Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

The PA Report - EA earned hatred with poor games, lack of vision, and contempt for the audience, not

13

Posts

  • TransientMindTransientMind Registered User regular
    Really tall trees in frequently windy conditions actually bend with the wind to avoid falling over. Ones that don't end up uprooted in the next storm.

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @Siddown "Yes, that is very true, but that doesn't stop people from blaming others for bad things that happen to them. Also for the multiple times you've been screwed by EA, none of those times involved shutting down your heat and power, losing your home, destroying your credit rating, etc."

    Well yes, I pay my bills. Usually those things happen when you don't. That's not the bank's fault.

    Thanatos2k on
  • The RiddlerThe Riddler Registered User regular
    The vast majority of oil companies are NOT heartless, or evil - and they protect the environment as much as they reasonably can while at the same time still being involved in stuff like drilling. Same general principle applies to banks and insurance as well.

    99.9999999% of all my interactions with oil, insurance, and financial companies are positive. Gasoline powers my car, and they set up stations to dispense product at my convenience. Insurance for the most part pays for all my medical needs and I have few headaches with their process as long as I'm not an idiot. My bank has never shafted me out of so much as one thin dime - and in fact they have made it possible to buy cars, homes, and many other things which I could have never otherwise acquired.

    But EA... The number of headaches, annoyances, feelings of being 'ripped off', and other grievances I have had to endure from that company are legion. Oil/Insurance/Finance companies may screw up more spectacularly, and cause more misery when they DO make a mistake. But EA regularly and routinely dumps on all its customers, and in many ways that is far worse.

  • spoonybard.hahsspoonybard.hahs Registered User regular
    @Thanatos2k

    So if it didn't happen to you, it didn't happen?

    Comcast won the Golden Poo award in 2010. The two out of top three Google searches for Comcast is "Comcast is evil" and "Comcast is the worst." The company is still labeled as one of the worst service providers in America for cable, internet, and telephone, for reasons ranging from poor customer interactions to severe billing foul ups. Such as Comcast overcharging hundreds of dollars on a bill and never correcting obvious errors (like customers being charged for services they never purchased). Despite what evidence a consumer might have to the contrary, Comcast holds them responsible to the point of either legal action or selling their "debt" to a collections agency.

    Additionally, Comcast is one of the many big providers that price gouge and never reinvest that extra revenue into infrastructure so they can expand their markets with cutting edge technology and to make sure older infrastructure is retrofitted to meet ever increasing demands. Rather, they pay their CEO and executives ridiculous salaries and bonuses.

    As for Bank of America, they actively lie to customers about services, foreclose on homeowners who are up to date with their mortgage, paid off their mortgage, or even if they never borrowed from BoA. The bank even purposefully lags on paper work so they can foreclose on a property. They sneak higher interest rates into refinanced loans, whose purpose is to help borrowers get a lower rate on their loans.

    Bank of America has had to pay millions in court settlements for their malpractices and is in court right now for a myriad of reasons. They are also being investigated for fraud by the federal government.

    Just because a company provides a needed service does not mean they are above reproach. If anything, it means there should be greater transparency and they must held to a high standard than other companies. On the surface, all three are terrible because they actively work to make more money at the expense of their consumers, regardless if doing what is ethically right would be better for everyone in the long run.

    The difference is, no who purchased a crappy EA game is facing time in debtor's prison because they defaulted on a loan they were effectively paying off.

  • TaboriHKTaboriHK Registered User regular
    As a corporation that systematically dismantles and destroys art and artists, I'm surprised EA has as many defenders as it does, and further, that more people don't see this as an enormously bad thing.

  • panalorpanalor Registered User new member
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved?"

    Oh, definitely Mass Effect 2---

    "Bonus points will be awarded if it wasn't a Bioware-developed game."

    Well, shit.

    ME2 has one of the best narratives of any game I've played. I liked it so much I bought the model ships and artbooks, something I've never done for anything besides LoZ.

    Meanwhile, Mass Effect 3...? AFAIK they still haven't finished all its DLC so I'm still waiting for the "pay once for the full game" version to be released. I'd say "game of the year edition" but I don't know what year that'd be for, the year it was released or the year they finished nickel-and-diming so people are able to play the full story (in a game series best known for story).

