EA believes it can do better

3 min read


For a second year running, mega publisher and developer Electronic Arts is up for the dubious award of “The Worst Company in America,” because y’know, DLC and DRM are far worse crimes than actively ruining the planet. EA’s Chief Operating Officer; former Dreamcast and Xbox man Peter Moore has defended the company – saying that the reason they’re in the poll in the first place, is because “The tallest trees catch the most wind.“

That may come across to you as being unnecessarily brazen and cocky – and you’re probably right. In his blog post about the subject, Moore lists a few issues he feels people have with EA – and why they’re not issues at all.

  • 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.

That last one is particularly telling.  If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on.  Because we’re not caving on that.

Sure, Sim City’s always-on requirement may not have been conceived as DRM – but it functions as it. Origin’s user base is indeed one of the most rapidly growing for a digital distribution service – but how many users would there really be if a number of its high-profile games such as Battlefield 3, Sim City and Mass Effect 3 didn’t explicitly require it?

Read  EA doesn’t believe we’ll see disc-free console any time soon

I don’t have any real issues with free-to-play and microtransactions – unless they’re required for progression, or ascribe to that pay-to-win ethos that’s infected many such titles. Likewise, I couldn’t care less who’s on the Madden cover – because I have no idea who they are anyway. EA’s one of the more progressive developers when it comes to LBGT issues, so I’ll give them that.

Concluding his post, Moore affirmed EA’s commitment to bettering itself.

We can do better.  We will do better.  But I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create and the people that play them.

When he means “better,” does he mean that they’re aiming to become the worst company on the planet?

What do you think? Is EA really one of the worst companies in America? And what do you think of Moore’s commitment?

Last Updated: April 8, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Lourens Jordaan

    EA is awesome! From all the games I’ve played, EA produced the titles that brought me back to them time and time again.

  • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

    While I have some big issues with EA (Especially that hell infested DRM issue), I do think they are getting alot of hatred for unneccessary things.

    I for one think Origin is pretty good, in some ways better than Steam. I have never had an issue installing an EA game on my PC. Ever. Steam on the other hand…….

    As for the LBGT issue. Well Im a Christian, and these “conservatives” are becoming a bit much….

    • Oh, Origin is nice, the ea servers it runs on are bad, but the game manager is nice, simple and laid out nicely. certainly better to look at than steam.

      but its just another thing we have to get.
      another thing to log onto.
      another thing to put my banking details into.
      another thing to backup.

      And God forbid I want to install a game from a disk or format the partition origin is installed on.
      “oh I feel like playing a game atm, let me just pause this origin download so I dont lag. OH SHIT WHERE DID IT GO?”

      i dont see why origin is needed.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


        This is why I despise both Origin and Steam.

        Copy games across. All there. Installing game….. Ok done…. Downloading 2gigs of data even though your client was perfect before you formatted and re-installed like 30minutes ago.


  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Sounds like Moore wants MORE

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    One of the worst companies? No. Heck people need to focus on other things such as the destruction of forests, whaling and why woman go nekkid to try and prove animal abuse (I seriously don’t understand that)

    BUT, EA also needs to crawl out from under its rock and realise that people have legitimate worries about them as a developer.

    Always on is and always will be DRM if it isn’t for an MMO. SimCity wasn’t marketed as an MMO therefore Always-on is DRM EA. Point.

    Origin only has so many subscribers because the big AAA games they create DEMAND it. Steam has how many users? And they support all manner of games. None of which demand the service.
    Take away all BF3 and MassEffect3 players? What are the numbers then EA?
    Take away all games that require steam? How many players you still got? Loads.

    Madden NFL? Yeah, you bring that up and how people hate you for it. But guess what… All companies go through this. Not just you. So stop crying and forget about the unimportant nonsense you think make people hate you and focus on the things you know are wrong.

    LGBT, yeah, same thing as with Madden. People are going to complain. That’s just how it is. People will complain about anything. Stop worrying about what the petty nonsense is about. Focus on the things you know are wrong…..

    Such as games that require you to microtransact to complete the game. In other words, grind your balls off or pay. Not about the fun of the game at all. Nope.

    Always-on DRM, how do you think people are going to react? Not everyone everywhere has great internet. Not only are you pushing away loyal fans but you are effectively shrinking your own player base. You are cannabalising it in effect.

    Yes, people hate for stupid things. But you are pointing out the stupid things to try and hide the big issues you know are real.

    Just admit it and make a plan for it and things will go better. Keep being bullheaded and you effectively be part of, and cause of, the game industry crash that is on its way.

    • Totally agree with your first statement.

    • LordCaptainAwesomeness

      Haibo…. So much text on a Monday to read… 0_o

    • Admiral Chief Erwin


    • the joys of forcing your entire userbase to be online.
      theyr always online to vote against you.

      great business, shit gaming company.

    • Seconded.

  • LordCaptainAwesomeness

    How is that for being completely cocky and oblivious at the same time….

