Electronic Arts named Worst Company in America again

Consumerist online poll sees publisher repeat, topping Bank of America in rematch of last year's finals

As expected, Electronic Arts has won the Consumerist online poll for the Worst Company in America, making it the second year in a row the publisher has been granted that dubious distinction. In a rematch of last year's finals, EA trounced Bank of America with more than 77 percent of voters in the poll determining the game publisher as a worse operation than the financial institution.

Among the reasons cited for EA's win were flaws with its products (the SimCity always-online launch problems specifically), its exclusive NFL license preventing competition in the marketplace, a focus on free-to-play nickel-and-diming, in-game ads, and poor customer support.

EA COO Peter Moore failed to jinx his company last week when he wrote a blog post on the poll, saying he fully expected EA to be named the Worst Company once again. "This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history, the mortgage crisis, and bank bailouts that cost millions of taxpayer dollars," Moore noted in his post.

In announcing the results of this year's poll, Consumerist writer Chris Morran acknowledged Moore's post and responded with a question for the executive.

"When we live in an era marked by massive oil spills, faulty foreclosures by bad banks, and rampant consolidation in the airline and telecom industry," Morran asked, "what does it say about EA's business practices that so many people have - for the second year in a row - come out to hand it the title of Worst Company In America?"

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Latest comments (18)

Caleb Hale Journalist 9 years ago
To answer Morran's question: I guess it means people get madder about being screwed out of 99 cents to $60 on a video game more than hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house. Lesson to EA: If you're going to screw someone, might as well go for broke...and kill some of the local wildlife while you're at it, I guess.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Caleb Hale on 9th April 2013 7:46pm

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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games9 years ago
Unfortunately, people when they are brainwashed once, they remain so as long as the notion is cultivated in the media regardless if they understand why they believe so or if it is even valid. This once more proves how negative actions are far more powerful in human conscious than positive, and that stereotyping, is indeed a very bad thing, that the demagogues of modern media are fully responsible for!
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
I can't see why but I'm looking at an objective standpoint...
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Show all comments (18)
Paul Smith Dev 9 years ago
Grats EA
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Nick Parker Consultant 9 years ago
On what basis for most Americans? Seems like a pointless poll, therefore a pointless story.
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 9 years ago
It was also a poll on internet users who go to enough websites to even hear about it, and then have enough of an opinion to vote on it. I'd imagine most of the people who had foreclosure problems (for example) didn't even know about the poll.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
Gamers are the biggest complainers. Who'da thunk?
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Yeah I agree with many here. While no fan of EA, they arent even in the same league as certain banks, energy companies, and other industries which are polluting, and killing society and this planet.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 10th April 2013 4:15pm

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Al Rhodes Web producer/designer 9 years ago
Oh quelle surprise. EA take worst billing again (and i choose the word billing without irony).

I just bought and played through a used copy of Dead Space 3, because not all of us are rich enough to buy full priced games in this economic downturn. It was still every bit as awesome as DS 1 and 2 but I was annoyed that not only can I not play co-cooperatively online unless I shell out another 7.99 for an online pass (not unexpected as I buy many EA games) but some half a dozen trophies or achievements cannot be unlocked unless you play said co-op missions.

Call me grumpy and unrealistic but I think all trophies/achievements should be reachable if you own the game (didn't someone from EA state this exact principle themselves in a interview?). And if trophies and achievements are not important drivers of game play, why have them at all?

Anything else is a punishment for players who cannot afford new games. Don't even get me started on that fact that they previous owner cannot him or herself used the online pass without the disc they have passed on. EA know that they are not suddenly paying for 2 players to use the same facilities.

I make only two exceptions to that rule and that is if the player does not have the skills or puts in the time, or if it's a game everyone buys primarily for the online multiplayer experience, like say CoD.

Plain fact is, EA hate hardcore gamers (who buy more games than anyone else and some of those must be used games as a result) and hardcore gamers hate EA even though they do produce some absolutely amazing games.

