The results are in, and the consumers have spoken. Apparently, the rancor for game publishers goes far beyond the diabolical swindling of national banks. Who knew?
According to Consumerist readers, approximately 250,000 to be exact, Electronic Arts has been officially voted “Worst Company in America”. The publishing titan even managed to topple the iniquitous Bank of America. Now that is saying something.
Both corporations like to push and prod customers, in particular, their wallets. However, EA is willing to tamper with their own products in order to amass as much extra dollars as it can. Sure, bank accounts are private, personal, and attached to millions of unique identities; meddling with such information at the expense of consumers should cost a company their business license, but when you augment video games out of greed, that is when the Earth must cease rotation. Someone has crossed the line!
Humor aside, one can’t help but notice the echoes of gamers from across the nation. Mass Effect 3’s day one DLC, and cookie cutter ending, were simply the tipping point. EA’s annual Madden and covet of the NFL license is a bedraggled chicanery. Origin, their lackluster answer to Valve’s Steam, has been nothing short of uninspiring, and more cumbersome than anything else. Furthermore, their continued use of DRM is only going to increase, at our expense no less. Yet, for all of these disfavored business moves, people still pay for their games. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
The Redwood City based publisher won’t stop anytime soon; especially if gamers keep forking over money. Paul Tassi of Forbes Magazine put it best, “companies like EA are pushing the buttons of gamers on purpose, to see what they will and won’t tolerate. And by tolerate, of course, I don’t mean rant about on forums. I mean what they will pay for.”
No one jumped for joy when ME3’s price tag rose from $60 to $70 because of the DLC, but we still paid for it. Yes, it didn’t make logical sense, not even to 38 Studios founder/chairman, Curt Shilling, who voiced his own opinion on the matter, via Steam forums: “would we have been the ones making the decision on that we'd have not had Day 1 DLC you had to pay for, that should be in the launched game.” Truth remains, ME3 is a commercial success. Meaning, once again, we allowed EA to run the show.
With Electronic Art’s villainous stature at an all time high, will it be enough to merit more affirmative action from gamers that business practices of this nature won’t be condoned? Voting them as the worst company in the nation makes a statement, but to EA, it’s a slap on the wrist: 'Yea, our PR sucks, and could use some work, but we’re really tied down with our consumer’s money -err- well it’s our money now.'
The fact is, we, the gamers run the market, and determine how the waves sway. The more we tolerate, the more companies like EA will continue to entertain capital driven schemes. They’re a business after all; question is, when will enough be enough? Forums and polls won’t cut it; it’s going to take more the than Golden Poo trophy. Actions speak louder than words people. It’s our money, time to tell them how we want to spend it.