Escapist magazine quoted as saying “With more than three-quarters of the vote, the videogame publisher absolutely crushed second-place finisher Bank of America.” in the vote for Worst Company in America, but EA Games would like us to think that given the pretext of Peter Moore’s weak, half-apology delivered by EA last friday that this poll means little or nothing to their image in the game industry. If only it were that simple, and if only that were true, then the world would be a better place, I would have my real Mass Effect ending, and I would actually pay for Xbox Live Gold.
Peter Moore would like us to think that “$40 billion in lawsuit settlements” pales in comparison to the crimes against humanity that Bank of America has placed upon the planet. Maybe he is right. After all Bank of America is still left standing after the disastrous global economic crash caused by the implosion of the housing market which BOA certainly played a major role in helping to occur (example: by providing robo-signed loans to people they never even met on contracts they never even saw).
But back on topic, is Electronic Arts, EA Games, EA Sports “$40 billion in lawsuit settlements” truly similar to the New York Yankees as Moore puts it? Or perhaps they are indeed much more similar to Bank of America’s prime evil empire, let’s take a closer look.
Both companies cause the industry around them to change based on the actions that they take. Micro-transactions, DLC instead of full expansions, Online Pass, always-online “DRM”, borderline false advertising (shouts out to DICE), and bullying developers with corporate pressure (hey BioWare). Let’s just stop there before we go too far to turn back. Bank of America may have deserved this disgraceful award a lot more than EA, but Peter Moore’s apology needs to be more than just words on the internet to prepare us for an experience in bad Public Relations.
Life’s message that the world is trying to tell us, is to learn from our mistakes and leave the old ways of trickery behind. Next Gen has caused many publishers to slim down the amount of projects they are making and teams they are employing. If behemoth publisher EA wants to have a good image again and truly satisfy its customers the way it could and the way it should, Next Gen needs to be taken not just as a business but an art form that is profitable when the fans are happy. I’ll leave it at that until it becomes necessary to specifically explain why companies keep falling flat on their face trying to achieve brand loyalty.