Electronic Arts Repeats as "Worst Company in America"

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"Second verse, same as the first.
This time though, a little bit worse.."

I've banged on about BoA and TWC being far, far, far worse companies already (in just about every way). But I know that repeating those arguments here is a fruitless exercise; the outcome is decided.

Might as well make the best of the situation and break out the Popcorn...maybe Marshmallows if this heats up.

*crosses fingers, hoping EA responds*

EDIT: I see a common defense for the outcome that goes along the lines "EA hasn't paid their dues like everyone else. Companies like BP and BofA have been sued, and now it's EA's turn...etc"

Realize this is only further proof that EA doesn't deserve it.
There is a reason those institutions are receiving REAL financial and legal punishment instead this minor castigation from an internet poll.

It's like this. Most of the companies on the list are bad, but have wound up seriously getting theirs. As this article mentions "Bank Of America" has wound up getting slammed in the long run by the people it victimizes, and the US goverment. It's suffered 40 billion in lawsuit settlements for it's behavior. Companies like "Haliburton", British Petroleum, Wal*Mart, and others, have all taken their lumps in return over a period of time.

The thing with EA is that their behavior is so far met with smug invulnerability. EA does all of the garbage that people hate it for, yet it never winds up suffering any penelties for it, it keeps right on doing what it's doing, creating things like EULAs that prevent class action suits to prevent these kinds of responses, while pretty much telling people that they can either deal with their greed and abuse, or go without their video games and IPs.

It's important to note that EA's influance is also felt throughout the world of media, the things it spearheads like Microtransactions, DRM, etc... (even when it doesn't invent them) tend to then get picked up by other media producers. The fact that it's rapidly getting to the point where you can't play a game without being online constantly, and are going to be nickel and dimed even with single player games, largely comes from EA, and other forms of media are apparently looking at their success and finding ways to exploit it.

To put things into perspective, Bank Of America might have done some really bad things, but it only really effected some of their customers who noticed. BP caused oil spills, and they are nasty, and will be a chore to clean up, but don't directly effect most people in the civilized world and will eventually be dealt with. EA on the other hand has brought it's antics into most people's homes and lives, even if indirectly. You can arguably blame EA for your kid who runs up a $5,000 microtransaction bill, because they are the ones who largely made it so everyone and their brother are jumping on that bandwagon.

Honestly I think what we're seeing with EA's election is more of a sign that the goverment really needs to get involved to stop the kind of exploitions EA is involved in, while not currently illegal, or regulated they probably should be. I think people are pissed because EA keeps feeding them crow and nothing happens, because there is no avenue to effectively pursue it unless you want to go without their product. At least with say Bank Of America you can file lawsuits (and win, as you see) and can choose other banks. With EA, if you want want of those IPs you pretty much have to deal with all their DLC/Microtransaction scams, DRM, always online connections, nor do you have any real recourse if they wind up screwing you on a product unless they choose to provide one (see "Simcity" and the problems people have had getting refunds for it). You can't just choose to say buy "Dead Space 3" from someone else that isn't going to put douchy microtransactions into it.

I think a lot of people laughing about this tend to mostly think in terms of how EA is "only" a video game company without bothering to look at it in the big picture and how it pisses people off. Sure in the scope of things their product seems petty, but the invulnerability with which they exploit people is not. Not to mention that IPs, digital property, etc... are becoming a big deal nowadays and the precedents EA is establishing are very bad for the consumer. Practices EA makes normal now could be being used to exploit consumers for centuries down the road, long beyond the time someone finally finishes cleaning up one of those huge BP spills with engineered bacteria ( or whatever method the use, but I've been hearing stuff about how ever-improving petroleum munching bacteria is going to solve this problem in the long term... an idea going back probably decades now, I believe Dean Koontz used such as the weapon that eventually killed the monster in the book version of "Phantasms" as well if I remember... just to end with a bit of pointless nerd trivia).

Brad Shepard:

canadamus_prime:
Again, what? Worst company in America?? Really? I mean I hate EA, I really do, but worst company in America? I don't think I'd even put them in the Top 5, Top 10 maybe, Top 25 certainly, but #1 hardly.

Think about it this way, If like, BP or BoA do something shady or something like that, its just on them, but if EA does something like say, make a quick cash in game, other game companies are going to look at it like "OH! thats the hot thing right now! We got to do that!" because they make so much money, being one of the leading game companies right now, thus, other game companies will make shitty cash in games, thus, bringing down the whole medium in general. An oil spill can just hurt BP's image, a shitty game made by EA can bring down the collection of video game companies in general, thats why they "won" this contest two years in a row, plus, we saw his reactions, blaming homophobes and "Whiny madden fans" In my mind, they had it coming, i would hope for a hat trick next year, but i honestly hope they are gone by this time next year.

