This is the second time in the last two years that EA has won the award for consumers worst company in America award. For those that read the word award and think this is a good thing, think again because it is more of a disgrace. This year they beat out Bank of America for the title with Comcast and Ticketmaster coming in close behind.
Is this title deserved? Most likely not but the consumer report poll only measures how annoyed the online community is with a certain brand at the time. For as long as this contest continues to use that as a factor, EA will continue to be nominated and win year after year unless some serious changes are made. With multiple online communities like N4G, Reddit, True Achievements, Kotaku, and VG247 for people to complain about EA and little other communities other than Consumersist or Consumers List to complain at; it is not really a surprise that they keep winning. This year they blew out their competition with 78% of the vote.
This time EA had the foresight to prepare for the PR battle ahead of time but it seems that might have chosen the wrong man for the job. COO of EA Peter Moore attempted an apology but it came out more bad than good. He said, “We made plenty of mistakes and that they owe gamers a better performance.” He then went on to say that part of the reason they were rated so poorly is because of the Sim’s City’s always-on requirement isn’t for DRM reasons.” He then continued by saying that another reason why they are rated so lowly because people are mad at who was put on the Madden cover.” This is a ridiculous reason to be mad at EA since the Madden cover is decided by fans votes. Finally he said the main reason that EA has been nominated as the worst company is because hate groups are mad that they include gay and lesbian characters in their game
The press and Consumerist responded saying that no one writing in to nominate EA for Worst Company ever mentioned Madden’s cover or EA’s support of the gay community. So what are the real issues? One being the Always-On DRM, which would cause Sim City’s launch to be one of the worst within the last few years. Trying to convince the community that a game needs to be connected to the internet all the time sounds rather crazy doesn’t it but that is what the Always- On required. Another thing that could be a contributing factor is that EA requires an online pass to be able to play online; So for those who buy a pre-owned game you are required to purchase an online pass for the game. Yet another possible reason could be the failure of the MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. After all these controversies, former CEO John Riccitiello stepped down.
Just because EA has had some failures does not make it a bad company, rather it is the matter of them not accepting accountability for their failures or actions that make them one of the most hated. Peter Moore’s statement of why EA is voted the worst sounds more like an attempted to displace blame. Instead of blaming others they should look for a solution instead. Personally i would suggest less online passes and silly restrictions to their games.