No, the First Amendment does not give one of the world’s largest video game publishers the right to make money off the likeness of professional athletes without their permission or compensating them. Or at least the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t want to hear anyone argue that it does. [More]
Got A Burning Need To Stream Old Video Games Though Your Cable Box? Comcast And EA Have A Service For You
It’s E3 time: the annual video game conference — still, barely nominally, a trade show — is taking place this week in Los Angeles, drawing developers, publishers, and media from around the world to gawk at titles large and small. From Facebook games to Fallout, everything is on display… including the long history of the contentious, adversarial relationship between the companies that make the games and the consumers who play them. [More]
It isn’t just former college football players upset with video-game maker Electronic Arts for using their likenesses in games without getting paid for it: A federal appeals court judge has just given another lawsuit against EA the go-ahead, this one brought by former NFL players who are ticked off that EA used their avatars in the Madden NFL series without proper compensation.
Video game company EA got left in the dust on the road to this year’s not-so-coveted golden poo. In previous years, though, Consumerist readers decided they were the worst company in America not just once, but twice. Since then, new leadership has vowed to turn the company around. And one step in that process seems to be pressing pause on an old, not-very-effective strategy of buying every other studio under the sun.
You wouldn’t go to Spring Training and expect to pay regular season prices to see a sluggish baseball team play a half-assed game. If you go to a preview of a new musical — where they might not be in full costume or have to stop and start a song halfway through — you don’t pay the same as someone going to the theater after opening night. And there’s a reason why the “dinged and discounted” section of the furniture store isn’t asking for the full sticker price. But when it comes to video games, consumers are increasingly paying a premium to be de facto beta testers for unfinished and broken games that aren’t ready for the market. [More]
In 2013, video game giant Electronic Arts became the first business to be named Worst Company In America twice by Consumerist readers (a feat that has since been matched by Comcast). EA made the brackets again this year, but narrowly lost out to Time Warner Cable in the early rounds. And if relatively new EA CEO Andrew Wilson had his way, his company would never be up for WCIA consideration again. [More]
For a decade, fans of EA’s wildly popular Madden NFL video games have been able to try the game out for a couple of weeks before its release via demo versions made available on Xbox and Playstation consoles. But in an apparent effort to get people to sign up for its new $5/month EA Access service — currently only available on Xbox One — the video game publisher (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) doing away with the publicly available demo and instead dangling the carrot of being able to play the game fives days early through Access. [More]
Disc-based video games aren’t doomed yet; there are many years left to go before their seemingly-inevitable demise finally comes. One big game publisher, though, is clearly already scrounging for the nails they eventually hope to put into the lid of that particular coffin. EA this week announced a new online subscription service giving players unlimited access to a whole “vault” of games for as long as they keep paying the monthly fee. Is it a great idea for consumers or a blatant cash-grab from EA? In reality, probably a little bit of both.
NCAA Settles With Student Athletes For A Decade Of Using Their Likenesses In Video Games Without Permission
Just last week, video game giant (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) EA agreed to settle a lawsuit with student-athletes whose likenesses it had used in NCAA sports video games without their permission. Today, lawyers representing the students announced that they’ve also reached a settlement agreement with the NCAA. Between the two cases, students who were eligibly for up to $951 each in compensation are now eligible for… roughly $1000 in compensation.
The majority of video games in the U.S. are purchased and played by adults. The largest titles make money that Hollywood films could only dream of raking in, and the biggest players in the industry run multibillion-dollar multinational operations that employ thousands of people. Yet many consumers still think of gaming as a kid’s thing that doesn’t merit serious consideration or scrutiny. In an age where our culture recognizes previously sniffed-about industries like professional sports as much more than child’s play, it’s time to get over that same hump about video games. [More]
What are you worth? Or rather, how much would you want to be paid to have your likeness used in a wildly popular and profitable sports video game? According to video game giant (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) Electronic Arts, the price tag for a college athlete’s face is just shy of one thousand bucks. [More]
Comcast’s been irking a large segment of the internet again this week. This time, though, it doesn’t have anything to do with their pro-merger mania, their stance on net neutrality, or the problems with their actual service. The latest kerfuffle is all about a thirty-second commercial — one that doesn’t even seem to get the basics of its own technology right.
Video game giant Electronic Arts stepped into the Worst Company In America nonagon of unpleasantness this morning crowned with two Golden Poos and with the confidence that the tournament’s only two-time winner deserves. But in the end, it wasn’t EA that was carried out of the arena in victory — it was Time Warner Cable. [More]
From the Mass Effect 3 debacle to last year’s disastrous SimCity launch, things always seem to go badly for video game goliath Electronic Arts around the time of our Worst Company In America contest; perhaps that’s why EA is the two-time reigning champ. The latest gaffe involves a hacked EA web server that appears to have been used by scammers in an attempt to steal folks’ Apple ID credentials. [More]
Part of the reason that video game goliath Electronic Arts won its second Worst Company In America title in 2013 was its disastrous launch of the highly awaited new SimCity game, a title that forced users to be online in order to play (but for which the company failed to provide enough server support, meaning no one could play because everyone was trying to play). Now, a full year and another WCIA nomination later, EA is finally letting users play the game without going online. [More]
After going through all of your nominations, then having y’all rank the contenders and eliminate the chaff from the wheat, we’re proud to present the first round match-ups for this year’s Worst Company in America tournament! [More]
After sorting through a mountain of nomination e-mails, we’ve whittled down the field of competitors for this year’s Worst Company In America tournament to 40 bad businesses. Here’s your chance to have your say on how these players will square off in the bracket, and which bubble teams will get left out in the cold. [More]