Worst Company In America Final Death Match: Bank Of America Vs. EA

Here they stand, surrounded by the carved-up carcasses of their fallen competitors. “Make us proud… Win the poo,” the ghosts of the vanquished call out from another realm, demanding that these two remaining contenders for Worst Company In America prove that all this bloodshed was not in vain.

For the second year in a row, Bank of America has slaughtered its way through the WCIA brackets, only to end up in the Final Death Match against a rookie with such street cred it only needs to go by two letters: EA.

These contenders share a ravenous desire to swallow up smaller competitors in their respective industries with little to no regard to the possible consequences.

Bank of America expanded throughout the entire decade leading up to the collapse of the housing market and had the hubris to believe it could continue to do so even when things started to head south.

BofA can claim it had no idea it was buying such a toxic pile of crap when it scooped up the remains of Countrywide for virtually nothing. Even if you can believe that, the fact remains that Bank of America spent the years after the Countrywide acquisition doing little to nothing to repair the damage. False foreclosures, improper property seizures, misleading mortgage adjustment programs, robosigned documents and the subsequent lawsuits and settlements, have done significant damage to BofA’s public image and its coffers.

EA, meanwhile, has made a habit of sniffing out some of the best smaller video game companies, which are then acquired for their intellectual properties or to remove a competitor from the marketplace. Mass consolidation in any industry rarely works out to the benefit of the consumer, but the gaming business is one that regulators, the courts and the mainstream media have by and large ignored.

Another thing these two seemingly very different companies have in common is their desire to nickel and dime consumers at every turn.

EA is among the industry leaders in pushing for more and more “microtransactions” in users’ gaming experience. For its major titles it seems to be creating exclusive and add-on content, not with the game in mind, but with the sole intention of milking consumers who may not realize how quickly those small purchases add up.

And unlike the fee-happy discount airlines that use the “everything is a la carte” model to keep base prices low, a new EA game will run you $60 for the most basic version available, making it easily the most expensive form of home entertainment.

Many of EA’s sports titles — especially its Madden NFL franchise — are bestsellers with annual releases and exclusivity deals with the corresponding leagues. This means that no one else can enter the market to compete with a lower-price NFL game, effectively allowing EA to set the price for new releases.

The question you as WCIA voters need to ask yourself is whether or not such transgressions are on par or worse than Bank of America’s attempts to weed out those consumers who dare to have a standard checking account, especially one with balance smaller than five figures?

After all, if you want to avoid BofA’s fee-frenzy, there are any number of other banks and credit unions you can try. But if you want to de-stress from a day of being kicked around by the world by playing a game of FIFA Soccer with your friends, you’re out of options.

We’re almost down to the final buzzer, so it’s time to throw up a shot from mid-court and vote!

Voting for the Final Death Match will conclude at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 3

THE RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT NOON ET ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4!

If you’re coming into the tournament late, below is the bracket, followed by links to each of the completed matches:

wcia_bracket_2012_round5.png

ROUND ONE:
* Target vs. Best Buy
* Bank of America vs. Chase
* Charter Communications vs. CenturyLink (Qwest)
* Wells Fargo vs. Citi
* EA vs. Sony
* Sallie Mae vs. Ticketmaster
* DirecTV vs. Dish Network
* PayPal vs. Capital One
* Sears/Kmart vs. Walmart
* Netflix vs. GameStop
* USPS vs. UPS
* Comcast vs. Time Warner Cable
* Spirit vs. Delta
* AT&T vs. Verizon
* Facebook vs. Sprint
* Google vs. Apple

ROUND TWO
* Best Buy vs. EA
* Facebook vs. USPS

* Comcast vs. DirecTV
* Bank of America vs. Citi
* Ticketmaster vs. Spirit Airlines

* PayPal vs. Charter
* AT&T vs. Apple
* Walmart vs. GameStop

ROUND THREE
* Bank of America vs. Ticketmaster
* PayPal vs. Walmart
* Facebook vs. AT&T
* Comcast vs. EA

SEMIFINALS
* Bank of America vs. Walmart
* EA vs. AT&T

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Marlin says:

    EA? Really? Over Att?

    • MutantMonkey says:

      That is exactly what I was thinking. /mindblown

      • BackInBlack says:

        Yeah, PreyPal just had a bad day in the arena. They definitely deserve some kind of poo. Next year, maybe.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Anybody over eBay/PayPal? /mindblown

    • Zanorfes says:

      Hard to believe EA over ATT. How is THAT possible?

      • dolemite says:

        ATT just sucks. EA is purely anti-consumer.

        • 2 Replies says:

          Considering that EA gets it’s money from consumers, I’m pretty sure they’re not ANTI consumer.
          That would be like a beggar saying he won’t take handouts.

    • Taliskan says:

      A lot of gaming blogs have picked up on this vote. I am sure that is helping EA win this.

    • anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

      I have a choice for my cellular service. I stay away from the death star like it has the plague. If I am interested in a type of game for my son or myself, however, more likely than not I am stuck with an EA title. Exclusive rights to certain sports leagues is a big stick EA uses to hammer the gaming public.

    • jeffbone says:

      If EA takes the golden poo, it will be the canonical example of why Internet polls are not scientifically sound unless controls are in place to ensure a representative sampling of the overall population occurs.

      • minjche says:

        It’s a poll of readers of Consumerist.com, so controls to ensure the general population, including non-Consumerist.com readers, is represented would seem inappropriate to me.

        As an analogy, would you collect answers from Ukrainian men for a poll about “Favorite Tampon of Italian Women”?

      • BigDragon says:

        It’s a poll of Consumerist readers. It’s not some scientific thing covering the entire population. I’ve been reading this website for years. It’s my choice to vote for EA. This is their first year on here and they need to be sent a message. I would have preferred to see Comcast beat them though. What’s done is done. I think you’re underestimating just how many Consumerist readers also turn to games and other media for entertainment.

        • TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

          But why EA? They went out of their way to fix an issue I had with them.

          • BigDragon says:

            To answer “why EA” would require me to write a many page essay which I don’t feel like doing right now.

            While they may have gone out of their way to help you with an issue, I have had numerous negative experiences with them. The most recent was in January where I received an Origin-wide ban along with a disturbing number of other people. It was reversed after a week of back and forth with EA’s highest customer support people. The ridiculous number of explanations I got for the incident made me sick. The explanations ranged from declaring a system glitch to wrongfully accusing me of cheating in a game. The fact that all EA account games were unable to be played during this time was horrifying. While the problem was corrected after a week, EA made my “never again” list based on that incident. I wouldn’t even take the offers for free games.

            EA has ruined many franchises I enjoyed. I’ve been playing games for well over two decades now — much longer than I’ve been reading Consumerist. From NFL Blitz and Command & Conquer to Spore and Crysis 2, I’ve seen EA wreck everything they’ve touched and destroy the creations of their competitors. They keep buying the studios I like and ruining them. They keep shutting down competitors that produce better sports games or denying cross-licensing of brands like Porsche despite the willingness of other companies to license companies like Ferrari. They take great ideas like the original concept of Spore from 2005 and mutilate them into cash cows that would make Yogurt from Space Balls proud. It disgusts me.

