First off I have been a part of several rather large websites. I know what it takes to get companies to even acknowledge you exist, let alone support you. However even with that being said if EA being the worst company out there was agreeable, we would have reported it all day long. Even if EA was sending us free swag or telling us not to, we have no need to filter what you read and you deserve to read it. The thing is, the vote was so unprofessional and so horribly done that I don’t understand why it has any standing ground at all. We didn’t report the news all day, because it isn’t news…its a shameful representation about crying fans overruling actual greedy and corrupt companies. I do understand the need to attack EA for their ways, but they are not the only video game company that needs a wake up call either.
I was hoping the news of the poll would die out over the weekend and fly under our radar, but it hasn’t. People are still bringing it up and using it as standing ground to bash EA constantly. Even Yahoo, a website I have openly disagreed with before, has posted the news across their main page. So I’m just curious why this flawed poll has any backing to it. Why don’t I think it does? Well lets look at it.
PopCap games already mentioned this in a rather great way. EA has a lot of passionate fans, they believe that the company owes them at every turn. EA makes thousands of games and has been around for as long as we can all remember. For starters not many companies can do that without falling into a black cloud at least once. Of course they will make mistakes, of course they are not perfect, no one is saying that isn’t true. The issue here is the fact EA was the only company on the list that had this massive userbase that was so passionate and had so much voice behind them.
There was no Activision, no Capcom, no other massive company covering a similar crowd. Sony has complaints, but overall who is really going to go out of their way to say they suck beyond a few fanboys? Google is massive, but they don’t have the loud userbase. To bring further proof to the theory look at what companies went the furthest. The companies with massive userbases that have the loudest people complaining everywhere. Facebook….. I’m not saying some of them didn’t deserve to go further. I mean of course you have companies that are bringing greed into every industry they touch, but this poll didn’t seem to even bother focusing on that.
However the defenders of the results are blaming EA for all their wrong doings. Paid DLC, Pre-order bonuses, Paid online passes etc….Do I agree with the online passes? Not at all. However lets look at everyone else that’s doing this. Capcom beat EA to the punch long before by literally locking out content on a disc, and Activision does similar things all the time, but covers it up with services. EA was once blamed for milking their franchises to hell,yet how many yearly releases do other companies have? Not once in any of these defenses was Madden ever brought up.It doesn’t help that not only are EA fans passionate and vocal about their products, but EA was also in the middle of fending off all the Mass Effect 3 crying.
One of my major complaints is how flawed the poll was to begin with. Massive companies were left out when they clearly should have been on it. If Activision was on the list perhaps the poll would have had a little more merit. How do you include companies like Sony or even Apple, but leave out Microsoft? Microsoft’s userbase is very vocal, and about 3 times bigger than them, and with Windows dominating everywhere I’m sure they’d have a few complainers. The poll stated people voted for the overall nominee’s yet for some reason if I ask a bunch of gamers what company needs a wake up call, EA won’t be the only name brought up.
My overall concern is how a game company where the complaints are “greed” in the industry can beat out companies that are truly the definition of evil. EA was noted to nickel and dime people to death, or that their ways are ruining an entire industry. Yet you have AT T raising prices with poor coverage and tying exclusive deals to everything and everyone. You have Bank of America that hides fee’s in every little crack, forced people out of homes, and overall holds a death grasp around people’s wallets, literally. Heck why isn’t a single Hollywood studio put into the mix at all? Even the NFL (the prime example of corporate greed) and several companies that have almost ruined Youtube are not on the list. You could even throw Apple and their greedy ways into the mix and have an argument, but no. A company that has some DLC and tries to make some extra money off a game wins it all.
I think the idea behind the complaints are logical. I feel that these complaints do indeed need to be addressed, but attacking a single company for it isn’t going to do the trick. Not buying the game, not buying the DLC, this will be the first message. The next message is granting this award to ALL game companies with this formula built into their company. As gamers we are tired of 5 hour single players and crummy COD clones for online gameplay. We miss when games were full of imagination, full of in-depth stories, full of rich environments and worlds we never had. This generation has been lacking it. They complain actual games sales are slipping, but they are still making bank off these casual titles so they don’t care, this is the issue.
However if you are going to attack one guy I think you are attacking the wrong guy. Two good examples? Activision and Zynga. Activision is a great company and we by no means are abruptly attacking them, but the examples of EA are still apparent. However they sold out to Microsoft too. They forced half of their userbase to their most popular game to pay for a service and then failed to follow through with the delivery. Not only does Activision have complaints, but they are the true leaders of this current generation. If someone needs to be attacked, it’s the leaders. EA is up there, but Activision seems to be running the business decisions this generation. With Call of Duty as their lead title, Activision winning this would have struck a much louder cord. However why even attack the top dogs? Why not attack the actual examples?
Zynga on the other hand is not a fan of mine at all. I respect Activision, I respect EA, I understand that both companies will make mistakes and neither one of those companies truly deserve this award alone. However Zynga is a prime example of how this industry is going where we don’t want it. Nickel and dimming is their business model. Ripping other small companies off when they can’t buy them is their way. They even managed to buy a company with a CEO that acts like a child by bashing a former employee publicly. They are a great reason a majority of this industry is heading to cell phones and Facebook and spending much of its effort making money instead of quality games. Before it was about how breathtaking the visuals were, how amazing the story was, and how you spent years upon years making a game and the praise it received afterwards. Today its how fast can you make money and how much will you get for as little effort as possible.
I’m not saying EA doesn’t deserve a little criticism, but to randomly win the worst company of the year award? It doesn’t make sense. They have thrown out many more quality titles than bad, otherwise they wouldn’t be so massive. They have some questionable business ways, but overall if you are going to attack EA you need to attack their greedy friends too. The problem here is there are much better examples of companies pushing videogames down a casual drain than EA, and not a single one of them were mentioned at all.