EA: The worse company ever?

by manylaughs on June 26, 2012

Let’s face it, Electronic Arts, as mentioned in a previous post, doesn’t exactly have a loyal following in the gaming community. But is it the worse company in the US? In the future, this site will look more closely at the business aspects of gaming. You might not like it, but the business of gaming directly affects what sort of games you get. With that in mind, I’m reposting an article published originally on The Examiner on April 9, 2012.

5 reasons EA is worse than Bank of America

Last week Electronic Arts (EA) was voted the Worse Company in America by the savvy voters over at the Consumerist, an online publication partnered with the venerable and prestigious Consumer Reports. This earned EA the coveted Golden Poo award, a trophy title worthy of the decades Consumer Reports has spent building its reputation of staid journalistic excellence. Guess Golden Pile of Crap was taken. Still they could’ve gone with Golden Steamy Dump. Anyway Poo, golden or otherwise, is now firmly associated with Consumer Reports.

But never mind the smell coming from Consumer Reports; it’s probably not going away anytime soon. On to the story at hand. EA, never a gamer fave, managed to beat out Bank of America for the Golden Poo award. This has led some people to scratch their heads. How could a gaming company possibly be worse than a bank?

1. Electronic Arts has destroyed gamers’ hopes and dreams

Bank of America (BoA) thinks it has it all over EA just because it’s managed to destroy millions of lives?! Hah!

EA has destroyed the hopes and dreams of millions of gamers. EA has taken the gaming studios they’ve bought and turned them into mediocrity mills. And that’s if they’re lucky. Sometimes EA just subsumes the talent and ends the company they bought.

Just look what they’ve done to BioWare. Since EA bought them about 5 years ago, BioWare has produced such dreck as Mass Effect 2 and 3, Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR).

2. Everything EA produces is crap

Bank of America sold sub-prime securities to investors though many of the loans backing those securities had little or no documentation of borrowers’ incomes, basically selling their customers crap.

EA sells such crap as Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, SWTOR, FIFA and Battlefield, to name just a few. Crap. All it crap. Fleecing a few hundred thousand investors pales by comparison.

3. EA takes your gaming dollars

Bank of America took $45 billion dollars of your tax dollars and received another $118 billion dollars in taxpayer guarantees on their almost worthless assets.

But those are tax dollars, they don’t mean anything. They’re not real, right? It’s not like the 50 or 60 after-tax bucks EA rapes you for for some mediocre game. That’s some serious money.

You only get few hundred hours of gameplay out of a game like Battlefield. What a ripoff.

4. EA is too big

You were told Bank of America was too big to fail. A former banking executive, ex-Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Henry Paulson told you that. Why would a banking executive lie to you about the need to bailout the banks? Certainly you had no reason to suspect his logic.

In their book, Thirteen Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, Economists Simon Johnson and James Kwak argue that the six largest US banks, including BoA, should be broken up. These banks are so large, another financial disaster at one of these banks will lead to another financial crisis. (And this time we’re not going to bail them out. Uh uh. No way. Not this time, buster. Our members of Congress won’t let that happen. No way. No how.)

But what do they know? They’re just economists.

EA is just too big. They’re out of control. They have their fingers in everything – consoles, MMOs, PCs, Macs, social games… just everything. That’s just too much. If they went under tomorrow, the gaming world would be in turmoil. How could gamers go on with just the likes of Activision, Steam, Take-Two, Ubisoft and all those other lesser gaming studios? That would be awful. Someone needs to break those EA bozos up before it’s too late.

5. John S. Riccitiello, Director and CEO of EA, is overpaid

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan has helped preside over one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial disaster in US history. BoA directly contributed to the collapse of financial markets in the US and around the world. BoA stock has benefited from Moynihan’s deft handling, too, trading for around $50 dollars a share prior to the crisis, and, now, trading below $9.

No doubt the man is a genius. As compensation of his brilliant leadership, Moynihan made over 8 million dollars in 2011, according to Bloomberg Business Week. (Never mind that the typical MMO player who works the auction house probably has better business sense than this guy. Moynihan’s surely worth every penny he earns.)

By comparison, the Dark Prince of Gaming, aka John S. Riccitiello, Director and CEO of EA, made 5.9 million in total compensation. With Riccitiello at EA’s helm, they’ve produced a lot of good games, but they’ve made a lot of boneheaded purchases, too. ($750 million for PopCaps. Seriously? You couldn’t have given that 3 quarters of a billion to the team at BioWare to come up with your own social games?) During Riccitiello’s tenure as CEO EA’s stock price has gone from around $50 to $15, almost paralleling BoA’s collapse.

(Maybe EA should look to that MMO auction house guy to run their company, too. Couldn’t do any worse.)

Yes, the facts are there. No doubt about it. EA is clearly worse than BoA.

But who knows, maybe some of the voters at the Consumerist would like to recast their votes now that there’s a new Mass Effect 3 ending. Nyah. EA is the worse company in America. The fact that EA listened to their customers and actually produced another ending for Mass Effect 3 doesn’t change that.

Does it?

(Details about Bank of America’s role in the financial crisis were primarily derived from SourceWatch.org. You can read more about it here.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: