Consumer watchdog publication The Consumerist announced Wednesday that it had crowned EA Games “The Worst Company in America”, usurping usual “merchant of death” victors and surprising the game mega publisher.
As EA Games hasn’t brought some Americans to financial ruin, peddled foreign governments technology to oppress their people, or polluted the Gulf of Mexico, the publisher was surprised to receive this accolade.
“We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year,” EA Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg told Kotaku. “We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”
The Consumerist cited reader outcry of EA’s “greed” as the reason why the company took the title in this vote-for-the-worst contest. After 250,000 votes, and two rounds, voter anger EA’s “nickel and diming” consumers for DLCs and buggy games overcame anger at Bank of America’s prominent role in helping the American economy implode in 2008 with the collapse of the housing market.
“For years, while movies and music became more affordable and publishers piled on bonus content — or multiple modes of delivery — as added value to entice customers to buy, video games have continued to be priced like premium goods.There have even been numerous accusations that EA and its ilk deliberately hold back game content with the sole intent of charging a fee for it at a later date. It’s one thing to support a game with new content that is worth the price. It’s another to put out an inferior — and occasionally broken — product with the mindset of “ah, we’ll fix it later and make some money for doing so.”
Speaking to Kotaku, Mr. Reseburg mentioned that the Human Rights Campaign has released a position of support for the publisher for the inclusion of same-sex relationships in Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3.