Home Gaming EA is the worst company in America. Again

EA is the worst company in America. Again

1 min read


Sure, their business practices are a little wayward; they seem more intent with chasing the dollar than pursuing customer’s interests, but does EA really deserve to be labelled “The Worst company in America?” They’ve nabbed the dubious honour for a second year running, becoming the first company ever to “win” the title for a second time.

"Following last year’s surprise Worst Company In America victory by Electronic Arts, 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," says The Consumerist.

EA’s been accused of mistreating its customers, by putting out rushed-to-market games, nickel-and-diming through microtransactions and in-app purchases and a general lack of support for its products – but does that really compare with banks that take people’s home’s away, huge multi-national corporations that treat their workers as underpaid slaves?

“EA has become a company that releases mediocre products created by faceless teams,” says Penny Arcade’s Ben Kuchera about EA. “There is no real vision at work, no grand design. Just the idea that free-to-play games and microtransactions are the wave of the future, or at least they better be, because none of the company’s $60 boxed releases are finding much success with either critics or gamers.”

EA COO Peter Moore recently took to defending the company in a rather deflective and misguided manner, saying that the company “could do better,” while also failing to admit that EA habitually screws consumers over.

While I’m in no way defending EA’s business practices – and consumers should never be taken advantage of – I can’t help but feel this is all just a little misplaced.

Last Updated: April 10, 2013


  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    April 10, 2013 at 09:50

    I find this kind of sad that people have to resort to doing this to make their displeasure heard by the company. And not even this is working as is evident by their response.

    I’m not saying it’s ok to label them worst company in the US. They most certainly are not. But they certainly are one of the worst gaming companies afoot lately. I guess since EA doesn’t care about its consumers, their consumers feel this is the only way to get them to listen. But that went super well didn’t it.

    *sigh* Catch 22. Really wrong to place them up their but understandable at the same time


  2. Admiral Chief Erwin

    April 10, 2013 at 09:58



  3. Aussious

    April 10, 2013 at 10:03

    Definitely not the worst company in America, I mean there are far worse beast in the American corporate jungle responsible for the physical loss of human lives. It seems though that gamers are a very vocal bunch in America hence EA’s current predicament which is not a bad thing as some would see it.


    • Sargon

      April 10, 2013 at 10:29

      There is no real definition of what constitutes bad practice, nor how to rank such practice from bad to worst. I think, honestly, that that is the very point. People come to consumerist.com to voice their displeasure about specific companies and the amount of complaints is counted as some quantification of general consensus of overall displeasure. If other companies were truly worse than EA – why weren’t they award the poo (with three colour cushion options – very clever).

      Two reasons, I think. One, gamers are necessarily connected to the internet (you could almost argue that always online gives gamers the very platform they require to voice their outrage at EA on the internet – justice of sorts). Two, it’s about expectations. We expect developers to give a toss about customer service etc since they rely on us to make sales. Activision are a great example of a company that cares. Gearbox generally cares about public perception of their company as well. For EA – a middle finger is all you’ll get. We’d like to think that companies that produce games will provide content, customer service, etc. But EA just.. don’t. And there is nothing gamers can do about it.

      And generally, we expect banks to behave the way they do. C’mon. That is why banks are there. Capitalists are going to act.. well. capitalistic. Banks are going to make decisions that safeguard the 1%. It’s what they’ve been doing for decades now. BP works with oil. They’re going to mess some every now and again. I’m reminded of the wisdom imparted by the Joker in Batman. BP isn’t upsetting the status quo. We expect oil companies to lose tankers. We expect banks to rip us off. We expect soldiers to die. But for a company that makes money by making sales to not care about customer service?

      Gamers are sending a message. And they’re right to do so. I will never buy an EA game as long as I live.


  4. Twakkie

    April 10, 2013 at 10:06

    Well at least you cant say EA are quitters.


    • Rincethis: Spellalicious

      April 10, 2013 at 10:06

      Haha, true, they are like the North Korea of companies 😛


      • Twakkie

        April 10, 2013 at 10:14

        They be having it! Kim Jong-un style!


  5. Devon Stanton

    April 10, 2013 at 10:15

    I’d say the biggest reason is cause gamers in particular are VERY vocal next to the non-gaming market. It comes out of passion for the medium, when gamers are angry they rally the horde to ready for battle.

    Unfortunately EA is a business at the end of the day, and they are at least trying to figure out new ways to sell games, which I believe is something that needs to happen there needs to be an adjustment in how games are sold. but that’s just my own opinion…

    do they deserve the crown? I think there are probably worse companies out there…


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 10, 2013 at 10:23

      I don’t know hey. Greenpeace and all those other activists are just as vocal as gamers and more often than not more destructive with their protests lol. These activists also have huge support from the general populace.