Im not even going to get into how they treat there employees.

Well I suppose that's true too. Never thought about it that way.

I think if you look at the actual implications the actions of big banks, Walmart and some of the other businesses that were up for the vote, they are far worse then EA. EA sucks and it's actions are bad for the gaming industry as a whole but these other businesses corrupt governments, destabilize nations for profit and so much more that it almost becomes difficult to wrap your head around. It seems like the poll is completely wasted when it goes to small fry like EA.

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, count me as one of those people that believe that there are much worse companies than EA, and that they only won because gamers are more... "internet ready" for want of a much better phrase, than some of the other people who would be complaining about the other companies.

Not to say that EA haven't done some bad shit but I think there should be some perspective when it comes to things like this.

Exactly.

I am not a fan of EA in the slightest, but being voted as the worst company in the entire country is a joke.

Scars Unseen:
I think people are forgetting the source. You would see a different result if the site was called The Ecologist, The Economist or The Humanitarian(ist?). But the site is called The Consumerist, and nothing pisses off consumers like fucking with their leisure.

Although this is also a good point. It's not like a national survey was done to establish the countries opinion. This was done by a very specific publication.

inkheart_artist:
I think if you look at the actual implications the actions of big banks, Walmart and some of the other businesses that were up for the vote, they are far worse then EA. EA sucks and it's actions are bad for the gaming industry as a whole but these other businesses corrupt governments, destabilize nations for profit and so much more that it almost becomes difficult to wrap your head around. It seems like the poll is completely wasted when it goes to small fry like EA.

I think you're overestimating the power of a plastic poo trophy when it comes to the other companies.

Well now that EA has won this year, can we all make a promise and vote for Microsoft next year if their new console is always online? I mean sure there's Monsanto and BoA and Walmart.. But shit, this is my gaming we're talking about.

I'm going to avoid the general route this thread is taking and not bash EA while offering good advice.

Good Advice:

-LOWER YOUR GORRAM PRODUCTION COSTS!!!

-Open up an "Indie Branch" and find teams of recent college grads/indie devs willing to make unconventional games at smaller budgets

-If there's one thing Kickstarter proved, it's that there is a AA-sized market for games.

-Make shorter games with better core mechanics that sell for lower prices. See also: Bastion

-Diversify your products. Right now, you're only known for sports games and shooters. Invest in some strategy, platformers, and adventure games. People want those kinds of games.

-Grow neither complacent nor arrogant. Those two virtues are what caused Sony to lose terribly in this generation's console wars.

-Make products with the customer in mind.

-Create new and interesting IPs. 2007 is often lauded as a wonderful year for gaming, and it brought us Bioshock, STALKER, Portal, Assassin's Creed, and Mass Effect. All wildly successful, all new IPs.

Meh, EA isn't as bad as others but the trophy is kinda pointless anyways so going for maximum effect to piss off the one company actually caring about all this isn't bad either ^^

I may have lost my home but it took me a week to play Sim City!

Note that this poll is made by the consumer-focused Consumerist. Their intended audience is people that buy stuff.

Haliburton's oil spills and BoA's illegal foreclosures on military families don't affect the majority of consumers directly. They affect families and are poor business practices, but they don't affect the products they sell (note many of BoA's foreclosures were made on mortgages they inherited from companies they bought).

The true focus of The Consumerist is companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable that throttle their internet or offer a "premium" service and charge monopolistic amounts of money due to their geographic monopoly. Ticketmaster belongs here. EA certainly belongs here.

EA won. Done.

As an aside, EA's stock took a noticeable dip last year when they won. This time, it's unaffected. They didn't learn then and certainly won't learn now. Keep buying those Battlefields and SimCities and Maddens, kids!

amuasyeas:

I think you're overestimating the power of a plastic poo trophy when it comes to the other companies.

It's exposure. Exposure is more important then you may realize. Sure, this poo trophy isn't huge but when you can't trust media outlets to cover the shady dealings without significant coercion from the public they keep in the dark, a forum where you could vote an outlet into admitting how bad these companies can be would be pretty nice if you didn't have a bunch of disgruntled gamers who don't have their priorities strait mucking it up.

Scars Unseen:
I think people are forgetting the source. You would see a different result if the site was called The Ecologist, The Economist or The Humanitarian(ist?). But the site is called The Consumerist, and nothing pisses off consumers like fucking with their leisure.

This, a hundred thirty-four times. EA is the worst company in terms of its treatment of consumers, not worst overall. This is a company that consistently struggles or fails to meet basic customer expectations, and in a "worst company" poll on a consumer-oriented blog, that's exactly the sort of thing that deserves to win.

