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

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I'll say it again, as much as I dislike EA I find it laughable that they'd be rated the worst company in America. I mean worst video game company maybe, but worst company in AMERICA??? I don't think so.

Sansha:

Mylinkay Asdara:
EA, you should have listened to us before we had to go to extremes to get your attention, then maybe you wouldn't be up this creek. I have no sympathy, don't act like you're being bullied, and stop doing things that make your consumers hate you. It's pretty simple.

I can't believe they didn't know what kind of hate they've been building when we've been telling them about it every step of the way. I also can't believe that they didn't know what kind of long grudges gamers tend to hold. So, in my opinion - they made their bed now they can cry in it.

I still want Dragon Age: Inquisition to be good - if it is, I'll tone down the hate. That's the salvation EA: start doing better, and we'll stop telling you how much you suck.

This is what irritates me. You hate the company as much as is deserved, but you're still buying their products.

EA's constant ignorance of their customer's demands, terrible quality products and desperate bids to increase profits at the expense of consumer intelligence makes it a terrible company, and unfortunately the nature of their company means their customers are in constant communication with one another, which means they're going to win the voting here.

I've utterly had it with EA. As I've posted many times before, I simply won't do business with them.

I will be buying one of their panoply of products. The one I'd like to finish for my own satisfaction. I'm not buying anything new from them until they get back into my good graces though, that's my middle ground between "boycott completely /rage" and "keep drinking the kool-aid."

Hero in a half shell:

Other studios were profitable when sold to EA, but corporate meddling from EA killed their games: Westwood were sold to EA when they were profitable, they were famous for some revolutionary RTS games. The first thing EA did was make them produce a First Person Shooter that they wanted to compete and surpass Halo. Because that's totally going to work.

Command & Conquer: Renegade was in production before EA acquired Westwood; it was the last "native" game in development by Westwood (along with Tiberian Sun). Digging around in the assets for Renegade shows that a fair amount of the content was developed in 1999 and 1998 (they even forgot to change the date in a couple of the splash screens...oops.)

However, Renegade was delayed in production because of the myriad of things EA was forcing Westwood to produce at the time.
(Red Alert 2 was rushed out the door in under a year along with the buggy-and-unbalanced as sin Yuri's Revenge. C&C Generals was barely given any time either and was in co-production when Westwood was trying to finish the highly unfinished and unpolished Renegade.)

piclemaniscool:
"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...
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."

This is just evil. Really evil. Legitimate customers come to complain and EA twists it so that anyone that complains is anti-LGBT? This is really fucked up. How are people still giving them money while EA takes a stance like this? It's nuts!

What the hell...? This is like when someone posts a perfectly interesting story about how young people don't know what a $2 bill is and then at the end just add something like "And this is how Obama got elected." I'm sure there's a name for this logical fallacy of "If you don't agree with me or what I do then you're some kind of bigot on [some totally unrelated issue]."

That is just FURTHER proof that they should get votes for being a bad company.

"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. That last one is particularly telling. If that's what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because were not caving on that."

Whatever else I feel, I say "Fair play to you, EA!" for that one. Don't let the bigoted gits win!

Not really sure they can use the number of registered users for Origin to advocate its quality, considering in order to play games such as Mass Effect 3 you had to get an Origin account. Aside from the fact that I need it in order to play certain EA owned games that I bought elsewhere (including on steam), I have never used Origin yet would still be considered a registered user.

For the Madden thing, didn't Moviebob do an episode about how one of the cover stars was found guilty of animal cruelty. That's a justified reason for complaint if he then appears on a computer game cover.

Yeah, they don't really deserve title of worst company in america, as other have said certainly worst videogame company in america.

Or possible stupidest company in america. I remember hearing about how they cancelled a plan to release some modern military shooter with some NRA offer as well. They only re-thought this after a school shooting. Given the undeserved flak the game industry gets for crap like that, putting a gun offer with your game is asking for trouble.

Atmos Duality:

Hero in a half shell:

Other studios were profitable when sold to EA, but corporate meddling from EA killed their games: Westwood were sold to EA when they were profitable, they were famous for some revolutionary RTS games. The first thing EA did was make them produce a First Person Shooter that they wanted to compete and surpass Halo. Because that's totally going to work.

Command & Conquer: Renegade was in production before EA acquired Westwood; it was the last "native" game in development by Westwood (along with Tiberian Sun). Digging around in the assets for Renegade shows that a fair amount of the content was developed in 1999 and 1998 (they even forgot to change the date in a couple of the splash screens...oops.)

However, Renegade was delayed in production because of the myriad of things EA was forcing Westwood to produce at the time.
(Red Alert 2 was rushed out the door in under a year along with the buggy-and-unbalanced as sin Yuri's Revenge. C&C Generals was barely given any time either and was in co-production when Westwood was trying to finish the highly unfinished and unpolished Renegade.)

Really? Wow I didn't know that, I'm trying to find the source of the page I read that Renegade was created by EA to compete with Halo but all I can find is mods for Halo skins, but if there really are assets in the game from 1998 then I can't argue with that.
Looks like I can't use that particular example to show EAs stupidity any more, but it's not like there's a shortage of them to choose from...

I remember reading a thread about Command and Conquer Tiberium Sun years ago on a fan site, and there was an actual Westwood employee in it, someone asked him why Tiberium Sun had so many flaws despite it being developed pretty much all by an independent Westwood and he responded that it wasn't ready to ship, there was still a lot to add in, like the night/day cycles affecting how far your units could see, and terrain height affecting the range of units (so getting the higher ground was advantageous) as well as general bug fixes and cosmetic improvements. EA put a group of marketers in charge of the developers who instantly slashed the development deadline and wanted it released just whatever way it was. Most of those features had to be dropped and were added later in the Firestorm expansion pack.
He gave an example of just one of the ways Executive meddling was handled, saying that one of the marketers decided he didn't like the artwork of the building and unit icons in the in-game purchase bar on the HUD, so he got the artists to completely redo them all to a different style. The developers were never notified about this pretty major change, and only found out when they played/saw screenshots of the game itself after production.
This was a pretty big deal of course because the box art pictures had already been taken, and because EA didn't bother telling them about the changes they made to their own damn game they didn't know to change the box art pictures to suit the new HUD.

