For the second year in a row, video game publisher Electronic Arts is on its way to being named "worst company in America," according to Consumerist's reader-voted poll. This year, the company has already defeated Facebook, Anheuser-Busch InBev and AT&T for the dubious honor. Today, EA faces Ticketmaster in a battle of who's worse.
EA chief operating officer Peter Moore is, unsurprisingly, not thrilled at the prospect of "winning" the contest. But in a post on EA's official blog, it appears Moore's taking the poll's outcome to heart, writing, "We are committed to fixing our mistakes."
"Are we really the 'Worst Company in America?'" Moore wrote. "I'll be the first to admit that we've made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn't meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity. We owe gamers better performance than this."
Last year, Electronic Arts bested — or "worsted" — Bank of America and Comcast after more than 250,000 voters weighed in.
Moore writes that some consumer complaints against EA's business practices are "100 percent legitimate," but outlines other grievances against the publisher which he says "just don't hold water." Those include claims that SimCity's always-online requirement is part of a DRM scheme ("It's not. People still want to argue about it. We can't be any clearer — it's not.") and that "free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming."
"Every day, millions of people across globe play and love our games — literally, hundreds of millions more than will vote in this contest."
Moore believes some of the votes driving EA toward "worst company in America" status come from Madden NFL fans who disagree with the game's latest cover athlete choice and from conservatives protesting the company's LGBT policy. To the latter, Moore writes, "If that's what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because were not caving on that."
While Moore addresses some common complaints people have against EA, he doesn't touch on or go into detail on several of them: proliferation of online pass codes, the addition of multiplayer modes in single-player experiences and microtransactions in full-priced software, acquisition of and closure of studios, the lack of an offline mode in SimCity.
"We can do better. We will do better," he writes. "But I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create and the people that play them."
Moore's full statement on the poll can be read at EA's official blog.