EA Really Doesn't Want to be The Worst Company In America

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Blachman201:

The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA we remain proud and unbowed.

Ęsop:

The Tree and the Reed

"Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?"

"I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer."

"Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.

image

So, EA can't even get their metaphors right? Awkward....

Honestly, after a history of poor business decisions, i'm surprised EA sin't trying to milk this "opportunity" for publicity or something.
I could see if before me "EA, america's worst company. Be a part of us, too!"

Andy of Comix Inc:
I like that he says "people think free-to-play is a pox on gaming - tens of millions people are playing, though!"

Because that really disarms the "pox" analogy.

It's the way people in his position sees things. If lots of people use it, there's NOTHING wrong with it.

Despite the many flaws with it. Like how the number is counted.

See, this incident is a perfect example of my distaste for EA as a whole. Instead of admitting their mistakes and seeking to rectify them and avoid making them in the future, They blame others for it then double down on the mistakes. They say they want to improve but make no effort in doing so and say it's our fault for not recognizing it.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Kargathia:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
and having one hell of a good public relations team

I'm not entirely sure why this is crossed out, as it's pretty much spot on: Valve makes good games, but where they truly shine is salesmanship. The way they've made their customers love them for the chance to buy their stuff is a PR/sales masterclass in and of itself.

I guess I've always felt that a lot of the goodwill Valve earns is through, as you say, slick salesmanship more than anything, but I didn't want to get flamed for it. If you remember the Orange Box launch, that was every bit the shitty fiasco that SimCity was, made worse by the fact that it was pretty unprecedented at the time. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the way gamers give Valve a free pass for stuff that would earn eternal condemnation if pulled by EA, but I can still recognise that the philosophies of the companies are fundamentally different.

EA, on the other hand, is an equally perfect example in how to do it wrong. Quite entertaining, but wrong.
Now this doesn't put them quite in the same league as companies that have ruined countless people's lives, but as has been pointed out already: "not the absolute worst" still is pretty fucking terrible.

I guess that for me's the fundamental difference. Valve and EA seem to pull a lot of the same shit, but Valve know how to dress it up better. At least, in my honest opinion.

There's also a slightly more substantial list on the plus side when it comes to Valve - their digital distribution service actually works well and smooth, and their shenannigans with discounts alone will more than compensate any problems people have with their privacy policy or anti-lawsuit EULA (to name two examples).
That, and the fact they don't make you wonder what poop-flinging monkey approved their latest PR stunt.

gigastar:

Frostbite3789:

gigastar:
Im sure that Activision is a taller tree than EA, yet theyve done nothing to piss off this many people over the last 2 years.

Diablo 3? Every Call of Duty?

As much as i hate Call of Duty, its not actually done anything wrong.

And Diablo 3 was a pretty big cock up, but EA had the same cock up with SimCity, and many more besides.

Then use that terminology. You said piss people off, which it's done.

Hmm, that sure is a lot of denial right there.

As for bringing up the LGBT support they do... well...

The basic issue here is that people are forced to endure EA's tactics if they want to play EA's games. It's a matter of "endure or go without". When it comes to things like Origin or Microtransactions, EA is intentionally overlooking that a lot of people hating on them are those who used those systems and hate EA for being made to deal with them. 45 Million users on Origin doesn't consider how many of those people wanted to install or use Origin compared to those who were forced to do so in order to play the games. EA didn't really include a effective way to "opt out" and when it comes to microtransactions it's a matter of "either pay more for the full product, or to not be inconveinenced and forced to waste time grinding and not enjoying the game due to our tacked on mechanics, or suffer". EA is great about talking around the issue of Microtransactions by claiming they are extras or "enhancements to a game someone already likes" but we all know otherwise when they are developed alongside the game, or represent things shaved off of the game because executives believe they can charge more for it. The plot-integral Prothean squad member in "Mass Effect 3" is a classic example, as is the whole "Microtransactions for salvage" system in Dead Space 3, where technically it's not cheating to exploit a "glitch" to get around this (if you find it) but basically you need to spend extra hours doing nothing but grinding if you want to avoid having to pay more than the $60 price tag for the game in order to get everything the salvage system allows.

In short EA deserves the distinction they are facing, and I find it oddly disturbing that they are so quick to dismiss the criticism. Of course then again they doubtlessly figure they have a bunch of gaming addicts to exploit. It doesn't matter of sheep object to being sheared, or junkies don't like having their fix cut with crap, if people want what they have they are going to have to endure it. The fact that people who want to play EA titles can only get them from EA in their mind means they can do whatever the hell they want. Especially seeing as it's a luxury good which so far puts them beyond any kind of regulation.

As far as the LGBT issue, I'm not going to argue the specifics of that, but I do feel the need to point out that despite what a lot of people might want to believe roughly 50% of the US population alone is anti-gay, and that goes up substantially when you look at things through a wide enough global lens (albiet involving a lot of countries EA probably doesn't do direct business with). If EA decides to take a side on an issue like this they should expect backlash and it to influance their perceptions. If you listen to the media it's easy to convince yourself that there is some kind of clear majority or supermajority supporting gay rights, but that's hardly the case. There is a reason why most businesses approach the situation cautiously. Few people had much of an issue when there just happened to be some non-heterosexual options in the games, but when EA allowed itself to become a flashpoint for the issue of LGBT entitlement it took on a whole differant meaning. This is ultimatly a side issue, but basically EA should have expected the response, and at the end of the day taking sides the way it's done has legitimatly pissed off a lot of their customer base whether they (or other customers) like it or not. That said, this in of itself wouldn't have had much of an effect overall, since even people who were hardly pro-gay were playing these games even if they found the content distasteful. EA mostly tries to use "political bravery" as a shield here, to try and cover up for the fact that it's their business practices that are really pissing people off.

There may be companies out there that are worse.

But I'll tell you one thing: no company on this planet pisses me off more directly. Comcast does, sure, but I can haul Comcast before the Public Utilities Commission and make them lick my boots if they piss me off (and if you haven't filed a PUC complaint against a utility when they piss you off, you should).

EA I can do nothing about as they fuck this industry raw.

This letter just makes me want to vote for them more.

Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer - it's not. Period. [/li]

Yes it fucking is. You can make all the excuses you like but the fact that a company that makes fun leisure activities was even entered for this list means that you are doing something drastically wrong.

And with that any hope of EA changing after the exit of Richitiello is gone.

Bye-bye EA games,see you in the used rack.

Sorry EA, creating a gay ghetto planet is SW:TOR to segregate gays from the "real people" does not make you some great proponent of gay rights.

If that's the kind of "help" you're offering us gay folks (and then gloating about) how can you not understand why people hate you?

I'm surprised they don't build separate water fountains and restrooms for black people then stand there waiting for a compliment form the NAACP.

I must say, Mr. Moore seems to be saying that hating EA is akin to hating LGBT rights, as he draws a parallel between the anti-EA people and bigots who disagree with the "support" EA has given the LGBT community. And that's absolute bullshit.

And saying that Origin is in competition with Steam? Absolutely laughable. If Mass Effect 3 had been on Steam, Origin wouldn't even still be a talking point for EA.

I really do not appreciate Peter Moore's response towards the gamers, customers.

It felt like a "Deal with it" response which rubs people off, along with info that can be taken as false, misleading, and avoiding the actual problems. But in all honesty, I feel action is stronger then words so rather then criticizing EA.. I will not buy their games. Peter likes to bring up the number of people using Origin, and buying their games so all in favor of shutting EA down can simply stop using Origin and game that comes out of EA.

Also just to add my personal input on this... the response is way to cocky also. I'm not demanding that Peter apologizes in tears but he could of came off more respectful. Instead, his words are only going to rile up people to where it would of been better if he said nothing at all.

Just want to add, I was playing simcity not 3 minutes ago and I lost a private region with 6 developed cites and 2 completed great works just to EA's crappy DRM.

EA is in the gaming universe. The gaming universe is defined by gamers. Gamers hate EA the most. In its universe EA is the worst company.

I would have respected EA more if they just accepted this like men and stopped trying to make justifications and excuses like a bunch of cowards.

I mean....okay.

I could talk about Moore's little essay, but that's a waste of time. It's stupid and self-centered and doesn't do him any favors, we all know that. I will just say that, just like last year, I do not think EA is the worst company in America. They're terrible at what they do and annoying as fuck, but BoA and...

(chokes down bile)

Ticketmaster

(fails to choke down bile, throws up all over computer screen)

are infinitely worse. The difference is that the EA has been much louder with their terribleness, and that the product they sell is much more important to the Internet than the product of...

Ticketmas-

(throws up again, falls unconscious to the ground)

It should be noted that most of the companies entering the finals have won the WCIA at least once already, it tends to be the same cast of villains every year.

While there was a large contingent of people arguing that EA is a bad company "because ME3 made me saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad" there were far more people on the Consumerist making the argument that EA is a bad company "because I paid circa 100$ for a game that they immediately began selling for less than 60$ because I happened to buy that game on release" or the classic "any company that expects you pay the same amount, or more, for the same product every year and then subsequently pulls all support for the product you purchased is a bad company".

There was also a good few ex-EA and current EA employees who argued that the amount of work they're expected to do in most of their studios is completely unrealistic and is actively causing them undue stress etc.

It's the "cool" thing to do to hate on EA. They aren't the worst company by a long shot imo. It's nice to see EA stand up for itself. I enjoy their games from the sims 3 to mass effect.

neppakyo:

Dendio:
It's the "cool" thing to do to hate on EA. They aren't the worst company by a long shot imo. It's nice to see EA stand up for itself. I enjoy their games from the sims 3 to mass effect.

"Baaa"

Cid SilverWing:

Dendio:
It's the "cool" thing to do to hate on EA. They aren't the worst company by a long shot imo. It's nice to see EA stand up for itself. I enjoy their games from the sims 3 to mass effect.

Stop being a sheep. It's not a "cool thing", EA is objectively the evilest game company there is.

Excuse me! I find those statements comparing people who mindlessly support EA to sheep very offensive! I happen to own several sheep and they are far more intelligent than that....

Flames66:

Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer - it's not. Period. [/li]

Yes it fucking is. You can make all the excuses you like but the fact that a company that makes fun leisure activities was even entered for this list means that you are doing something drastically wrong.

Don't even try reasoning with this.
As some fellow anon from /v/ said,

"It's like fighting with your parents.
You know they're wrong
They know they're wrong

But they think they can make themselves the winner by saying
"it's not. Period.""

WaitWHAT:

Excuse me! I find those statements comparing people who mindlessly support EA to sheep very offensive! I happen to own several sheep and they are far more intelligent than that....

I apologize for insulting sheep's intelligence, and won't compare them to EA.

They are smarter than that!

EA isn't the most hated company in America, it's the most hated company in the world. Because I will never have to deal with Bank of America or Comcast. EVER. But I will have to deal with EA.

Phlakes:
You know, I'm actually surprised they'd bother with something like this. You'd think they'd have learned by now that trying to change people's minds is pretty futile. It's like trying to convince an erupting volcano to just take it easy for a while.

I've seen that the "Mass Effect 3's Ending is ART and therefore should not be changed" trick they pulled was pretty successful. Utter bullshit of course but it worked.
At the same time I think this time they're not convincing many people by this statement and at the same time piss off people that don't like them already even more. I guess it's always some sort of tradeoff.

Professional excuse making? Alright, I'll do them the courtesy. Let's go down the list.

"The complaints against us last year were our support of SOPA (not true), and that they didn't like the ending to Mass Effect 3."

Fair enough. As I recall (I could be wrong) EA simply didn't have a stance on SOPA. And to be honest, I've never liked the idea of an entire corporation throwing in behind one bill or another when it's made of many individuals who have differing opinions. I wouldn't like working for a company knowing they then have the right to throw in on my behalf.
And ME3's ending? Um... the publishers don't do the writing... who was blaming EA for that?

