EA is once again in the running for the Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" award, after winning it last year thanks in part to the Mass Effect 3 ending… situation. So far, the publisher of Battlefield and Madden has defeated AT&T in early voting, but EA COO Peter Moore took to EA's site today to defend the company.
"I'll be the first to admit that we've made plenty of mistakes," Moore writes on EA's website. "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."
While Moore admits some complaints are valid, he says "others just don't hold water." Here are his rebuttals:
- 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.
- Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
Moore writes below this list of common objections to EA's practices that the "last [complaint] is particularly telling. If that's what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because we're not caving on that."
We can poke holes through the SimCity thing all day long (maybe Always-Online didn't start in SimCity as DRM, but when the development team brought the Always-Online idea to upper-management, I'm sure they all saw the business-side benefit), but it's pretty clear people are voting EA the worst company in America for the wrong reasons here.
As an aside, someone looks a lot better as a potential candidate for former CEO John Riccitiello's old job, no?