            I’ve barely scratched the surface. EA goes out of its way to make it harder for me to enjoy gaming. That’s why EA. That’s why they deserved to win against Sony and Best Buy. I would have vastly preferred to vote for Comcast. I haven’t decided BOA or EA yet. I’m leaning EA because I think it’ll actually get a response out of them. BOA has been trying to make things better in the past year. I don’t see that effort from EA.

            • mingtae says:

              So while EA is ruining gaming franchises and and falsely detecting that you were cheating in a game is more of a reason to vote for EA over a company who has increased fees on the most basic checking accounts, forced homes into foreclosure and families into the streets, refusal to help people who can pay with mortgage adjustments, gets sued by States’ attorneys. . .

              Sure, I can see why EA sucks more then BoA

        • TasteyCat says:

          When I’m seeing links on sites like Neogaf and Kotaku, I’d suggest it’s not only for Consumerist readers. There seems to have been a concerted effort to stack this in EA’s favor, which would explain why they have beaten resident punching bag Best Buy, perennial favorite Comcast, and AT&T.

          • BigDragon says:

            The gaming blogs aren’t the only ones linking to the WCIA tournament. There are also housing blogs doing it. I don’t read them anymore since I stopped house hunting years ago, but I recall seeing posts appear for the WCIA tournament on those blogs. Everyone links in to create more traffic and poll activity. Even the companies involved try to skew the results. I’m not really worried about it. It’ll all balance out in the end. EA gets the bonus that this is their first year in the tournament and therefore visibility is at an all-time high for them. I’m not at all surprised at how well they’re doing.

    • kenj0418 says:

      If ATT had won or if BofA wins, no one will much care. Their problems are already broadly known. If EA wins (or if Paypal had won) then it would increase the visibility of their serious issues – which are not as broadly known.

      • 2 Replies says:

        So you’re saying they’re not only
        Too big to fix, they’re too big to even be worth making the effort?

        Quitter.

        • kenj0418 says:

          No, I’m saying the golden poo is a scalpel and some companies to be treated with a battle-axe, or possibly to be nuked from orbit. The slight blip in bad press this award generates is wasted on them.

      • 2 Replies says:

        When did the voting go from being
        “Worst Company in America” to
        “Worst Company That We Think A Poll Will Increase Problem Visibility For”?

        • Fiona says:

          When did it become “worst company that I have to deal with on a regular basis”. From comments, that seems to be many people’s beef with EA getting through.

        • pythonspam says:

          When they realized that big companies that are up for the esteemed award don’t care if they win or not? In fact, usually, they just ignore their triumph for the fear of giving more publicity to what consumerists think.

          Normally, “There is no such thing as bad publicity”, but none of the contenders want this much bad publicity.

    • longfeltwant says:

      EA won by a 3-to-1 margin. Obviously that is the result of poll shenanigans, but hey there’s nothing wrong with gaming Consumerist polls. More lulz for everyone, even if AT&T loses its rightful silver medal.

    • Jawaka says:

      Yeah…

      I really can’t take this competition seriously this year and I doubt that the companies in question will either.

      There’s no way that Walmart should have beat PayPal and no way that EA should have beat Comcast.

      • longfeltwant says:

        There’s no way that EA should have beat Sony, let alone anyone else in the tournament. But hey, that’s the nature of insecure unscientific web-only click-vote “polls”. Sometimes they gamed — in fact, more often than not they get gamed.

    • dangermike says:

      I’m sure it was a tally influenced by the harrowing tale of one man. One man who lost it all. His hope was to try to stop the world from discovering a horrible secret not meant for consumption. He tried but he failed. His sacrifice was for naught but will not be forgotten. His name was Marauder Shields. In his name, this contest will be won.

    • El_Red says:

      I guess the last drop in gaming world was “Mass Effect 3″.
      But yeah, I see your point.

    • alexwade says:

      Obviously you nothing about EA. The real slogan of EA Sports is “You don’t have a choice” instead of “It’s in the game”.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Don’t forget that many Consumerist readers are from outside the US and thus have almost certainly had no experiences with BoA, but if they play games they’ve probably had personal experience with EA.

  2. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    I would really like to see EA win because a little bit of me feels that they can still change to make their customers happy. BofA is too easy to hate and they don’t give a damn to try and change their ways.

    • bigdirty says:

      Most of the people complaining about EA aren’t EA customers. They tend to be GameStop customers buying the game used. EA is keeping up with where they’ve been, just holding back items from those who didn’t obtain the product through legitimate sources, and providing opportunities for expanding the life of a game at a nominal cost.

      • SerenityDan says:

        So a used car is not a legitimate purchase? Buying used EA games you are still an EA customer.

        • r-nice says:

          EA doesn’t see any money from you buying the game used. Hence the era of the Online Pass.

          • SerenityDan says:

            And hence why it made it so far, people are upset about it. Now as much as I hate EA I don’t think they are worse than BoA.

          • Matt says:

            Nor should they. They got their money when it was originally bought used.

          • vastrightwing says:

            I disagree. EA does benefit from used games sales and here’s why; if there is no used market at all, then fewer people will pay the same retail price for a game. The initial value of something is based on what people will pay. Fewer people will pay $60 for any item that has no resale value later on. Therefore, due to the secondary used market, EA indirectly benefits from used games. Notice that Honda and Toyota vehicle resale values are very high. This is due to the fact the vehicles have a strong secondary market. This in turn helps Honda and Toyota make money from new car buyers who are quite willing to pay inflated prices for new cars realizing they can resell their car later. In effect Honda and Toyota benefit from the secondary used car market.

            EA is HOPING that eliminating used game sales will make them more money so they will sell more new games. I don’t think this will happen. If Toyota and Honda could eliminate the used car market, they would sell fewer cars. If for no other reason than people would hold on to their new car until it was no longer economical to repair. If Honda and Toyota made their cars run only until they had 100K miles on them, the vehicles would no longer be worth the value they currently have and they would sell fewer vehicles.

            I don’t think it matters what type of item you sell, eliminating the used market lowers the value of the primary market. It must. Not everyone will take the risk of wasting $50 Р$60 to buy something they can’t sell later. The risk to reward is way too high. EA has fallen victim to the same thinking the music publishing industry has: make more money by creating artificial scarcity.

        • Kensuke Nakamura says:

          When you buy a used car, you are not getting the same experience as a person who bought it new. There is normal wear and tear, you will most likely need to pay for a little maintenance. You just don’t know what might have happened to the car. Car companies can still make money off of the maintenance of the cars and parts. When you buy a used videogame, you get the same experience as a person buying new and the developer and publisher don’t get a nickel. In online games, they have to keep up maintenance on the servers and issue patches. So they’re paying so you can play a game that you didn’t pay them for. It’s just a logical adaptation of the industry. You can still play most single player games offline, and you can play thousands of used PS2, Xbox, SNES, GAmecube etc. You can either accept that games aren’t what they used to be for better or worse and deal with the new business structure or continue to play an incredible array of legacy games offline.

