Surprise, surprise EA has won the Worst Company in America honors for the second year running. You could consider it an honor…well, not really. The gaming developer and publisher walked away with 78% of the vote in the The Consumerist web poll once again facing off against Bank of America in the finals of the Worst Company in America.
There are definitely worst companies out there that do horrible things to their employees by paying them dreadful wages, workplace racism and sexism among other things, dodgy business practices, and questionable practices concerning the environment. The list goes on. The reason for EA getting the award falls in two categories: their business practices and the voter turnout.
I’ve gone into this yesterday, but in short EA’s approach towards micro-transactions, DLC, and fumbling the ball on SimCity to some degree are among the top offenders for why voters gave EA the business this time and en masse.
In short, the gamer community tends to be very vocal online about what they enjoy and hate about their favorite and least favorite franchises and companies. Gamers are active on company forums, sending emails, on Twitter, and on forums that aren’t affiliated with a company, but might be a franchise fansite or a general hub for gamers. The Worst Company in America made its rounds on most major gaming sites and has been plastered on forums so its not surprising that EA won this time at all.
In short, when you have a community that is active in social networks, follow the news of their fandom closely, and have an opportunity to roast a greatly disliked entity, you can bet there will be a turn out for it.
The outcome here has been many who followed poll being annoyed with turn out. Bank of America is definitely an awful company and could’ve been the worst one voted if EA wasn’t there as a lightning rod waiting to be struck by outraged gamers. One could argue that there should be a separate category for games which would be merely humoring the gaming community. Besides, most gaming sites have some sort annual awards that include such a category.
What could work are categories by the general area the company is focused in such as financial, food service, entertainment, etc. How getting called “The Worst Company in America”—meaning the worst possible company ever to put out a service or organized—speaks louder than “The Worst Entertainment Company in America”. EA should take this as a note that their fans and other gamers simply don’t care for their approach. They don’t care to the point of going out their way to actually tell them so and let them know via forums and voting. The Worst Company in America is simply another vehicle used to let a major entity in the gaming community know how the consumers feel about them.
Do you believe there should be more categories for The Consumerist’s Worst Company in America? What company would you have chosen as the very worst one? What do you think of the turnout for the award?