"These include server shut downs too early"

Correct, but the least of your worries.

"games that didn't meet expectations"

That's on the developers, not EA.

"missteps on new pricing models"

OR RATHER, NOT EVEN AN ATTEMPT ON A NEW PRICING MODEL!!

"and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity."

Jim said it best, EA and Maxis were determined to push onto us a SERVICE before they were actually able to SERVE US.

"Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer - it's not. Period."

That's nice Peter... but that wasn't the issue. The issue is, whatever it was for, it failed us. You failed us.

"Some claim there's no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong."

How many of those 45 millions users to forced to sign up by bull shit Origin dependence built into your games' code?

"Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."

Yeah, those people are just cry babies who think all games should follow the same pay-up-front model.

"We've seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really..."

Hm. That's over the top, yes.

"In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we're seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America."

Well you ARE in the right their EA. I will stand behind you on that issue!

"We are committed to fixing our mistakes."

I don't want to sound cynical on this but... Prove it EA. After all you've done in the last few years, just saying that means nothing. Show us.

"Over the last three weeks, 900,000 SimCity players took us up on a free game offer for their troubles. We owed them that."

That was a good move. Could have been handled better, ie: you should have known that if you offered the "standard editions" of certain games that people would see that as you being opportunistic.

"We're constantly listening to feedback from our players, through our Customer Experience group, Twitter, this blog, or other sites. The feedback is vital, and impacts the decisions we make."

I hope that's true, but again. Show us.

"I expect the debate will include a lot of comments under this post. But here's the truth: each year EA interacts with more than 350 million gamers; Origin is breaking records for revenue and users; The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Real Racing 3 are at the top of the mobile charts; Battlefield 3 and FIFA are stunning achievements with tens of millions of players; and SimCity is being enjoyed by millions of passionate fans all over the world."

Here's your main problem. This right here. Nobody has a problem with the products you put out, they just hate the practiced latched to them. They love your dev teams, they hate the publisher. You. Holding up their games and saying "oh but look what good work we've been doing!" doesn't hold water, because your not the ones that made them, you're the ones that attached stupid DRM, day DLC and oddly placed micro transactions on them.

"At EA we remain proud and unbowed."

Well good for you. I don't think you should be, while I think you should look to the future with hope and determination, I certainly think you should be a little ashamed at the moment.

I believe you can turn this around EA. I have my doubts about whether you will. But I believe this company's reputation can be fixed over time.

Oh, add my two cents in as well. Since Dragon Age 2 I have not bought an EA title since, nor will I ever.

I might play an EA title if it looks interesting enough, but I will not purchase one. I'll give my money to companies like CD Project RED. Can't wait for the witcher 3, and that other title that the name eludes me at the moment.

I'm canadian, and I'll vote for EA being the worst company. I hope others do what I've done and not purchase anything related to EA

I haven't been an EA Customer since 2011.

Xdeser2:

Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer - it's not. Period.

Enough to tell you that this letter is utter bullshit. Period.

In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we're seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America.

NO EA! You do not get to Spin the story and take the Moral high ground on this shit! Dont try to fool people by lumping these intolerant assholes with the people actually making legitimate complaints against your practices. You dont get to try to make yourself look progressive like that.

(As you can tell, Im a bit passionate about this lol)

Still though, I'm glad Grey posted this without much opinion on it all, leave it a bit ambiguous lol

Hey! Did you know you were quoted in an article by the Consumerist (the website that's hosting these golden poo awards) when they commented on EA's statement: http://consumerist.com/2013/04/05/ea-admits-it-can-do-better-but-blames-worst-company-success-on-homophobes-and-whiny-madden-fans/
Congrats, Just thought I'd let you know.

The Rogue Wolf:
"Some claim there's no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong."

Well, tell me, Mr. Moore- if you can- how many people installed Origin because they thought it was the best source for deals on games, and how many installed it because it was foisted on them by your company as a necessity to play your games?