    Even then I don't know if I'd buy it, Origin's toxic. Considering how many download services EA has had over the years, it's anyone's guess how long until they pull the plug on it. God help me if I need any kind of customer support. One of my friends from work got double-billed over a year ago and was never able to get a refund.

    Assuming they finally released "full" ME3 on Steam or some other service, I'm not sure I'd care at this point. I just passed 150 hours on Natural Selection 2, a game I paid HALF the nominal EA game price for, and that price also got me a free second copy of the game to give to a friend since I was an early supporter.

  • panalorpanalor Registered User new member
    "Can you remember the last EA title that you truly loved?"

    Oh, definitely Mass Effect 2---

    "Bonus points will be awarded if it wasn't a Bioware-developed game."

    Well, shit.

    ME2 has one of the best narratives of any game I've played. I liked it so much I bought the model ships and artbooks, something I've never done for anything besides LoZ.

    Meanwhile, Mass Effect 3...? AFAIK they still haven't finished all its DLC so I'm still waiting for the "pay once for the full game" version to be released. I'd say "game of the year edition" but I don't know what year that'd be for, the year it was released or the year they finished nickel-and-diming so people are able to play the full story (in a game series best known for story).

    Even then I don't know if I'd buy it, Origin's toxic. Considering how many download services EA has had over the years, it's anyone's guess how long until they pull the plug on it. God help me if I need any kind of customer support. One of my friends from work got double-billed over a year ago and was never able to get a refund.

    Assuming they finally released "full" ME3 on Steam or some other service, I'm not sure I'd care at this point. I just passed 150 hours on Natural Selection 2, a game I paid HALF the nominal EA game price for, and that price also got me a free second copy of the game to give to a friend since I was an early supporter.

  • ProvidentialProvidential Registered User regular
    I don't have a broad background in all the different pies in which EA now has its fingers, so it's possible he was thinking of something else. But if Moore is cynically patting himself on the back for the creepily gender-blind whores of BioWare as its bench of "LGBT characters," that's pretty sad.

  • MetrynMetryn Registered User regular
    The last EA game I purchased was BF3. The only reason I bought it was because A. It was on sale and B. My friend was begging me to play it. I've probably put 1 hour into it, because Origin is just so shoddy and my friend went to Planetside 2.

    League of Legends is free to play, yet I've spent at least $600 on it. EA used to provide me with some entertainment, but I won't pay full price for anything they release. It's bargain bins or if they go the way of full DRM on everything.....nothing.

  • T-DawgT-Dawg Registered User regular
    Last EA published game I truly loved and that the dev team loved? Easy - Rock Band 3.

  • RaphDSRaphDS Registered User regular
    I look through the comments and agree: in the greater scheme of things, other industries and other corporations deserve to be "Worst Company in America".

    YET, EA wins this. And despite as much as I want to see other awful, awful firms get "proper punishment" by winning, I feel no sympathy for EA. You have to try REAL HARD to earn the ire of your customers to win it back-to-back years.

    I too, experienced awful customer service with Origin. I love FIFA, but they've hit, to borrow Mike and Jerry's quote "terminal football" and can't make it incrementally better. I wanted so badly for SimCity to work, but no. And their mobile games are no fun.

    Maybe not the most vile corporation, but definitely worth my anger.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Thanatos2k wrote:
    Well yes, I pay my bills. Usually those things happen when you don't. That's not the bank's fault.

    Well, there we go. Bad things only ever happen to bad people I guess.
    TaboriHK wrote:
    As a corporation that systematically dismantles and destroys art and artists, I'm surprised EA has as many defenders as it does, and further, that more people don't see this as an enormously bad thing.

    I don't think anyone is defending EA, some of us just think that they might not be the worst company in the US. It'd be like if an armed robber was deemed the "Worst Criminal in the US" over a murder. Just because the robber isn't as bad as the murder, doesn't make him a saint. EA is a poorly run company and in the tech industry is the bottom of the barrel, but there are far worse companies out there.