I think it's also worth noting that they have more direct competition that isn't pulling these stunts. Bank of America may screw over customers, but it's somewhat of an industry standard; people are so used to it that they (sadly) don't even think twice about it. EA, on the other hand, has the likes of Mojang and Valve to compete with. Their shortcomings are far more egregious for the games industry than Wal-Mart's or Comcast's or whoever's are for their respective industries. Realistically, this is probably the fairest way to compare companies that do entirely different and unrelated forms of business.

P.S. Thanks

erttheking:
Can people stop freaking out over how stupid gamers are? Please, for the love of god

I'll keep my mouth shut until the next time a woman gets death threats for speaking her opinion.

blalien:

erttheking:
Can people stop freaking out over how stupid gamers are? Please, for the love of god

I'll keep my mouth shut until the next time a woman gets death threats for speaking her opinion.

You need to stop taking the opinions of vocal minorities so seriously.

It is online poll so it is simple demographics. People who got really screwed by Bank of America do not have as much presence on the web as the people who could not connect to the SimCity servers or did not like ME3 ending.

Objectively the bank should have won it but internet is not objective.

blalien:
I'll keep my mouth shut until the next time a woman gets death threats for speaking her opinion.

Everyone gets death threats. It's how the internet works.

Hmm.. I don't think EA is the worst company in America, but their tactics are so obviously corrupted and open to the public that it offends people. I dislike Bank of America for what they've done to people and ruined their lives, along with other awful companies... but because EA goes out of it's way in screwing people over without masking it- the majority of the internet is infuriated thus will do anything to bring EA down even if it's voting for them to have the Poo award.

Also video games are suppose to be for entertainment and like the post itsthesheepy said, we don't expect a gaming company to be evil when everything else is so when something like EA can be good to us, but chooses not to entirely.. it hurts more and causes a bigger uproar. Especially when they continue and get worse over the course of time which is highly sad to see.

Well, EA will either dig its heels in further or reexamine its priorities. Only time will tell...

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Not trying to downplay what EA has done because they are pretty shit in their own right, but out of some of the companies listed I think they are much worse than them. Some of those companies screwed with people's livelihoods and somehow a company that makes entertainment gets the top spot.

Makes me wonder sometimes.

I think they keep winning cause gamers are trying to send EA a very stern message that we're sick of their shit.

You know what the sad part is?

EA didn't just win this award for the right reasons (if you can even consider the absolute lack of perspective a "right reason"), they won it for some of the things they did right as well.

Example: the anti-LGBT groups actually voted for EA in this poll too for their stance on letting you create LGBT characters in their vidja games. Yet no one points this out, instead they just focus on "well my game had DRM in it" or "they actually care so surely more bad PR is going to help them change" or "banks are naturally evil, so being evil in nature can be downplayed because at least it's expected" or "well EA affected me personally."

Go ahead and justify this all you want. At the end of the day you're still just jumping on the hate bandwagon and giving a free pass to companies who have killed or destroyed the lives of others.

It's all relative. EA is a shitty company. The companies they won out against are also really shitty companies, but they are all really shitty in their own ways. Sure the ybeat Bank of America, but the lesson is that Bank of America is a piece of shit corporate bank who doesn't make videogames. Gamers are more internet savvy and ready to go than anyone who patronizes Bank of America. It doesn't make sense to put them in the same category because they aren't the same thing at all. Just like BP shouldn't be included with either company, and it goes on and on.

Opinions matter for shit in the real world. Bank of America, BP, EA, they are all hugely successful companies run by inept pieces of crap who don't care about you.

Aeonknight:
You know what the sad part is?

EA didn't just win this award for the right reasons (if you can even consider the absolute lack of perspective a "right reason"), they won it for some of the things they did right as well.

Example: the anti-LGBT groups actually voted for EA in this poll too for their stance on letting you create LGBT characters in their vidja games. Yet no one points this out, instead they just focus on "well my game had DRM in it" or "they actually care so surely more bad PR is going to help them change" or "banks are naturally evil, so being evil in nature can be downplayed because at least it's expected" or "well EA affected me personally."

Go ahead and justify this all you want. At the end of the day you're still just jumping on the hate bandwagon and giving a free pass to companies who have killed or destroyed the lives of others.

That's what EA claims. Consumerist says they didn't get any comments or anything from the anti-LGBT community.

P.S. Thanks

Aeonknight:
You know what the sad part is?

EA didn't just win this award for the right reasons (if you can even consider the absolute lack of perspective a "right reason"), they won it for some of the things they did right as well.

Example: the anti-LGBT groups actually voted for EA in this poll too for their stance on letting you create LGBT characters in their vidja games.