If you've ever wondered why the screenshots on the back of the Tiberium Sun box were different from the ones in the game... well now you know.

Hero in a half shell:

Really? Wow I didn't know that, I'm trying to find the source of the page I read that Renegade was created by EA to compete with Halo but all I can find is mods for Halo skins, but if there really are assets in the game from 1998 then I can't argue with that.
Looks like I can't use that particular example to show EAs stupidity any more, but it's not like there's a shortage of them to choose from...

I'd say you could still argue that Renegade was still rushed out to meet Halo, considering that its collective development time was spread across a longer period of time and in fragments. Plus, Renegade just plays like an unfinished alpha; the weapons don't quite feel right, the vehicles feel 50% finished (and awfully samey in a lot of places), and it was glitchy as hell.

It's a shame too, because that game concept is really really cool.

I remember reading a thread about Command and Conquer Tiberium Sun years ago on a fan site, and there was an actual Westwood employee in it, someone asked him why Tiberium Sun had so many flaws despite it being developed pretty much all by an independent Westwood and he responded that it wasn't ready to ship, there was still a lot to add in, like the night/day cycles affecting how far your units could see, and terrain height affecting the range of units (so getting the higher ground was advantageous) as well as general bug fixes and cosmetic improvements.

I still have my Tiberian Sun manual...and I love flipping over to the Cyborg Commander, which claims he has a chaingun cannon and a flamethrower, but in the actual game he just has this plasma-gun thing.

Some of the missions in the campaign range from curiously simple to ridiculously hard due primarily to how wonky the balancing is; and those unfinished features. Like a mission where Nod has to recover the Tacitus before it leaves via a train, but the enemy Titan patrol will always spot you way too soon because the Nighttime mechanics aren't implemented properly.

As cool as some of the features in TS are (like the Ion Storms), it's a very unfinished game.

EA put a group of marketers in charge of the developers who instantly slashed the development deadline and wanted it released just whatever way it was. Most of those features had to be dropped and were added later in the Firestorm expansion pack.
He gave an example of just one of the ways Executive meddling was handled, saying that one of the marketers decided he didn't like the artwork of the building and unit icons in the in-game purchase bar on the HUD, so he got the artists to completely redo them all to a different style. The developers were never notified about this pretty major change, and only found out when they played/saw screenshots of the game itself after production.
This was a pretty big deal of course because the box art pictures had already been taken, and because EA didn't bother telling them about the changes they made to their own damn game they didn't know to change the box art pictures to suit the new HUD.

If you've ever wondered why the screenshots on the back of the Tiberium Sun box were different from the ones in the game... well now you know.

It literally is just like two completely different companies were involved in the making of those games.
The marketers who were advertising one game, and the creators who made something else.

I knew about the rush work for Tiberian Sun and that discrepancy, but I'd like to add that Red Alert 2 uses the same core game engine as TS and (I think) Red Alert 1. You can find a lot of references to old assets from Red Alert and TS in Red Alert 2's ini file (some of which are still in the game 0_O).

Dexter111:
I'd post this as a response on there, but unfortunately they have a rather low character limit on comments. xD

First let me address your points regarding EA being voted "The Worst Company in America".

The site this Poll takes place on is called "The Consumerist", and the Poll is dedicated to companies that screw over consumers, not committing atrocities against mankind, because you are right EA wouldn't be among the final contestants in that case. BP won't win awards for its clean business and the Bank of America is an American bank that did horrible things to the people indebted to them, but ultimately the peak of most people coming into contact with consumer practices in regards to BP is usually when they are upset because the gas prices went up again. And the Bank of America is the Bank of "America", while The Consumerist Poll is open to people Worldwide.

Another key difference is also that they offer replaceable goods. If someone doesn't like BP they can go fill their gas tank at a Shell or Exxon petrol station or at various other competitors of their choosing and their car will still work just fine.
If people don't like a bank they can always switch, in most cases even transfer debt if there's evidence of being able to pay it off.
If people want to play games published by EA though, which are unique as products, they can't get them from anywhere else, and they're forced to suffer from EAs overall practices against its consumers. If you like games, or want games by certain developers like BioWare, Maxis or Visceral you are forced to put up with those or go without.

For instance in the case of Sim City, there could have been near to a million ticked off consumers that weren't able to play the game for the first week or two and were directly affected by these practices. Amazon.com has over 3000 1-star user reviews alone, a lot of them by "Amazon Verified Purchasers" so you know these are YOUR consumers complaining about YOU. Those are people that actively took the time of day and wrote entire paragraphs (and initiated in dialogue) over how bad the game and especially your practices in regards to it are.

At the end of the day, what do you think would have happened if BP or Bank of America would've won another award for how badly they are operating their business? They wouldn't even have released any kind of statement to acknowledge their win and there likely wouldn't have been any kind of reaction at all. People are at least hoping to get a reaction and admittance out of EA, and maybe, possibly change some of the things it does.

________________________________________________

That Sim City's Always Online Requirement isn't "DRM" is a blatant lie and you know that, many of your consumers (especially on the PC side of things) are rather proficient with technical skills and work in IT or as programmers themselves, you should know that you can't pull the wool over their eyes.

The features and the requirements of a game deign if it should carry the "MMO" genre brand and not marketing buzzwords or type of DRM employed.

