Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Repeat! We have a winner in The Consumerist’s Worst Company in the U.S. It’s EA! Again!

I’m glad EA made the finals, but I think Bank of America should have taken the award.  Or maybe not.  That’s just logic talking.  Emotionally, I simply hate the fuck out of EA and I’m glad they are the winner.  EA is the epitome of American Corporations who just don’t give a rats ass about consumers.

They have done their best to destroy any enjoyment one could get out of gaming with their crappy half assed half finished over-priced games, their DRM always on connection schemes, their overpriced micro-transactions some of which include paying for game items plastered with advertising so they get paid twice, and their total lack of customer service.  Those last two words are not even in the EA vocabulary.

And the
response last week of chief operating officer Pete Moore trying to blame EA’s performance on homohpobia is as disgusting as it gets.  When you start using the gay community as a shield because your company sucks big time, your just as bad as any Republican because you’re a hypocrite.

I can find nobody, and neither did The Consumerist, offering any evidence that people voted because they hated homosexual.  Simply put, practically everybody hates EA and their disgusting lies such as the continual falsehood regarding the DRM of Sim City.  The people who run this company are totally clueless, and the stockholders should be pissed off about it.  But apparently they are as stupid as those they hire to run this fiasco.  Or maybe they love losing money.

The Consumerist:

Make no mistake: Video games are big business. A company like EA — and Activision, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony, etc. — merits just as much scrutiny as any other business that plays a leading role in a multibillion-dollar industry. It’s only a fractured, antiquated public perception that video games are somehow frivolous holdovers from childhood that allows gamers to be abused and taken advantage of by the very people who supply them the games they play.

“Until EA stops sucking the blood out of games in order to make uninspiring sequels, or at least until they begin caring about how much gamers hate their lack of respect for our money and intelligence, this is going to continue,” writes Penny Arcade’s Kuchera. “We don’t hate them because we’re homophobes, we hate them because they destroy companies we love. We hate them because they release poor games. We hate them because they claim our hate doesn’t matter as long as we give them our money.”

Instead of deflecting, we ask the higher-ups at EA to reflect on the following question:

When we live in an era marked by massive oil spills, faulty foreclosures by bad banks, and rampant consolidation in the airline and telecom industry, what does it say about EA’s business practices that so many people have — for the second year in a row — come out to hand it the title of Worst Company In America?

Something that is totally overlooked and seldom mentioned is that if EA is such a great company, why have they shown more losing quarters over the years than profitable ones?   And this is by a large margin.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, EA posted a net loss of $45 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a loss of $205 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales declined to $922 million from $1.06 billion.

When items such as deferred revenue and stock-based compensation are factored in, the company said it earned 57 cents per share on $1.2 billion in sales, compared with earnings of 99 cents per share on $1.65 billion in sales in the year-earlier period. The results were mostly in line with analysts' average expectation of 56 cents per share on revenue of $1.28 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

How can any company rake in that much cash and still stay in the minus column.  Better yet, how do they stay in business?

But this response may be the best one I’ve read to date regarding EA. 
From Penny Arcade:

SimCity not only requires an Internet connection, a decision that has led to no end of technical problems, but we can no longer create huge cities. We can’t save our game, experiment with the design, and then reload. It’s not a sandbox anymore, and the playful nature of past games in the series has been replaced by a game that forces us to play a certain way.

The gutless reaction to these issues is just as large of a problem, and after I was personally blown off by Origin PR for daring to ask about whether customers can get a refund for their non-working game, I can understand the frustration on the part of gamers trying to fight for their money back. If their official PR is comfortable giving the finger to the press and refusing to comment on refunds, I can’t imagine how customers are treated.

You know my thoughts on Real Racing 3, a game made by the remnants of two other developers EA ate up before laying off their staff and smashing them together. The company’s reaction to the vocal dismay at the microtransaction model is, once again, that they’re making money so they don’t care if you don’t like it.

EA may have the reputation of being a company run by empty suits, but blowing off the hatred of gamers due to the “market” having spoken shows just how well deserved that reputation has become. It seems that no EA executive can even pretend to care about the massive backlash the company is facing from gamers who feel ripped off.

I’m sure they sell a lot of their big guns such as Madden (overpriced, hardly changes, you’re spending $60 every year just for new rosters) or The Sims 3 (They’ve lost a lot of customers, me included, with exorbitant micro-transactions in their Sims 3 Store while skimping on content in their stuff packs and expansion packs.  Each expansion pack brings new problems to the games functions with no fixes) but nobody is buying the rest of their crap because EA does not give a damn about the customer or the quality of their product.   

And As long as you have greedy clueless executives like Pete Moore blowing smoke up the ass of, well any two bit air headed reporter in listening distance,  and trying to use the flimsiest cover to hide behind in a feeble minded attempt to explain away winning an award such as this, then EA will always be a company that belongs in the shitter.  I hope sooner or later, they get the royal flush.

And despite Moore’s creed of statistics about customers doing this and that, most of which they are forced into in order to play shitty EA Games, nothing will change the fact that most people on this earth believe that EA has been a festering infection on the gaming industry.  Congratulations, to Mr. Moore and EA for their award. They deserve it.

Crossposted at Corporateownedusa.

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