News Article

EA: Being Voted The Worst Company In America Was "A Wake Up Call"

Posted by Damien McFerran

CEO Andrew Wilson wants to focus on "making great games"

If you're a Nintendo fan, then the chances are you probably don't think much of EA right now. Following assurances that the company would enjoy an "unprecedented relationship" with the creator of the Wii U, EA has practically abandoned Nintendo, to the point where its sales across Wii, Wii U and 3DS amount to almost nothing.

However, it's not just Nintendo fans which have it in for EA at the moment; the company has won The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" award for two years in a row.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has taken this as a chance to turn things around, and has told Polygon that getting the awards has given the veteran publisher a much-needed boot up the backside:

Whether you respect the source or not, I think it was a wake up call, and it was absolutely something that we spent a lot of time and energy over, and continue to spend a lot of time and energy over. For us, it was less about, 'How do we not get voted the worst company again?' but more about, 'Okay, are there things that we could do differently or things that we have done that have been misinterpreted that would cause people to feel that way?

What we have been doing over time is really working to either update those things or eliminate those things, and really get back to our focus on games. Because at the end of the day, if we're making great games and services, we won't get voted worst company in America again.

EA may be able to win over Sony and Microsoft supporters, but it has a longer and harder road to regaining the affection of Nintendo players. Do you ever think it will? Sound off in the comments to share your feelings.


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User Comments (117)



SuperCharlie78 said:

I just don't care too much about them.
Sometimes it happens they release a good game, but I think if you're a gamer you're not going to stay with a Nintendo console only, so I will always own something to play a EA game.



DualWielding said:

They may be bad as video game companies go, but worst company in America is a total hyperbole



SirMime said:

Wait was the wake-up call the first or the second time? XD
Here's hoping one day they actually give us some more games that match up to the quality of WiiU's Need for Speed port. I'm not holding my breath though... I don't want to suffocate.



mookysam said:

EA being voted the worst company in America was one of the most absurd thing I've ever heard. Worse than the banks? Oil companies? Pharmaceutical companies? Insurance providers? Seriously, gamers, get a grip.



LoveSugoi said:


Good luck. With the amount of pissed Nintendo fans now we may have a 3-time champ.



Artwark said:

Yeah why not? They buy companies and put them out of business. Almost every indie company is bought by EA and they shut them down. Isn't that what happened to fancy pants?

Also they don't have much innovation for their games. EA just keeps milking franchises. And here I thought Nintendo does that (Except they do it better!).



Pod said:

EA fell out of favor with me in the early 2000s, after being my favorite publisher throughout the nineties. Favorite only because they released my favorite games.

In the 2003-2004 period Bullfrog Productions, Westwood Studios, Adeline Software International, and Origin Systems all finally snuffed it, after years of ever tightening deadlines, heavy focus group pandering, fatal cases of sequelitis, and general manhandling of franchises.

If EA learned much of anything from the episode over the past decade, I wouldn't know it. I play very little of what they release these days.



placidcasual said:

Dont really care about ea that much but thats fine as they dont really care about Nintendo gamers that much either. From the wii onwards its been a hard market for third parties to get right and seems like theyve given up now. Fair enough...



cookiex said:

I'm would LMAO if they win for a third year in a row. After all it would be a perfect trilogy.



johndevine said:

Can someone tell me where I can vote in this poll?

I'd love to sink the boot in EA as hard as possible, they are getting my vote for sure....

Mind you with Nintendo's ballocks policies at the moment, NOA might come into the poll!!



retro_player_22 said:

Pretty much it wasn't the Nintendo fans that voted them to get the Golden Poo award twice, it was all them Diablo III players and Sim City gamers who bought their games and got screw over for the terrible online server and lack of offline play.



readypembroke said:

Only things I care about from EA: Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Mass Effect ,Mirrors Edge and the new Star Wars Battlefront game



unrandomsam said:

Unprecedented probably means they got a special deal (Which Nintendo never gave people before) but it wasn't enough.



unrandomsam said:

A start would be to kill Origin.

Second would to be look at their position and do some stuff for the good of the art. (They get the money not the actual creators).