Sim City was always decidedly Single Player and the new one isn't much different, it's just a new breed of single player game that has a built in DRM limiting its use-cases and deigning it to a designed obsolescence as soon as the sequel comes out. It's a bad precedent and has to be stopped lest more and more decidedly Single Player games do the same thing and then possibly "disappear" forever at some point when server upkeep doesn't prove profitable anymore or out of whatever other reason, while people can still play Sim City 2000 from 20 years ago without a problem.

Let's examine the meaning of the word "MMO" as it pertains to Sim City...

MASSIVE(LY) -> Usually means more than 128 people (often much more) and with a persistent world, Battlefield for instance had 6464 player maps and soldier persistency mechanics for a long while and it's still "only" considered a Multiplayer game (and also always had its Single Player part in being able to play against Bots or the campaign). In the case of Sim City there are regions that people can play in either alone, or share cities with a rather (low) number of other people, usually 2-6 other people, but only 4 seem to be able to interconnect properly at one time.

MULTIPLAYER -> Should be a little more than a few values you could unmarshal/marshal from/into a simple file. You can play alone in Sim City, there isn't even a "Co-Op Mode" for two player city building or anything like that, which would require Multiplayer. All new features could be developed as an (optional) Multiplayer mode and everyone would have been happy.

Regions and sharing/trading resources aren't a new thing, Sim City 4 from 2003 already had those with its Regional Gameplay.

As far as I know there were even people playing it in "Multiplayer" like the new Sim City that way by simply synching a few of the State/Save-files amongst each other using DropBox, for instance there are people on SimTropolis doing this.

There is also a big difference between "Synchronous Multiplayer Games" (what MMOs are using where people run around with each other, form groups or raids and appear with hundreds of other people in a common town or area and states are updated instantaneously to transmit the new positional data based on ping latency from clients to server) and "Asynchronous Multiplayer Games" like Sim City where you can play all by your lonesome, building your city not much minding what other people do, even if they are Offline at the moment and then they get to see what you did when they log in next and get to do the same.

The only mechanism required for this is a asynchronous way to push/pull and merge that data at given intervals depending on how the players want to, e.g. every hour/day/week or whatever may be deemed appropriate. Instead EA/Maxis made it all just worse, by requiring an Always-Online connection even if you are playing alone (which most people are likely doing).

ONLINE -> Yep, forced "Always-Online DRM".

Sim City, even with its new design is still a decidedly Single Player game (that could make use of an OPTIONAL Multiplayer Mode which would only need to synch State files with a master server every time in a period of X hours/minutes or even multiple days if the player chooses so, no need to be Always Online for it), your own engineers have said so themselves.

You keep repeating that the game is an "MMO", trying to get people to buy that. This whole thing would have been half as bad if you just admitted to the DRM instead of outright lying and trying to deflect from the issues, but that isn't EAs usual policy.

_________________________________________

Your company has been going around devouring developers and draining them of all their creativity for around two decades now, about as many years as you have treated your customers as walking, talking wallets and not much else. You have been at the forefront of DLC and Day-1 DLC as a money-gouging practice, Microtransactions, using viral marketing to change public perception, trying to influence the press, trying to prevent used sales with Online Passes, various kinds of consumer-scorning DRM methods, lately even Always-Online DRM.
You refer to Microtransactions as a "consumer choice", yet your previous CEO referred to them as consumer exploitation at points in time when players "aren't price sensitive":

Your sports games only sell the way they do because you have acquired and are basically hoarding the exclusive rights to about any existing league out there, from the NFL, NBA, FIFA, UEFA to the NHL and more. Principal thing being to have no competition as you know that a quasi-monopolistic position in the market is the best position to be in and games aren't considered "serious business" just yet anyway, despite making more money than movies and music do in large parts of the world.
These practices are considered and methodical unlike oil spills or the financial crisis (which I am sure even BP and big banks didn't WANT to happen, but came to be from negligence).

I'd also like to remind you of the "EA Spouse" incident, that described how EA deals with some of its valued employees, there's talk of 7-day work weeks and 85-90 hours of work in those, of deteriorating families and other nasty things, and if a game slightly underperforms you don't seem as considerate about their livelihoods and cut their jobs to "maximize profits".

You also aren't above cutting peoples jobs and re-hiring them in their desperation just as a bonus was due, benefits would kick in or because you want your quarterly figures to look good, or at least weren't above it in the past.

Your EULA forbids people to sue you if they have disagreements, you take the rights to collect personal data of your consumers for yourself and use it whatever way you want and having the right to terminate any purchase agreement and taking away products out of any reason whatsoever, just because they want to play some games.

In other industries, trying to talk customers into believing that they don't actually "own" the products they buy with their money or trying to completely prevent used sales would be considered ludicrous, yet when your company does it, it seems to be fine since it's "only about video games", you are also shifting the lion share of your profits to marketing-based "Pre-Order" hype more and more, since actually knowing if a game is good or bad before buying it might be bad for business after all...

It is also telling, that yet again you are using the LBTGQ community as nothing but a shield to hide behind whenever you make mistakes, you have done so already for Dragon Age 2, you have done it in various occasions for Star Wars: The Old Republic, you have done it against the criticism levied against Mass Effect 3 in the beginning days till the mountain grew too big (which wasn't only about the ending, but also about employing Origin as DRM, important plot-based Day-1 DLC and many other things), you have done it with Sim City recently and more importantly you have already done it the last time around you were voted the "Worst Company in America" and were even called out on it by publications like Forbes. People aren't really buying it anymore.

It constitutes a really low PR tactic and people appreciate it less and less the more you make use of it. We know that EA has even dabbled in hiring fake religious protesters to promote their games (Dante's Inferno) and that the company isn't above this.

Enough is enough and there is also another tree-related proverb that I'd like to bring up: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

I agree with you 100% and bravo mr(s) bravo.

Azaraxzealot:

piclemaniscool:
"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...
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."