    Didn’t a Certain German man have the same idiotic mindset not to long ago?

    • Vaughn Golden

      that’s your argument? that EA is going to kill Jews, because they are confident? should they not be confident? 😀 @LlewellynCrossley:disqus I was wondering, what games do you play? if you play games?

      • LordCaptainAwesomeness

        What I was referring to is the Mindset of “We are not doing anything wrong, you are just misunderstanding us… ” We will just continue to be misunderstood and improve on our power base, everyone be damned…

        • Vaughn Golden

          Indeed!! My statement then was irrelevant, couldn’t you just at least have let me basked in some glory for a half a day :-(.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Not sure what you mean by what games do I play IF I play games. But I generally don’t stick to any one genre. I don’t play BattleField or CoD and generally stay away from MMO’s.

        The only MMO I play is Eve Online. Most recent game played was FarCry3. Want to get Bioshock infinite. Sunk more hours in to Skyrim than I care to admit, played all the Command and Conquer games except the last one. Finished StarCraft2 SP portion about 7 times, Currently playing Arkham City in hopes of getting 100% completion. About 85% through last I checked. Left4Dead, NeedForSpeed (Big fanboi), Most FPS games that allow SP, Dishono(u)red was cool (although I wouldn’t have minded a bit more), Recently bought Sonic the Hedghehog4 Episode 1 because of feeling nostalgic and hoping for a decent new Sonic game. Love me some PopCap games. Mass Effect 3 was amazing (Regardless of how it ended).

        So yeah, I play. So why the question?

        • Admiral Chief Erwin

          What is it with you and the TLDRs today LC?
          hehe. Also, methinks of jamming some FUSRODAHs again

          • LordCaptainAwesomeness

            The Dragonborn DLC adds in a little bit of extra niceness 🙂

        • Vaughn Golden

          Awesome! Good games ^^ I’m a stalker… just for interest sake, just reading your comments and trying to understand from what perspective you are coming from and to what games you do play.But I have gathered that COD series is you favorite off all time. :-D.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            You know, I actually don’t dislike CoD. Or Battlefield for that matter. They are both great games in their own respects 🙂 Honestly. I like to sometimes get on the bandwagon an hate on one or the other and I do feel CoD could use some new life. But I have no real ground to hate them.

            It’s just not my kinda games you know. I much prefer an RPG over anything else. RPG’s like the Elders Scrolls games being my favorite kind.

            I come from a perspective of “Gaming is a hobby for me. I’m not serious about it. I am in it for fun. Please stop making my games un-fun and allow me to enjoy my hobby without jumping through hoops” 😛

          • Vaughn Golden

            Yeah true story!! same here, love the games, just cant play as competitive as wanted to anymore. and suddenly I realized the massive range of other awesome games out there… your response only seems attacking if you take life to serious. Never attach emotion onto some one else statement(that’s how I see it.)

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Well as long as that’s all sorted then 🙂

            I must say I never really wanted to take gaming serious anyway. It’s always just been about relaxing.

            Nowadays it’s the constant, near heart attack level stress that I hate about games. When I see that server is down for my SP game or that I need a gazzilion gigs update before I can play my game then I want to freak out man

          • Trevor Davies

            Can a brother get an an Amen!

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Also, apologies. Reading my original response I realise it sounds a bit attacking. It was not meant as attacking. Bloody mondays just bring out the ranter in me 😉

  • Worst company in America? Wow EA, you really take that “Challenge Everything” very seriously.

  • I don’t feel EA is the worst company in America, there are companies that are actually doing physical harm to people and this planet. They do however have rotten business ethics. And boasting about a service that forces users to sign-up is kindalame

  • Deon Steyn

    Amazingly he didn’t end his post with “deal with it”. If MS releases their next console with always on games then they have just found the perfect partner because I seriously believe EA will continue the trend they started with SimCity.

    Speaking of SimCity are they still defending the choices they made in developing that game? That just screams denial.

  • TriangularRoom

    I think their Steam vs Origin point is not really relevant… most EA games now force you to install Origin, including Sims 3 which doesn’t really use it as far as I can see…

    Can’t believe people are objecting the LGBT character thing. It’s not like they’re forcing everyone to play their characters like that… so why the protest? What’s wrong with giving people a choice..?

    • How is Steam vs Origin not relevant? Many games released by other companies require Steam to work?

      • TriangularRoom

        I just think that the Origin numbers are inflated because it is forced on us – it is not a reflection of whether people actually want or like the platform.

        Perhaps the same could be said of Steam, but for me, I am happy to use Steam, and I am very grumpy about using Origin.

        • Deon Steyn

          It’s like the apartheid regime bragging about how many pass books they issued. People don’t want it but if they want to get around town they must have it.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Steam has an awesome client that never fails #trololol

        Ok but on a serious note I think the people have grown accustomed to steam. But steam’s saving grace is that wonderful “offline mode”

        Origin doesn’t. Some games do force steam but it’s a minority of games and they use it as a means of authentication.