Rief said:

Basically they said it's not their fault being the worst company, but ours, since we "misinterpret" them.
What a poopoodoodiecacapoop attitude.
They are, in my eyes, the enemies of us gamers, and normally if i don't like a company, i just ignore it, since rivalry is good for us.
But in their case, i wish they would shut down, the hard way, and that is they need to do it because no one buys their games.
Please watch the profanity — TBD



unrandomsam said:

What gaming needs is more creators with some sort of control over the process. (Look at film directors for an example).



RantingThespian said:

After abandoning Nintendo and the horrific thing they and Maxis call SimCity, it's going to take A LOT to win me back.

So far, showing no signs of REAL change, still no support for Nintendo, and not giving us larger city sizes in SimCity (I know it's possible, and I am not believing your bulls***), they have alienated me even further.



johndevine said:

@readypembroke get yourself a Playstation then or Xbox.

I don't really care about any of the games you mentioned. Especially not on Nintendo consoles.

You love EA!!!!



Chris720 said:

There is very little I'm interested in that comes from EA. They seem to be going the way of Activision, constantly milking the same franchises over and over every year. There comes a point where people get fed up playing the same game every year.



Hunter-D said:

I play EA games for the odd FIFA.

Please PES, rise from the ashes and give them some decent competition. PES 2008 & 09 for the Wii were some of the best football games I've ever played.



ChessboardMan said:

Wow, EA seem to be like a broken record…
It wasn't that long ago that they were utterly loathed by the gaming community, and decided to take a chance and support a bunch of new IPs…
Now it feels like they're back at square one again…
So what are they going to do this time? Zombies underwater?



Prof_Clayton said:

EA basically are a bunch of idiots. First of all, their games don't sell well. So they blame it on us not buying them, when its really the games that have issues.
Then, they recieve this award twice, and blame it on us, for misinterpreting them.
Well, Excuuusee me princess.
Then, "If we're making great games and services, then we won't get voted worst company in America then." This is stupid. He basically said, that in the last 2 years, they've had the worst games out of any company, and horrible services.



eza said:

"unprecedented" for sure: they've never shown such lack of support until now!



SpookyMeths said:

Funny, when they won the first time, the CEO made some cheeky comment like "that's nice, we'll continue to make award-winning games that make a lot of money" or something to that effect.

Then they win back-to-back, the first company in the award's history to do so, and all of a sudden it was "oh, gee whiz, maybe we should take consumers seriously."



SpookyMeths said:

@unrandomsam Film directors have greatly varying degrees of control. The only ones who enjoy great creative freedom are the ones that own their own production companies, like Nolan and Aronofsky. Otherwise, you may get tremendous creative freedom or none at all. Depends on the project and the studio.

Producers hold the real power, much like in video games.



BlasterMaster said:

EA is making the right choice. It is in their best interest to ditch Nintendo because Nintendo is failing. EA will return if Nintendo wakes up and makes a true next Gen console with a NORMAL controller resembling the GameCube's controller. They also need to stop this "family friendly" crap.



Omarsonic9 said:

@BlasterMaster Lolno, Nintendo won't make FPS games like CoD, so don't wish for it.
Their games are family friendly because they want everyone at every age playing their games.



Kyloctopus said:

I don't see why Damien had to post an article about EA when they're not supporting Wii U at the moment. I think this is a greedy move on his part.



Nintenjoe64 said:

EA Don't care as much as they make out. They'd happily get a hat-trick of golden poos if it meant they made lots of money.



ajcismo said:

EA does not care about Nintendo or its supporters. Personally, I believe this to be fallout from the years of Big N being not-so-nice to EA and several other publishers. However, Disney does care about Nintendo and its supporters and since it has a stake in EA now, I can see a sudden change in philosophy towards Ninty happening. I still think EA as its known now, won't be within the next 2 years after Disney buys them outright.



AJWolfTill said:

The only problem is I think a lot of the people who voted for this were homophobes attacking their stance on same sex relationships in Mass Effect...
EA aren't the worst company in America that is narrowminded but they have earned the frustration that gets thrown at them.



