After failing to hit their sales targets and ultimately losing their CEO as a result, Electronic Arts (EA) received even more bad news: they were named the Worst Company in America for a second consecutive year, an award given by consumer affairs blog The Consumerist. EA once again beat out Bank of America, with 78 percent of those polled saying that EA, one of the world’s biggest game publishers, was more hated than the notorious financial institution that was cited for poor customer service and also had the distinction of being sued by the United States federal government.
Upon “winning” the award, an EA representative said, “We can do better. We will do better.” This echoed chief operating officer (COO) Peter Moore’s recent statement regarding criticisms of the company. “I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create and the people that play them,” Moore said. However, complaints about some of EA’s biggest releases, such as SimCity, and its digital rights management (DRM) implementation were factors that led to EA being chosen once again for the award.
“There is no real vision at work, no grand design. Just the idea that free-to-play games and microtransactions are the wave of the future, or at least they better be, because none of the company’s $60 boxed releases are finding much success with either critics or gamers,” said Penny Arcade’s Ben Kuchera. Another factor that led to EA’s “win” was poor customer service. According to The Consumerist, “The customer had a simple question about linking an Origin account to his Xbox gamer tag, but the EA rep could only tell the customer that nothing could be done over chat and that he would need to call a customer support number to discuss the problem. Making matters worse, though the customer was in Europe, the EA rep provided him with a phone number for EA’s U.S. support office.”
Kuchera also talked about EA’s business practices as another factor in their “win.” “Until EA stops sucking the blood out of games in order to make uninspiring sequels, or at least until they begin caring about how much gamers hate their lack of respect for our money and intelligence, this is going to continue,” Kuchera also said. “We hate them because they destroy companies we love. We hate them because they release poor games. We hate them because they claim our hate doesn’t matter as long as we give them our money.”
The Consumerist has given out the Worst Company in America award since 2006. Some of the past winners included oil companies such as British Petroleum (BP) and Halliburton, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade organization made up of record labels and music distributors, and American ISP Comcast. EA also has the distinction of being the first repeat winner of the award.
Source: The Consumerist