This is just evil. Really evil. Legitimate customers come to complain and EA twists it so that anyone that complains is anti-LGBT? This is really fucked up. How are people still giving them money while EA takes a stance like this? It's nuts!

What the hell...? This is like when someone posts a perfectly interesting story about how young people don't know what a $2 bill is and then at the end just add something like "And this is how Obama got elected." I'm sure there's a name for this logical fallacy of "If you don't agree with me or what I do then you're some kind of bigot on [some totally unrelated issue]."

That is just FURTHER proof that they should get votes for being a bad company.

It could be considered a strawman argument, misrepresenting or exagerating someones's claims to make it easier to attack.

It could also be an ad hominem argument, dismissing someone's argument due to a real or perceived character traits.

It could also be considered a false cause fallacy, where a real or perceived relationship (people who don't like LGBT rights are voting for us) means that one is the cause of the other (therefore everyone is voting for us because we support LGBT)

A lot of his arguments are also argument ad populum fallacies- assuming that something is right because it's popular or commonly used.

To put it simply, he used A LOT of logical fallacies in there and his whole argument is pretty much bullshit and doesn't stand up to any close scrutiny.

Varrdy:
"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. That last one is particularly telling. If that's what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because were not caving on that."

Whatever else I feel, I say "Fair play to you, EA!" for that one. Don't let the bigoted gits win!

The consumerists showed that they are lying though.

They have not seen any traffic of a political/anti-LGBT nature voting for EA.

You should read the consumerist responce to EA's bullshit, it is rather entertaining.

I find it interesting that he latches onto the LGBT one, as if that's anywhere near a majority of the criticism EA is receiving. It's almost as though he's subtly trying to equate people who didn't like SimCity with homophobes, so as to draw the negative attention off the actual company and shift the blame.

It's worth noting that he doesn't really want EA not to be the worst company in America, he just doesn't want them to be seen as such. Little details like that make all the difference.

P.S. Thanks

EA is horrible and this plea to not be voted the most horrible makes me want to hope they are, once again, worst company in America, but I cannot understate how truly awful Ticketmaster really, truly is. Unfortunately less people (presumably) go through the experience of buying concert tickets every year than playing video games, but at least I derive some enjoyment out of some of the games I get from EA. I can't say I have ever had any pleasant experience with Ticketmaster except to pay fees to print tickets out of my own damn printer.

wAriot:
Indeed, Valve has had several problems because they haven't been giving refunds.
You know why they do this? Because it's their policy. It's how they work.
Now, I'm not saying that THAT is a good thing, nor am I defending them. It's a bad policy. But they have done a lot of good things and, overall, it's a consumer-friendly company.

EA is not. They refuse to give you refunds (from time to time they will, though, just like Valve), they have a piss-poor client support, they accuse the consumers when their games don't have the success they hoped, etceteras etceteras. There isn't anything I can add here that hasn't been said already in this thread.

Yes, because offering people whom initially bought Sim City 1 out of 8 games as compensation is non consumer friendly, the fact that (in Australia at least) their products on Origin are generally 10 to 20 dollars cheaper than buying in store is non consumer friendly, giving away 20 dollar game codes to be used on Origin is non consumer friendly. I'm sorry, but EA have done many things to prove (well, to me at least) that they are not giant assholes. Do some of their games have some sections to them that are questionable? Yes. Does that immediately make them a bad company? Maybe, but looking at their sales and the amount of games that I own that is made/published by them that I have really enjoyed tells me that FOR ME, EA has been an outstanding company that has yet to make a decision that made me go, "This is bullshit".

wAriot:

CDPR made a mistake. They took it back. So did many other companies with their own mistakes (who hasn't made one). Again, overall, they are a consumer-friendly company (in my opinion, one of the greatest).
Did EA apologize for anything they have done? Ever? Not only they didn't but they ACCUSED THE CONSUMER of being homophobes, gay-hating bigots. Do they have the right to put DRM in all their games? Yes, they do. But they shouldn't be surprised when people doesn't buy their games because of it.
Do they have the right to destroy what could have been the Star Wars of video games? Yes, they do. It's their game, after all. But they shouldn't be surprised when people hates them for it.

Should we lighten up as a community? No. Not in a million years. Without criticism, the companies would just do whatever they damn well pleased. And don't even come with that "speak with your wallet" bull (in case you were going to), because even if you KNOW what is bad and what isn't, there is always a kid out there that will buy their game, just because he doesn't know better.

No, EA is not known for apologising often, but in the case of Sim City (as mentioned above) they did offer 1 in 8 games as compensation, if that's not some form of apology than we better tell all those love birdsand movie directors that giving a girl wine and chocolate as an apology is wrong. If you are referring to Mass Effect as the Star Wars of gaming you couldn't be more wrong. Mass Effect was popular, but it was not loved by all. Mass Effect was the game that you either enjoyed from the start or never wanted to do anything with after the start. It's a good game, still is, people just through their arms up in air because they didn't (and this is gonna sound really arrogant of me but) understand the ending.

Should we lighten up? Yes, but I don't mean stop criticising, critique is healthy, it's what keeps the gears spinning in a forwards direction. What I mean was the ferocity of the critique, too often do I see people just say, "JKADFGVKJADHNFV ZGM,NFGBS MD,SF IDIOTS THIS WAS STUPID I HATE YOU" instead of keeping their emotions settled and saying, "This is what I did not like fore these reasons, I would appreciate these things to be fixed". Now that will not always work, sometimes companies just don't listen, but if the gaming community want to be taken as mature adults (which statistics show most gamers are 30 so...) then stop hurling vulgar filled complaints at everything. Yes, you can vote with your wallet, but your vote means nothing in the grand spectrum because while you may not like something, others do. That is the nature of a subjective piece of work, not everyone will love something. I personally think the Metal Gear games, Half Life games and DOTA games are boring and refuse to finish them, but I accept the fact that they are enjoyed by many and don't project my opinion of the game as fact, which is what too many people are doing when it comes to video games.