SpookyMeths said:

@AJWolfTill I highly doubt that. The internet, and the entertainment industry as a whole, has a strong liberal bias. Militant homophobes are vocal, but just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.



ricklongo said:

My dislike for EA has nothing to do with being a Nintendo fan, since I'm a PC gamer as well. It comes mosty from their butchering of one of my favorite franchises, Simcity, which was kind of an emblem for their overall shady practices.

Either way, they've had at least a couple "wake up calls" now, and I'm not really expecting any change. They will still be absolutely atrocious about even pretending they want to build a healthy relationship with their fanbase, and will continue to shove DRM down their throats. Sad but true.



Quickman said:

It speaks volumes when a video game company is voted the worst company in America. Not something to be proud of.



Einherjar said:

They have done so much damage to the whole gaming industry. Buyig out competition just to shut them down, setting unreachable deadlines and forcing devs to release unfinished games, giving them the boot because people didnt buy that mess of a game resulting of that, vilifying customers with practices like forced DRM and perma bans for refund calls, exploiting micro transaction systems, pay2win and the likes, exploiting the consumer with rereleasing the same titles under different names (Fifa for example) just to name a few things. They really deserve that title. Its not just about the quality of their games, making bad games doesnt net you such a title.
And that supposed "wake up call" met with deaf ears.



Mooj738 said:

Its quite funny, but EA simply don't care for Nintendo. The sales figures posted recently do not actually mean anything as they have no new games with Nintendo. The 3DS is actually an abandoned platform for most of the larger companies as well.

It would be great if we could get FIFA and Battlefield, however if they give gimped versions, whats the point in wanting them to come?



Mooj738 said:

@Titanics It think its an important article with the Disney stake to take into consideration.
However with the amount of the high profile games they have Nintendo is the one missing out, let us not forget that



rjejr said:

EA will win 3rd year in a row - now that they've won twice the gamers will make sure to keep it going.

As for EA's lack of Wii U support: If Wii U goes the way of the Dreamcast then EA looks smart. If Wii U has a good holiday and rebounds enough then EA puts games on it and EA looks smart. That's win-win for EA.
If Wii U hits 9 million by March it will probably get a Madden game next year.



ikki5 said:

part of me wonders if they actually like getting this award because it gets them publicity. They get a bunch of media, then get to use that entire year to have sites give news about how they said this or that to make up for it and then try to push to get it again because face it, People are going to buy EA games such as BF, Sims, SWBF, etc sadly because lets face it, people are dumb and don't like to change. it will take a lot for them to actually stop buying a game they say they are going to boycott. They probably won't truly change their ways unless the consumers really start showing they are dropping their support and well.... the BF4 (updated BF3) pre-orders are not showing consumers are doing that so I doubt they will change their ways, they'll get the award and probably turn it into a way to get more publicity.



Jellitoe said:

Never will buy another product from them ever again. There are so many other better developers out there.



blackknight77 said:

I wish I could have voted on the poll. I never buy EA products anymore. Back in the heyday of the 90s EA was awesome now they are generic and bland.



BestBuck15 said:

Worst company in America to work for or to do business with? Which is it or is it both?
I dough they're as bad as Activision.



MikeLove said:


90% of Damien's posts are juvenile flame bait. It's really pathetic he has to go to these length to get 'hits' on the website.



Warruz said:

@mookysam Here is the thing. Worst Company of the year is based off of popular votes and not many people deal with all those that you listed directly so you wont associate their terribleness to them. Another factor to consider is all those that you listed are in industries we have come to expect such crappy behavior so we are numb to it.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

I seriously hate how they talk about how they cater to all the gamers while completely ignoring Nintendo players. Do we not count just because our preferred systems have Nintendo's name on them!?



MikeLove said:


Also, there was/is online campaigns to vote for EA on various gaming websites and forums. Tons of nerds will vote for EA multiple times, while normal people don't care about participating in these polls as they are meaningless. That's why EA 'wins' this award.



Morph said:

Couldnt care less about EA, they make about 3 games i would actually buy, i can live without them on nintendo systems



marnelljm said:

@Artwark EA buys those indie companies and shuts them down because they dare to do something DIFFERENT. Screw EA and especially EA Sports for their rehashed BS every year!



jjmesa16 said:

Obviously it didn't change after they got voted the worst company in America the first time. What makes them think that skipping Nintendo consoles is going to make that any better?