    Siddown on
  • S.C.S.C. Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Peter Moore is off his rocker if he's blaming people opposed to homosexuality for EA's reputation. I'm not on the gay bandwagon whatsoever, yet I understand the decision to include gay content in games since I'm not the only one who plays games. All I ask is that they are respectful of people's views when designing the content, and not pushing it on the player (ala Dragon Age 2, and Mass Effect 3).

    Their reputation has nothing to do with their position on homosexuality, and everything to do with blatantly putting profits before everything else - including overall game quality and employee loyalty.

    They're a company that immediately lays off employees once a game is done, so they can maximize profits of release. Then they'll hire on new employees desperate to break into the industry, who will work for less, and work for more hours without complaints.

    They buy up smaller independent studios and utterly destroy the quality of their games by eliminating creativity and innovation. They replace it with cookie-cutter focus group tested design decisions, and sequels or movie games.

    Or they simply hijack the good name of a studio in an attempt to grab cash. For example, BioWare Mythic and BioWare Victory. Now with BioWare's reputation in the dumps they realized that little scheme will no longer work, so reverted back to the studio previous names.

    That's not even going into the always online "features", or the rampant DLC nickel-and-diming - including employing it as a paid cheat system (Dead Space 3).

    It's a sleezeball company that tries to strongarm gamers into the direction that the bean counters want the industry to take. And unfortunately, a lot of gamers are letting them get away with it.

    S.C. on
  • JhazJhaz Registered User regular
    Just to play devil's advocate, I loved Dead Space 3. It wasn't a perfect game, but it was an absolute blast.

  • _fluffy_fluffy Registered User regular
    What was the most recent EA game that I enjoyed? I don't know, which is more recent, Music Construction Set or the C64 version of Marble Madness?

  • RapzidRapzid Registered User regular
    This is the Ben Kuchera I like to read:)

    Last two EA games I loved? Well, EA franchise games.. Dead Space 1 and Mass Effect 1. The sequels were shiny, but just not up to the original entries IMO.

  • GodofalluGodofallu Oshkosh, WIRegistered User regular
    Guys we sold a few million copies of Battlefield 3 clearly we are doing things right to sell so many games.

    But didn't you guys expect Battlefield 3 to sell way more copies? Why are you bragging when it underperformed due to requiring Origin and the hatred of EA? Don't you realize that you can sell millions of copies and still be doing poorly IN COMPARISON to what you could be selling if you didn't run a company despised by everyone?

    steam_sig.png
  • superbergsuperberg Skokie, ILRegistered User regular
    Last non-BioWare EA game I loved? I can't even recall. Burnout 3, maybe?

  • copperkatcopperkat Registered User regular
    I loved Mirror's Edge...that was one hell of a risk and it didn't get the marketing it deserved. But EA just stamped their distributors logo on it. DICE is one of the few developers large enough to retain creative control while working with EA.

  • craigdolphincraigdolphin Registered User new member
    My guess is that EA will compound their evil by announcing a deal with the newest DRM devil, Judging from their absence at the PS4 reveal, anyone want to bet whether EA announces all its games for the new console generation will be XBox exclusives, or timed exclusives at least, as the reward for Microsoft forcing always online on gamers who don't want it?

    Screw em both.

  • danthepianistdanthepianist Registered User new member
    "Proud and unbowed", eh? Kindling indeed. We'll watch smiling as your company figuratively burns down to the gwound.

  • NecroxNecrox Registered User regular
    @Brym: No. EA did not publish Portal 2. They distributed the physical retail copies, but they were not the publisher and did not have anything to do with the development/funding of it. That was all Valve.

  • SlaignSlaign Registered User regular
    You know, I agree with a lot of what this article has to say, but what's with that last bit about Activision? Is Activision really that much better than EA? What are they really doing differently? I guess they've been quiet lately and haven't trotted out Kotick to pee in our faces for awhile, but they don't seem to have any more soul, respect, or better games than EA.

    I mean, what's in Activision's stable that's so much more inspiring than EA's? If we have to exclude Bioware, then it's only fair to exclude Blizzard. So what are we talking about? Call of Duty versus Battlefield?

