Wednesday, 10 April 2013

EA is the Worst Company in America ... Again

Headdesk

I suppose at this point absolutely no one should be shocked, right? EA seemed to steamroll the competition for the title of biggest steamer in America for the second year running. Even though there really shouldn't even be more to say than that I guess that I might as well continue, because there's a story to this one too, unfortunately.

You see, when it became clear that EA was probably going to take the dubious honor of being voted in for worst company a second time in as many years, they gave a response, or rather, EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore gave a response.

Now, many people would simply write off such a thing as an attempt to save face, and not a very good one at that. However, I think that the real issue here comes from some of the things that people who stopped reading before the end might have missed. Strap-in, it's time for a play-by-play.

"The complaints against us last year were our support of SOPA (not true), and that they didn’t like the ending to Mass Effect 3."

While it would be incorrect to say that at least some of the votes came from people who thought that EA supported SOPA (not necessarily true, they remained neutral, neither publicly supporting or decrying the bill, which, yay, decisiveness!) or that were pissed off about the ending to Mass Effect 3, a lot of complaints about the company were directed towards it's abhorrent business practices, such as buying out smaller companies, milking franchises for all they're worth to the point of excess, and just plain old obstinacy regarding a willingness to admit wrongdoing -- gee, good to see that's still alive and kicking even now.

"Are we really the “Worst Company in America?”  I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity.  We owe gamers better performance than this."

There's the admission of guilt. The one admission of guilt in the article. Normally, I might give a point for this, but considering what happens next, nope, no way in hell.

"Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme.  It’s not.  People still want to argue about it.  We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period."

Okay, fine EA, you want to play this kind of game? Alright, the always online stuff in SimCity isn't a DRM scheme. You know what? It's still mindnumblingly-skullfuckingly STUPID. It does, for all intents and purposes, the exact same thing. It wasn't required, it wasn't necessary. You still forced it down people's throats, and then have the gall to act surprised when they're angry?

"Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam.  45 million registered users are proving that wrong."

You know what, I'll actually give you that one. Granted, I still wouldn't use Origin even if it were the only type of service available of its kind, which it's not, but maybe it will actually be good one day. I'm not holding my breath.

"Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming.  Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."

I've said before that free-to-play and microtransactions aren't dirty words or bad concepts in and of themselves. Nope. It's not until companies like YOU do shit like putting microtransactions in full priced games that they become garbage. Oh, and if there are "tens of millions" more people that actually like this, then where the hell are they whenever these kinds of conversations come up?

"We’ve seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really…"

Well, that's a bullshit excuse if I ever-

"In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games.  This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America."

Oh no.

Oh no you FUCKING did not. You did not just do that.

You just did that.

You just blamed people voting for your company as worst in America on your pro-LGBT stance. You DO NOT get to sit there and claim that you're being attacked because you're taking the moral high ground on the LGBT issue. Don't get me wrong, it's great that you're actually supporting that community, but it does not excuse your other shitty practices, and it definitely does not make you some sort of martyrs that are being struck down for taking a progressive stance.

Christ.

I'm done. There's nothing more to be said. Holy shit.

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