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PopCap co-founder addresses EA "worst company" award

PopCap co-founder addresses EA "worst company" award

Thu 05 Apr 2012 5:12pm GMT / 1:12pm EDT / 10:12am PDT
BusinessMedia

John Vechey notes EA's leadership and how happy he is PopCap got acquired by EA

With EA already sounding off against The Consumerist regarding their Worst Company in America award, PopCap has also decided to chime in. Speaking in an open letter to fans from his blog, PopCap co-founder John Vechey simply attributes the award to the consumer engagement and scrutiny that comes to tech companies. He believes that companies such as Bank of America and DirectTV simply do not have a fanbase that cares too much about how said company performs.

"It was a bit frustrating to read EA winning, but when I look at the list of companies, I only see one or two others that actually inspire any emotion or passion," he stated. "Apple. Google, maybe. I may rant or complain about DirectTV's atrocious customer service, Comcast's flakey connection speeds, Bank of America's ATM fees or Ticketmaster charges, but do I really care? Naw. No matter how angry I've been at them, I ultimately can't care."

"But man… you miss my expectations on the ending of an epic, three-game space opera that I've spent hundreds of hours enjoying - go f yourself," he said referencing the ongoing controversy affecting Mass Effect 3.

Vechey added that ultimately no company or group of people can be perfect and EA's made its fair share of mistakes.

"Everyone makes mistakes," Vechey wrote. "EA does not have a perfect past. It's made HR mistakes. It's made huge game design screw-ups. It's messed up studios, marketing campaigns and beloved franchises (sometimes all at once).

"It will do so again. There is no perfect company, and I won't promise perfection from PopCap." Even still, he retains his commitment with PopCap's decision to accept a buyout from EA.

"Make some fun games," he offered. "Go ahead. Heck, just make one. Make a game that you have to update every year or customers complain. Make a game that has thousands of hours of dialogue and storytelling. Make a game that excites, engages, and inspires. Now do it again. And again. For 30 years. In every genre. On every platform.

"I'm very glad EA acquired PopCap. I believe in EA's leadership. John Riccitiello has a vision for EA that is important. Gamers may complain about paid DLC, but there has to be something that sits between FarmVille and the $60 price point."

7 Comments

Jack Lee

60 6 0.1
Well said, and better worded than my own attempts at a similar point.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
Probably my English is failing me but... They think EA sucks bigitime, yet they're happy they got acquired by a company they don't like?

Posted:2 years ago

#2

William Usher Assistant Editor, Cinema Blend

45 44 1.0
I agree Santullo, there is definitely some double-speak going on, especially when he mentions that people complain about DLC but then says "there has to be something that sits between FarmVille and the $60 price point."

So we either get FarmVille or AAA games? That's it? When did game production become so arbitrary? Flying Wild Hog made the excellent point of there not being enough mid-budget games, and they make that point while having one of the best looking games this generation. I'm not sure why it either has to be Zynga quality or Naughty Dog quality and nothing else in between.

Heck, one of the reasons people liked PopCap because they were a throwback to fun games without having overblown budgets.

What's worse is that the open letter just kind of acknowledges what everyone dislikes about EA but doesn't really defend why they shouldn't be worst in America from a consumer's standpoint.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Trevor Johnson Environment Designer, Compulsion

8 0 0.0
just throwing this out there but i think, middle of the field quality games was THQ's market strategy. hmmm, interesting.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Derek Fitzgerald Director, Quality Assurance, EA Canada

8 10 1.3
William/Trevor - pretty sure John Vechey was referring to monetization/commerce models for games. I don't think there is any explicit reference anywhere to production scale or scope. While it's fair to extend any analysis of monetization to the point where premium pricing should beget premium content regardless of the monetization model, that's a single point on the spectrum and doesn't, by itself, have anything to do with his point.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Shane Sweeney Academic

401 418 1.0
The fact a video game company was picked over a Bank is horrific, but if they were going to pick a video game company, to not select Zynga or Activision over EA shows how out of touch the Consumerist and its voters are with reality. What is this 2004 still? Keep up Consumerist.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Craig Page Programmer

386 220 0.6
John Vechey's company has made some great games, but I'm guessing he's never used Origin? Or been overbilled by EA's payment servers? Or noticed EA's day 1 DLC?

My vote for worst company would go to Bell Canada, or Rogers. For providing mediocre phone/internet/cable services at such outrageous prices, they're easily 100 times more horrible than EA.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

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