EA – the publisher behind behemoth franchises such as FIFA, Battlefield, and The Sims – has had the honor of being named ‘Worst Company in America’ several times in recent years.
The result is courtesy of a fan vote from a consumer affairs blog, earning EA a ‘Golden Poo’- beating out the likes of Bank of America and oil giant BP.
While other companies might have shrugged out the results of an online fan poll, EA executive Peter Moore has insisted that it’s a sign they need to do better.
Moore – who is now EA’s Chief Competition Officer – discussed EA’s recent shift to attempt to become a ‘player-first’ company in an interview with IGN.
Yes, [being named Worst Company in America] was ridiculous. And this was also the time of sub-prime mortgage crisis; banks are dumping hundreds of thousands of people out onto the street. You try and be defensive and say this is stupid, this is ridiculous; and then you go, ‘Maybe there’s a kernel of truth here.’ Maybe this is a moment we can step back, look in the mirror, look at who we are, look at how we’re perceived, and figure out what we need to do to do something about it. Perception is reality so if there perception is that we’re not a company that puts players first, then how do we change that?
Moore created a committee within the company that looked over sites such as Reddit and NeoGAF, to see just how bad the internet’s perception of them was.
It was acknowledged that EA were indeed ‘guilty of some stuff’, but Moore never got into specifics regarding areas where EA could have have done better – I’m sure we can fill in those blanks on our own.
We made a deliberate attempt to say, ‘Fine, how do we go forward here?’ And the mantra that we came up with was this concept of player-first. To this day, in fact this morning, in meetings, questions are always asked–what do we need to do here? When do we ship that? What type of experience does this need to be?–somebody will say, but is that player-first? And that’s the moment we all stop and think. It’s not about revenue; it’s not about what benefits EA.
Just a few of EA’s player first ambitions include more betas for gamers, more communication through the development process, and and to delay games when quality isn’t up to scratch.