA damage control person??
      You people came to RPS too? So sad…

  22. Turkey says:

    That poll is so messed up. I don’t even

  23. sneetch says:

    Does anyone really give these online polls any credibility? Surely the way they’ve been so easily rigged time and again renders them meaningless.

  24. HVO-Jetfire says:

    Sounds to me like Mick Foley was robbed.

  25. diamondmx says:

    I’d be happy for them to be voted the worst games company in America – perhaps having to fight it out with Activision, and on the world stage they’d have to compete with Ubisoft – but we all know this has bugger all to do with even the valid complaints about EA.

    This is mostly because people are pissed about the ending to ME3. Which just goes to show how incredibly shallow many people who vote on polls are.

    Worst company in America? BofA is pretty high up the list.
    (BP probably wasn’t even mentioned because if you remember, the news liked to call it British Petroleum and dump the blame on us, irrespective of it’s mostly US ownership)

    • psyk says:

      Shame it’s not a poll for the “worst games company in America”. So who froze the threads where the children were planning who to vote for?

  26. Namos says:

    “A pinch of credulity”?
    Credulity – A tendency to be too ready to believe that something is real or true.
    Synonyms: gullibility

    Not sure you’re using that correctly there, John.

  27. Bluerps says:

    The problem is that the usual reaction of a company like EA to bad public opinion is not “Oh no! We really should change our behavior for the better” but “Oh no! We need to increase the PR budget by 100 million dollars.” Or they simply ignore it.

    The poll is, of course, ridiculous. EA might be annoying, but they don’t harm people.

    • Phantoon says:

      Really it’s “translate the marketing budget to PR budget”.

      Mass Effect 3 ads were EVERYWHERE in the lead up to the game’s launch.

  28. psyk says:

    “TIME.com managing editor Josh Tyrangiel says moot is no less deserving than previous title holders like Nintendo video-game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (2007) and Korean pop star Rain (2006). “I would remind anyone who doubts the results that this is an Internet poll,” he says. “Doubting the results is kind of the point.” ”

    Man talks the truth

  29. jellydonut says:

    There’s nothing wrong with weapons companies, you left-wing numpty.

    • Unaco says:

      Really? Nothing? Not even profiting from death? Or profiting from the brutalisation and subjugation of civilian populations? Encouraging the militarisation of our Police forces? Not to mention the lobbying and influencing of Governments to enact laws that favour Weapons manufacturers over the safety of the population.

      There is plenty wrong with weapons companies.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Weapons companies waste our money. They have huge lobbying wings that influence members of congress into buying arms systems for a war we don’t even face any more.

    • Mattressi says:

      Initially I thought the same thing, but I’m thinking that perhaps it wasn’t a reference to simple small-arms manufacturers. I mean, they make significantly more (except for the douches like Heckler and Koch who dislike selling most things to the unwashed civilian masses) from the civilian market than from military contracts, usually. It’s the missile manufacturers and similar large-scale arms manufacturers that make huge amounts from constant wars. The same old Colt AR-15s are being used by ground forces (who are, in turn, hardly being used compared to aircraft and UAVs), so I can’t imagine they make huge amounts from that any more.

      If it’s hating on all weapon makers in general (such as Smith & Wesson, who barely sell to the military), then I fully agree with you; it’s just stupid to think that all gun manufacturers are evil. Making guns doesn’t make you a horrible person who wishes death upon others (there are many companies such as Kahr who make most of their profits on selling CCW handguns – specifically designed for civilians to defend themselves; nothing sinister about that). However, if he’s talking about the missile manufacturers and the like, I agree – they make a lot from ongoing, needless wars and lobby for them.

    • inawarminister says:

      Military-Industrial Complexes (which are totally uncompetitive with the Chinese btw) are nothing wrong!
      Killing brown people is our right! Because of Freedom!