That was Peter Moore's party line; the folks at the Consumerist deny that there was any evidence of anti-gay sentiment in the polling.

EDIT: Ninja'd! That'll teach me to read to the end of the page. :)

Frank_Sinatra_:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Not trying to downplay what EA has done because they are pretty shit in their own right, but out of some of the companies listed I think they are much worse than them. Some of those companies screwed with people's livelihoods and somehow a company that makes entertainment gets the top spot.

Makes me wonder sometimes.

I think they keep winning cause gamers are trying to send EA a very stern message that we're sick of their shit.

Seeing as it's just an award given from public opinion I seriously doubt it's something that EA doesn't already know.

Personally, I think some other companies listed should've won since they what they do is more damning.

But this is the award of public opinion, and gaming is srs bsn.

And thus once again it's shown that people can be a little too serious about things that don't really matter and not so serious about the things that do

Covarr:

Aeonknight:
You know what the sad part is?

EA didn't just win this award for the right reasons (if you can even consider the absolute lack of perspective a "right reason"), they won it for some of the things they did right as well.

Example: the anti-LGBT groups actually voted for EA in this poll too for their stance on letting you create LGBT characters in their vidja games. Yet no one points this out, instead they just focus on "well my game had DRM in it" or "they actually care so surely more bad PR is going to help them change" or "banks are naturally evil, so being evil in nature can be downplayed because at least it's expected" or "well EA affected me personally."

Go ahead and justify this all you want. At the end of the day you're still just jumping on the hate bandwagon and giving a free pass to companies who have killed or destroyed the lives of others.

That's what EA claims. Consumerist says they didn't get any comments or anything from the anti-LGBT community.

P.S. Thanks

Is it really that far fetched of a claim that the internet hate machine wouldn't hop on the EA hate bandwagon with the rest of you?

Even if you don't include the example I mentioned, how about the gamers who voted for EA, but won't admit that they supported said business practices they hate so much, by buying their games anyway? Do those votes get filtered out for having 0 validity? Of course not.

But you know what, I'm going to actually take some of the advice I've seen in these threads: "It's a stupid poll that won't make a difference."
Those posters are absolutely right, any website that tries to incite negativity and even models an award after fecal matter is a website that's not worth listening to in the first place.

amuasyeas:
PURE ANAL PAIN
http://www.dorkly.com/article/51363/eas-reponse-to-being-named-the-worst-company-in-america

I read that and had a good laugh at it. Is that real or is that just a gag? Cause if it's real he has to give enough of a shit to actually post something like that in response to winning. Every other dirtbag company would just shrug and not answer but EA took the time to write this up and post it, that's gotta mean something.

I WOULD say "Cue the whining about gamers being petty and BofA is SOOO much worse," but I think I'm a bit late to the draw.

I'm glad regardless.

BofA sucks, it's true, but I feel this kind of chart topping horridness will have more of an effect on EA's practices than it would on BofA's practices.

erttheking:

blalien:

erttheking:
Can people stop freaking out over how stupid gamers are? Please, for the love of god

I'll keep my mouth shut until the next time a woman gets death threats for speaking her opinion.

You need to stop taking the opinions of vocal minorities so seriously.

Except all the video game forums were flooded with people directing more anger at the woman than at the people sending the threats. And I'm not just talking about Anita Sarkeesian, this shit happens all the time. If we want the public to think better of us, we need to clean up our own community.

Aeonknight:

Is it really that far fetched of a claim that the internet hate machine wouldn't hop on the EA hate bandwagon with the rest of you?

Occam's Razor suggests EA has more bias to make that claim than the Consumerist has to reject it.
That is, EA has more to lose than the Consumerist stands to gain.

Whatever the cause, EA really should have just kept their mouths shut and ignored the Consumerist poll entirely like every other company in the brackets, but instead they bit.

Bullshit. As much as I hate EA for what it's done to video games, that this company beat out both Bank of America and the Monsanto Corporation is a travesty. EA's a company full of incompetent nincompoops who don't understand the market or the products they create, but there are companies in this country who routinely ruin lives, steal homes and lobby the government to pass laws that make them immune to legal prosecution while they put out GMOs that may very well have carcinogens in them, but don't want to go through proper testing to prove their safe.

EA now won't let me download Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 without installing their egregious Origin client, even though it's a pre-Origin game.

BURN, MOTHERFUCKER, BURN!

238U

EA is right about one thing. They release a lot of games. Many of them big AAA titles. So they get a lot of press and attention and are very visible in the games industry. Which is probably why they ended up in this ridiculous poll, rather than Ubisoft. Which is a far worse company in my opinion.

I do hope that Dragon Age 3 will be a hit, so EA and BioWare can finally get some good press again. All this internet hate against one publisher is getting old.

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