          • TrustAvidity says:

            Don’t forget about all the new sales that happen because of the trade industry. It’s stronger with core gamers. Trading in a title you recently purchased and beat so you can afford the next new big title keeps that company purchasing stock from the manufacturer. A large number of people wouldn’t be able to afford the latest new titles without the ability to sell their old ones. Also, not that you did in your post, but how come retailers always get the butt of the criticism with this? No one seems to care about reselling games on ebay or craigslist or lending a game to a friend. Uh oh. That friend got the same experience of my game without buying it brand new! Oh the horror! What about good old books? J.K. Rowling’s going to broke not getting a cent from my family reading the same copy of Harry Potter.

      • cyberpenguin says:

        I agree. That whole “first-sale doctrine” thing has been around since 1908.

        It’s old, and EA should be allowed to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court. There’s no hope for our financial system if corporations can’t overturn Supreme Court decisions.

        Go BofA!!! They’re pretty good at overturning property rights too.

    • El_Red says:

      Bofa is actively selling their Canadian assets to local banks. That made a lot of customers happy here, since local banks actually now what customer service is.

  3. MichaelRyanSD says:

    I’m surprised Walmart beat Paypal, I mean we are talking about thee Paypal here right. Walmart might suck because its simply Walmart, whereas Paypal sucks because of all the things they do

  4. Burzmali says:

    I can understand EA making it to the Final Four, but the fact that it beat AT&T is ridiculous. EA may be messing up peoples’ gaming experiences and causing good developers (like Bioware) to do terrible things with their games, but AT&T screws people over in ways that really matter. “Man, I just paid $60 for a game that really sucks; I thought it would be good because the last game from this developer was awesome.” “Man, mandatory binding arbitration now nullifies my right to sue a company as part of a class-action lawsuit.” One of these is a real problem and the other is a gripe that will be forgotten next week. WTF?

    If EA somehow beats BofA, I’m going to be really disappointed.

    • cyberpenguin says:

      Fixed it for ya:

      “Man, mandatory binding arbitration now nullifies my right to sue a company as part of a class-action lawsuit, even when they hid DRM in the product and it prevented the game from running as advertised, like Spore.”

    • Total Casual says:

      EA’s anti-used-games stance is just insane and they deserve to be punished. Why shouldn’t I be able to sell old games I don’t want anymore? It’s madness.

      • Burzmali says:

        I hate the anti-used games stance as much as anyone. However, it doesn’t compare to costing people thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to deal with an accidental foreclosure (BofA) or causing a court case that allows a right to be subverted by including a small blurb in a lengthy user agreement (AT&T).

        • BurtReynolds says:

          Agree. I can live without EA video games. Cell phone service is a bit tougher, and there are less options. ATT and BofA can significantly affect a person’s life. Besides the most die hard gamer who loves an EA title, EA cannot.

  5. Coffee says:

    Wow…it looks like a Cinderella team made it to the finals, but this is probably where the journey ends.

    • teke367 says:

      Its not too surprising, the story of a small underdog taking on insurmountable odds and coming out victorious* is the same storyline used in 80% of the games EA sells, they’ve been researching this for quote awhile.

      * – and by that underdog I’m referring to the guy who wins the Superbowl with the Detroit Lions in Madden.

  6. TuxthePenguin says:

    Like I said before, I almost want EA to win since it’d be the equivalent of a 16 seed winning the NCAA tournament…

  7. r-nice says:

    How did EA make it to the finals!?!

    • blogger X says:

      They got publicity from sites like Kotaku and Joystiq.

      • 2 Replies says:

        A good point that FacebookAppMaker ignores when he decides to be snide and immature to the OP.

    • FacebookAppMaker says:

      Sadly, the WCIA poll is not programmed to only go by what Lyrics To Go wants. It actually goes by what other people vote for. I know, I know, that’s really crazy, but web-based programming has yet to achieve the ability to interface wirelessly with your brain.

      Sorry that the technology is so primitive.

  8. Torchwood says:

    May the megaBank of America reign supreme!

  9. blogger X says:

    Dammit gamers! EA is terrible, but have they screwed up your bank account? Have they tried to foreclose on your home even though you paid it off? Have they sent you to collections over a credit card you’ve long paid off? No, no and NO!!!

    • SerenityDan says:

      Did they beat BoA? Uh no the vote is still going on. You can’t yell at someone for doing something they haven’t done yet…

    • FacebookAppMaker says:

      Okay dude. I want you to go take a nice relaxing bath. Stay in there until you are calm enough to realize this is a poll. People can vote the way they want, and getting pissy about a poll with no consequences is just asking for a heart attack in the future.

      TL;DR: Calm down man, it’s just the internet

    • dolemite says:

      Have they banned you from hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of games that you’ve paid for? Yes.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        OMFG…and that’s more important than someone being tossed out of their home?

        PERSPECTIVE, people.

        • BazinFS says:

          According to you, a bad company must be one that can make mistakes causing bad consequences. BOA is not good by any means, but your shortsightedness is missing the point of this competition. EA’s company sells games, they are much worse at it than BOA is at making account errors(and being incredibly resistant to changing the errors).

          • Maz says:

            This. Again, people are comparing apples and oranges. “It’s just a game company.” What if EA was a bank? What if it was a healthcare provider? An auto company?

            Would you trust EA as your bank? As your mortgage holder?

  10. Robofish says:

    Me thinks the gamers are trying to send a message to EA

    • RStormgull says:

      It’s a really simple one to understand, too. “We hate you. For everything you’ve done to the studios you’ve eaten. For the workers you overwork and rip off. For the way you’ve treated our beloved franchises. For the way you’ve charged us for things that should have been free.We come back because we have nowhere to go, and we hate you for that, too. But we think you can change. So we’re telling you how we feel.”

  11. HSVhockey says:

    Shenanigans.

  12. anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

    I really wanted to vote for EA due to problems I have had from the company dating back years. I had to ask myself though what is worse, buying up a competitor so that you could close down my favorite MMORPG, or ruining the economy and taking away peoples houses that you had no right to take? The answer is easy. BofA for the win this year. That being said, I will never forgive EA for shutting down Earth and Beyond so that Ultima Online will not have competition, and then not coming out with UO.

  13. macnbc says:

    It’s your year BOA!

    I’m going to love the people who’ve been voting for EA thus far to explain how ANYTHING EA does can possibly be worse than:
    *Foreclose on people’s houses because of missing paperwork
    *Attempt to foreclose on houses they don’t even own
    *Nearly took down the US economy, and nearly brought the global economy along for the ride.

    Very few companies can even come close to the systemic risk and absolute failure that a bank this size can produce.

    • BazinFS says:

      This competition is not about which Company’s errors can cause more of a pain for some people. It is the Worst Company in America. Ie a company that makes it their business to screw over consumers. In my opinion, the answer is clearly EA over BOA’s very bad errors. EA makes it their business to hurt their most loyal consumers via DRM or simply shutting down your account because of cracks from OTHER GAMES detected on your PC (when their DRM made it impossible to play without.) BOA is incompetent, EA is evil.