JuanitoShet said:

Don't care. All EA-published games I own are at least 8 years old, and they're only a handful, spanning a few of my consoles.



FJOJR said:

Wonder if people will finally catch on to their practice of packaging yearly roster updates and selling them full price.



Ren said:

I don't really get what they've generally done so wrong, but then I don't really play sports games and I couldn't blame anyone for bailing on the WiiU, Nintendo tanked that one skillfully all by themselves, why blame others for not diving into that cesspool with them? As far as this 'poll'? like the guys at the top said, gamers need to get a life, if this is the worst company in America than it would be exciting times. Time to put down your mountain dew and go outside.



grimbldoo said:

Andrew Wilson wrote:

Okay, are there things that we could do differently or things that we have done that have been misinterpreted that would cause people to feel that way?

"misinterpreted" Ha!, they don't want to change, they just want to find ways to blindside the consumer.



Arcamenel said:

I haven't played any of their games since I was little and don't think that's going to change so...yeah.



gohanrage said:

I can see why people dislike EA. Loads of People absolutely loved the Dreamcast and EA didnt support it. EA hasn't really supported Nintendo platforms either. I don't know how they can release a Crappy Port and then be confused why no one buys their games on nintendo platforms



SaintGiggles said:

Last EA game I enjoyed - Desert Strike. Oh, wait... that was an 'Electronic Arts' game... Last EA game I enjoyed - Sim City DS.



Pit-Stain said:

So EA represents "Electronic Arts" huh? So how about adding an "f" in front of "arts"?



-Crystalline- said:

Still not as bad as Activision. At least EA didn't butcher Infinity Ward, fire their founders and staff, initiated law-suits against them, milk a franchise to death, and completely ruin whatever initial vision and/or goal the developers had in mind, turning a series that used to be good into a saturated recycling machine. And it's not just IW and Call Of Duty, but also other studios and their games. Activision simply does not care for art and essence. All they see is money, money, money.

At least EA's devs, like DICE, still manage to put out incredible titles, and a few good surprises here and there — Mirror's Edge is a shining jewel in a bedrock of vulgarity, and I'm glad DICE is working on its prequel/reboot — which is something you won't see within the realms of Suckyvision.



The_Fox said:

Hey, there are banks absolutely destroying the economy, companies ruining the environment chasing that extra buck and dozens of other examples of godawful companies but let's vote for EA instead!

......I hate the gaming community sometimes.



DESS-M-8 said:

Was really hoping the CEO change this year was going to be a turning point, still could be, as time wise the change over would take 12 months to provide any fruit which would take us to mid 2014. Wii U numbers globally
Are already on a rise will continue to rise over next two years, at what rate remains to be seen, this Christmas season will definitely see a significant injection to the install base globally.
I'd expect to see FIFA/Madden/NHL/TigerWoods 2015, battlefield 5 in 2015 on Wii U and other announced projects to trickle out from
June2014-june2015. If not one of these things happens or announced by summer 2014. Then EA has really dropped the ball And the CEO change was pointless and ea remain worlds worst developer.



ReigningSemtex said:

Only games I want from ea are crysis and dead space other than those I don't think I play many other EA games don't like fifa and I have grown tired of the need for speed series. I think ea and activision are about as bad as each other tbh and ubisoft need to quit the yearly assassins creed the milk is drying up.



sinalefa said:

Haha, so they need 2 "awards" in a row to "wake up"?

Yeah, they will wake up, smash the alarm clock and keep sleeping. Because they surely keep dreaming!



Alshain01 said:

Release a patch for SimCity to remove the always on DRM, then we will talk. Till then I'm not buying anymore EA games. Ruin my second fav franchise (behind Zelda of course) and your not coming back from that in my eyes.



hYdeks said:

it took them this long to realize how much they suck lately?!? wow, this is proof they really don't listen to their fans



Captain_Toad said:

Ok EA,
Apologize to Nintendo about that "unprecended partership", make SimCity single player and DRM free again, and pull the plug on that pay2win thingy.
Then it'll qualify as a "wake-up call."



