Feline Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore has spoken about that time EA got voted the worst company in America. Vowing to "do better" in gaining positive sentiment, the grinning executive acknowledged there's work to be done, but still feels his company gets a lot of undue hate.
"This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history, the mortgage crisis, and bank bailouts that cost millions of taxpayer dollars," Moore proclaimed in a blog post. "The complaints against us last year were our support of SOPA (not true), and that they didn't like the ending to Mass Effect 3.
"We can do better. We will do better. 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. The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA we remain proud and unbowed."
I have a laundry list of reasons as to why people dislike EA so much, and while the poll in question did place EA above legitimately worse companies, it's not like the "winning" team would be clapped in irons and pelted with rotten fruit by the villagers. If there was an actual punishment, I could see being angry at the injustice of it all, but there wasn't.
In fairness, Moore's on the money with some of his deflections. He made note that EA had received emails of complaint for allowing gay romance options in their games, adding: "If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because we're not caving on that." EA's continued support of LGBT issues has, for a long time, been its largest saving grace, and is to be applauded, rather than condemned.
He also brought up the fact that people want to vote EA the worst company in America again due to its choice of athlete on the box art for Madden NFL. Naturally, reasonable people on all sides of the fence could agree that's ludicrous. It is clearly, however, one nonsensical argument out of many decent ones, and at least Moore was fair to admit his company's messed up.
"We are committed to fixing our mistakes," he said. "Over the last three weeks, 900,000 SimCity players took us up on a free game offer for their troubles. We owed them that. We’re constantly listening to feedback from our players, through our Customer Experience group, Twitter, this blog, or other sites. The feedback is vital, and impacts the decisions we make."
I hope Moore realizes why people are so passionate in their anger toward Electronic Arts -- it has its hands on some games the community passionately, deeply cares about. If EA were a company with a roster of forgettable, sub-par properties, nobody would care so much. But games like Mass Effect, Dead Space, and Battlefield are games people want to see treated well, not laden with microtransactions, forced to homogenize for cynical reasons, or under threat of cancellation for not selling an unrealistic amount of copies. EA got voted the worst company in 2012 for one main reason -- people give a shit.
In many ways, it's a level of hate one can be proud of ... but it ought to be a pride tempered by a proportionate amount of shame.