It looks as if EA are on course to receive a Golden Poo for the second year running as Consumerist's poll of the Worst Companies in America reaches its final round.
However, even as the currently-leaderless EA comes under fire once more, its COO Peter Moore has blogged to defend it, displaying fierce pride at the work that the company does, and pledging to do better...
...but not revealing how they'll go about doing that.
"Are we really the 'Worst Company in America?'," Moore asked rhetorically. "I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include 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. We owe gamers better performance than this."
Moore acknowledged that some of the fans' grievances were "100 percent legitimate", but also noted that some of the reasons for castigating the company were highly spurious, mentioning DRM, Origin, microtransactions, and Madden. He also brought up EA's support of LGBT characters, suggesting that this is something that has triggered much of the backlash. He's right to champion that latter point.
"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. [...] If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on. Because we're not caving on that."
Nor should you Peter, but there's certainly work to be done.
"We are committed to fixing our mistakes," he continued. "Over the last three weeks, 900,000 SimCity players took us up on a free game offer for their troubles. We owed them that. We’re constantly listening to feedback from our players, through our Customer Experience group, Twitter, this blog, or other sites. The feedback is vital, and impacts the decisions we make.
"[...]So here’s my response to this poll: 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.
"The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA we remain proud and unbowed."
For a blog post titled "We can do better", it's telling that the vast majority of it is spent shooting down nonsense criticisms that have already been shot down by Frank Gibeau, and defending EA by reeling off audience numbers. There's no substance, too much looking backwards, and not enough looking forwards. It's a defence rather than a pledge, really. Moore says EA will do better, but doesn't say how, when, or even what for.
Of course you can do better, EA. But will you?