Electronic Arts: the ‘Worst Company in America?’

Electronic Arts may have won numerous accolades for its games, yet its latest probably isn’t one you’ll see in the company lobby – The Consumerist’s Worst Company in America award.

Does a company’s reputation affect your desire to purchase their products — even cool games?

EA beat out America’s other most-hated companies – Walmart, PayPal, Bank of America and Gamestop to name a few – by a landslide 64 percent vote.

“This is not just a few people complaining about bad games; this vote represents a large group of consumers who have grown sick and tired of being ignored and taken advantage of,” said Chris Morran, Deputy Editor of Consumerist.com.

Some of the animosity comes from gamers who have seen some of their most beloved companies bought by EA, then subsequently executed or corrupted “to the point they’re almost unrecognizable,” writes Paul Tassi from Forbes. An example is fans’ annoyance when EA bought Bioware, which created the popular Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, and released newer titles that fell short of expectations.

“EA is at the forefront of some of the most annoying practices in the industry to date, such as restrictive DRM (digital rights management), seemingly abusive DLC (downloadable content) and appearing to trade creativity for cash,” Tassi says.

In 2004 EA was nailed with three class action lawsuits that got the plaintiffs $14.9 million in unpaid overtime. Since then, a number of former and current EA employees told GamesBeat that the known offenses pale in comparison to the company’s ongoing practices.

In response, EA’s spokesman John Reseburg seems to acknowledge an insular attitude: ”We’re sure that bank presidents, oil, tobacco and weapons companies are all relieved they weren’t on the list this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”

Comments

  1. BY Pat Saison says:

    If true, then why not boycott EA games en mass–in this Internet age, the will of the people and power of the crowd can trump any company’s shenanigans.

  2. BY rumpydog says:

    Oh Dog! To beat out banks? Ya must really suck!

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