    • BazinFS says:

      This competition is not about which Company’s errors can cause more of a pain for some people. It is the Worst Company in America. Ie a company that makes it their business to screw over consumers. In my opinion, the answer is clearly EA over BOA’s very bad errors. EA makes it their business to hurt their most loyal consumers via DRM or simply shutting down your account because of cracks from OTHER GAMES detected on your PC (when their DRM made it impossible to play without.) BOA is incompetent, EA is evil.

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      EA is actively evil – they run their employees into the ground, treat customers like thieves, seek intellectual property not to be innovative but to lock out competitors, etc. The impact may not be as significant as the errors that BOA has made, but there is literally some high roller up in a tower laughing maniacally at how horribly they get away with treating customers.

      BOA is usually just severely incompetent. It’s not their modus operandi to treat customers like crap, it’s just a side effect of ineptitude.

  14. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    EA should have never made it out of the second round.

    I’m going to go start an internet petition against gamers spiking the polls. That’ll show ‘em!

  15. Cicadymn says:

    EA has got this one. They’ve got the power of thousands upon thousands of pissed off gamers behind them.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      In other words, stupid fools without any real perspective beyond their basements.

      • FacebookAppMaker says:

        Actually, when I game (Not often), I do so from my second floor apartment. Nice to know you view an entire group of people as basement dwellers.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        Yes. Why should rational people make decisions based on their own experience and observation?

        Everyone knows that rational people should instead make decisions based on the rumor mill and the Internet mob mentality.

      • Tacojelly says:

        Games are mainstream now. While it may have been mostly nerds in a basement in the ninety’s, we have all grown up, gotten jobs, paid taxes, vote, and become all around decent productive members of society.

        You can no longer say ill of gaming, because it is now a hobby or passion or at the very least passing interest to most people around the world.

      • Burzmali says:

        Are you stuck in the ’80s? More than half of the country plays games now. The idea that only basement dwellers are gamers is idiotic.

    • alexwade says:

      I’m one right here! I am still really REALLY angry that EA bought the rights to use NFL players’ names!

  16. blogger X says:

    I’m disappointed there wasn’t an April Fools WCIA entry this year. Umbrella Corporation v. Romerfeller Foundation would of rocked!!!

    • Cicadymn says:

      Unfortunately April fools fell on the weekend, so there’s simply no way they could possibly post it.

      I mean it’s the weekend.

      And that would be like…work…

      • FacebookAppMaker says:

        Of course. Because unlike all common blogging platforms, the consumerists blogging system doesn’t allow for future-dating posts so that they could make the post on friday, and have it appear on sunday.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      ooh that would be a good matchup, but i think Umbrella v. Roxxon would be more fitting, we’d see once and for all who is the more horrible zombie making corporate outfit.

  17. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    How is AT&T not on top?! They must have reverted back to the 3/5ths voting system.

  18. pokinsmot says:

    As much as I hate EA (and I really, really hate EA), it pains me that I had to vote for BoA on this one since they have wrongfully foreclosed on multiple families and contributed to the whole TARP thing. You have a choice when it comes to buying EA games (and their fucked up DRM), but as a tax payer I contributed to the bailout of BoA (against my will) which really irks me.

    • Fiona says:

      This is the first time someone has made a “have to deal with” comment that I do actually agree with. Just because you don’t have to deal with EA because you don’t like games (or whatever) doesn’t make them a worse company. You actually don’t have to have cable or a cell phone or even a bank account either. However, TARP /was/ forced on everyone by the greed of BofA. The banks (not just BofA to be fair) screwed up and messed things up not just for themselves and their customers, but for the rest of us too. It’s hard to argue with that logic.

  19. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    This poll is unfair. As a BoA customer who is not a gamer, I am not qualified to answer and am forced to abstain. By contrast, all gamers have at least heard of BoA in the news and have some basis for voting. Result: this poll is decided by gamers.

    • nishioka says:

      Confused. You can’t vote because you’re not a gamer, but all gamers can vote even though they are not all Bank of America customers? In what world does that make sense? Just vote and be done with it.

      • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

        The newspaper coverage of EA has been spotty at best.

        • BackInBlack says:

          That’s like saying you can’t vote in a Presidential election because you have read all about the guy and heard his speeches, but don’t know him personally…

  20. CubeRat says:

    We all know BofA’s issues, I don’t think there is anyone NOT aware of their issues; but we can’t let them take the spotlight from others who deserve this award.

    Don’t let EA hide behind the many and massive signs of BofA…..VOTE EA for WCIA!

  21. El_Fez says:

    Wow – how did EA get to the finals? Bad company? Sure – but the worst? Hardly. That said, I’ll be voting EA just to get the underdog a shot at the champ. It’s like Rocky versus Apollo Creed – except shitty.

    • BackInBlack says:

      If it’s like the Rocky franchise, then if EA happens to win, maybe BoA will coach and train them later to go up against Clubber Lang PayPal next year.

  22. vdestro says:

    I am voting based on scope and impact of their actions. BOA = near destruction of the global economy and people losing their homes and life savings. EA = published a bunch of video games you may not have liked.

  23. areaman says:

    To be fair Comcast did have it’s workers vote for EA. I’m not sure if EA made an effort to have their workers vote against themselves.

  24. cured says:

    Perhaps EA is in the final because voters believe the other behemoth companies just don’t care about this poll, whereas embarrassing EA may make them look at themselves in the mirror. Or perhaps they don’t like EA ruining one thing they feel is absolutely sacred: their entertainment. It’s what makes life bearable for some.

    I’m voting for EA not because I think they are the most evil company on the planet (Monsanto, anyone?) but because I hope they see the nerd rage and realize they’re on shaky ground with their customers.

    The reason I’m not voting for BofA is because I ditched them and found myself with a credit union, so there is an alternative for us. But EA owns the IP rights for my favorite games so I have no alternatives.

  25. Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

    I am voting EA.

    EA used to be a good company, back in the NES era, but they let corruption get to them. They are basically turning into the death star of gaming, much like ATT is the death star of cell phones.

    I have been a witness to EA’s rampage of the gaming industry. if they and activision get their way, games will be about profit, not about enjoyment.

    That should never happen. EA for the WCIA.

    • r-nice says:

      To be fair EA built a lot of goodwill with their push into new IP (Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space) a few years ago but financials didn’t turn out so well and they’re in this to make money after all.

      Also, Dead Space 2 was awesome.

      • Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

        true, mirror’s edge was a good game. Activision would’ve be a great company to put in WCIA as well, who basically singlehandedly killed the ryhthm genre with guitar hero, and their darth vader CEO, bobby kotick.

  26. ajaxd says:

    I am voting EA. BOFA bought Coutrywide which was one of the major players that caused the financial crisis. It was an extremely bad decision that nearly killed the company. They still have to deal with the fallout but the crisis was years ago. EA in the meantime is probably the worst company in the gaming field and its wrongdoing is ongoing.

  27. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    OK everybody. Let’s all vote EA because even tho Bank of America screwed millions of people and caused untold misery, your video games are much more important!

  28. Not Given says:

    My mind needs a cigarette.

  29. speaky2k says:

    NO, NO, NO, EA should not be here. If they win then it just proves the voting was rigged & skewed and I can’t trust anything on this site anymore (besides just the Phil articles). EA should never have won over Best Buy. It should have been Best Buy vs PayPal in the third place round and this should have been AT&T vs BoA.

