An Open Letter to Peter Moore
Posted on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 10:47:53 Eastern
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Dear Peter Moore,
I understand your company was in the running to receive and then won the worst company in America award. Let me start by saying I don't think you deserved it. There are worse offenders who have robbed, cheated, lied, stolen, and sought rent on a scale you can't possibly match. You're not big enough and you are in the entertainment industry which is ultimately optional and therefore generally avoids those sorts of problems.
However, in a recent statement seeking to defend your company's good name against scurrilous attacks (are there any other kind these days?) you went just a little too far. A well-ordered bullet list itemized a few complaints. A couple were relevant but, shall we say, less than completely honest, and the rest were straw criticisms to avoid facing the music for far worse things you and your colleagues have done.
"Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period."
That's what's known in plain English as a lie. It's been demonstrated that the always-on is in no way necessary to run the game. It does not help that, under the hood, the game is inferior to its predecessors in practically every way. I can't be any clearer - that won't change until the game does. Period. End of sentence. Punctuation mark. Noun.
"Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong."
No room? Of course there's room. But your claim about 45 million registered users rings hollow when we consider the number of people who actually purchase things through the service. Most of your users are people roped into the Origin service as a requirement of using games that should not require it and that number would never have materialized had you put those same games up on competitors' services.
"Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."
How many of those tens of millions lack anything that could practically be called standards? Just because you've found an audience that is (for the moment) gullible enough to shovel garbage to, doesn't mean they will stay that way. They might discover good games. The kind your company used to make and publish once, before you killed off the studios which made them. They're going to start playing or loving your products a whole lot less when that happens. And think of it this way, even if I'm wrong, your business model will be built around making terrible products and making sure people who foolishly pay for them never realize the mistake they've made. You are a predator and you know it.
"We’ve seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really…"
Citation needed. This is at best doubtful.
"In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America."
Do you have any evidence whatsoever to validate this claim? The Consumerist has flat-out refuted your claim and called you on it. If you can't prove it, I suggest you walk this one back. If you don't, you're an even bigger liar than everyone thought. At the very least it's noteworthy how utterly craven it is to use something like LGBT rights issues and anti-discriminatory attitudes as a beard to protect you from criticism.
And now something a little different. I hate to beat a horse so dead and beaten its hide was nothing but glue before Bush the Younger was up for re-election but it bears arguing. What of the studios you've shut down, the projects you've canned and the talent you've driven from the industry? What of the employees you've worked overtime without overtime pay? What of the numerous anti-consumer practices your company has innovated, improved, formalized, normalized or even perfected? What of your marketing department's hilariously bad decisions over the years? Take your time. Answer as best you can.
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