I just have one question If EA made a real effort to change the things you dislike would you consider changing your opinion on them if your answer is "yes" or hell even "maybe" then I know your have genuine issues with the company like me and like me see they have potential unlike other shitty company's *cough* Capcom *unconvincing cough* If your answer Is *never* or *once a shit company always a shit company* Then I know your an Idiot and are only hating on them because its "cool"

Gameguy20100:
I just have one question If EA made a real effort to change the things you dislike would you consider changing your opinion on them if your answer is "yes" or hell even "maybe" then I know your have genuine issues with the company like me and like me see they have potential unlike other shitty company's *cough* Capcom *unconvincing cough* If your answer Is *never* or *once a shit company always a shit company* Then I know your an Idiot and are only hating on them because its "cool"

They'd have to actually do it first, and as everyone before me has made pretty astonishingly clear, there's little enough evidence of that in this 'apology' letter.

Gameguy20100:
I just have one question If EA made a real effort to change the things you dislike would you consider changing your opinion on them if your answer is "yes" or hell even "maybe" then I know your have genuine issues with the company like me and like me see they have potential unlike other shitty company's *cough* Capcom *unconvincing cough* If your answer Is *never* or *once a shit company always a shit company* Then I know your an Idiot and are only hating on them because its "cool"

Honestly, I have no actual problem with EA per se. If they changed their business practices, then I would have no problem with those either.

A company is a company, and it's only as good or bad as its people. John Riccitiello leaving could actually be a good turning point for the company, if they used it to make changes. It looks like they're not. Which is a shame, honestly.

bug_of_war:

wAriot:

But they are.
Google search for some chats with EA's client support.
Things like this.
image

Activision may release rehashes and bad games. That doesn't make them a bad company (no pun intended). It's the same with Nintendo, Capcom and many others. EA not only did that (Sims 3 yearly installments, which supposedly will happen with SimCity too), but they also made very, very bad decisions AND tried to defend them.

If only I kept the E-mails where in which it took a month for Ubisoft to help me prove to Valve that my copy of Ghost Recon was faulty and not working at all, then I could show you how helpful Valve can be and how kind they can be. You think that picture is EA giving their consumers the finger? Here's the gist of what happened with Valve,

"Hey Valve, I'm having troubles with my game"
"Try this"
"That didn't work, anymore suggestions?"
"This isn't our business, talk to Ubisoft"
"Ubisoft says they can't find the solution"
"So what do you expect us to do?"
"I was hoping for a refund"
"We don't give out refunds"
"Can I trade it for a different game?"
"No, unless you can prove beyond a doubt to us that the game is faulty and it's not your hardware"
"*Tags Ubisoft email to Valve*"
"Fine, we will let choose a new game of similar pricing, but this is the only time we will do this"

Now of course this isn't word for word, but this is the general attitude I got from Valve.

I never said Activision/Nintendo/Capcom were bad, I was simply showing how different companies do similar things EA does only on a larger scale. This does not make them bad, it doesn't make them good, they are simply marketing towards their audience.

Now, I think those two examples of Customer Support are not quite comparable, paraphrasing aside.

Your counter example is essentially Valve being uncooperative, reluctant to return a sale and arrogantly acting like they're only giving you a refund out of the kindness of their hearts. It's perfectly understandable that you find this frustrating, because there's no reason why you should be stuck with a game that doesn't work, but by the looks of it they eventually, albeit reluctantly, gave you a process to fixing the problem, i.e. contacting Ubisoft and trading emails. That's saying "We don't want to give you your money back and we're going to make it unnecessarily hard for no reason... But fine, here you go, because we're such nice people."

However, the original example is EA being an complete and utter douche bag, starting out with some simple troubleshooting offers before essentially saying 'delete all of your program files, because fuck you', barely bothering to disguise it as technical support. That isn't being helpful. That isn't even trying to prevent a refund (god forbid), because the guy never asked for it. That's nothing more than pulling the finger and saying "We already have your money, we won't even bother helping you with simple frame rate issues. So fucking deal with it."

I'm sorry, but I don't see how your example really stands up to wAriot's example as a counter-argument. I get that you were treated badly for trying to return a faulty product, and I'm certainly not trying to be an asshole by implying that Valve was being 'acceptable' to you (even so-called 'good' companies deserve criticism where it is due to keep them on their toes), but at least you weren't insulted and bullshitted for having the audacity to ask how to get more than 30 frames per second.

And yes, I DO understand that Customer Support staff are hardly representatives of the appropriate corporation.

So the Consumerist is running another contest to prove that, for the second year running, gamers have the most skewed priorities in the world.

Given all the justifications for voting EA last year as well as the general behavior of the community before and since, this isn't even mildly surprising anymore.

Gameguy20100:
I just have one question If EA made a real effort to change the things you dislike would you consider changing your opinion on them if your answer is "yes" or hell even "maybe" then I know your have genuine issues with the company like me and like me see they have potential unlike other shitty company's *cough* Capcom *unconvincing cough* If your answer Is *never* or *once a shit company always a shit company* Then I know your an Idiot and are only hating on them because its "cool"

I have a friend who has hated George Lucas to a sociopathic extent since Episode 1. As an example, when George Lucas pledged the $4 billion from the sale of Star Wars to education, he managed to still use it as more evidence that Lucas is a horrible being.

I imagine that the majority of gamers who have a beef with EA would never forgive EA no matter what was done. Then, if/when EA went out of business, there would be a sudden outpouring of "Man, that's such a shame. I didn't want them to go out of business." sentiment. If their demise does bring about the end of AAA gaming, within a year, people will reminisce about the "good old days" when EA was still around.