    • FacebookAppMaker says:

      Yes, lets not trust an entire site, and it’s editors, based on what other people have voted.

      It’s like saying you don’t trust your TV because non-americans made it.

      Idiot

    • BackInBlack says:

      I think the Phil articles are trustworthy enough. They’re just irrelevant, trivial and useless.

    • dolemite says:

      I don’t do business with BofA, so I haven’t been screwed by them, therefore they shouldn’t be here. Or at least that is the logic many people are using for EA. “Well, I don’t buy video games, and I think they are silly, despite the fact the video game industry dwarfs Hollywood as far as money made per year.”

      • mingtae says:

        I don’t do busy with BoA and I will not because of the ways they have screwed with people. I buy EA video games and seeing the complaints against as no different then any other video game maker.

    • BigDragon says:

      EA rightfully dominated Best Buy. You can avoid Best Buy. They’re not running around buying up Newegg, Amazon, and other companies the way EA is doing. They don’t prevent TVs from being sold in other stores like EA does with their sports and car licenses. Best Buy has been doing harm to itself, not acquiring other companies and ideas only to ruin them or milk them to death.

      I think they should have lost to Comcast, and I think they should lose to BOA. However, don’t fault the readers of this website for wanting to send EA a message. They are a despicable company.

      You can’t make people vote for one company or the other. Tons of websites cover the daily activity on the WCIA ladder. Some deal with housing, some deal with entertainment, some deal with retail, and more. Frankly, I’m not surprised EA is lighting up the charts. This is their first year and people are really energized behind sending them a message. I doubt we’ll see the same enthusiasm next year.

  30. FacebookAppMaker says:

    I’m happy that EA made the finals, and hope it wins, just so I can hear the butthurt readers complain in the comments.

  31. dolemite says:

    This one is tough. BOA is more widespread and has caused millions (billions?) in damages. However, EA is simply the more anti-consumer of the two companies. The damage/fail they’ve caused is harder to estimate.

    • Eliamias says:

      This is how I feel exactly. EA seems to be more out and out evil. However, I voted BoA since 3 times a bridesmaid and all that. I’m thinking of it in a lifetime achievement sort of way.

  32. PsychoRaven says:

    God this is too tough a choice. Both deserve that golden poo. I really can’t choose. Can we give it to both?

  33. AndroidHumanoid says:

    I called it from the very beginning- Bank of America. They WILL win the Golden Poo.

  34. BigDragon says:

    I’m torn. BOA has done more damage to me as a taxpayer than EA has done to me when purchasing entertainment. BOA has ruined peoples’ lives, destroyed their credit, and overstepped their bounds without punishment. However, I have not had a negative experience with BOA. EA has put a lot of people out of work and has ruined the designs and creative ideas of many minds. I have had several negative experiences with EA and even more negative experiences with the results of their business practices.

    This is a tough one. I’m a homeowner and a programmer who gets into artistic design. I know how mad I’d get if BOA wormed its way into my life and started screwing up things. I know how horrified I’d be if EA took one of my bright ideas and ruined it. Decisions, decisions.

  35. cured says:

    I also find it difficult to vote for BofA because it’s a single entity representative of a major problem. If Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc, etc, were lumped in, the choice would be easy. BofA was not the only perp in the economic collapse and they are in danger of going out of business, anyway. Evil, yes, but also in very deep doodoo. That’s why they are trying to find fees to assess their customers, at least the poorer ones. They need money to cover their losses or else they go belly up.

  36. Zelgadis says:

    I voted EA.

    As said in the article comments, with BofA, you have a choice of other banks. With EA, in getting the sorts of games you want, you don’t have a choice.

  37. dragonfire81 says:

    If there is one company that’s worse than EA it’s BofA. Now I’m a gamer so I have a VERY healthy dislike for EA.

    Thing is though for all the stupid crap EA has done over the years, they did NOT have a hand in the financial meltdown that changed this nation forever.

    Add to that the usual BofA shenanigans with fees, foreclosing on houses they don’t own, etc and there’s no question who should win this.

  38. Schildkrote says:

    Bank of America, which is responsible for putting hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets homeless, against a video game company?

    Unbelievable.

  39. hotpocketdeath says:

    EA is my horse.

    I’m shocked people don’t understand why EA is here. They are the leading company in charge of ruining an entire industry. The CEO himself has made it clear his desire to nickle and dime his paying customers.

    • Schildkrote says:

      Yes, but, uh, they didn’t force people into homelessness?

      My God, they’re just video games. As if gamers didn’t already have a bad enough image.

      • hotpocketdeath says:

        You are a perfect example of someone who doesn’t understand the underlying issues with EA.

        It’s not just about games. It’s about the willingness of a company to nickle and dime their customers and give them a sub par product at full costs.

        The fact is, EA has pissed off a lot of people. While I do not agree with BofA business practices, they havn’t done anything negative against me because I don’t do any of my banking with them. And never will.

        • Schildkrote says:

          It absolutely is just about games. EA does what they do because they can get away with it. Games consumers refuse to stop paying for a luxury item even as the value of that item goes down relative to the price. You don’t see this happening in any other industry.

          To use your example: why do you continue to buy EA video games if you think they’re doing something negative against you? Why do games consumers continue to buy them in general, since insofar as I can tell EA is almost unanimously reviled in the video game community? If the company is that bad why do they continue to set sales records given that they sell non-necessary products?

          And this is saying nothing of the seeming ignorance of social awareness that’s suggested by your implication (and the implications in many others’ comments) that since Bank of America hasn’t hurt -you personally-, the immense harm they’ve inflicted on others is irrelevant in the face of a video game company’s upselling and anti-piracy plans.

          • dolemite says:

            I don’t. I haven’t bought EA or Ubisoft games since their practices have become so anti-consumer. I’ve skipped BF3, ME3 and a few other games that I would have bought in a second. Of course, they probably notice these lack of sales, but what do they care if they lose 1% of sales of customers boycotting them?

          • hotpocketdeath says:

            Schildkrote

            You still don’t understand. It’s not about the games, it’s about the business tactics of the company. It doesn’t matter what product they sale.

            Is it acceptable for an appliance manufacturer to buy off reviews so they can sell off more appliances? NO. Would it be acceptable for TV maker to sell you a TV, but you have to pay ten cents to use the volume up and down buttons, or retrict it so you can only tune into 25 channels and then charge you 25cents for addition channels? No. Is it acceptable to deny a person the use of their car because they modified it? No.

            This is the business tactics EA uses, or has admitted to wanting to use. And this is why EA belongs here.

            And these votes are all about the numbers. BofA might have done more damage, but for every 1 person BofA pissed off, there may be 10 people that EA has pissed off.

            You might look down on gamers. But there are a lot of them out there and they are not happy. If you don’t like it, deal with it.

            • Schildkrote says:

              “Is it acceptable for an appliance manufacturer to buy off reviews so they can sell off more appliances? NO.”