    I'm just confused why Activision gets that kind of mention. Is it just financial success? If so, isn't that sorta against the spirit of the article?

    As far as I'm concerned, both of these publishing giants are parasites on the gaming industry. I have no problem with their blockbuster titles being successful, but both of these companies seem to serve to smother creative expression in the medium.

    In my opinion, the easier it becomes for developers to fund themselves through and market directly to the audience, the healthier the medium will become. The age of publishers, studios, and labels is fading. These institutions will die a well deserved death. These businesses exist to turn art into a numbers game, and the art suffers for it. The more artists become able to support themselves and their art by direct support from fans, the more art will thrive.

  • Michael HartogMichael Hartog Registered User regular
    @Slaign

    I'd say it is the financial success. EAs defense was "we're a crappy company but at least we make boatloads of cash" but they aren't making boatloads of cash. Activision at least has the cash to back up a statement like that.

  • flowwolfflowwolf Registered User new member
    I actually loved Crysis 3 and thought it was a better production than 2. Where 2 was mostly just running through streets, 3 had very unique environments and a good pace to the developing gameplay. As a single player campaign it blows all others in recent time right out of the sea.

    Activision is also pulling all the same stunts that EA has been too. Let us consider Diablo 3. How long has it been and they've still not slipped an inch on the single player mode issue that players want so bad. I do feel that they consistently release better games though.

    Thank you for another well written article Ben. As much as I feel like it is link bait, your standard of quality is not lost to sensationalism. You cover all the points with real facts. Though I feel that Maxis did a superb job with the new Simcity, there are many changes i would still love to see.

  • RapzidRapzid Registered User regular
    @Slaign

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Developers are businesses too. Online sales, retail sales, crowd funding, doesn't much matter where the money comes from. Large developers will go public, buy smaller developers, and the cycle will continue. Business.

  • Mr.SunshineMr.Sunshine Registered User regular
    EA is close to winning the "Worst company in America." again as voted for by the unrelenting hordes of internet morons who are upset that Issac is no longer afraid of Necromorphs in Dead Space 3. Or that Simcity has the same problem as Diablo 3, but people still love the hell out of Blizzard, despite the fact that the single player component of their games are just as uninspired when it comes to story (The story in Starcraft 2: HotS is a pile of hot garbage. Diablo 3's too), and apparently Activision is less hated. You say EA shows contempt for games, hell I have contempt for gamers and I play games myself!

    There could be a baby slaughtering factory with a 24 hour live stream on television showing newborns getting chopped into cold-cuts and sold in stores and EA would still probably be voted "The Worst Thing Ever!" by a dumb-ass internet poll.

    EA does stupid shit, we all know that, that is fact. But we shouldn't pile all our shit on just them when it should be spread all across the spectrum of publishers who do stupid things.

    Last EA title I loved? Battlefield 3. And I like Dead Space 3, it's not scary, how could it be? Why should it be?

  • DistantlurkerDistantlurker Registered User regular
    One of the big problems is that *Every* *Single* *Word* "EA" say is such a blatant sodding LIE. It's beyond insulting.

    Sim City can't be played off line because the servers do all the hard work - LIE
    EA was voted worst company by homophobes - LIE

    “As artists and craftspeople, we are focused on creating a dynamic (LIE - SAME), open (LIE - CORRIDOR) design that brings people together (LIE - single player trailer) with amazing, surprising (LIE - seen it all before) unscripted (LIE - ??? are you ******* serious?!) moments that they’ll talk about for days. That’s the beauty of Battlefield (/WARMANGAME 5),” Patrick Soderlund

    It's endless, and they think we don't see.

  • bar10drbar10dr Registered User new member
    Amen!

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    EA was voted worst company by homophobes - LIE

    To be fair, Moore doesn't claim this. This is a very liberal interpretation of what he wrote by Ben and I assume by you.

    It's the last item in a list of things, and after he throws in a "if being LGBT friendly makes us the worst company in america, so be it". Nowhere does he say that they are being voted the worst company solely based on that fact.