I dunno, this all seems a little fishy to me. What better way to get a cheep boost of positive PR than to deny wanting to be the worst company in America? It's just too easy...

It's kind of unfortunate that this is as close to a "mea culpa" as we're likely to get from EA.

I'd like to think it's a start, not an endpoint. But as many, many posters before me have been delighted to point out, there's a fair amount in that little letter that seems like trying to trivialize (if not out-and-out demonize) those who have complained about EA in the past. For every "we screwed up, and we should do better" there's two "can you believe these turkeys have the gall to criticize us?"-- and all too little to clearly differentiate the aggrieved of the first case with the turkeys of the latter.

I'm not so jaded and bitter that I'm unwilling to consider the possibility that the Powers That Be at EA never really contemplated SimCity's always-on-mandatory-multiplayer schematic as acting as a form of DRM; they may have genuinely thought that the way the online/multiplayer functionality was engineered was simply inseparable from the game as envisioned. But even if that's the case, that's not benevolent; it's merely stupid rather than malevolent. You made a game in a series that's famous for being a contemplative singleplayer experience, and not only wedged in online multiplayer, but sought to make it inescapable? You forced players to go through multiple levels of connections with your network to play the game they bought, and held them hostage to your servers' functionality, and didn't even say, "Well, at least this dog-and-pony show we're making the people who bought our game go through will curtail piracy"?

Congratulations on your enlightened views regarding the LGBT community; are you aware that they aren't a whole lot more tolerant of this kind of shenanigans than your "straight" customers...?

So, yes, bravo, EA, on taking a tiny, incremental step towards the sort of self-examination that might allow you to turn a flailing company around. But be aware that while the tallest trees may get the most wind, the ones that drop coconuts on people's heads are also the ones most likely to be cut down.

Infernal Lawyer:

Now, I think those two examples of Customer Support are not quite comparable, paraphrasing aside.

Your counter example is essentially Valve being uncooperative, reluctant to return a sale and arrogantly acting like they're only giving you a refund out of the kindness of their hearts. It's perfectly understandable that you find this frustrating, because there's no reason why you should be stuck with a game that doesn't work, but by the looks of it they eventually, albeit reluctantly, gave you a process to fixing the problem, i.e. contacting Ubisoft and trading emails. That's saying "We don't want to give you your money back and we're going to make it unnecessarily hard for no reason... But fine, here you go, because we're such nice people."

However, the original example is EA being an complete and utter douche bag, starting out with some simple troubleshooting offers before essentially saying 'delete all of your program files, because fuck you', barely bothering to disguise it as technical support. That isn't being helpful. That isn't even trying to prevent a refund (god forbid), because the guy never asked for it. That's nothing more than pulling the finger and saying "We already have your money, we won't even bother helping you with simple frame rate issues. So fucking deal with it."

I'm sorry, but I don't see how your example holds water compared to wAriot's. I get that you were treated badly for asking for a refund, but at least you weren't insulted and bullshitted for having the audacity to ask how to get more than 30 frames per second.

And yes, I DO understand that Customer Support staff are hardly representatives of the appropriate corporation.

How are the examples not similar (besides mine being entirely paraphrasing, really wish I kept the emails)? Both show the customer service people basically just trying to move us along. Valve did not show me the way to get into contact with Ubisoft, they just told me to do so. I had to go and figure out how to get into contact with them about one of their games and how this is the hardware I had and this is the programs I was using etc. etc. and Ubisoft were actually really helpful. Valve on the other hand gave me the impression that I was being a nuisance and only gave me the refund after I had extensive amount of proof that I was not lying. I get why they needed proof, but I felt like I was being treated very poorly for a customer who had been using Steam for 4 years without making a sound.

Wariot's example is a good one of EA's terrible CS, but at no point did I see any indication that they were saying "Delete this cause fuck you", they just say, "delete this and see what happens". Yes it's poor customer service, but they were not openly insulting the person, they were trying to move them along, which is poor practice but not an open "FUCK YOU CUSTOMER".

I think both examples hold the same amount of water (bar mine has no photo copied evidence and is entirely paraphrased) and whilst the examples are of different circumstances it still shows that neither EA or Valve have very good customer service. I am a customer, just like everyone else here, who was not pleased with the way my case was handled, and for you to say that MY example holds no water makes me question whether or not we are arguing about companies needing to do better, or just you personally wanting to see EA wither and die (which quite a number of people on this site want to see happen).

I have ever only had minor complaints about EA but those minor complaints dwarf my complaints of other companies when there are so many of them. No other company have I ever bought products from has recieved as many complaints. My biggest complaint is buying an IP or studio then meddling in the story, gameplay, and features then closing the studio down because that meddling killed the IP's potential.

EA does have many good games and IP, I cannot completely boycot them but I may as well have since the last EA game I bought was BFBC2. Then there comes along this bullshit response to getting awarded what I think EA deserves. And deserves since the underhanded bullshit EA pulls is a whole lot more abundant than the other industries he mentioned even if EA's bullshit doesnt crash the stock market or kill a billion fish. They are worse in another category rather than how they treat a customer.

bug_of_war:

Infernal Lawyer:

Now, I think those two examples of Customer Support are not quite comparable, paraphrasing aside.

Your counter example is essentially Valve being uncooperative, reluctant to return a sale and arrogantly acting like they're only giving you a refund out of the kindness of their hearts. It's perfectly understandable that you find this frustrating, because there's no reason why you should be stuck with a game that doesn't work, but by the looks of it they eventually, albeit reluctantly, gave you a process to fixing the problem, i.e. contacting Ubisoft and trading emails. That's saying "We don't want to give you your money back and we're going to make it unnecessarily hard for no reason... But fine, here you go, because we're such nice people."

