EA: 'We've made plenty of mistakes'
Chief operating officer Peter Moore says gamers deserve better from publisher, but claims it is not worst company in America.
Electronic Arts is again in the running for The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" title for 2013, and while COO Peter Moore thinks EA will "win" this title, he has spoken out to defend his company. In a blog entry titled "We Can Do Better," Moore quoted the famous quip: The tallest trees catch the most wind to defend EA's place in the industry.
"Let me cut to the chase: it appears EA is going to 'win.' Like the Yankees, Lakers, and Manchester United, EA is one of those organizations that is defined by both a legacy of success, and a legion of critics," Moore said. "Are we really the 'Worst Company in America?'"
EA faces Ticketmaster in the user-voted tournament's semifinal round.
Moore admitted EA has made "plenty of mistakes," including shutting down game servers too early, shipping games that did not meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models, and, most recently, "severely fumbling" the SimCity launch.
"We owe gamers better performance than this," Moore said. "Some of these complaints are 100 percent legitimate--like all large companies we are not perfect. But others just don't hold water."
Moore listed off a bevy of such claims, the first of which is related to SimCity's always-online requirement. He said many contend this is a form of digital rights management (DRM), but claimed this is not the case. "We can't be any clearer: it's not. Period," Moore said.
The executive also brought up Origin. He said he's heard the claim that there is no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam, but argued that "45 million registered users are proving that wrong." As for free-to-play and microtransactions, Moore said these business models are not a "pox on gaming" as some are suggesting.
"Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games," Moore said.
Lastly, Moore said that in the past year, EA has received "thousands" of emails and physical cards protesting against EA for allowing gamers to create LGBT characters in its games. EA has long been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues.
"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," Moore said.
Moore ended his note saying EA is "committed to fixing our mistakes," saying the publisher will continue to factor in community feedback when making decisions.
"So here’s my response to this poll: We can do better. We will do better," Moore said. "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. The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA we remain proud and unbowed."