Worst Company In America Round 3: EA Vs. Comcast

Imagine you’re playing a game of Worst Company In America Online, Game of the Year Collectors’ Signature Edition 2012 with your pals. You’ve paid hundreds of dollars for the game and all the downloadable tricked-out corporate logos, bloody finishing moves and deluxe cat photos and you’re about to head into the Final Death Match. Then your cable company decides you’ve gone over your data limit and the game grinds to a halt. And when you finally get it back up, the game’s servers have been pulled offline by the publisher. Which company do you end up hating more?

Like the pre-adolescent who masters FIFA 12 straight out of the box, Electronic Arts has looked like a veteran in only its rookie year in the WCIA brackets.

Coming off a year when they blatantly antagonized gamers, hackers and everyone else whose personal info was put at risk during the mammoth PlayStation Network breach, Sony looked like the heavy favorite going into its Round One match against EA. And yet, decades of unleashed anger at EA’s anti-consumer, anti-fan attitude suddenly became laser-focused and the video game publisher pummeled the crud out of Sony with an astounding 80.9% of votes.

Some of those people who voted for EA in that match switched sides in the second round when the company went up against Best Buy. The reviled retailer managed to stay within striking distance for the first 24 hours of voting, but faded in the second half and suffered a 66-34 loss to EA.

Meanwhile, Comcast has left an even bloodier trail in its virtually uncontested path to Round 3. Time Warner Cable may as well have not shown up to the WCIA Dodecahedron of Doom, as it gave up 73% of the vote to the Kabletown Krusher.

The Comcast/DirecTV battle in Round 2 ended before it even began, as Comcast shot the satellite provider out of the sky with a mind-blowing 83% majority.

Now it’s time to find out if more gamers will defect to vote for Comcast, or if Comcast haters will flip and vote for a company that some say has been the driving force in making games the most expensive form of home entertainment.

So whether you press X on your controller or Delete on your remote control, press something and vote in the poll below.

(Voting on this poll is now closed. Thanks to everyone who voted!)

As we mentioned when announcing the Round 3 contenders, we want to add some suspense to the remaining contests so the results will stay hidden until we post the four victors on the morning of March 29. So be sure to check back Thursday morning to see if your least-favorite made the cut.

If you like competing for free stuff, there’s a sweepstakes on the Consumerist Facebook page that lets you pick who you think will win the Golden Poo. The prize packages includes the usual T-shirts and coffee mugs, but also our own Laura Northrup will knit you a little something nice. Go HERE for details.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2012 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2012 bracket and schedule of match-ups HERE.

Comments

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  1. nrich239 says:

    People can choose to not play EA games while they may not have any other options for internet than comcrap.

    • Cat says:

      That’s it, in a nutshell.

    • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

      Sort of… If gaming is your hobby, EA is setting up dangerous trends that are leaking to the other publishers, severly harming the industry as a whole. In addition, they are buying out and destroying other series/franchises, leaving everything a target.

      Cocmast is a poorly managed company that overall sucks at what they do. EA is intentionally trying to screw their userbase, putting forth inferior products for increasing amounts of money.

      • custommadescare says:

        Cocmast is a poorly managed company….

        Not sure if you just mistyped, but I think you may have inadvertently came up with a new name for them!

    • BobOki says:

      At the same time, EA is activly working it’s best to be in the exact same boat by buying out all the game shops. Pretty soon if you want to play a game, it will be EA.
      I will not deny the EVIL that is comcast, but at the same time my 50d/10u connection at the house has only gone down twice in 1 1/2 years, and has pretty decent latency…. a VPN tunnel keeps me safe on their network and private… and the only worry I have left is billing and customer service.

    • wojonet says:

      Since when is having consumer choice an excuse for being a crappy company? I hear this argument a lot on consumerist and I don’t really understand it.

      • Papa Midnight says:

        He’s not saying it is an excuse, he’s speaking towards the status quo saying that some people can’t avoid certain crappy companies whether they want to or not. In this case, the company would be Comcast; and he would be correct.

  2. HomerSimpson says:

    Hmm, easy for me. I can choose to stay away from EA, but pretty much have no choice but to deal with Comcrap (for HSI, at the least….well other than go pound sand), so this was an easy one.

  3. kc2idf says:

    EA.

