Congratulations, EA, on winning two consecutive golden poos.
The Consumerist’s readers have voted, and they’ve done it again: declared EA to be the worst company in the United States.
“Following last year’s surprise Worst Company In America victory by Electronic Arts,” The Consumerist reports, “there was hope that the video game giant would get the message: Stop treating your customers like human piggy banks, and don’t put out so many incomplete and/or broken games with the intent of getting your customers to pay extra for what they should have received in the first place. And yet, here we are again, with EA becoming the first company to ever win a second Golden Poo from Consumerist readers.”
EA, according to The Consumerist’s readers, is worse than InBev, Facebook, AT&T, Ticketmaster, and even Bank of Assho- sorry, Bank of America.
The Consumerist lists 3 things that, according to them, are essential to running a consumer-friendly business. By coincidence, EA has repeatedly failed at these 3 tasks.
1: Provide a product that people want and like
EA has some games that sell in the millions (no matter if half of those users stop playing after the first 15 minutes), and some that are taken off the shelves within a week. Some games are loved, some are burned. But the game giant has a history of rushing games through development in order to take over the market or introduce a new name and make some quick cash. There have been several examples over the last few years. Dragon Age 2 deserved waaay more time in development, and Dead Space’s sequels have been quite dissapointing to players of the original. One of the most obvious examples was Mass Effect 3, where fans of the first two games (who by the way, invested tons of money and time waiting for this game) were left with a feeling of “anticipointment” after playing the finished game, which, if you played it (I haven’t, so, I have no idea), was obviously rushed in order to make EA some extra money.
The recent release of the newest SimCity game left tons of SimCity fans dissapointed. The required internet connection let everyone down a little, even though EA had said repeatedly that their servers could “handle the traffic.” Then, the game was released, and – oopsie! – turns out that they hadn’t prepared so well after all. There were reports of people not being able to play the game a full week after release. But, EA kept the DRM, and told the players that it wasn’t an anti-piracy system (HAH!) but instead, it was about “realiz[ing] a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.” Basically, EA wants you to always have a connection so that you’ll be tempted to buy more games from the Origin store.
2: Sell your products at a reasonable price
Alot like movies, games require thousands, sometimes millions of dollars to make, and so it must have a price, so that the company can actually make a profit. But, some of the larger video game companies (including EA) have been accused of refusing to compete on price, therefore their customers must pay $60 for a new game because that’s what the publisher put as the price and there are no similar games. EA Sports, especially, have a history of this, where the company has bought the rights to make FIFA and NFL video games, leaving no space for competing companies to release sports games based on real teams. Thereby, EA can put the price as high as they want, without having their customers buy something similar at a lower price.
There are also alot of “free-to-play” games (alot of which are on Facebook) games made by EA. Initially, they cost nothing to play, but EA has admitted that the goal of these games is to push players to purchasing in-game items. This isn’t only bad for people’s money, it’s also bad for people’s time. Imagine how much time a person wastes spending $30 in one purchase and getting the full game versus buying thirty $1 in-game gimmicks. Buying an item on the internet using a credit card takes about a minute or two (if not a few seconds), but doing this thirty times multiplied by thousands of players can lead to millions of dollars in lost productivity costs.
3: Support the products you sell
EA has a long history of releasing a game then forgetting it ever existed. Much-needed patches pile up and players leave, but since those players have already bought the game, EA doesn’t care.
The Consumerist also reports that EA’s customer service is pretty damn terrible.
“Just the other day, a Consumerist reader in Europe sent us his chat transcript with an EA rep that shows the company still has a long way to go.
The customer had a simple question about linking an Origin account to his Xbox gamer tag, but the EA rep could only tell the customer that nothing could be done over chat and that he would need to call a customer support number to discuss the problem. Making matters worse, though the customer was in Europe, the EA rep provided him with a phone number for EA’s U.S. support office.”
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