First the good news...
Let me preface this by saying that what you're reading now is the first of two articles this week about EA, and trust me when I tell you this now: the second one is going to be far from rosy. Let it never be said that I do not give credit where credit is due though. To that end I would like to acknowledge that EA's recent stance against the anti-gay protests regarding their games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect franchises is both to the point and extremely refreshing.
It came to light about a week ago that EA has been getting at least several thousand letters protesting the inclusion of LGBT content in some of their games, and the company's response pretty much hit the nail on the head from where I'm standing:
"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment,"
I for one am glad that the stance is seemingly rather blunt. It would have been just as easy for EA to try and double-talk their way out of this situation with a statement about "trying to respect the rights of the broad and diverse community," instead they basically come pretty close to saying that the campaign against them is just a bigoted response to something they've included because they wanted to give people the option.
Whether or not you believe that the LGBT content of any of EA's games is well or poorly implemented is really besides the point in this situation. I well and truly believe that inclusion of such content is a sign that games are moving forward, rather than backwards. It's not like the content is being shoved down your throat; if you want to play a completely straight character you're just as free to do that as well. For people that either want to roleplay a homosexual relationship, or merely wish to have an ingame gender preference that reflects their own real life tastes this is something that has been a long time coming.
So, kudos to you EA. At the very least you've done some measure of right by yourself. Unfortunately, as we'll see tomorrow, sometimes you have to follow the sweet with the sour, and I can't honestly think of anything more sour than another thing that EA has earned recently ... but more on that here later.