      So I don’t think gamers are more vocal. I guess gamers just outnumber most of these groups.

      As for EA needing to find better ways to sell games… That no one will argue with. The hate comes from their DRM and general “We don’t care about the consumer” attitude. Not about how they sell their games.


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        April 11, 2013 at 01:04

        As a greenie myself, one of the biggest problems with green politics is that under the banner of “environmentalism” is a mishmash of different groups, entities and individuals. You have the extreme fringe groups like PETA (who leaves everyone cringing), then you have the militant greens (formerly eco-terrorists), like EarthFirst and Greenpeace (who while their heart is in the right place, are merely sullying the cause) and then you have the green NGOs and moderates (those dedicated to sustainability) and then you have the casual greens, or the occasional greens who generally rally behind one specific cause (these are the guys who’ll have one issue on their mind, from saving the elephants to saving one specific watershed, river etc.) . In between those broad groups are a whole spectrum of green ideologies, some interconnected, some mutually exclusive and others very vocal.

        Just because Greenpeace might be vocal about a cause, doesn’t necessarily mean that all the Greens will rally behind them.


        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          April 11, 2013 at 06:53

          I understand what you are saying and I am not making a jab at any “greenies”. Sorry if that’s how it came across. I think it’s a noble cause to try and keep the planet safe. Don’t get me wrong.

          All I am saying is that it’s not because gamers are more vocal that EA gets this vote. All other groups across the world are just as vocal.(Greenpeace was simply the first to come to mind when thinking about vocal groups.) I just simply meant that gamers outnumber on sheer numbers. Remember gamers are just as fractured as any other group. Some are Activision, some Ubisoft, some EA.

          So all in all it’s the same kind of thing that happen with environmentalists. There are different ideologies all over about what amounts to a “game”

          Gamers are just simply very vast in numbers and gamers are simply just a little more united than most other groups heh.

          Go figure.
          We can’t, as a human race, decide how to fix polution issues but we sure as hell can put a gaming company at the top of most hated simply because we don’t like their games.

          Not sure if I should laugh now or cry


          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            April 11, 2013 at 11:50

            lol, that’s why future civilizations of sentient and intelligent cat people, will look back at the Age of the Naked Apes with great dread. Professor McKittin Sledgepuppy, world renowned expert of Human palaeontology will merely write “They were no different than a viral or fungal infection, individually brilliant, but as a group as stupid as a fungal infection”.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            April 11, 2013 at 12:28


  6. Btrain

    April 10, 2013 at 10:36

    I think what is important to remember is that you can only be measured in terms of the industry you are involved in. You can’t, for example, compare EA with a private security company like Blackwater. The issue you focus on should be material to the core business.

    EA is involved in gaming, their blatant disregard for the interest of gamers are shocking. I think this makes them pathetic corporate citizen and they deserve all the bad press they get.

    I wont pay for a EA product until they attempt to change. Screw them.


  7. Tbone187

    April 10, 2013 at 10:37

    At least EA is straight up…Unlike Apple’s devious policy wording that screws you whenever they can…


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 10, 2013 at 10:45

      Urm actually EA is just as bad.

      They are allowed (By their T&C’s) to give you the finger if you ask for a refund, ban you from ALL their games for any infringement in any other game. Do one bad thing in Battlefield3? Well ok get banned from Origin and ANY game attached to it. Regardless if it’s their own or a different publisher. If it’s linked to your Origin account they can block you.

      They can screw you over too man. And they will. They’ve done it to many people.


  8. Gavin Mannion

    April 10, 2013 at 10:55

    These surveys just annoy me personally.. how can you compare a gaming companies business practices to financial houses that destroy lives, weapons companies that illegally sell weapons or medical companies that bypass testing and kill children.

    You cannot convince me that EA Games are worse than someone like Enron or BP.. this is utter horse shit.


    • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

      April 10, 2013 at 11:04

      100% Gav. After reding the Consumerist article, I do agree with alot that they said about EA, who are trying to shift blame and are not listening to their market.

      But to compare these clowns to BP or the evil banks like Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac is pathetic. These businesses almost destroyed the World Financial system and destroyed thousands of peoples lives.
      While EA might be the bad guys of game dsign right now, they are not the most evil. The game ‘whiners’ and trolls strike again it seems.