    Content that Comcast delivers is available from other providers. Not so for EA.

    • caradrake says:

      Not always if you live in an area where it is either Comcast, or do without. Hard to do without if you have a job that is online-based.

    • BobOki says:

      With satelite being world wide there is ALWAYS a 2nd provider. Just becuase it is not as GOOD as the one you have, does not make it any less of a subsitute.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Plenty of places where satellite isn’t viable, so your excuse falls flat. Nice try though.

        • BobOki says:

          Name one spot where one lives that it is not viable. Yeah, you might have to put a pole above a treeline, or a double dish bounce…. but it works.

          If you try to say something like I am in an apartment and we cannot put up dishes, thats not comcasts fault and the service is still avaliable, making them still not the only service avaliable.

          • macnbc says:

            It’s not Comcast’s FAULT, but there’s still no competition.

            I’ve also heard of cases where a provider (like Comcast) will sign a contract with apartment (or condo) management making them the exclusive provider to the building, thus also eliminating competition.

          • mikesanerd says:

            I don’t think I’ve ever lived in an apartment where you were allowed to have a dish. This means Comcast has been literally my only option for TV everywhere I’ve ever lived since my parents’ house. My solution: I’d rather have nothing than deal with Comcast.

            • mikesanerd says:

              P.S. In spite of how much I hate Comcast, to the extent that I refuse to do business with them, EA is even worse. Comcast is a terrible company; EA is a terrible company that is also sociopathic toward its customers, in terms of content, money, DRM and copyright issues, etc., etc. Both companies only survive because they are patronized by people who feel that they have no choice.

            • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

              I think this is a state law, so you may need to check where you live… but here in Texas, it is illegal for an apartment complex or condo association to prohibit you from attaching a dish to the building.

  4. Herbz says:

    Vote EA, Comcast knows it is crap and hasn’t done anything about it.

    EA is setting dangerous trends in the video game market with day 1 DLC, keys to download the multiplayer portion, keys for single player, etc. etc.

    So vote EA just so they can have a wake-up-call this year.

  5. Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

    As a gamer, EA. comcast has been rather nice to us, for now. I hope it stays like that.

  6. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I vote for Comcast. I have no other option for high speed internet. I have to pay what they want, or not have high speed internet. I can choose to play games or not.

    • baineschile says:

      Whats worse; a company that has a monopoly that screws you, or a company that has a loyal fanbase that used to love their products, and screw them.

      To me, the latter.

    • BobOki says:

      You chose one over the other for the same reason.
      You can chose not to have internet, which is the same as chosing not to play a game.

      • BigDragon says:

        Not so. A game is an endpoint. People build very little off released games, especially the ones EA releases given their anti-modding and player-created content stance. Internet is a tool to greater things such as video, communication, sharing, jobs, benefits, and more. It’s easy to say no to an EA game. It’s a lot harder to say no to the internet because of the sheer number of things you’ll be cutting yourself off from.

        EA is outright anti-consumer. They aren’t shy about flaunting that they think their customer base is a bunch of idiots with money to burn and no respect for quality. Comcast is a giant nightmare with the ability to control consumers, companies, and politicians. They operate in an arena with high barriers to entry. The gaming market can evolve and change. Companies can find ways around EA and form their own businesses with very little to overcome. The same is not true for an ISP or cable provider. Comcast and their bandwidth limits, political operatives, and legal monopolies is way more dangerous over the long term.

      • macnbc says:

        Not having internet access isn’t much of a choice any more.

        There are some countries that consider it an essential utility just like power, water, gas, etc.

        Also not to mention the push from a lot of companies to pay bills online, do banking online, e-mail, etc.

  7. Starrion says:

    Let’s see. Lousy support. Sky high rates. Rude CS reps.It’s not a contender, it’s a Comcastrophe!

  8. Free Legal Advice! says:

    Comcast has actually tried to be better, at least in my area. EA can go suck a lemon.

  9. mingtae says:

    I am not seeing why people are upset at EA. It is no different then what other game makers are doing. I play a Rockstar game and there are advertisements in there.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      EA is doing so much more than just ads in games. They buy good game franchises and then ruin them. They are at the forefront of end-user-unfriendly DRM. They yanked all their games from Steam for their own (vastly inferior and spyware-ridden) version of Steam called Origin. They are single-handedly trying to destroy the used-game market by implementing 1-time-use codes that are included with new games to activate certain in-game features like multiplayer and certain weapons/characters. The list goes on.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      EA destroys the innovators in the industry. They gobble them up, gut them for for any trademarks and devalue the actual games.