              And if appliance consumers found out that an appliance manufacturer was doing that, they’d probably stop buying that manufacturer’s appliances. Not the case with video game consumers, who know full well that gaming journalism and comment is payola but still consume it in vast amounts and continue to purchase games from publishers who engage in said payola.

              “Would it be acceptable for TV maker to sell you a TV, but you have to pay ten cents to use the volume up and down buttons, or retrict it so you can only tune into 25 channels and then charge you 25cents for addition channels? No.”

              TV consumers would probably recognize that this is a poor value and not purchase the additional channels, the volume controls or even the TV itself. Not the case with video game consumers, who helped make Mass Effect 3 one of the most successful DLC vehicles the industry has seen yet and in doing so tacitly approved of the practice.

              “Is it acceptable to deny a person the use of their car because they modified it? No.”

              First, this is a flawed analogy, since the legal concerns behind purchasing vehicles and purchasing video games are vastly different. You do not “own” a video game you purchase, per se. Second, if a car manufacturer did this, car enthusiasts would probably vote with their wallets and not purchase those vehicles. Not the case for video game consumers.

              “You might look down on gamers. But there are a lot of them out there and they are not happy.”

              I don’t ‘look down on gamers,’ I recognize obvious patterns when I see them. And if “gamers” aren’t happy, then they need to show it instead of continuing to be all talk as they have been since the dawn of their industry. All the outrage in the world is meaningless in the face of sales figures.

              “If you don’t like it, deal with it.”

              Funny, video game consumers seem to be pretty good at this.

  40. suez says:

    I can’t quibble–much–with the final bracket. Both contestants have battled to earn their spots at the “top.”

    But I still think Comcast should have made the Final Two.

  41. Bog says:

    Unlike BOA, EA just annoyed people, and is just entertainment; whereas BOA took a chunk out of the economy.

  42. 2 Replies says:

    EA beat out Comcast!?
    Shenanigans.

  43. xamarshahx says:

    really… EA???

  44. HogwartsProfessor says:

    BoA! BoA! BoA!

    Seriously. EA may be awful but it didn’t kill the economy. Also, I can’t get over that whole foreclosure-on-random-houses thing. Brr.

  45. no says:

    Do remember, WCIA is annual — so you should just based on the company’s last 12-13 months. I still think BOA has a SLIGHT edge over EA, but we are seeing fewer improper foreclosure/etc articles from them.

    I still think it should have been Paypal to the end, with all their active censorship and holding of money and breaking of violins and otherwise unilateral destruction.

  46. Neilmurp says:

    I think you have to consider that this is a contest for worst COMPANY in America. A lot of people are saying that mortgages are more important than video games (which they are, don’t get me wrong) but this is not about the product. This is about the COMPANY and what misgivings they have as a business.

    With that said, I hope EA is delivered an extra shiny golden poo for despoiling an industry that prides itself on innovation and creativity. They have ruined the example of a good game through piss poor management, impractical dealines, incomplete bug-ridden products and the complete lack of care for you once you give them the $60. So many good series that we grew up with (command & conquer for example) have been ruined through this company. Sticking to the example – C&C3, C&C4, RA3 and their expansion are all “supported” by ONE person. Got balance issues or bugs to report? This one person handles it. Oh, and he posts on twitter that he is watching episodes of 24 at work.

    Support for their games ends abruptly and almost unnanounced at the demands of you purchasing the next year’s iteration of the same reheated turd in a microwave if you want to see any kind of “addressing” of past bugs or balance issues.

    Being from Orlando and a gamer, I am friends with three folks who used to work at the Orlando EA headquarters. Each one of those three have horror stories of how they are over-worked while their employment dangles on a string in front of them. You know those quirky laptop commercials where they are in a meeting to decide wether or not to include a feature or to forego it to ship the product out early? EA is the polar opposite of that. My friend eventually lost his job as a result of trying to explain to his out-of-touch boss that if they want to ship a game out at the deadline, it will be more or less incomplete and ridden with bugs. The game was shipped out on deadline and he and others on his team eventually lost his job as a result of the game not meeting EA’s sales expectations. I guess his team working 70-hour workweeks towards the end went unnoticed.

    Oh, I’m sure we’re all aware of ME3 costing $700 to play all of the content as well. That’s just too easy to talk about and I don’t have a soap box big enough for that.

  47. PhiTauBill says:

    Bank of America will finally get their well-deserved Golden Poo. I like gaming as much as the next guy, but it’s hard to argue that the evil overlords at EA can approach the sheer ineptitude combined with bad intent emanating out of BOA.

  48. Razor512 says:

    While this final battle is between EA and bank of america, you must include comcast as an automatic winner due to their crappy service and bandwidth caps

  49. 2 Replies says:

    Brackets like this are always flawed.
    They shouldn’t be a progressive polling otherwise they’ll pull in haters and fans that skew the results (such as what happened here from the Kotaku & Joystiq readers that flooded the poll).
    Voters should be presented with ALL options at ALL levels and only have their votes count when they’ve weighed in for each.
    Unequal participation each level skews the results, there should only be one variable (candidates) not multiple (candidates and voting sample-set).

  50. Commissar Yarrrrrrr says:

    I do enjoy the anger from all the Non-gamers about this.
    “Its just a game company!”
    This company has ruined thousands of lives through hostile take overs, closures, mergers, and horrible business practices. EA is taking an entire industry down with it’s dishonest and consumer-screwing practices.

    As usual the tech-shunning older generation waves its fist at the whipper snappers on their front lawn.

    • longfeltwant says:

      It’s not that we are saying playing games is silly, it’s that we are saying playing games is PLAYING GAMES. Yeah, I like games too. If someone stole my Sudoku book or Settlers board I’d be put out to the extent that I would have to play some other game. But to judge that as worse than ruining international economies is, frankly, batshit insane. It’s a game. Games are fun, but if you take them too seriously then you need some perspective — in fact, a lot of perspective.

      • dolemite says:

        Now, what if Milton Bradley bought out every game maker in existence and decided all of their games should be mediocre while also jacking the price? Oh, and you have to call them up each time you wanted to play a game you bought, oh, and the price is now $40 instead of $20. Oh, and you are never allowed to sell your board game, or give it away. Oh, and if you badmouth them on their forums, they will come take all your board games out of your closet and you are banned from buying any more board games? Oh, and if you have any problem with them or their policies, you are not allowed to sue them, but are forced into arbitration with a company on EA’s bankroll. Oh, and they reserve the right to come into your house and look around to make sure you aren’t cheating at your board games or anything fishy is going on.

        Just because it’s “electronic” doesn’t mean the analogy doesn’t hold up.

        • Schildkrote says:

          And to think, all it would take for them to stop doing all this would be for consumers to stop paying them to do it.

          • dolemite says:

            Perhaps people that got burned by BofA should have banked at their credit union!

            • longfeltwant says:

              See, now this is what I was talking about with a lack of perspective.

              What would I do if my Sudoku book maker jacked up their prices? Then I’d switch to crosswords and be miffed at the Sudoku book company. But I would never, under any circumstances, compare my little games to the functioning of the international economy.

              • Maz says:

                This is where I enjoy the hilarious ignorance. The parent company would just fold the sudoku company, fire the chafe and then buy up your crosswords company. They would still hold onto their sudoku license though, just not allow any competitors to publish or use the license to make sudoku games.

