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An Open Letter to EA
It’s another year, and yet again, we find you guys at the bottom of the crap list when you’re at risk of being voted “Worst Company in America” on the Consumerist’s web poll for the second year in a row.
Now, this web poll is nothing more than that; a web poll. It doesn’t mean that your company is going to take a huge hit thanks to a bunch of disgruntled people who have some sort of gripe with your company and its actions or positions. In fact, much of this poll is garbage, because there are many who are attempting to sway votes due to things like your stance on LGBT integration in games and in your staff and even the choice of the athlete you use on the cover of Madden. It’s ridiculous, really.
But for all this poll’s irrelevancy, there’s still something to be said of people’s opinion of you as of late. And if it’s anything, it merely supports the idea that you guys are not necessarily everyone’s favorite game publisher right now.
Your COO Peter Moore came out and wrote an amazing blog post about this, citing that the company “can do better”, and acknowledging some of the missteps Electronic Arts has taken over the years. This piece was not only enlightening; it was inspiring.
Truth is, while some of your actions as of late haven’t been the most attractive to me, I’ve been a fan of your business and the games you publish for many years. Some of my greatest gaming memories have come about from your products, including everything from Mass Effect to Battlefield: Bad Company. Point is, I like what you’ve done, and it pains me to see some of the mistakes that have occurred within the past year or so.
But with the exit of John Riccitiello, the good people at EA find themselves in an interesting position that not only allows the company to reverse some of the bad karma they’ve accumulated, but even begin to forge a great presence in the industry heading forward. Now, this is not to say that Riccitiello was some sort of wicked witch; rather, I’m suggesting that the change allows your company to mix things up and start over with a clean slate.
Basically, all I’m asking is this; listen to the gamers. Listen to what we say and what we want from your products, and acknowledge us for being your supporters and consumer base. Don’t nickle and dime us with cheap microtransactions. Don’t tack on multiplayer modes where they don’t belong in an effort to make more money. Don’t withhold all of your games from Steam in an effort to draw us all over to Origin when you could follow Ubisoft’s model and release your library on both your service and Valve’s.
I understand that times are changing, and it’s necessary to try different models moving forward in an effort to evolve with the times. I not only get that, I applaud it and the fact that you’re doing it in an effort to improve.
So, with this new slate, I’m asking that you take a step back and look at what made your company great to begin with. Go back to your roots, and try to find ways that not only respect your consumers, but allow you to grow and improve. If we can do this, I think there’s a good chance you’ll find your way back into good graces again.
Or, you know, at least not end up in the semi finals on this weird web poll next year.