However, the original example is EA being an complete and utter douche bag, starting out with some simple troubleshooting offers before essentially saying 'delete all of your program files, because fuck you', barely bothering to disguise it as technical support. That isn't being helpful. That isn't even trying to prevent a refund (god forbid), because the guy never asked for it. That's nothing more than pulling the finger and saying "We already have your money, we won't even bother helping you with simple frame rate issues. So fucking deal with it."

Edit: I'm sorry, but I don't see how your example really stands up to wAriot's example as a counter-argument. I get that you were treated badly for trying to return a faulty product, and I'm certainly not trying to be an asshole by implying that Valve was being 'acceptable' to you (even so-called 'good' companies deserve criticism where it is due to keep them on their toes), but at least you weren't insulted and bullshitted for having the audacity to ask how to get more than 30 frames per second.

And yes, I DO understand that Customer Support staff are hardly representatives of the appropriate corporation.

How are the examples not similar (besides mine being entirely paraphrasing, really wish I kept the emails)? Both show the customer service people basically just trying to move us along. Valve did not show me the way to get into contact with Ubisoft, they just told me to do so. I had to go and figure out how to get into contact with them about one of their games and how this is the hardware I had and this is the programs I was using etc. etc. and Ubisoft were actually really helpful. Valve on the other hand gave me the impression that I was being a nuisance and only gave me the refund after I had extensive amount of proof that I was not lying. I get why they needed proof, but I felt like I was being treated very poorly for a customer who had been using Steam for 4 years without making a sound.

Wariot's example is a good one of EA's terrible CS, but at no point did I see any indication that they were saying "Delete this cause fuck you", they just say, "delete this and see what happens". Yes it's poor customer service, but they were not openly insulting the person, they were trying to move them along, which is poor practice but not an open "FUCK YOU CUSTOMER".

I think both examples hold the same amount of water (bar mine has no photo copied evidence and is entirely paraphrased) and whilst the examples are of different circumstances it still shows that neither EA or Valve have very good customer service. I am a customer, just like everyone else here, who was not pleased with the way my case was handled, and for you to say that MY example holds no water makes me question whether or not we are arguing about companies needing to do better, or just you personally wanting to see EA wither and die (which quite a number of people on this site want to see happen).

I realized what an asshole I was appearing to be in my original post and edited it as above. I didn't expect you to be so quick on the draw. Please accept my most humble apologies.

However, I simply don't understand how on earth you can think that telling someone to delete their entire hard drive is 'only' trying to move someone along. I mean, really? "Try this and see what happens"? That's not trying to move someone along. You do that by saying "I'm sorry, but I can't help you' Or 'You need to talk to other people', not by insulting their intelligence. Half-heartily trying to trick someone into wiping their computer, when they came to you for help no less, is no laughing matter. Imagine if I replied to you "post too large, press Alt-F4 to show", or "Bang your head against a wall and you'll see that I'm right." You would see it as a thinly veiled 'fuck you' statement, rather than a response from someone who is willing to treat you seriously.

Again, I am not trying to belittle your experience though I certainly understand how my original comment sounded as such, and I apologize again. Customer Services are generally piss poor as they usually force you to bend over backwards just so they don't lose a sale, either by boring the consumer through wasted time or trying to make it sound like it's not their fault or responsibility. And while I agree people are too quick to hate on EA and too quick to forgive Valve of any and all faults, I simply thought that it was a much weaker example of poor customer service than the original statement.

P.S I should also mention I didn't particularly care that your example was paragraphed or lacked screenshots.

bug_of_war:
snip

Now of course this isn't word for word, but this is the general attitude I got from Valve.

Yeah Valve does that to prevent piracy, the very same policy every brick and mortar store has about buying and returning software. You want to know something funny? Every other place I have purchased and downloaded software from does the same exact thing. I wouldnt blame them for it since downloading a game Via Steam then them refunding the money would be simpleand still be able to play it is simply have a dual boot system, buy and download the game on one OS then set it to offline mode. then swap OS and claim it doesnt work and get a refund/exchange. use the OS with the offline mode set to play it. and you can have as many of the offlines as you want with backups to have as many games as you want. For myself i bought Bioshock2 through steam and couldnt get GFWL to work on my rig so couldnt save my game and a marathon run is not my cup of tea. So I played other games and this year i swapped systems to a new one and GFWL and bioshock work fine. i didnt try to get Valve to refund because I knew about the policy. I bought the game knowing full well that it was mine even if I couldnt play it.

Infernal Lawyer:

I realized what an asshole I was appearing to be in my original post and edited it as above. I didn't expect you to be so quick on the draw. Please accept my most humble apologies.

However, I simply don't understand how on earth you can think that telling someone to delete their entire hard drive is 'only' trying to move someone along. I mean, really? "Try this and see what happens"? That's not trying to move someone along. You do that by saying "I'm sorry, but I can't help you' Or 'You need to talk to other people', not by insulting their intelligence. Half-heartily trying to trick someone into wiping their computer, when they came to you for help no less, is no laughing matter. Imagine if I replied to you "post too large, press Alt-F4 to show", or "Bang your head against a wall and you'll see that I'm right." You would see it as a thinly veiled 'fuck you' statement, rather than a response from someone who is willing to treat you seriously.

Again, I am not trying to belittle your experience though I certainly understand how my original comment sounded as such, and I apologize again. Customer Services are generally piss poor as they usually force you to bend over backwards just so they don't lose a sale, either by boring the consumer through wasted time or trying to make it sound like it's not their fault or responsibility. And while I agree people are too quick to hate on EA and too quick to forgive Valve of any and all faults, I simply thought that it was a much weaker example of poor customer service than the original statement.

P.S I should also mention I didn't particularly care that your example was paragraphed or lacked screenshots.

I wasn't offended, I was just a little taken back at how initially it seemed as though you were saying my experience was not bad and I should suck it up.