                EA’s model is very much like the Microsoft of old. Buy up anything that’s got a lot of value, like BioWare which made Mass Effect, KOTOR and many other quality games. Ride that golden goose. Then think that you can somehow get the goose to lay eggs of purer gold. Then you release something like Dragon Age 2. People buy it because EA is the ‘blurb’ and BioWare is the brand their bandying about along with the IP. DA2 bombs, the company’s image is tarnished, but people bought the games (first day sales are important!).

                Eventually BioWare will turn out enough duds to permanently put distrust in the company and EA will fold that company and either recommit resources or fire people.

                And the cycle will repeat.

                • Schildkrote says:

                  Bank of America left people homeless.

                  You better believe those people aren’t so concerned with whatever DRM or DLC or what have you video game problems when they have to think about where their next meal is coming from.

    • Schildkrote says:

      “As usual the tech-shunning older generation waves its fist at the whipper snappers on their front lawn.”

      Just because someone doesn’t self-identify as a “gamer” doesn’t mean they’re part of the nonexistent “tech-shunning older generation.” It means they have a little perspective, something self-identified gamers have been shown to lack time and time again as they buy into one hilariously one-sided business practice after another.

      Really, that lack of perspective could be one of the reasons that EA is allowed to get away with their shitty anti-consumer practices – games consumers are completely incapable of voting with their wallets and will buy whatever they’re told to buy. There’s no two ways around it because it’s happened over and over and over again. That doesn’t make EA the Worst Company in America, it makes them lucky millionaires with an easily manipulated consumer base.

      • BackInBlack says:

        Ummmm…. if they were “tech-shunning” oldsters, would they be on this website voiting from a computer????

    • Schildkrote says:

      Actually, most EA games from their flagship IPs set new sales records upon release. Most recently, Mass Effect 3, a game met with one of the largest consumer outcrys that the video games industry has seen in awhile, was listed as 70% of X-Box games sold on the week of its release. That’s not “taking an entire industry down” by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Total Casual says:

        Good point. In the end the only way to stop EA is to stop buying from them. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a junky, and EA is the dealer.

  51. Thorzdad says:

    Not even close.

    BoA by a landslide.

  52. TrustAvidity says:

    I feel people are taking this thing way too seriously and that is why they’re confused as to why EA got so far. EA, in my opinion, got this far because people voted based on what relates more to them. I play games, I don’t bank at BofA so I’m voting for EA. It’s to have a golden poo and letter sent to them for crying out loud. If the winner got a complete executive makeover I’d vote for BofA for the better of society but they aren’t. They’re getting a prank gift telling them what people think of them. Because of that I’ll vote for who I want more to receive it and that’s to the one that’ll affect me most. People need to relax.

    my two cents

  53. cyberpenguin says:

    EA, you have arrived.

    You took lessons from Wal-Mart on Fair Labor Standards Act violations and used it to a tee against your artists and employers.

    You studied Rockefeller and Standard Oil and consolidation of markets and to abuse a monopoly position and executed with perfection.

    Then you studied Sony and how to secretly deploy DRM without the consumer knowing at point-of-purchase.

    And now you’re truly pushing the envelope with micro-transactions… innovating on your own… trying to take everything you’ve learned from the masters one step forward into new territory to capture the golden poo.

    You’ve arrived… and standing in front of you is a seasoned champion.

    Good luck. I know you’ve earned your spot here, but that is one tough opponent. But, you at least have my vote.

  54. Tacojelly says:

    I have been voting against EA since day one, but I’m voting against them today.

    BofA will keep doing what it’s doing and nothing will change that, EA came out of nowhere and if it wins this will be all over the gaming press. I believe EA can change in light of consumer outcry, especially if it’s met with a hit to their sales.

    • Schildkrote says:

      The thing is, “consumer outcry” doesn’t equal damage to sales in the games industry. There has never been a successful games boycott, for instance, and generally games journalists and publishing executives act like games consumers are impotent nerds who will buy whatever the industry feeds them. The recent fiasco over Mass Effect 3, for instance, is entirely meaningless in the face of the sales records that the game set.

      That particular industry is damaged due to a lack of restraint on the part of consumers just as much as bad practices on the part of publishers designed to take advantage of that lack of restraint.

    • Neilmurp says:

      Well put. The results of this contest will actually have an impact on the company. BofA couldn’t give two shits about the results of a contest on the internet. EA’s customer base is “always connected” (get it, Origin?) and will react a lot more different than BofA.

    • Neilmurp says:

      Well put. The results of this contest will actually have an impact on the company. BofA couldn’t give two shits about the results of a contest on the internet. EA’s customer base is “always connected” (get it, Origin?) and will react a lot more different than BofA.

  55. Squeezer99 says:

    I don’t buy EA games (they don’t make Grand Theft Auto IV-style games) and I like Bank of America because I’ll churn credit card sign-up offers with them.

  56. varro says:

    EA – Inconveniences gamers and is allegedly a hellish place to work.

    Bank of America – The largest player in torpedoing the world economy due to mortgage shenanigans.

    The choice is obvious.

  57. jiubreyn says:

    I am genuinely surprised to see that Comcast didn’t top the charts this year. I bet they’re ecstatic.

  58. FilthyHarry says:

    How could you compare to ripping off gamers and ruining video games to steering people into subprime loans they didn’t need and fraudulently kicking people out of their homes?

    • Schildkrote says:

      But…but you don’t get it! EA released a video game with an ending I didn’t like! They have to PAY!

      …Just like I already paid them $60 and will inevitably pay them another $30+ for bits of that game they cut out before release to resell! Gamers UNITE!

      • hotpocketdeath says:

        If that’s what you think is the core reason why people are voting for EA, then you are demonstrating ignorance.

        • Schildkrote says:

          Oh I’m absolutely sure it is. There is no doubt in my mind that gamer outrage over the company’s practices regarding that specific game led to the current situation. There might be other, ancilliary reasons that EA is getting votes, but had the ME3 thing not happened I seriously doubt we would have seen it in the finals.

          I don’t think this is “displaying ignorance,” I think this is simple pattern recognition. Video game consumers have regularly been shown to forget whatever wrongs a company has inflicted upon them in the face of the newest and latest piece of plastic or digital content they’re told they need to buy. It’s happened time and again – this time was just a perfect storm. If this wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t see the immense sales figures for both ME3 and its associated DLC – gamers would have been too jaded by EA’s practices to buy into their latest game. What we’ve seen, though, is that the gaming community tends to be very reactionary and vocal but also has a very, very short memory and a lack of purchasing willpower.

          There’s an image I’d normally link that shows a “Boycott Modern Warfare 2″ Steam group with 90% of the members ingame in Modern Warfare 2. It basically sums up the situation right there.

          • hotpocketdeath says:

            Again.

            You keep saying how much BofA is so much worse then EA, yet fail to acknowledge the true complaints people have stated.

            Simply put, if you think BofA was bad. Imagine how much worse they would be if they employed EA’s business tactics. That is what some of us are trying to point out.

