Yes, this again. Last year, consumer watchdog website, The Consumerist, held their now absurd annual poll to decide which out of 32 companies was the worst in America. Electronic Arts “won” last year’s poll, and it looks like they’re about to win it again in 2013. The final two companies will be announced today, so at present EA is sitting in the semi-finals against Ticketmaster.
In a seemingly pre-emptive move, EA’s COO Peter Moore has published a blog post in which he defends the publisher and finds fault with The Consumerist’s poll – not surprising really as he’s pretty much just doing his job. However, he did admit that EA is not without blame, and that the publisher did stumble in a number of areas.
According to Moore, EA is similar to entities like Manchester United in that it is “defined by both a legacy of success, and a legion of critics.”
“Are we really the ‘Worst Company in America’,” Moore asked in his post. “I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs 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.”
After admitting that EA is at fault for a number of reasons, he then proceeded to list counter arguments to the likely reasons why EA might “win” this title. The obvious one is SimCity, which has left A LOT to be desired by many people playing the game.
“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.”
Moore then went on to say that 45 million people prove that Origin isn’t some Steam wannabe, and that the “tens of millions” of people playing EA’s mobile free-to-play offerings prove that their take on that business model has been a success.
The most interesting thing Moore pointed towards was EA’s stance when it comes to LGBT issues (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). He stated that EA has seen “conservative web sites” urging people who are against pro LGBT stances to vote for EA in this poll.
“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 we’re not caving on that.”