        Origin is trying to take it a step further. Not just using it as a means of authentication when you install but to force you to always use their services regardless of how or when you want to play your game.

        If Origin allowed even a little more freedom I reckon people would hate on it a little less.

        That all being said, Steam has the advantage of being around so long now that people don’t even blink when it’s mentioned. It’s just kind of part of any gamer’s life. So perhaps we are all just a bit biased?

        Dunno. Presented with choice I would use Steam over any other online distributor time after time.

  • EAs approach to “the game” is like CoD players using noobtubes or dota players backdooring a rax
    and winning
    and then when being told theyr shit, they just say “well, we won didnt we?”
    yes, you have 45 million users on origin, but each and every one of those users said “oh ffs, do i really have to install this? I already have steam!”

    EA is a fantastic business, but a shit gaming company. Sure, you support alot of the games we like to play, but in return for that support, you expect things done the way you want, which is boring and always runs along the middle line, increasing the people in your target market at the cost of originality.

  • FoxHoundR

    Why is everyone anti-EA? I don’t get to play many games these days but the new SimCity is amazing.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I think it’s got to do with how EA is pretty much saying they don’t care about what their consumers think and that they will do as they please and refuse to be held accountable

  • Trevor Davies

    Well done on supporting the LGBT community EA. I assume it’s because you don’t want to discriminate when screwing your customers.

  • Sigh, I was silently praying, hoping that no one would mention Call of Duty, and then @facebook-526278664:disqus is the first person to pop the cork.

    • it was actually a comment about toobing, not CoD
      toobers are a disease. cod players are not.

      the 500+ hours ive logged between cod4-cod mw3 puts me as a firm cod fan.
      aswell as the truely excessive amount of dota + dota 2 hours ive logged have me as a firm dota fan.

      • Haha sorry, it wasn’t the content of the comment, it was that you mentioned CoD… It always seems to creep in somewhere. Even with a totally non-CoD related article. You can talk about Magic the Gathering, and someone will mention CoD… sigh (and I’ve mentioned it three times in this comment. *says to self* Double facepalm of shame Kyle!)

        • Wtf101

          Hey, I went to the loo just know. It was a Call of Doody! 😛

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    How come every time CoD is mentioned there is a MASS of anonymous downvotes?

    • Deon Steyn


  • EA has become very bad in recent years but worst company in America? Not even close…

  • Dear EA.
    1: Always-online for a game that’s not an MMO is DRM in the eyes of everyone. Saying water is not wet, doesn’t make it so. Period.
    2: Your Origin user base proves jack sh!t. If there was an option not to use it, those numbers would look drastically different.
    3: Free-to-play is all good and dandy. Unless it’s pay-to-win or pay-to-progress, then you can go shove it.
    4: I couldn’t care less about cover art, I care about the game! We expect AAA titles to be worth the cash we shell out for it, and not be forced to use software to play it that we don’t want to use.
    5: So what if there are sites protesting against you. We have free will. If anyone wants to vote you as the worst company in America, they’re free to do so. And seeing as the majority hates you, maybe you should start listening to those very customers, before they stop paying for products from the company they’re unhappy with.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Epic rant is epic

  • matthurstrsa

    People do take their gaming seriously. Worst company in America? Are they causing disease, poverty, hunger or a lower quality of life? No. I don’t like some of their practises either, but damnit there are companies and people actively and knowingly doing much worse things.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I say this as well. There are far worse companies out there. While it’s all good and well to hold EA accountable for their mistakes from a consumer’s point of view, I don’t think labeling them worst company is going to help.

      However their “we don’t care attitude” does stink and will prevent me from supporting them ever again.

  • PsiCoRe

    Worst company in the US? LOL! Srsly wtf ppl? Worst games publisher in the world? Most definitely.
    “Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong” Well Geoff already pointed out the absurdity of his defense. Either Peter seriously skirted the real issues, or gamers are, once again shouting the loudest over the most pointless issues. I can sum up some real issues quite easily: Monopolizing, buying out and destroying studios as well as their franchises, price fixing, overly controlling and sometimes system/game breaking DRM, SUPPORT FOR SOPA (Seriously, can they ever be forgiven for this one?). I could go on all day, but I have work to do.

  • TehBrad

    Can EA do any worse? Better is the only option left.

  • GTO

    I agree with him for the most part and voting EA the worst company in America is ridiculous. Sure they are not the most consumer friendly company and they do suffer a bit from the corperate mentality but at the end of the day they put out a product, people know what they are buying, if they disagree with it and still buy it whose fault is that?

  • It’s already been proven that SimCity can work without the online requirement, with very little effort. Period.

    It’s good to hear they are committed to be being better. Although Moore didn’t indicate what they would get better at. I tend to think they are aiming to get better at ruining more good games.

Check Also

Battlefield 1’s Turning Tides update brings exciting new content and controversial gameplay tweaks

The first part of Battlefield 1's massive Turning Tides DLC dropped yesterday for premium …