Did These Horrible Deeds Clinch EA's Spot As America's Worst Company?

Game publisher Electronic Arts took home the grand prize in The Consumerist's Worst Company in America contest, and they don't seem pleased about it.

But do they deserve the gold star? How do they stack up next to the other finalists? Let's go through the four companies that made it to the Final Four and run down some of the misdeeds that likely brought them there.

Electronic Arts

  • Sells downloadable content. Sometimes on release day.
  • Uses online passes to charge people who buy used games.
  • Owns the company that wrote Mass Effect 3's ending.

Walmart

  • Often criticised for running small businesses and independent retailers out of business.
  • Working there is apparently tantamount to actual hell on earth.
  • There's an entire Wikipedia page called "Criticism of Walmart."

AT&T

  • Straight-up terrible phone signal service.
  • Unanimously booed at Sony's E3 conference last year (when Sony's Jack Tretton announced that 3G versions of the PlayStation Vita would exclusively use AT&T's network), presumably because of terrible service.
  • Can't even get service in my own goddamn apartment.

Bank of America

Who should have won? I guess that's up to you.


Comments

    How is Activision not No. 2?

      Because they don't have origin

      They don't have shitty customer service

      They don't ban you from multiple games because of an offense in one

      They don't ban you for doing something the game allows but the developers were to lazy to implement a hotfix for(especially on PC when you can patch instantly since there is no certification delay )

    EA are bastards, but compared to BofA, they're nothing.

    Even if you compare them to their competition, the gap of evil between BofA and other US banks is far greater than the gap of evil between EA and its competition (e.g. Activision)

      This is more an example of which company has the worst PR. EA is incapable to keeping the internet savvy people it peddles its products to from hearing about how much of a shitty company they are.
      Meanwhile, the other companies on that list must have decent PR people because while they are leagues worse than EA, you generally hear less about how shitty they are.

    This is the problem with online voting. Of course a primarily online company will be voted against more. How many littel old ladies affected by BofA would be jumping online to vote.

      Also the fact that people are more lilkely to remember the most recent transgression

    The fact is though, most of those issues don't directly effect the general public (though of course the indirect effects of BofA have been disastrous for many) - all of EA's do. Just read the review of PGA-13 and tell me its not anti-consumer.

    Good EA deserve the nod, anyone who not only makes you have to have a code to use online, then puts a use-by on how long you have to activate it before it's worthless, deserves more infamy than this

    Typical internet tantrum behaviour.

    In all honesty, I don't understand why EA have been voted to the top of the list. I mean, while they used to be the evil overlords about 10-15 years ago, I really believe they've been doing really good things in the industry lately (picking up smaller studios, pushing innovative and new IPs), so if there is more to it then please explain it to me. If all that this site has cited is day one DLC ond using Online Passes, then it seems like a pretty weak argument.

      I disagree. The problem is not that the DLC is day one, its the perception that content is being withheld. In fact, in some games, it clearly is (see PGA-13). With the passes, the problem is things like setting time-limits on their use, or closing servers after less than a year, even though we're now paying a surcharge to use them. And don't even get me started on Origin.

      There was a point a couple of years ago where I though EA was turning things around. But unfortunately Mirrors Edge flopped, and they went back to the bad old ways. Since then, what new IP's have they developed lately? In the last year they've butchered a bunch of classics . Other then that, they've bought IP from the small studios you mentioned and run them into the ground. Look what they're doing to the Bioware brand. You now have no idea who makes their games. This is why Notch won't work with them, even though he'd probably make some decent cash.

        Well, maybe I don't see them as evil because I don't disagree with day one DLC or Online passes (in most cases). I see day one DLC as an optional extra like when you buy a car, as long as it never reaches the point where you really need to buy the content to enjoy the game, then it's EA's choice to sell whatever they want along side the game. I know some people can (and will) argue saying it's nickel and diming, and to some extent it is, but nobody is being forced to buy the content, and the whole gaming experience is not lessened for not having the extra content (I never bought any ME2 DLC, and still loved the game & story).

        With online passes, I understand exactly where EA is coming from as I believe second hand game sales are a terrible thing for the industry, and I really can't blame them for trying to do something about it. In terms of the passes expiring after a certain amount of time, i wasn't aware of that fact, I assumed that they were vaid untill they were used, so if that's true then I'll have to reconsider EA's motives behind them.

        Maybe I'm still being too optimisitc after EA's turn around with Mirrors Edge, Bad Company, Dante's Inferno and so on, but can you really say that EA are running Bioware's brand into the ground when compared to brands like Guitar Hero or Call of Duty? EA might not be golden, but you certainly can't put them above other companies in the industry for these kinds of things, such as Activision or Zynga for example.

          The main issue with the DLC is that content was clearly cut from the main game to create at least part of the DLC. In the script that leaked a few months before ME3 hit, the Prothean guy (Javed? Javik?) had plot-significant lines.

          while I agree that second hand game sales does some damage to the industry. The fact is if your game is actually any good, people won't be trading it in and re-selling it all the time. So the blame goes back to EA and it's studios.

    I thought we all agreed that Zynga were the evil overlords of the gaming world?

    A lot of the other companies seemed to be far worse, though I agree that EA deserved a wakeup call, given some of the crap they've pulled, but plenty more are doing things that are both morally and legally wrong .

    Some of the comments on this page are right -- let the people decide, but make sure to include people from outside of the Internet who may not have been sent a threatening letter from EA for downloading CoD: MW3

    Those three EA points don't exactly make them look particularly evil - especially when compared to the likes of Walmart and Bank of America. Maybe if they'd incuded how EA destroys the companies it purchases the reasoning would be stronger (I'm sure the website itself has more information about it).

    An electronics game company (read Toy) is the worst, because they didn't provide entertainment the way you wanted it to be?

    Those that voted need to take a good hard look at themselves and see whether they are sheep or not.

    Just sad to see the Bank of America isn't first :(

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