    • Total Casual says:

      EA and Activision are on the bleeding edge of anti-consumer changes to the nature of how gamers buy games. I wish I could vote for both!

    • BigDragon says:

      Rockstar doesn’t charge you to set up your own servers. They don’t come out with clothing packs, extra cars, some item necessary to complete a mission, or other things purposely designed to nickle and dime the consumer. They don’t hold back content from their games to sell it as day-one DLC. When you play GTA IV you get a fully fleshed out and vibrant world with a satisfying campaign and wide variety of side missions. You don’t get that with EA games. You get a very linear experience watered down from the original franchise installments. It’s guaranteed to be unbalanced, the multiplayer will be full of hackers, you’ll have 3 or 4 different things to have to log into to get the actual game to play, and it’ll use their own proprietary hodgepodge system with support pulled after 6 months if the sales were bad. Rockstar also doesn’t come out with bandwidth-cap busting patches that require you to re-download other content.

      Let’s take BF3 on the PS3 for example. When you install the latest patch it disables the ability to use the B2K DLC that was held-back from launch. The patch itself is 1GB. You must download and install it, then uninstall, then reinstall the B2K DLC. Several hours later you might be able to play assuming the servers are actually up and you don’t get flooded with those annoying “something went wrong” or “disconnected from EA online” messages. When you contact EA for support you have to escalate all the way up to the executive level to get someone to actually help. This is not the way things work at Rockstar and many other companies such as Frontier, Blizzard, and Valve. GTA IV worked day-one on PC and there was a quick small patch to tweak some things shortly after launch. They continued to tweak seamlessly. The difference is night and day.

      • tacitus59 says:

        Wow – just wow. I have a bias against EA for lots of things, but that is just ridiculous.

      • mingtae says:

        Stop. If you wanted additional cars for Midnight Club LA, you had to pay for the pack.

        • BigDragon says:

          Same for all the recent racing games by EA. I recall the Midnight Club DLC cars were not required to enjoy the game, were not held back from release, and were not simply statistical variants of cars already in the game. They didn’t bait people by having them share videos or other ads with the promise of giving the content away free only to charge for it instead (NFS Hot Pursuit debacle).

          Let’s also remember that EA is the reason there aren’t any Porsche cars in Forza or Gran Turismo. They’ve abused their exclusive Porsche license while their competitors have been plenty happy to sub-license Ferrari and Aston Martin. Has Rockstar done something similar? Nope.

  10. baineschile says:

    Comcast will probably win this fight because of their massive size and history, but trust me; in the last 24 months, NO company in america has screwed their customers more than EA.

    • tbax929 says:

      Is this the highest EA has ever been in this poll? I don’t remember them ever being in it at all, much less at the Elite 8 round. They must have really done something to piss people off, if that’s the case.

    • macnbc says:

      Really? There are more people EA screwed than banks, gas companies, etc.?

      I didn’t know EA could foreclose on your house.

  11. techstar25 says:

    Comcast picked a really bad time to spit in the face of net neutrality.
    http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/comcast-exempts-itself-its-data-cap-violates-

  12. dolemite says:

    I’ve had Comcast for years and while I disapprove of data caps and attempting to dismantle net neutrality, my service has been decent. Not many outages, and they’ve worked with me several times to bring down my bill for periods of time.

    EA…is just plain evil. Day 1 DLC content, micro transactions, stifling innovation, DRM, extremely poor service, mandatory binding arbitration, locked into terrible EULA to use their products, invasive Origin software. It’s almost like you agree to rent games that you pay $60 for from them, and at any time they can revoke your “license” to play products you’ve paid for.

  13. Grogey says:

    Im giving this to EA

  14. longfeltwant says:

    How did EA make it this far? They should have lost to Sony in the first round, then to BB in the second round. This is crazypants, seeing them in the semifinals.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      They’ve really pissed people off this year. They’ve ruined so many great long-running game franchises, and are at the forefront of end-user unfriendly practices. They also stifle innovation in the gaming industry by buying up small studios and gutting them for their trademarks.

