The chief operating officer of Electronic Arts has promised to do better after admitting the firm has made “plenty of mistakes.” But Peter Moore says the firm being voted the worst company in America for a second straight year would be a little harsh.
The dubious honor comes from a series of online polls organized by the Consumerist blog and timed to mirror the NCAA basketball elimination contest with its “final four.” Last year’s winner EA has already beaten out Anheuser-Busch, Facebook, and AT&T, and this past weekend beat out Ticketmaster. It now takes on BP in the final vote this week.
Moore says the award last year was unfair, noting EA beat out firms “responsible for the biggest oil spill in history, the mortgage crisis, and bank bailouts that cost millions of taxpayer dollars.” He suggests EA is at an unfair disadvantage given the nature of the vote, noting that people pissed off with Anheuser-Busch tend to make their complaints in bars rather than online.
He does concede this year has included genuine failing including “server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity.”
However, he takes issue with some complaints and insists that claims the need to have SimCity permanently connected to the Internet are a form of digital rights management are utterly false. He also points out that 45 million people are registered to use Origin (though it’s not quite clear how that counters the argument that many users are unhappy with the series.)
He also notes organized campaigns urging those with conservative views to vote EA as worst company because the company allows players to create LGBT characters in games. According to Moore: “If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because we’re not caving on that.”
The thrust of Moore’s argument is perfectly valid: except in the narrow category of “delivering a properly working revamp of Sim City”, it’s hard to seriously argue EA is genuinely the worst business in the entire country. Unfortunately, even with his acknowledgement of problems and room for improvement, Moore does come off as overly defensive and is effectively guaranteeing the creation of memes involving his face and references to being “butthurt.”