EA nominated for worst company award

EA Games is likely to be named the worst company in the US by the Consumerist magazine, beating off some stiff competition from the telephone companies, and seems to want to compound the issue by blaming homophobes.

As news that EA was likely to win the award for the second time, EA’s COO Peter Moore did his level best to show the world why his outfit was such a clear winner.

Writing in his blog, Moore admitted mistakes and promised to “do better” but decided to wade into Consumerist magazine and its readers for saying such nasty things about EA.

“This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history,” writes Moore.

Well, not quite, BP won the award in 2011 when it managed the biggest oil spill in history. Last year, however, when EA won it, BP had not done anything so publicly evil.

Moore claimed that the complaints against EA last year were because of its support of SOPA and that they didn’t like the ending to Mass Effect 3. The only problem with that argument is that the analysis of the reasons for EA’s inclusion in last year’s finale makes no mention of Mass Effect 3 or SOPA.

But writing in its own blog, Consumerist said that what seemed to have won the award for EA is its habit of buying up smaller, successful developers with the intention of milking the intellectual properties that made these acquired companies so attractive. EA has exclusivity on popular sports games that keeps retail prices up for the rest of the gaming industry.

Customers do not like EA’s use of microtransactions or in-game purchases. Many customers believe that EA’s view of microtransactions is to put out broken or deliberately incomplete games with the ultimate goal of selling add-on content that should have been included in the first place.

Mass Effect 3, while not the cause of EA’s award, did show why the company won its award. Wanting to make a buck out of a successful franchise, EA rushed out the third and final instalment of the series in 2012. It wrecked the plot, and was so bad that the company had to release an “extended cut” ending before it was lynched by some highly cross gamers who had been fans of the series for years.

Moore lit out against the SimCity DRM claims. “Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme,” writes Moore. “It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.”

But his silliest reason for EA likely to win the award was because the people who complained were homophobes. Moore claimed that EA’s decision to allow users to create lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) characters in some of its games has resulted in a voting campaign orchestrated by conservatives.

Moore said that in the past year, EA had received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against its policy of allowing players to create LGBT characters in its games. There are posts on conservative websites urging people to protest its LGBT policy by voting EA the worst company in America, he claimed.

Consumerist, however, said that if there is any such campaign, it is odd that no one had mentioned it before. While any number of tech and video game sites and forums have been writing the WCIA polls, its analytics show absolutely no incoming traffic from any political, let alone conservative, sites.

So far in all the nominations against EA no one mentioned anything about sexual orientation.