EA Is Again A Contender For ‘Worst Company In America’

EA Is Again A Contender For ‘Worst Company In America’

Can EA take the title three years in a row? The Consumerist‘s Worst Company In America bracket is live once again, and again the video game publisher Electronic Arts is a contender.

Microsoft is also on the bracket this year, along with some particularly nasty companies like Monsanto, Seaworld, and perhaps worst of all, Time Warner Cable.

In 2012, EA took the prize in the wake of Mass Effect 3‘s controversial ending. They won the crown again in 2013, just after releasing the broken SimCity. Today they’re facing some flack after the bug-filled Battlefield 4 and the disappointing Dungeon Keeper mobile remake . EA has also vowed to do better . Let’s see if the Internet thinks they have.


  • To be fair…Titanfall has been a massive saving point for them, just want to hope for there sake (and for the gamers sake) that Titanfall doesn’t screw itself over

    • Yeah, it’s a pretty stupid “competition”. Personally, I’d rank Apple way higher than MS thanks to their restrictive policies. Neither of them really rank all that high on the “truly evil company” scale, though (as other comments have pointed out below).

  • Yet again the internet get’s the chance to prove that it can’t see past it’s own insiginifigant and personal gripes by voting out of spite against a game company.

    • Well said. The level of self entitlement in the gaming community is bewildering sometimes.

      • its not just the gaming community that has a sense of entitlement. its everywhere. gamers seem to be a bit more vocal in expressing their disdain in something however.

        • True. It would be awesome if they focused their efforts on something more worth wile. There’s a shitload of things in this world that are really worth getting angry about and fighting for.

          • so very true. of course things will happen that upset us but most of them are hardly the end of the world. would i like to be able to play titanfall after 3pm? yes. of course i would as i’m at work all day during the week. but am i going to cry from the rooftops that optus is the worst company ever with the worst customer service in the history of customer service? no. no i am not. i’m going to play saturday and sunday mornings and hopefully it’ll be sorted soon. haha.

    • Yes, hating on EA seems petty but for a lot of people gaming is their life. EA is making the whole industry objectively worse, so it’s not really entitlement when someone laments a big corporation sh**ting all over the pastime they love.

      The real villains (Monsanto and the big banks etc.) manipulate most people’s lives in a way so subtle and indirect that the average person can’t really trace it back to them. We know *somehow* they’re making our lives worse, but with EA we’re all painfully aware exactly how they’ve f**ked us over.

      • I do wonder though how many people actually take the time to investigate what EA actually do, and if their concepts of EA “shitting on gaming” can actually be backed up.

        Sure, there’s microtransactions, we don’t like them, but there is a MASSIVE market of mobile (or casual) gamers who are perfectly happy with the system, otherwise it wouldn’t be the success for EA that it has been so far.

        Yes, EA can be seen to milk their franchises, but you can’t say they are doing anything even remotely close to what Activision did to the Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero or now Call of Duty franchise.

        I’ll admit I don’t know all the facts, they do good things and bad things, but I’m willing to consider looking into the possibility that EA might not actually be the evil corporation that everyone is so eager to brand it.

        I did also really enjoy watching this video, gave a surprising amount of perspective behind EA’s thinking. Reminds you that while their main goal is of course to make money, they still seem to care about the games they make. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/03/surprisingly-real-talk-from-a-top-man-at-ea/

  • Bad company? Yup.
    Worst company in gaming? Potentially.
    Worst company in America? Nope. Not even close. I mean, look at the companies it’s up against. Is it worse than Ticketmaster? Seaworld? Koch Industries? Just because of some crappy games?

    • I think winning the award 2 years in a row has affected EA in how they approach problems which we saw with Battlefield 4. They put a stop to all DLC being organized for the game to focus on fixing it, and to their credit they did. EA/DICE then rewarded the players with a month of stuff before releasing the DLC – it’s a great thing.

      • Are you serious? How does forcing a developer to release an unfinished and broken game show good business ethics?
        How does ignoring the problem until faced with overwhelming backlash show they are approching problems well?

        They may not be the worst company in the world, but they seem to have your number at least

      • You obviously haven’t been playing it.. (hello, killcam bug?)
        The game is no-where near fixed.

    • Exactly.

      Old examples, but here’s what evil looks like:

      Nestlé knowingly killed babies ( Lets get third world mothers hooked on free baby formula, their milk will dry up and then they’ll HAVE to pay! )

      Bayer knowingly spread AIDS (AIDS contaminated blood products infecting Americans? Oops, better sell that shit in Asia and Latin America instead!).

      Ford knowingly allowed families to burn to death (It’s cheaper to pay off lawsuits than fix a design flaw!)

      • Nestle also extract sub-terrainian water form certain areas of the world to such an extent that the surrounding areas struggle to draw water form their bores, they buy up land where they can draw water and then bleed the area dry – do you think nestle then offer some water back to the local communities – NOPE? The mark up on nestle water is somewhere in the vicinity of 53 million percent. Alongside their nestle branded products, they sell most of the “premium” water brands – perrier, s.pellegrino, vittel, acua panna and they sell them for between 5 and 8 dollars per 600ml, and they purchase water for around $4 per million litres.