Serethirin said:

My problem with EA really boils down to the fact that I love some of their IP dearly. The day they bought Bioware I knew it could only be bad news. To quote Yahtzee, they are holding beloved IP hostage to force us to accept their anti-consumer business practices.

I'm sad to say that I do still buy EA games and spend money on their services because it was worth more to me to play Mass Effect 3 than the moral benefits of a boycott. All the same, I could feel myself loving the story and hating the influence of EA's generic style as it crept into my game.

Now they're against Nintendo and everyone is crying doom and gloom. I love my Wii U and my 3DS. The backwards business practices of Nintendo are far less offensive to me than the forward-looking but hostile stances EA has taken. To top it off, I feel at least occasionally like the Big N has heard my complaints, even if big change is slow in coming. I have never felt like anything but a credit card number to EA.

edited because my iPad's autocorrect is insane



DarkKirby said:

Nintendo fan? Not many gamers think much of EA in general.

Also, worst company? Worst video game company probably, I'm sure there are worst overall companies.

Wake up call? Stop buying EA's Tauros crap games and maybe you'll see change. Not until then, as EA has long discovered the money rolls in no matter how big of a donkey hole they are.



AugustusOxy said:

EA Didn't deserve that vote, as much as people think they did, they simply did not.

This just shows you what happens when the voting is done on the internet instead of elsewhere. A bunch of butthurt video game nerds will pick a company that does bad video game related stuff, not a real bad company the ya know, causes oil spills or harms the environment.



Nictendo64 said:

Wake up call? It doesn't sound like they get it at all. Only 4 games on wii U and 2 of them were stripped down versions, Mass Effect 3 was light on the DLC, and Need for speed was their best on Wii U, but not a ton of people care about that game. Hell even COD Ghosts got released on Wii U! So far EA has only made one good attempt on Wii U but it was a racing game.



Zombie_Barioth said:

As amusing as it'd be to see them voted worst company in America until they get their act together, them "winning" wouldn't do much good. As long as they can continue to get away with what they're doing they'll keep doing it, wether they're voted worst company or not. If it hasn't stopped any other company why would it stop EA? Microsofts series of 180s is a prime example.

The only thing to do is praise the good things and scold the bad, not the company as a whole. How is EA to know what is and isn't acceptable if nobody shows them where the line is. You don't even have to boycott the games you like, just at least avoid them during the first couple weeks when they count sales. Boycotts only work when the reasoning behind them is obvious enough. There are far too many reasons for a lack of sales than DLC or microtransactions.



unrandomsam said:

It makes total sense why they make such junk as anybody who possibly can will leave at the first available opportunity.



BlasterMaster said:

In my previous post I mentioned that EA has every right to ditch Nintendo because of the lack of Wii U sales. I also said that Nintendo needs to focus on hardcore gamer, NOT family friendly junk. Then I received a reply that Nintendo does the family friendly junk so EVERYONE can play their games. News flash! It's not working! Hardcore gamers purchase maybe 3X more games than family-centric players. Nintendo is not my parent so stop trying to protect me and just start publishing hardcore games!



unrandomsam said:

@BlasterMaster EA's games are watered down mass market junk. (Like Dan Brown is to books or Michael Bay is to films). Any studios that were "hardcore" targeted stop being so the second EA is involved by buying them. They work in a similar way to plague.



BlasterMaster said:

@Omarsonic9 Everyone at every age? It sure sounds good but the facts speaks for themself. Not even families and younger kids want the Wii U judging by the poor sales. Hardcore gamers are the key to success and Nintendo has turned their backs on hardcore gamers. Now they are paying the price. The release of the Wii Mini and new 2DS are signs of how desperate Nintendo is. It's also a sign of how dumb they think their fans are. Who would buy such outdated tech?