      Yeah. No.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      To Life, To Death

      First there were attempts at life, then the draft
      of life, then Life itself.
      It didn’t have much value – life and death altogether.
      It was something of an accident, without importance.
      But Mankind kept working. A lot.
      A civilisation was crafted so that Life could live.
      Sublime by obligation, Life became sacred,
      untouchable. The great, beautiful Life, guaranteed
      to everyone, surged und survived until today,
      the 21st century, the third millennium, the advent
      of civilised civilisation.
      Bravo! Rest in peace.
      Crash! It’s never what you think.
      After just a short period of enlightenment,
      the shadows return, fast, dense and menacing.
      Rewind, death is at the door.
      Nowadays we kill – religiously, militarily, civilly,
      indeed very civilly sometimes. We kill out of ambition,
      out of greed, for the fun of it or of the show.
      Republics turn bananas. Tyrant are our masters,
      Designed, manufactured, sold, dreamed, purchased
      and used, weapons are our new icons.
      Our lives are only worth a bullet.
      The Guns Collection is nothing but a sign
      of the times.
      We get the symbols we deserve.
      Happiness is a hot gun.
      Glory to our dictators
      To Life, To Death

      - Philippe Starck

  30. Andrigaar says:

    Companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Wal-Mart were somehow behind EA, this poll was clearly slated and everyone knew it. EA is definitely a shit company, but there’s no way over-charging people for video games is worse than what the above three and BoA have done in their spare time for shits ‘n giggles.

    Still, the best part is that EA couldn’t even take the poll in stride.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I find it odd Verizon didn’t win. Good lord are they terrible.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I would definitely take Comcast over EA. As the worst company that is. $60 a month for internet is ridiculous. I moved away to get my current internet at $20 a month.

  31. Wisq says:

    I feel I should point out that Apple dealt with the Foxconn thing really well. IIRC, they initiated a neutral third party audit of Foxconn, found some serious issues, and demanded that Foxconn fix them. The fixes are scheduled to be complete within 15 months.

    Apple also doesn’t try to hide the China connection, unlike a lot of companies. If you order a custom box, they’ll ship it straight from assembly in China, rather than sending it to a warehouse first to try to whitewash it.

  32. Lambchops says:

    My favourite bit of internet poll subversion (and probably one of the earliest high profile examples) still remains the Best Newcomer Award at the ’96 Brit Awards, when Belle and Sebastian (having just released their second album) beat pop favourites Steps and 5ive to the award.

  33. psyk says:

    Internet poll makers, Get people to post the vote to you.

    Valve have the best stats on this (at least for gamers) Nice alternate way to enter the xmas compo.

  34. Blackcompany says:

    “The final came down to EA versus Bank Of America, who it had recently been revealed had illegally taken the houses of American service members while they were fighting abroad. And I’ve a loose memory that it was banks who were somehow connected to the current”

    Now, I can’t talk about taking the homes of soldiers because I have not read that article. Will do some research there. And by no means do I want to defend the practice of BOA, or any bank, for that matter. There’s a lot not to like.

    But on the subject of the fiscal ragnarok…don’t blame the banks. Blame the government. And the consumer, too.

    See, a Democratic congress decided one day to pass the Affordable Housing Act. This mandated that banks loan money to people, for houses, despite those people not being able to afford the houses. It allowed people to take out loans they could barely pay, for far more than they could afford. Banks literally had no choice but to comply with this law.

    So they did. But to safeguard their interests, they took out Credit Default Swaps. Every bank took out credit default swaps. With. Every. Other. Bank. All at once.

    So when the inevitable happened, and the bubble popped, every bank ended up owing every other bank for the credit default swaps (which work like insurance for mortgages.) And many banks of course could not pay up.

    That fiscal collapse was yet another in the American government’s long line of unsuccessful interventions in the Private Sector. See also: Amtrak; Fannie Mae//Freddie Mac; Solyndra; Chevrolet Volt. There are numerous examples of the American government trying to get into business. So far, none have ended well.

    • trjp says:

      What Blackcompany is saying is that it’s people’s fault they were (illegally mis-sold) credit they couldn’t afford – and that the finance companies then went to extraordinarily complex lengths to hide this shitty debt so that they could resell it for massive profit.