      • big business really is the devil isn’t it. the quest for profits at any expense is one of society’s biggest flaws in my opinion. its all about more more MORE!!! quite sad really.

      • Umm.. the ford ones from the 60/70s think its time to move on. Or do you want to add bayer for making zyclonB that they used to gas the jews.

        • You’re right, they are old examples (it’s the first thing I mention!), and I’m using those examples because they’re famous and well documented cases of companies being unequivocally evil, as opposed to what EA is, which is just mildly disagreeable. I’m sure egregious shit like that is going down now but hasn’t necessarily been exposed yet, or is handled in a much more careful way so as not to directly point back to the corporations at fault.

          Also, the Bayer that made Zyklon B with slave labour from concentration camps shares a name only with the company as it exists today – Nobody responsible from that period of time is alive today. The knowing distribution of AIDS contaminated blood however only happened in the mid 80’s, which means the people who made that call are still probably very much alive and enjoying their retirement on the millions of dollars they earned by condemning thousands of people to suffer and die in agony. That’s recent enough for me.

          Find me some better contemporary cases of companies being genuinely evil and I’ll update my mental list. Depressingly I’m sure you won’t have to look far to out do Bayer and Ford.

    • Even though they are NOT the absolute worst, there are so many gamers on the internet that a larger portion will vote compared to those that hate everything else.

    • Not even taking into account oil companies and the military wing of the private sector…

      • My personal vote has to be for the companies that run for-profit prisoners, and the politicians and judges they pay off to make that lucrative and expansive. And apt to get more so as they turn their attention on to normalizing and allowing them to rent out their prisoners as ultra-cheap workforces, where they get paid and the prisoners get, if lucky, a few cents. Modern slavery and unashamedly so.

  • Sorry to be picky but unless you’re being bombarded with the original “Killing Me Softly” on repeat at high volume as some sort of bizarre torture you’re receiving flak, not Flack.

  • So a company that made a couple of games that weren’t very good is up against companies that enforce monopolies on consumers (cable companies), businesses that pay wages so low, their employees need food stamps to survive (Walmart, McDonalds), and companies that spend millions of dollars trying to influence lawmakers to create laws in their favour (Monsanto, Koch)?
    Really, internet?

  • As I say at this time every year, although a gaming company is unlikely to be literally the worst company around, they could very well be the worst company I deal with directly in a given year. From that perspective, they were very deserving in 2012 and 2013. This year I’m a bit more conflicted – Battlefield 4 and Dungeon Keeper mobile were travesties, but Titanfall was handled pretty well. At the same time, I’m super pissed off a what MS tried to get away with their always on-line DRM policy, and then tried to convince us it would have allowed a whole lot of awesome, but completely unlikely, stuff after they had cancelled it.

    I’d probably vote Ticketmaster all the same.

  • Blahblahblah, what about the true monsters, etc, etc, they should just rename the poll to, “Worst Company in America, as voted by affluent-enough-to-have-Internet Americans based on issues that affect them and not some random people they don’t care about in shithole 3rd-world countries.”

    • Yeah, never mind companies that conduct fracking for example. They’re nowhere near as bad as a company that’s angered a bunch of gamers that are pissed off at, I don’t know, SimCity AI not being smart enough?

  • I can understand a lot of the comments here but I do wish to make one point. To every person who is correctly pointing out much more worthy winners than EA, there is generally one thing these companies have in common that EA doesn’t, they offer a necessity while EA offer a luxury.

    Companies like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Bank of America, Citibank, Monsanto and Koch industries all either offer or provide a necessary service to society, if they were to win this contest, they probably wouldn’t even acknowledge it and continue on business as usual. Because they in some forms provide a necessary service to society and people will still use them despite how abhorrent their business practices may be. EA on the other hand do not have this advantage, since all the contribute to society is a digital luxury in video games, they are a lot more susceptible to public perception, that is why everyone EA win this award we generally see them make an effort to improve their standing in the community.

    That being said, there are a fair few companies in the running this year that are in the same boat as EA, so I guess my final question is this: who would you rather win this award, a company who is probably going to ignore it and continue on business as usual, or a company that might be effected by it and might, might make changes for the better?

  • I seem to remember reading somewhere that the main reason EA ended up on this list (at least initially) is because of a christian mothers group taking exception for something ‘pro gay’ in their games.

    • I’m honestly and genuinely surprised that it wasn’t caused by butthurt over Mass Effect 3 and Sim City.

    • That’s either the main reason EA ended up on the list, or what EA wants people to think is the main reason EA ended up on the list.
      Seriously, how good does “they only hate us because we support equality” sound?

  • On one hand, all of the above comments.
    On the other hand, Dungeon Keeper mobile.


  • Seriously guys, by now we’ve already heard last time the obvious reasoning of ‘EA can’t be the worst in comparison to X’ and ‘this poll is clearly catered by nerdy internet types.’ So while Ea does indeed do annoying things to deserve people hating them, I propose that this time, people are really going to vote for EA just to keep this ‘worst company’ streak going.

    • I’m guessing it probably has to do with that Blackfish documentary. From what i gather from my 5 minutes of research, it might have something to do with the treatment of Killer Whales at Seaworld.

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