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?
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?