    It's also past halfway in the post, what is above it is much more important (the whole "look at how bad these guys are, we just make video games" part in the second paragraph).

    But something that hasn't been discussed here is, do people not remember what happened to Chick-fi-A when their CEO came out against gay marriage this past summer? He received a lot of backlash before the conservative movement stepped in. "Chick-fil-A Appreciation day" organized by the right was the single most profitable day in the restaurants chain's history. Churches rented buses to transport their members to fast food restaurants to "support" the CEO's views.

    EA is a horrible company, they do (relative to the rest of the game industry) bad things, but I wouldn't doubt that they get a crap load of hate from the right (mostly because of BioWare). It doesn't make them any less bad, just some food for thought.

  • pneuma08pneuma08 Registered User regular
    There's a lot of controversy here where there really shouldn't be, and this issue is too easily dismissed because of it. I think it has to be put in perspective here. It's "The Consumerist's Worst Company In America" not just "Worst Company in America". Most people who deal with the Consumerist don't face some of the real social ills that America faces today. When framed in that light, it pretty much boils down to "Company with the worst PR".

    That, I can get behind - and moreover, it's very worthwhile to look at why. I thank the PA Report and Ben Kuchera for writing this article.

  • mrthewhitemrthewhite Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @SIDDOWN I think the issue is, Moore's comments are a passive aggressive way of implying that this IS all because of ignorant people who are against EA's strong stance of supporting minorities.

    This comment is placed near the end of his post to give the impression the other items are extremely minor complaints and that this one final issue is where the bulk of the complaints are coming from.

    While you are correct in that the total content of his post includes more, his phrasing and structure are all designed to give the reader the impression that the LGBT comments is the real lightning rod.

    Also the major difference between Chick-Fil-A and EA is that EA is an international company, where Chick-Fil-A is only in the US which is an extremely divisive country with an almost even split of opposite views. So a company can have an extreme view on a topic and still survive so long as they're located in the right areas of the country.

    mrthewhite on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @MrTheWhite

    Yes, it was passive aggressive, but it's a pretty liberal interpretation to read that has saying it's the only reason why it's last in the poll.

    Re: Chick-Fil-A v. EA, International doesn't really matter here as this is a US only poll. I'm not claiming that the Christian Right has anything to do with EA ranking, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they were rallying the troops to vote them down. After CFA Appreciation Day, I'd believe anything. :)

  • fizzixfizzix Registered User regular
    Mr. Moore doesn't seem to understand that, while the development teams working at the studios under EA's umbrella are surely staffed with talented and dedicated people, the ire of the gaming community is directed squarely at EA's business practices and not at their games. Everyone makes bad games; sometimes an idea looks better on paper than in practice and you don't realize it until too late, and that's fine. But as a company EA seems increasingly to be treating its customers like we are the enemy, and a wholly antagonistic relationship has developed.

    They're in a situation in which people don't actually want to give them money, and do so only begrudgingly when it cannot be helped. They have become what Disney was ten years ago: a soulless, heartless, rapacious organization ravenous only for money trying to industrialize the manufacture of fun and joy with no ability to experience it for themselves.

    Because EA games don't play like they're designed to be fun. They play like they're designed to maximize earnings. Now, of course EA is a company that exists to make money for its shareholders. And they will do: if and when their games become fun to play at a reasonable price. When they focus on making their customers happy the profits will take care of themselves. If EA can learn one lesson from Kickstarter, it's this: gamers will pay enormous amounts of money for games they are excited to play made by people who are passionate about making games rather than making money.

  • WhitehawkWhitehawk Registered User regular
    That LGBT remark is cowardly and condescending on Moore's part. Actually no, the whole body of text he wrote is.

    I have to ask myself, and maybe we should ask each other, if it's really EA's fault that they get away with anti-consumer actions they pull on us, or is it our fault for not being able to properly convey to casual gamers why those very things are bad for us as consumers.

    Perhaps there is something better we can do with our time to prove EA is a company that treats consumers horribly other than voting in an internet poll once every year.

  • Thanatos2kThanatos2k Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    "So if it didn't happen to you, it didn't happen?"