      They were aided and abetted by credit rating companies and auditors who simply turned a blind-eye to the whole thing too.

      Not their fault tho – it’s the fault of a Govt attempting to allow people to own their homes – that was the mistake. They should have been left renting – licking the boots of their betters and liking it.

      Blackcompany – you win the RPS Golden Ringpiece – take it and FUCK OFF eh? :)

      • Blackcompany says:

        If you take out a loan you know you cannot afford – if your monthly payment is more than you can pay – its the bank’s fault you took the loan? I mean…you do have to apply for the loan. You do have to agree to the terms. You do have to sign the paper work, which discloses, among other things, how much you owe and will need to pay.

        Its a nice thought, that we can just blame the banks for making bad loans. I used to work for one, though, and I understand that its not in the bank’s best interest to do this. They don’t want to make subpar loans. They lose money and believe me, banks are not in business to lose money.

        Just because a person is allowed to take out a loan they cannot afford does not mean they should do it. And it certainly does not make it the fault of the lending institution.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Yes. It is the bank’s fault. A large portion of their job is risk assessment and they didn’t do it. When someone’s job is to prevent something and then it happens anyways, it’s pretty clear they didn’t do their job.

          That’s without taking into account the widespread practice of misleading people. There’s an asymmetric exchange of information there, and it is not reasonable to expect the people buying a product to know more about the product, especially one as complex as a mortgage, than the people selling it.

          As I said below, the real problem was that the people making these loans weren’t the ones holding them. They had little to no liability on loans they sold to other banks. Banks don’t want to lose money, but if they sell off bad loans they don’t have to. So the system changed to where the incentive was actually to make loans, because they were a product to be sold, not to make judicious loans as way of protecting and increasing their assets.

        • trjp says:

          InternetBatman covered it – but I can put it another way.

          If you allow people to take debt – they will always take debt – and likely-as-not, they won’t pay it back.

          Is that their fault or the mug who gave it to them?

          Of course, in this case the ‘mugs’ resold, hid, resold, hid that debt until it wasn’t traceable and then demanded public money to sort out their shit.

          Oh – and the people who ended-up with the debt then repossessed people’s houses despite, in most cases, having zero proof they owned the debt.

          Win Win for the rich man as ever – I repeat what I said earlier, shoot them in front of their families…

        • Welsh_Medic says:

          Let me use a hypothetical from my own line of work to demonstrate how ridiculous an argument you are making. I am a doctor. If a patient were to come to me with a medical problem, and I were, due to laziness/lack of knowledge, to offer them a completely inappropriate treatment which resulted in harm coming to them, would you say that it was the patient’s fault for agreeing to partake of the treatment? No, you wouldn’t-and the General Medical Council would probably agree with you. I would stand a very real risk of being struck off. This is almost directly analogous to the situation with the banks-they have a specialist expertise in financial products, which is what they are being paid for. As such, they have a responsibility to ensure they market those products appropriately.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Put even more simply: accepting a loan you might not be able to pay back if certain things happen that you cannot tell beforehand is not illegal. Packaging junk loans together with some AAA loans and selling them as a AAA package is fraud.

      • Klaus says:

        Well, unless they were misled with no reasonable way to know otherwise. Then, yeah, a large portion is their fault.

      • Mattressi says:

        I don’t think it’s only the banks’ faults nor only the government’s fault. It’s both. If they both stayed away from each other (like they’re supposed to), we wouldn’t have both of them screwing over the public with a combination of laws and shifty, greedy practice that goes in both their favours. I’ve never understood why ‘right wing’ people hate on the government for this and the ‘left wing’ people hate on the banks. Both are bad and neither should have the power they have.

        …I should really stay away from this article. I’m on a rant roll.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      NO way. I will always blame corporations before the consumers.

      • Blackcompany says:

        And this is the problem.

        Bank gave me a loan and I signed for it, knowing I could not pay it back.

        blame the bank.

