For two years in row, Consumerist voters have awarded video game publisher Electronic Arts the title of Worst Company In America. Unlike other WCIA champs, EA has publicly responded to news of its wins, but often in a dismissive tone that only made things worse. But new CEO Andrew Wilson is now claiming that the company is listening to angry customers.
Wilson, who took over after much-hated longtime EA leader John Riccitiello stepped down in the middle of last year’s Worst Company tournament, recently sat down with Polygon.com editor Brian Crecente to answer reader-submitted questions, the second of which dealt with EA’s two-time victory in the WCIA Battledome of Blood.
“I think it was a wake-up call,” admitted Wilson, getting in a not-so-subtle dig at Consumerist by adding, “Whether you respect the source or not.”
“It was something we spent a lot of time and energy over and continue to spend a lot and energy over, and for us it was less about ‘How do we not get voted the Worst Company again?’ but more about, ‘Okay, are there things that we could do differently or things that we have done that have been misinterpreted that would cause people to feel that way?’
“And again, what we’ve done is said, ‘What is our role?’ Our role is to build great games and services. Is there anything that we’re doing that is an impediment to that or an inhibitor of that?… What we’ve been doing over time is we’ve been working to either update those things or eliminate those things and really get back to our focus on game because at the end of the day, if we’re making great games and services, we won’t get voted Worst Company In America again.”
While Wilson’s answer can be viewed as too vague, this is certainly a huge improvement over previous statements made by EA execs about being named Worst Company. During the last tournament, EA COO Peter Moore posted a non-apology that blamed the inclusion of EA on homophobes and people who were upset about because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL.”
There are 4-5 months to go before we even open up the floodgates to WCIA nominations, so EA will have plenty of time to show that it’s not worthy of being considered for a Golden Poo trophy.