            I’ll let you in on something. I’m not a gamer. I’ve purchased 2 game in the past 2 months and those games were relaxation games (Journey and Dear Esther). It’s been over a year since I purchased anything from EA. I’ve never played BF3 or ME3 at all. My decision is based on looking at the big picture between the two companies and comparing business practices.

            Sure, BofA took people’s homes, after those people failed to pay under conditions they agreed to. But EA is guilty of the same business practice. But EA has done the same thing. They took away people’s access to products the customer already paid for, for reasons as simple as not liking what that person had to say. Sure, money wise it’s does not compare to what BofA did, but the principle is the same.

            One thing I consider is the fact that if you don’t like BofA, you can go somewhere else since they are not the only company to offer that specific set of services. While it’s true you can refuse to buy EA products, you can not get the same service elsewhere. If EA puts out a product you want, you can’t get it anywhere else. And the difference is that EA knows this and is willing to abuse this fact.

            I will say this to you again, and I hope it sinks in this time. It is not about the games, it is about the business practices EA employs. And if you can not acknowledge this, then you have no place to comment against others here.

  59. ldillon says:

    Sounds like some gaming site heard about the contest and stacked the deck for EA. The possible good outcome of EA winning is that they might actually listen and modify their behavior. Whereas BoA cares less than Honey Badger, who we all know Doesn’t Give a SH*T.

  60. Kishi says:

    Video games. Versus a bank. I think the choice is obvious here.

    But this is the internet, and the obvious choice is never obvious, so I think Bank of America deserves to win/lose/get your vote here.

  61. Greyhound says:

    EA ALL THE WAY

  62. SteveHolt says:

    EA is bad, but entirely avoidable. Its not always so easy to get away with not using Paypal if you like to shop online, especially for handmade products like on Etsy.com. Actually, Etsy should really be in this tournament! But I digress. Sallie Mae, USPS and other companies really deserve a shot at the title.

  63. oldwiz65 says:

    Could there be any doubt? BofA wrecks far more lives than EA could ever hope to. They do nothing to improve things either; they pay enough to Congress to leave them alone.

  64. SwaggeringCuban says:

    No contest.

    The champion has been obvious since the start of the tournament.

  65. dangermike says:

    Interesting match up. Should we vote for the architects of the downfall of the largest and most influential economy and currency, a company so vile that it puts profits above the sanctity of the american family and household, or should we vote for some stupid bank?

    (on a serious note, I’m sure there’s an interesting article to be written on the question of why we might resent more the company that has been trying to profit more heavily on our tendency to seek entertainment that feeds our desires to escape our current conditions than we would a company who helped and continues to perpetuate those same conditions. “A grievance most poignant…”)

  66. GoJints says:

    No contest – BoA

  67. CornwallBlank says:

    Alright, I’ll bite: where’s the voting link? (I’ve already learned from previous rounds that I need to enable javascript from polldaddy.com, so yes, I’ve done that…but what’s worked for every previous matchup isn’t working for this one, or for the consolation round. Firefox 11, Linux, NoScript, FYI.)

    • RiverStyX says:

      “Allow all this page” in noscript. Do that once or twice, worked for me under the same setup.

  68. Collaborator says:

    EA is everything that is wrong with video games. When I trace back the last 20 years in gaming, all the fond memories I’ve had, especially with PC games, have been effectively terminated by EA acquiring AMAZING developers and then destroying them. Westwood Studios in particular was a devastating move. Many genres of gaming today are either unserved or underserved solely because EA has put all the developers in those genres out of business. All the creativity in the video gaming world today comes from overseas, American gaming is a mindless repetitive endeavor, we’re no longer the leaders, and while there’s plenty of blame to go around, most of it is on EA.

  69. RiverStyX says:

    Bank Of America. I can just pirate EA games and feel no remorse.

  70. krom says:

    EA beat Comcast AND AT&T? Bullshit. For starters, either one of them alone affect more people negatively than EA can ever hope to. Comcast and AT&T are utility companies, providing services that most people need or want. EA only affects console sports gamers. I bet you there’s more people who still use a VCR than people who play EA games. (No, the fifty personal friends of yours who all game do not comprise a representative sample of society.)

  71. Lefturn says:

    Voting for EA. They are responsible for propagating the worst, most anti-consumer trends in the video game industry right now. They have succeeded in sucking all of the fun out of video games and turning it into a race to see who can extort the most money out of their customers.

    Newsflash: when you make your customers pay for a full game and give them half, make them pay for on-disc content, make them use intrusive DRM, and require “online passes,” it’s an insult to them. Your customers are not stupid, and we will not stand for this. Many are already boycotting EA, and as long as these schemes continue more are sure to follow.

    Nothing would make me happier than seeing that golden poo awarded to the most anti-consumer company in America.

  72. xjeyne says:

    I don’t get the EA hate. They’re way better now than where they were 5-10 years ago. If you’re going to go after a game publisher/developer, Activision-Blizzard is way worse than EA.

    • BigDragon says:

      What exactly makes them way better than they were 5-10 years ago? Is it the fact that they bought up a bunch of new IP and studios? That’s what it seems to be normally. Have you seen what they’ve been doing with those franchises and studios? It’s not looking good. I keep reading about how talent leaves companies like Bioware and starts their own companies.

  73. MurderGirl says:

    We don’t call it Bank of Evil for no reason, people.

  74. do-it-myself says:

    EA can’t fuck you out of your home. ‘Nuff said.

  75. Professor59 says:

    Following the #occupy year, only BofA can win. They are the epitome of the 1%.

  76. Professor59 says:

    Of course EA can stand up to BofA in the finals. I mean EA customers might still have their homes and their computers. BofA customers are living in cardboard boxes and keep getting kicked out of the libraries when they try and use the public computers to vote!

  77. I Love Christmas says:

    I can’t torrent bank accounts to avoid the fees. BoA wins!

  78. Trerro says:

    EA does make sense over AT&T. While AT&T unquestionably has far worse customer service, look at the damage each of them has caused to their respective industries.

    EA nearly single-handedly destroyed the US gaming industry, while damaging the whole world’s. They have destroyed literally dozens of companies just to bury them, have pushed the Hollywoodizing of games so nearly all high end ones suck (and if it weren’t for the internet opening alternate avenues, would have made starting a new company nigh impossible), and are the main reason consumer-toxic DRM has become the norm amongst the big publishers, and have ended the careers of countless famous designers and developers. If it weren’t for the fact that gaming is a creative industry with huge numbers of entry points for the new developer, they would have destroyed an industry, a great source of entertainment, and an art form, all for the sake of their own self-destructive greed.

    AT&T? Sure, their customer service is absolutely abysmal, and they’re part of the reason for the US’ ridiculous cell phone prices (compare to pretty much anywhere in Europe), but neither of those even begins to damage the phone industry in the way that EA has damage the gaming one. The only thing that even *begins* to compare to EA’s destructiveness is their support of warantless wiretapping, but I sadly don’t recall any phone company actually taking a stand against that, so AT&T simply has the largest share of fault on that.

    Don’t get me wrong – AT&T is a terrible company, and they deserve the very high ranking they got in this contest, but EA really is worse.