This Tuesday brought the news that everybody’s favorite game company, EA, has won a second straight Golden Poo Award. This award labels EA as the “Worst Company in America,” and in the eight years it has been awarded, no company has won it twice. EA’s COO, Peter Moore, has released an arrogant statement that seems to point the finger at Madden fans that are angry about the cover athlete and conservatives that hate that EA allows players to make LGBT characters in their games. Of course, Mr. Moore neglects to realize that EA was a worse company in the year 2012 than the year 2011, which is something a company should avoid after receiving its first Golden Poo.
Peter Moore’s other comments regarding this year’s award were no less entertaining. Apparently the Maxis programmers still have not clued the rest of the company into the fact that the online requirement for SimCity is nothing more than DRM. Peter Moore attempts to be emphatic in disputing this saying “We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.” Apparently nobody taught Peter that proof is everything. It is nice to say that it is not DRM, but it would be even better to actually produce proof.
Peter also insists that Origin is a viable Steam competitor, saying that forty-five million users are proving that fact. Of course, once again Peter obscures the truth, glossing over the fact that an Origin account is required for just about every current EA title. Also glossed over is EA’s penchant for banning Origin accounts at the smallest hint of criticism towards the service or EA’s ineptitude with their games. How many banned Origin users have created a secondary account after their primary account has been banned? On top of being required to run EA’s PC games, Origin had the added benefit of accessing one’s personal information in other programs. EA did patch up that “oversight”, but Origin will still collect a broad range of user information; much more than a company like Valve does with their Steam service.
To me, the most telling part of these consecutive awards is how arrogant the company remains. In an 2012 interview with an IGNorant gaming website, Peter Moore said the reason why EA won the 2012 award was because they were the biggest video game corporation. He is under the impression that many gamers believe that video game companies should make no money. Once again, he misses the point, the distance between not being profitable and bleeding the consumers dry is a chasm. A game company can be profitable and not have to resort to using EA’s tactics, such as re-releasing Fifa 2012 as Fifa 2013 on the Wii and the PS Vita.
If EA put forth the effort, they could remain a hugely profitable company while generating goodwill with gamers. A company with resources like EA’s could easily offer a more substantial product to its consumers. At the same time, being upfront with customers can go a long way into establishing trust. Most people would rather hear the truth, even if it is unpleasant, rather than be force-fed lie after lie with no actual evidence to support the lie. Lastly, if EA really wants to avoid a third straight Golden Poo, they need to actually listen to the complaints of their fans. When people complain about the Origin spyware, do not sit back and point at the forty-five million subscribers as to why that system works. The same goes for the micro-transaction model, if a person is basically required to purchase sixty dollars or more of these items, as is the case in the Simpsons: Tapped Out, do not sit back and gleefully claim the model is working.
There are many horrible American companies, and consumers do shoulder a part of the blame for these companies. American consumers just make it too easy for these companies to thrive on questionable business practices. Fifteen years ago, EA’s current tactics would not have had the success they do now. The sports games of the past had more additions on a yearly basis, at the same time, the sales of these types of games was nowhere near to what it is today. Today, it seems to be a contest from year to year to add as little as possible in new content while maintaining the same sales level.
For as much as I hate EA, the truth is they are far from the worst company in America. Companies in all other types of industries utilize business practices that make EA look innocent. EA is by far the worst video game company today, as rated by Lusipurr.com, for the better part of the current console generation. They could easily right the ship, but comments from people like Peter Moore portray a company far too arrogant to make even the smallest of changes to appease fans. Do you think there is a company in gaming that exceeds EA? Better yet, have a friend who leads an EA fan club in the office? Refer him to this article and tell him to post a comment professing his love for this horrible company. If you get the whole fan club to post, you could win our April contest and a free game! Lose the contest and you will have to sit in the official Lusipurr.com Pleasure Chairs!