Ethical Gaming Rants and Hissy Fits The Game Industry 5 Comments

Shut Up Gamers: EA voted worst company in America again

Dear Internet,

EA was just voted the Worst Company in America by readers of the Consumerist for the second year in a row, and that sound you hear is me rolling my eyes. I dislike EA to the point where I refuse to buy any of their games even though sometimes I think that if Bioware were a person I would hug them, but this is just painfully stupid.

Always-on DRM is bad, buying great companies and then laying off their talented people is bad, Day 1 DLCs are bad. But damn, people, get some perspective.

You know what’s worse than anything EA has done? How about a huge employer firing people who need expensive medication to fight cancer or refusing to hire full-time employees so they don’t have to give medical benefits, all while your executives have money fights? (Walmart) Or maybe illegally foreclosing on people’s homes, raising interest rates to absurd numbers without reason, and charging people $5 every time they want to access their own money in their own account? (Bank of America)

Oh wait — EA totally ruined SimCity, man.

People, if you don’t like EA, stop buying their games. (I suspect but cannot prove that a good number of the people who voted for them — 78% of the votes overall in fact — have bought an EA title this year.) And don’t ignore stuff that actually matters because stuff that matters (health, home) is scary and stuff that doesn’t actually matter (Day 1 DLC) is easy.


Dear EA,

You’re still super terrible about video game stuff. And please stop blaming homophobes every time you get shit from gamers. Way to stand by your decision to … treat LGBT people with basic human dignity, I guess. That doesn’t make Always-on DRM any more palatable.


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  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    To be fair, it’s the Consumerist, not Huffington Post or Mother Jones. And if you look at the brackets, Wal-Mart was eliminated by Bank of America in the quarter-finals. And, you know, that foreclosure story was from 2010.

    In a line-up between a bank, a concert ticket racket, an internet provider and the publisher of three high-profile game stumbles (ME3 ending, SimCity, and MoH: Warfighter) and the maker of Origin, how could EA not win?
    Azuriel´s last post: The Next Xbox May Have Always-Online Requirement

    • Reply
      April 9, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      “In a line-up between a bank, a concert ticket racket, an internet provider and the publisher of three high-profile game stumbles and the maker of Origin, how could EA not win?”


      Well, one of the finalists has been complicit in the current economic depression and was a huge part of the reason the Occupy Wall Street movement existed last year, and stole people’s homes in 2010 (which is still an evil thing to do 2 years later), while the other made a shitty ending to Mass Effect.

      I do agree, though, that the Consumerist is hardly a fancy financial publication, and they heavily weighted the results by doing things like putting all the banks in one opening bracket.

      • Reply
        April 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that BoA and most other “too big to fail” banks should have been broken up, and executives jailed for money laundering (nevermind their implicit contributions to terrorism). I just don’t feel that the criticisms leveled at the Consumerist’s bracket are particularly valid. I have read other posts bring up Halliburton and Shell and such, when none of those were even in the running.

        Is EA literally the worst company in America? No. But this is what you get when you open polls and ask a technology-slanted, self-selected Consumerist audience to pick from four finalists in a closed bracket. Somehow, I doubt there would be as much hoopla surrounding a poll suggesting Obama is the worst leader in the history of mankind. “What about Pol Pot?!”
        Azuriel´s last post: Cert-Gate

        • Reply
          April 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

          “But this is what you get when you open polls and ask a technology-slanted, self-selected Consumerist audience to pick from four finalists in a closed bracket.”

          Ah! I understand your point better now! EA winning is probably less a statement about the priority of “gamers” and more .. simply a consequence of the circumstances around this poll. Great point.

          I suspect, though, that dedicated game players can develop a high level of.. hobby narcissism, I guess, and some of that played into this result. You’re totally right about the terms of this poll, though, so much of my angst here is probably misplaced.

    • Reply
      April 10, 2013 at 8:27 am

      I feel like it’s pretty reasonable for a company to be completely terrible more than one year in a row (see EA’s outcome in that poll). In fact, I would suggest that Bank of America has been a terrible company to work with for a lot more than the last two years. Likewise, a number of major bad players (AIG, Monsanto, etc) are omitted from that poll and/or grouped in such a way that they will fight each other out. Plus, you know, internet poll.

      I hope that we can all agree that EA’s position in consumer’s minds (as noted by the results of that survey) is not a good one. And that that perception is due to a lot more reasons than just being the “biggest tree” or whatever. They consistently take anti-consumer stances (EULAs that force you out of a Class, overbearing DRM, predatory microtransaction models, whatever the fuck they did with SWTOR, etc) and clearly value iterative content/games/IPs far more than innovation. I detest the constant spin-up, deploy, lay-everyone-off model of the general games industry, and EA is no stranger to that practice.

      This does not necessarily mean that we can’t appreciate their stance on things like gay marriage – regardless of whether it is motivated by the bottom line, the fact remains that they are still taking a stance.

      I guess the larger point is that, most of the time, doing things like ranking bad companies in order of badness is… well, bad. I’d like to think that just being nominated for an award like that should be enough to make some people rethink their stance. Can’t we just lump things and/or actions into “THIS IS BAD DON’T DO THIS” and “We totally like this, keep acting this way!”?

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