Now, I'm not saying that Valve isn't guilty of the same thing with Steam, but I think the ratio of willing to unwilling users is much higher with Steam than with Origin.

Actually, the only reason why people even bother with Origin is because is mandatory to have it installed if you want to play a game that's under EA. This was mandatory from BF3 onwards and the point of the matter is that's no different from getting 45 million people to register for Origin because they're doing it at gunpoint.

"Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer - it's not. Period."

Response: It IS a DRM scheme, and it IS a complete farce to try and tell us that it can't be fixed. We've already seen individuals who've made their own versions into a offline/singleplayer game.

"Some claim there's no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong.
Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."

Response: But you forget, people HAVE to sign-up for Origin if we want to play games such as Batman: Arkham City (Even though I bought the game through Steam). Origin will never directly compete with Steam BECAUSE EA is just trying to force it down our throats.

"We've seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really..."

Response: That's a small handful of idiots on the internet, and can also be attributed to the fact that Madden NFL games are BASED around the idea of favorite athletes/teams. So obviously people will disagree with your choice regardless.

"In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we're seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America."

Response: LGBT (Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual, and Transgendered) characters are a obvious controversy that YES people will have a issue with. EA gets ALOT of flak (or rather Bioware in particular) for having LGBT characters in it's AAA titles. But that is a aspect that has probably more support than those who appose it. It's a concept that some people still aren't comfortable with, and yet it shows a maturity and respect to be able to openly support and portray LGBT in videogames. So regardless of how "Evil" or "Terrible" people claim EA to be, players are still for the most part supportive for the right to create LGBT characters. If EA would more strongly and agressively promote the equality of LGBT in videogames, then I am sure that overall gamers would find more reason to defend and support EA.

To conclude: I think that if EA would be more open to gamer feedback (Such as "Always Online" being a terrible idea), and also showed a more definitive stance with things like LGBT (don't remove or side-step the issue, just raise your middle fingers to the homophobic people out there), than EA would have a solid and successful fan-base.

EA shouldn't even be near the top of the list. Comcast yes, they should be there.

Comcast is constantly trumping up mine and my friend's bills.

Then when we tell them what our bills should be and ask where the extra charges come from, they are like, "I don't know, but you still have pay us the extra money."

One month I've caught them giving me a larger cable TV package that I never asked for because I know I didn't talk to them about it, and then they expected me to pay extra at the end of the month, even though I didn't even know I had the extra channels, because I don't surf, I just click the numbers I my usual channels.

Ha, EA is small potatoes.

GAunderrated:
I can't be the only one who read his bullet points going "bullshit....more bullshit....padded numbers.....and more bullshit"

EA has got to stop trying to justify themselves because they can't. I am sorry the decisions they are making are not justifiable so please stop it. We arn't going to buy your crap opinions on the matter.

Nope, I did it too. I looked specifically at his "45 million people use Origin" comment and automatically said to myself: "You mean 45 million people are FORCED to use Origin. One of the major reasons I didn't buy SimCity was because it was required to download Origin, something I'm happy I've managed to avoid for this long.

Well written, and in context I understand his points. But the "worst company in America" is presumably from consumers point of view. We aren't talking the magnitude of the misdeeds, but the nature of them. No company has so alienated its customers, ruined its own products and done so much HARM to the very industry in which it does business.

The comment about Origin...none of us have a problem with having a competitor to Steam. Competition is good and healthy. What EA have done however, is to REMOVE their games FROM Steam and make all new games Origin ONLY. Add to that the spyware in Origin and the frequent, well publicised bans locking gamers out of their single-player games, there's an issue. Sell your games on Steam again WITHOUT an Origin requirement, maybe I will buy the good ones.

Speaking of good games, can you stop making bland, samey military shooter after bland, samey military shooter. If I want to play Call of Duty, I won't buy Dead Space 3 or Mass Effect 3. Seriously. And stop adding multiplayer to everything, end project $10, no more microtransactions in single player games. Then you'll be almost back on the right track.

Learn EA, then maybe next year you won't be the worst anymore.

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