I'm going to lay this right out on the table now, I know very little about computers, so I apologise for my ignorance on the whole matter about deleting a persons hard drive. Yes, that is something that is terrible, no excuse for that and EA should seriously sack whomever was on the customer service job that day and go through some re-training.

After gaining full understanding of the previous example, yes my own experience is far different, I can see that now. I still feel though that too many people are jumping on the "Let's hate the big business" bandwagon and it's starting to get annoying, especially when my experience with EA has been spectacular.

JET1971:

Yeah Valve does that to prevent piracy, the very same policy every brick and mortar store has about buying and returning software. You want to know something funny? Every other place I have purchased and downloaded software from does the same exact thing. I wouldnt blame them for it since downloading a game Via Steam then them refunding the money would be simpleand still be able to play it is simply have a dual boot system, buy and download the game on one OS then set it to offline mode. then swap OS and claim it doesnt work and get a refund/exchange. use the OS with the offline mode set to play it. and you can have as many of the offlines as you want with backups to have as many games as you want. For myself i bought Bioshock2 through steam and couldnt get GFWL to work on my rig so couldnt save my game and a marathon run is not my cup of tea. So I played other games and this year i swapped systems to a new one and GFWL and bioshock work fine. i didnt try to get Valve to refund because I knew about the policy. I bought the game knowing full well that it was mine even if I couldnt play it.

I know why they do it, my problem is the way they went about doing so. I understand that in their eyes I could be trying to pull a 180 on them, but that doesn't mean they can treat me poorly because of that. I was a genuine customer asking for a possible refund or trade in for a faulty game, and instead of getting a polite, "Please do this" I got, "What do you expect us to do, figure out what to do by yourself". I seriously understand WHY they don't immediately give out refunds, I really do, but I found their attitude to be horrific and not professional in the slightest.

After the whole Microsoft thing, I'm willing to say that EA isn't the worst company.

If EA goes through with their plans, I simply don't have to buy their games (most of which I don't like, anyway). If Microsoft goes through with their plans, I simply have to avoid the entire Xbox lineup, which, given how I used to love Xbox, might be a bit hard.

ThunderCavalier:
After the whole Microsoft thing, I'm willing to say that EA isn't the worst company.

If EA goes through with their plans, I simply don't have to buy their games (most of which I don't like, anyway). If Microsoft goes through with their plans, I simply have to avoid the entire Xbox lineup, which, given how I used to love Xbox, might be a bit hard.

Microsoft isn't in the race because the contest started last month and they've already been eliminated.

Grey Carter:

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Did anyone else read that and notice that it is the written equivalent of *drops mic and walks away from podium.*

EA has reached the point of crazy that they have thrown the shovel away and gone straight to a Oil Drill to dig their hole. Do not even have to point out how crazy they have become just wait for the next press release.

The tallest trees catch the most wind.

Translation: "We're perfectly fine, the problem is because we're so big and not because do business in a way that makes people genuinely hate us."

The "we can do better" statement is just a silly followup comment after making such a broad dismissal of how they're percieved and the possibility that there may actually be a reason (several reasons) for it. Heck, the fact that they dismiss it so easily is all the more illustrative of the problem at hand. They may understand games, but they don't quite understand us. They don't get that while they have a right to greed, excessive nickle and diming as well as forcing gamers into a corner (always on DRM, forcing the use of Origin when the clear competitor is vastly preferred just so they can get us a little more, etc) will get them into trouble. It's ok to be greedy. But it's bad business to let that greed take complete control and punish consumers for consuming your product.

EA, I hope you eventually get this and do get better at making yourselves look less like you're drooling over your consumer's pocketbooks. You've got a lot of great titles and it'd be a shame for those to fall into less capable hands at your dissolution. But right now your hands look a lot less capable than your competitors. Let me make this perfectly clear though, continuing to pigeon hole us and force crap on us to make your product a little more profitable at the expense of our time, convenience, enjoyment, and wallets can't be hidden by a friendly mask. It must actually be changed. Consider some of the missed opportunity in profit as a marketing and PR cost, because right now you are directly taking away good markerting and good PR to make money. Look at the SimCity fiasco, we see right past the mask and know why always on DRM is being forced. Don't lie to our face, it just makes it worse.

EA the worst company in America? Nah, not even close. The worst Video Game Publisher in the world, perhaps...

Who cares? They are more easily intimidated since they are not a vital service and thus can actually be brought down with enough golden poos. Unless they take corporate action and sue to the Consumerist, they will get hit with enough poo to declare bankrupcy, or reduced to making social games in that little hole where they belong

Dexter111:
At the end of the day, what do you think would have happened if BP or Bank of America would've won another award for how badly they are operating their business? They wouldn't even have released any kind of statement to acknowledge their win and there likely wouldn't have been any kind of reaction at all. People are at least hoping to get a reaction and admittance out of EA, and maybe, possibly change some of the things it does.

This is what a lot of people don't realize about this, out of every company on that list that deserves the award, EA is the only one who cares, EA is the only company that everybody doesn't already hate, actually it's not even that people don't just hate them, people praise them, when EA does some scumbag thing that dicks over all it's costumers, what happens? Do people give them shit for it? No, 'journalists' flock left and right to praise them for it and say you're whiny and entitled for complaining so EA will keep sending them early releases for their games and keep buying ad space on their site so they can make money and after seeing this, seeing EA sell millions while dicking around and insulting their own costumers, guess what? Other companies follow suit and join in.

EA is a terrible company that kills off good developers and franchises, rushes out good games before they're done, enforces terrible DRM that fucks over their customers, and puts micro-transactions into every goddamn game so they can make a quick buck, when customers complain about this or even just criticize their games, they insult them and call them entitled or start backing the LGBT community so they can seem progressive and make out everybody who criticizes them to be homophobic.

EA deserves this award.

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