Now I have that off my chest, tell me were Xbox LIVE named worst online gaming service? There should be a category.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Al Rhodes on 10th April 2013 5:28pm

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Robert Ilott Build & CM Engineer, Criterion Games9 years ago
It's also likely that a large portion of those voting are (the often very vocal) gamers who live at home with their parents and have therefore not been hit directly themselves by bad mortgage deals or the banking crisis etc. If they weren't at home with Mum n Dad, I suspect they might have a more accurate viewpoint on the way the world actually works...
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Al Rhodes Web producer/designer 9 years ago
PS: Jut because EA don't create oil spills and throw people out of their homes doesnt mean we shouldn't get mad at some of their business practices. Those people who bitch that gamers complain about unimportant stuff need to get off their high horses. Being vocal about one company does not exclude criticism of others. I have not lived with my parents for 20 years - still get mad with EA.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Al Rhodes on 10th April 2013 5:37pm

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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard9 years ago
Setting aside the other companies who actually do actual bad things like steal classic car collections, foreclose on soldiers, charge mystery fees for tickets or pollute the environment. I don't see why EA's competitors aren't even listed. I mean, ok EA fluffed the release of SimCity somewhat. When a competitor had a similar server issue riddled game on release, I didn't see them handing out the freebies to their customers by way of apology yet that is exactly what EA did.

The major gripes cited against EA, the ME3 ending, the SimCity launch etc, are all things that EA took big steps to fix, creating new content for ME3 and compensating people who bought SimCity. Other sources for complaint such as Day 1 DLC, microtransactions and Online Pass are industry standards, not EA exclusives. I'm mystified as to how maintaining the industry norms and paying for our mistakes makes us the worst anything.
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Ivan Pedersen Technical Artist, ARM Ltd.9 years ago
Supporting lesbians/gays last year, taking down the Edge patent troll, improving significantly following the ea spouse issues years ago... That is good (as opposed to bad or 'worst ') in my own, personal opinion.
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Mariusz Szlanta Senior Producer, Natural Motion9 years ago

EA is top dog of industry that sells entertaiment, namely dreams. Gaming is immersive and important activity based on illusions and can create very strong feelings.

When a top dog, someone everyone looks up to, turns out to be "evil", then the mentioned dog may expect huge backlash fuelled by irrational feelings. Like Tom said, if EA does something and it's accepted, then everyone will follow.

EA is, of course, nowhere near as bad as painted but combination of the above and really badly managed Sim City PR enraged many just in time to cast vote.

If anything, it shows how important EA is for gamers and how insecure we all are when transitioning to digital.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard9 years ago
Mariusz I totally get the point. But that just implies that Peter was at least in part correct when he said that the tallest trees catch the most wind. I don't really think that being big means we're bad. As I said. Where's the rest of the industry? Not even a nomination for Sony, MS, Activision, Zynga? I'm not sure EA is demonstrably the worst company in the games industry, let alone America.

Still. I'm proud to work for EA. I think we do some amazing stuff and if the price of leading is stumbling occasionally and being criticised for those stumbles. I can live with that.
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Alan Ashby Recruiter, EA Sports9 years ago
So a site that rallies against irresponsible corporations, irresponsibly conducts a poll which ignores all accepted polling methods for achieving accurate results...and tries to pass it off as the views of America.

The masters we are all slaves to didn't seem to mind the WCIA bracket outcome.... EA's stock is up a few percentage points from yesterday.
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Patrick McCarthy Lead Automation Engineer, Humana9 years ago
Look... I buy games. I play games I Kinda LIKE to Game (Heck, I even play Eve Online)
So, I got BF3... Played it... it was nice, moved along & ranked up... nice game, well done...
Expansion came out, Ohhh, eye candy... new "Stuffs" ...Bought it
Could no longer play the game... Kept getting disconnected.... Submitted tickets, got ignored, More tickets, got ignored, More tickets, finally told patch would be in NEXT DLC. (huh?) But, I swallowed the bait...Bought new content, with "fix"
Now, I can play the game for almost 1 hour at a time... Woo hoo... (Of course, since an average match lasts LONGER then 1 hour, I can no longer advance, since my stats are not updated...)
Basically, yeah, I no longer play the game. It's just gathering virtual dust, never to be played again. Money well spent? I think not.

Especialy when you compare it to what the guys over at CCP are doing....... (for FREE)

Worst Company on the planet? Not hardly.
Stupidly managed company that is killing itself, in the eyes of gamers? yup!
Stupidly managed company that is killing itself, in the eyes of the people who write editorials on gaming? You Betcha!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Patrick McCarthy on 15th April 2013 6:03pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises9 years ago
EA earned it with their Sim City DRM...

But it would have been more fair if the voting options included Activision, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo.
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