      • cyberpenguin says:

        Not to mention the fact that once they established a near-monopoly position in certain genres they regularly abused their employees (both artist interns and programmers) resulting in two class-action lawsuits.

        Then the attempted hostile takeovers of competitors like Ubisoft, etc….

  15. Gehasst says:

    If your Comcast Interwebs sucks or doesnt work right, then you can’t even get online to pay for your multi-player keys!

    =)

  16. blogger X says:

    I’m shocked EA made it this far. I expect Capcom to make the list next year.

  17. Traveller says:

    Comcast isn’t so much the worst as they are BIG. They are so big and rely so heavily on independent contracts that the number of incidents is high even though it represents a pretty small percentage of users.

    EA’s problems seem to be more encompassing and inherent to corporate policy.

  18. PhiTauBill says:

    Comcast is BIG and BAD. I think adverse experiences are more the norm than the exception, especially with respect to closing your Comcast account. They’ve NEVER billed a closed account properly in my experience, including a rampant practice of charging for unreturned equipment that was actually returned.. not mention the net neutrality violations, etc., that are ongoing… Comcast FTW….

  19. hotpocketdeath says:

    EA can suck it. They are a plague to gaming and ruining the industry. The CEO even admits to the desire to nickle and dime their customers every chance they get.

    I’ve had Comcast for several years, and while the data caps suck, it has never prevented me from using the internet because I have never been able to even reach the cap. Sure there have been outages as well, but the same can be said for all service providers.

  20. Zelgadis says:

    The trouble with matchups like this is that Comcast is regional and EA is international.

    I’ll vote for the international crap every time.

  21. Greyhound says:

    Definitely EA. Stop buying good companies and destroying them!

  22. cyberpenguin says:

    Tough call…

    EA has been has abused their employees (two separate lawsuits from both their artists and programmers), has ruthlessly targeted smaller competitors, acquired larger competitors, and silently installed DRM on customer’s systems.

    Once establishing a monopoly, they’ve abused that position to further entrench themselves.

    On the other hand, Comcast also has a local monopoly on wire service (there are alternatives), but more importantly…

    COMCAST HATES ROKU…

    You can connect a multitude of devices to HBO GO, but not the “nasty, filthy, lying Rokuses… ahhh my precious Xfinity…. uses its instead”.

    ….

    EA wins my vote…

  23. Lefturn says:

    Although Comcast is a terrible company,my vote goes to EA on this one.

    EA is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the video game industry right now. They are the greediest company in the business, and will do anything to make another buck off of their customers. That’s not even taking into account the steaming pile that is Origin. A quick google search will show you how much of a customer service nightmare that has become.

  24. MurderGirl says:

    EA is this year’s Sin-derella team, and I look forward to seeing them in the finals, where they will get crushed by Bank of Evil.

  25. xanxer says:

    This was one that made me think. I can chose to not play EA games. I haven’t bought any recently after buying the Sims 3 and the whole fiasco of getting the updates so it will run on my MacBook Pro. Ultimately I had to pick Comcast. There are no other options here for web service. Comcast’s service is unreliable at best. At worst well, we were days of it not working at all. I’m pretty sure it’s a node problem.

  26. ILoveBacon says:

    Comcast has this one in the bag.

  27. Lothar says:

    I can’t believe EA won, It shows how ignorant most people are when EA will win this against a company as bad as Comcast, man It’s a sad day to be a gamer because of the ignorance of the gamers who voted.

  28. Dyscord says:

    EA obviously. Their practices are just getting worse and worse. They’re the ones who started this whole “Online Pass” crap, stating it was to prolong the life of their servers…..and yet they still shut them down.

    Plus, I don’t have comcast here so……:P

  29. ILoveBacon says:

    Wow, I thought for sure Comcast was going to win this one. Oh well. They already had their glory in 2010. I think EA deserves to shine, too.

  30. luusyphre says:

    This was rigged

  31. mingtae says:

    EA has obviously has pissed off its fanboy base because they are swarming every post with the same problems that seems to be the direction of the video game industry direction in general. These fanboys need to move out of their parent’s basement and see what happens when they pay for the Internet service on their own.

    If the Mass Effect 3 ending was so bad that you had to vote for the company as the worst company in America, you really need to find additional forms of entertainment.