        EA makes games that are shitty and then nickel and dimes me for DLC and I buy it all up and say, “Please sir, may I have another?”

        Blame EA.

        I got fat eating too much fast food.

        Blame McDonalds. Cause I didn’t eat it of my own accord.

        My kids are violent and have attitude problems.

        Blame the video game makers, not yourself as a parent.

        At some point, people have to accept that it really is their own fault. In the case of corporations and their merchandise, only one kind of vote works: the vote not to purchase the game/product.

        So long as a company remains profitable you can hate them all you want, and you know what: They will laugh all the way to the bank.

        • Lamb Chop says:

          Right and that would work if we lived in a world with perfect information and the luxury to make informed decisions. If I go to a financial expert whom I pay to precisely to give me accurate information about a smart investment and then he offers me a predatory loan cast as a sound strategy for financing my home, I, a hypothetical single mother of three children, pretty reliably am not in a position to conduct a comprehensive study of financial theory to understand whether he’s sold me a bum rap. Victim blaming is wholly inappropriate in a scenario such as this.

          Girls should probably stop dressing so slutty, too, cause they are asking for it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      That is not what happened at all. The affordable housing act was for Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac and did not magically force the other companies into the market.

      The real culprit was a fundamental change in our mortgage system due to deregulation that had been happening for decades; Banks could buy and sell bundles of mortgages to other banks. In one way this is a good thing because it meant local banks wouldn’t lose all their assets in a natural disaster. However, it removed the incentive for the people issuing mortgages to make sure they were sound. They could dump all the toxic assets on the market and walk away with the money.

      This still hasn’t been fixed either.

    • Skabooga says:

      Blame is difficult to quantify, but I would not disagree with the idea that the government, companies, and individuals all played their role in the housing collapse.

  35. trjp says:

    I think you have to separate companies who offer “poor customer service” and companies who break the law and screw up people’s lives and the economy…

    If you’re going to include the actions of the major credit/lending/investment banks alongside a company who nickel-and-dime’s it’s customers you’re going to meet a stiff decision every time.

    The actions of banks – especially in the US where they are illegally repossessing 10s of 1000s of houses without any paperwork to support their claim – would outrage the decency of anyone. Awarding them a Golden Poo is not the thing to do.

    Those that benefitted need to be shot in front of their familes – simple as…

  36. Blackcompany says:

    I would also like, in all seriousness, to thank RPS for their balanced and well-reasoned response to this vote. Especially the understanding that the vote is really about “the company who most pissed off consumers who read watchdog websites.”

    This vote isn’t about worst company and RPS gets that. Its about the company who most frequently dumps on internet savvy consumers who are familiar enough with cyber space to know about and participate in a vote like this en masse.

  37. Vorphalack says:

    Time to listen? I’m fairly sure they are aware of how they operate and how that is percieved, and will continue to not give a single f**k as long as they make more money than they loose.

    The last sentence should have read ”Consumers – it’s time to listen”.

  38. reyke says:

    well i’ve been an ea consumer for years and i must say that in the later years they have implemented a lot of marketing tactics that i disaprove but still it’s not game breaking in most cases.

  39. nyarlathotep-88 says:

    I am not totally surprised. There are many things I dislike about both EA and Activision, but even though I haven’t bought a game from either of them in a long time, the only companies I have been boycotting for while are EA and Ubisoft.

  40. psyk says:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-04-05-popcap-co-founder-defends-ea-after-worst-company-in-america-win

    “PopCap co-founder defends EA after worst company in America win ”

    best comment
    “You’d have to have a fairly limited interaction with the outside world to conclude EA is the worst company in America.

    My suspicion is a lot of votes orginated from Parents basements “

  41. Stevostin says:

    Well they’ll sure see no money from me as long as they’re trying to force Origin into my mouth, especially with its unacceptable forum policy.