    • Verrayne

      April 10, 2013 at 11:27

      On the point of financial institutions. There are laws governing that and they get fined for contravening them. It’s up to government to regulate the financial sector, the American administration failed their people. It’s not one company.

      It’s up to the people to decide where you buy your goods, Banking goods are defined by law, EA on the other hand doesn’t have a law governing their products, America even has worse consumer protection than South Africa.

      I can’t comment on the weapons or medial companies as I’m not in that industry, and don’t know anything about it.

      TL;DR: As for EA being the worst, yeah it’s a stretch. However gamers live on the internet, banking customers don’t.


    • Sargon

      April 10, 2013 at 16:15

      “…how can you compare a gaming companies business practices to financial houses that destroy lives, weapons companies that illegally sell weapons or medical companies that bypass testing and kill children.”

      1. 78% of over 250 000 did exactly this. Numbers do not logic make – but is it their fault that the rest of the country is too apathetic to vote in other notable evil corporations? Perhaps they don’t have access (a problem SA clearly has). But that is another issue entirely.

      2. The poll isn’t about who IS actually the worst company in the USA. It’s about how voters feel is the worst company in the USA. And, since we’re talking about modernity, we’re talking about relative suffering. Unfortunately, to the gamer, being ripped off and constantly being treated the way they have is (to them) outrageous enough that this company ought to be voted in instead of said banking institution. How do you quantify their anger? Their pain? It’s a human emotion, so it is relative. In addition, as a 3rd/1st world country, we perceive problems differently than our 1st world American counterparts might. A lot of what you mention doesn’t really touch the average citizen. Unless they’ve actually lost their home or some such – but then perhaps they don’t have access to a PC to vote (see #1 above).

      3. The survey is useful. It serves a purpose. The very fact that EA responds to this is, in and of itself, a victory. It creates awareness. I am not certain how that could ever be annoying.

      4. Consumerist never really compare the companies and assign any quantitative score. The voters do that.

      Perhaps we should start a Lazygamer Worst Company of the Year Award in 2014 as well. See how South Africans would respond considering our embedded social inequalities.

      P.S. you can ignore this. I had five minutes and decided I felt like writing a wall of text. 🙂


      • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

        April 10, 2013 at 16:20

        “Perhaps we should start a Lazygamer Worst Company of the Year Award in 2014”

        I…I like this.


      • Sargon

        April 10, 2013 at 16:22

        “Moore’s note also marked the second time EA has tried to deflect criticism by pointing to previous winners of the Worst Company tournament, as if to mock consumers who dared to express their discontent with a mere video game publisher.

        Make no mistake: Video games are big business. A company like EA — and Activision, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony, etc. — merits just as much scrutiny as any other business that plays a leading role in a multibillion-dollar industry. It’s only a fractured, antiquated public perception that video games are somehow frivolous holdovers from childhood that allows gamers to be abused and taken advantage of by the very people who supply them the games they play.”

        Support for point 4. Interesting, actually.



    • Skyblue

      April 11, 2013 at 10:21

      No, no,no, horseshit is DLC only


  9. Daryl Eksteen

    April 10, 2013 at 11:13

    Should be worst gaming company in America….not worst company in general.


  10. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    April 10, 2013 at 11:20

    But the real question is, will they win three Golden Poos in a row? EA for 2014. Let’s make it happen.

    Since the consumerist award is three-parts satire and one-part “serious”. I don’t feel so strongly that EA shouldn’t have won because (insert any American “Big Oil” company, or because of Bank of America’s nefarious loan procedures or even that certain influential financial houses were directly responsible for the 2008 global financial crash, which incidentally we’re still experiencing the effects of). Is it unfair that seemingly worse companies didn’t win? Sure, but from a strictly gaming perspective this is excellent news.

    In their final report/article, Consumerist actually makes excellent points, and as always the ball is in EA’s court. All they need to do is listen to their customers. Since their customers are the most web-savvy, the fact that EA can hang another golden poo award shouldn’t come as a shock, but on the other hand, dismissing the valid criticism of EA as merely “trolling, whiners etc,” misses the point exactly.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      April 10, 2013 at 11:34

      An achievement you probably don’t want…


      • Sargon

        April 10, 2013 at 16:23



  11. matthurstrsa

    April 10, 2013 at 13:50

    As some have said, the only vote that counts is the one with your wallet.


  12. Slade Boender

    April 10, 2013 at 16:09

    Did they have to pay to keep the golden poo? *snicker*


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

FIFA and EA Split? How Did it Happen and What Now for the Future of the Franchise?

In life, there are many staples, peanut butter and jam, bread and a toaster, and in gaming…