We haven’t even begun to ask for nominations from readers for the next Worst Company In America tournament, but some are already making the case for once again giving the Golden Poo trophy to reigning two-time WCIA winner Electronic Arts.
In an article published over the weekend, the Motley Fool’s Kevin Noonan makes the argument that even while EA’s growth in recent years has been positive, the way the company treats its customer base may be dooming the video game publisher to another season the WCIA finals.
“With regard to quality control, it would be disingenuous to describe EA’s software output in 2013 in terms more flattering than ‘dismal,’” writes Noonan, citing the monstrous gaffe that was SimCity, a game that required the user to be online, but for which the company provided utterly inadequate server support, leaving many people unable to play.
And in spite of EA’s promise for better products and improved support, the company is currently still being publicly thrashed for the broken release of Battlefield 4, a game that was released with known disastrous glitches that have taken weeks to be resolved, and which has resulted in a lawsuit against the company.
But, points out Noonan, for all the griping about EA and its broken games and horrendous service, a large number of consumers are still willing to plunk down their money for EA products.
“[T]he market has yet to rebuke EA’s tendency to release incomplete games,” he writes, saying that from a business standpoint it was probably the right move for EA to unleash a cracked product to the market rather than wait to fix Battlefield 4 and miss the holiday shopping season.
Only a short time before the Battlefield boner, new EA CEO Andrew Wilson said his company’s two consecutive WCIA wins were a “wake-up call,” and promised to focus on providing the customer with a better gaming experience.
But perhaps what he really should have said was that the company’s decision to ignore those Golden Poos and continue releasing shoddy product should be a wake-up call to consumers, who should vote with their wallets and choose to not buy EA video games until the company learns to respect its customer base.