    That being said I wouldn’t completely put a company that release BF3, a game that somehow is NATO propaganda about a war that’s actually awfully going to happen, with result possibily worst than Iraq pile of corpses. I am taking a wild wild guess here but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised that making a popular BF3 somehow helps finding recruits for black water style companies or the army and then send the blazing gun pooping bullets on civilian. My two cents.

  42. Aphex242 says:

    I’ve read RPS for a long time, but just now registered to make this comment. I’m also an avid reader of the Consumerist, and voted for EA in the poll.

    Bank of America “won” last year. They’ve been a top contender for years. Truly, the worst companies in America aren’t on that list – the coal company that has had numerous safety violations and then lost those miners in the explosion a few years ago, etc. I, personally, see it as a way to try to shame an otherwise decent company into reconsidering their image, and in so doing, maybe acting a little less obnoxious.

    EA is a perfect candidate for this kind of shaming. Onerous copy protection, day one DLC, shoddy products of late, rushing devs into destroying franchises, etc. etc. etc.

    Yes, it will never be as bad as companies that make products that arguably cause asthma in children. No it will never be as bad as a bank that forecloses illegally on a soldier’s home. But it IS bad, and it deserves all the recognition it can get, in that area.

  43. Dizzard says:

    Sensibly speaking obviously companies like Bank of America are worse than EA.

    but on the other hand, none of them should be given excuses just because they happen to not be the worst of the bunch.

    EA came across extremely snotty in that statement.

    • Klaus says:

      Yeah, “I’m not as bad as THOSE guys over there” is usually, if not always, a shoddy defense. As if one bad act should make another lesser act more palatable.

  44. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Remember when Belle & Sebastian won the best newcomer award at the Brit Awards, despite it being their 3rd album, and despite nobody at the event having a clue who they were. That was the internet working at its best

  45. Shooop says:

    This means nothing. There are many more idiots buying their “let’s complete them later and make people pay for it” games than informed consumers. Thousands of people happily signed away privacy just to play a video game.

    They couldn’t give a fuck less, and they have no reason to because their customers are too stupid to care. The award they should have won is “company with the dumbest customers”.

    I’d have voted Wal-Mart.

  46. Enikuo says:

    It seems unfair to be annoyed about the results when the standard used to dismiss EA’s win would knock half of the list of contenders out of the competition from the beginning.

  47. Milky1985 says:

    I liked best the fact that there response to being voed the worst company in america wasn’t to say “we will look at why”, was to simply say “we are not as bad as these other companies”.

    Yes they may be worse EA, but lots of people think you are crap and maybe you should look at why rather than crap flinging.

  48. Kaira- says:

    Ahaha, oh wow. If there ever was need to prove that gamers are entitled this is it.

  49. karthink says:

    The results aren’t shocking in the least.

    It is natural to expect consumers to be angriest at the company that screws them over in the most visible, obvious and egregious way– and in that order. Their skewed sense of perspective is a function of the sense of personal injustice and disappointment. Companies that are somewhere up the chain and whose doings don’t directly affect our day to day lives (or don’t affect most of us) can get away with a lot; companies like EA that deliver a significant chunk of the average gamer’s entertainment (and there are a lot of gamers online) cannot, and will have their failings magnified.

    Ranking injustices and anger doesn’t really make sense to me in the first place.

    EA just has a major goodwill problem. Here’s a very simple way you can get in the public’s good graces again, EA:

    1. Lose the faceless corp image. Get a likable human face to do your PR and interviews. (See: Gabe Newell, Fred Wester) Make sure this person talks like a human being.
    2. Make things convenient for your consumers. Every Internet based business model in the past ten years that has wildly succeeded has been rooted in convenience. (See: Netflix, iTunes, Steam) This means no every-play online authentications (inconvenient to a significant chunk of people.) No regional restrictions and no harebrained pricing.
    3. Let your studios make the game they want to make; you stick to doing QA and marketing. If your devs are passionate enough, it will show, and it will sell.

    Really, though, just do (1). Get a real person for a spokesperson and you can let Activision fight it out with the banks next year.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>