    "The two out of top three Google searches for Comcast is "Comcast is evil" and "Comcast is the worst." The company is still labeled as one of the worst service providers in America"

    "As for Bank of America, they actively lie to customers about services, foreclose on homeowners who are up to date with their mortgage, paid off their mortgage, or even if they never borrowed from BoA."

    As a customer of Bank of America, I know that the claims of their maliciousness are greatly exaggerated.

    As a Comcast customer I know they are just as bad as people say.

    As a customer of EA, I know they are just as bad as advertised.

    So again, spare us the indignation of a few well publicized mistakes by a bank or oil company. They're almost never intentional and almost always fixed (you never hear that reported though!).

    We *know* that EA commits these mistakes intentionally and intends to continue committing them in the future. At least Comcast has been trying to improve their customer service and they've actually come a long way from ~5 years ago. EA hasn't changed a bit.

    If you don't agree that EA was the worst, vote for someone else.

    Thanatos2k on
  • MiyaMiya Registered User regular
    Worst company in America? Not by a long shot. Least liked gaming company...okay, sure.
    But you can't look at me with a straight face and say that EA is worse than Exxon, Goldman Sachs and Chic-Fil-A.
    EA makes games. They don't hate the GLBT community, they don't destroy the environment, and they don't ruin people's lives by stealing all their money.
    One more time, EA makes games. That's all the do.
    You don't have to like the games. You don't have to like the CEO.
    But you should remember that every single creator, artist, writer, tester, and dev who works at EA does their best within the confines they are limited to.
    Dismissing those people who bust their asses to make a game, is insulting. Those teams aren't faceless.

    This whole thing rather reeks of entitled gamers crying about how much game devs hate them and nerf their class.
    So has anyone really sat and thought about WHY EA is still making money?
    Sure people do complain about them, constantly.
    How is it that everyone hates EA this much, and yet they keep on making money?
    Because the outrage isn't being felt beyond internet message boards and pointless polls. Gamers aren't putting their money where their mouse is. It's the same reason Blizzard doesn't pay attention to criticism. They don't have to, they are still raking in the cash.
    So why should Mr. Moore believe that people really hate EA, when he sees the profits?
    If you hate a company, stop giving them your money. That's what makes CEO's sit up and pay attention.

  • CartiganCartigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @GIYA - "Worst company in America? Not by a long shot. Least liked gaming company...okay, sure.
    But you can't look at me with a straight face and say that EA is worse than Exxon, Goldman Sachs and Chic-Fil-A."

    I can and I will. With the exception of Chik-Fil-A, you aren't even in the same ballpark. It's like saying Michael Jordan is the greatest football player ever because of all the homeruns he hit. You are another case of being unable to see the trees for the forest. This poll is not about "objectively bad companies"; this poll is about "companies that have god awful customer relations."

    "This whole thing rather reeks of entitled gamers crying about how much game devs hate them and nerf their class."

    I hear throwing stones in glass houses is bad for structural integrity.

    Cartigan on
  • MiyaMiya Registered User regular
    @Cartigan

    But companies such as that were put together. Carnival cruise lines was on the list. So you're saying that making a bad game is worse than having to crap in a hall way for a week while you are stranded on a boat?
    On the list...
    Bank of America, sued by the Fed to the tune of 1 billion for unethical business practices. Paid out 3 billion. And that was just the most recent one.
    Wal Mart, pays terribly low wages here in the US and overseas. Among a long list of issues.

    If making some crappy games makes EA worse than companies who break the law or abuse employees, then maybe people should re-evaluate their standards for "worst".

    My house is just fine, thanks.

  • MiyaMiya Registered User regular
    @Cartigan

    Just to add.....this was at the bottom of the announcement of EA as the winner...
    "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?"

    To me it confirms what I thought, that there are a lot of people who don't have a real grasp on what "worst" is.
    EA can certainly get better.
    But people need to get a grip.

    The Consumerist should be asking why EA keeps winning over companies with serious legal and ethical issues, and what that says about the people clicking on that poll.
    The poll doesn't say "worst PR" or "worst customer service". It says "worst company".

Sign In or Register to comment.