Windy said:

I would really like to know why EA was voted worst. Is it an unhappy family there with its employees? Or is it crappy business practices? I work for a Top ten best company to work for sometimes we get the top spot. And its also a top ten company in america on a regular basis. (Marriott Resorts) The story is more complicated than it looks



BlasterMaster said:

@unrandomsam I am not a big supporter of EA especially since they have no plans for a new Dead Space. But the fact remains that they are a huge publisher and Nintendo needs EA more than EA needs Nintendo. Unless another big publisher supports Nintendo, EA will do fine publishing games for XB1 and PS4 while Nintendo dwindles. To be clear, I want Nintendo to succeed and I am a Nintendo fanboy which makes their poor decisions that much more frustrating.



solcross said:

I genuinely do not believe that EA really cares about Nintendo, even with this. As long as they can please their Xbox/Playstation market they'll probably be satisfied. I doubt they're even concerned with PC gamers.



Windy said:

@BlasterMaster I'm going to stand up and agree with you with before you get ripped by the fanboys. You forgot to mention the bit about how Nintendo only brings out Quality over Quantity which is a crock. Sony and Microsoft both get much more quality software than we who support flailing Nintendo do. So your right my friend and I will take some heat with you. But it's true and its desperation time for Nintendo where the Wii-U is concerned. Now the 3ds rocks and will continue to do so



twistedbee said:

If EA decides to ever support WiiU, I'll be happy to buy any game from them that interest me... But if they don't, they won't be missed.



CaPPa said:

EA can take their games and stick em... I only buy used EA games now as the company simply doesn't deserve my money. I doubt that anything is going to change that for the rest of this gen (WiiU, PS4, XBO) either, because EA just went too far too many times.



unrandomsam said:

@BlasterMaster EA will do fine for now (Until they are of no more use to Microsoft). Only thing Nintendo needs from 3rd parties is exclusives if it gets anything from EA then it will be 2nd or 3rd class ports doesn't need that (Same with Ubisoft and all the other big western publishers). I think it would be better to just have only good stuff that is properly optimised for the hardware on the platform. I wish they just made the games more worth playing for me (Wasting the first 3rd is not acceptable at the prices they have).



unrandomsam said:

Doing what they did with Pokemon to companies with good stuff in areas they need might be a good strategy.



remlapgamer said:

EA, you suck, and you are definitely the most frowned upon game company in recent years. You were great once and for a lengthy period of time. You have an excellent opportunity to make a high quality FIFA, NCAA, or Madden game and pass entirely on WII U. A cheap port would even be great. You anger me so much I won't even buy the Xbox 360 NCAA because of the principal of it. You have to earn Nintendo supporters back.



Gamer83 said:

So much I want to type regarding this but I don't want to put up a wall of text either. I'll just ask, wake up call to what exactly? As far as I can tell EA hasn't changed at all.



WaxxyOne said:

Let's see. What could EA have possibly done to get themselves recognized as the worst company of all time? Well...

1. Forced development teams to hide their own name so the only thing the player sees is either EA or EA Sports (unless your Maxis, in which case you're too big of a developer to keep hidden).
2. Created a sweatshop development atmosphere which grinds developers and testers into the ground before unceremoniously dumping them at the end of the development cycle.
3. Released games with rampant game-breaking glitches unapologetically, then adopted the policy to drop support of their games one year from the release date.
4. Created a policy of releasing the same sports titles year after year with minor updates past the change in jerseys and player numbers.
5. Was the first 3rd-party company to start charging customers for DLC that should have been included in the original packaging.
6. Crossed the line more than any other gaming company with what types of game content to consider DLC — including tutorial videos.
7. Proved they don't care at all about game balance by offering premium and preorder content that gives online gamers a blatant edge over opponents packing the base game.
8. Insulted Nintendo gamers by releasing terrible ports and sports sequels that literally changed nothing but the title screen.
9. Dropped the Wii U as a platform before it had a chance to gain any steam, thus further helping to ensure it never would.
10. Lied about said dropping of the Wii U as a platform with endless platitudes talking about all the games that aren't actually being released to the system.

I don't know, EA, it seems like you just got a bad deal, huh? If you want to make me happy, go bankrupt. In the meantime don't let the door hit you in the donkey on your way out.



Uberchu said:

There name should be Eviil ash because they need to go down!

I hate how this company wins being worst company yearly.



Senario said:

@FutureAlphaMale 90% of your posts are full of crud regardless of the topic and I haven't called you out on it till now. Lay off the writer will you? Nobody likes EA anyway so this is not really a debated topic. Most recently in making people mad...origin. who uses origin?

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