EA is on the verge of winning another award, but in this case we are using the term “winning” in the loosest possible sense. Each year The Consumerist asks the Internet at large to rate the worst companies in America, and EA appears poised to win for a second year in a row. Only in Charlie Sheen’s world could this even remotely be considered “winning” however, and as a result Chief Operating Office Peter Moore is stepping forward to offer his defense.
“It appears EA is going to ‘win,’” Moore writes. “Like the Yankees, Lakers, and Manchester United, EA is one of those organizations that is defined by both a legacy of success and a legion of critics. Are we really the ‘Worst Company in America’? I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shutdowns too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models, and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity. We owe gamers better performance than this.”
Accepting criticism in stride isn’t something EA is particularly well known for, however this isn’t the full on mea culpa it appears to be. After falling on his sword and promising to do better by gamers, he also offers up a defense:
- “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.”
- “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 microtransactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games.”
- “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’ve 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.”
These explanations may still not assuage the bitterness of scorned Simcity fans, but let’s be honest with ourselves. EA didn’t dump 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean, collapse the global economy, or even charge you thousands of dollars per MB for text messaging. They might still “win” the worst company ranking for 2012, but I think it’s safe to say it speaks more to the demographics and priorities of The Consumerist audience than anything else.
Would you rank EA worst company in America? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.