Before Zynga was everybody's favorite company to hate, there was EA. Paul Tassi reminds us today in Forbes that this company is still the most evil of the evil empires for the game industry:
I believe EA is a destructive force in the industry as their goal isn’t the make gaming more accessible and respected as a medium. How can you argue that video games are art, when pieces of the story are cleaved out to be sold separately? This is why the titans of the gaming industry like EA are passionately hated, while movie studios and TV networks don’t draw nearly as much ire. 3D price gouging seems downright generous when compared to the tricks companies like EA are using to wring more money out of consumers.
But the players are the only ones who can truly stop EA. If you think they’re going to read The Consumerist today and have a sudden change of heart, you’re kidding yourselves. The practices you hate will remain in place until it’s proven they no longer work.
If you want to topple EA, don’t vote in a poll. Vote with your wallet.
Gamers and game critics tend to speak in hyperbole, but even this seems just a tad extreme, don't you think? "Worst company" rankings should deal with labor problems rather than disaffected consumer ethics and wants of "artistic integrity." But what I'm more suspicious about is the sort of narrative these diatribes against the big business of making games constructs. Last year Mojang and Bethesda were positioned in an arbitrary David and Goliath story because of an uncomfortable IP dispute that was dramatized by angry gamers and over-opininionated bloggers (see Kotaku's excellent coverage of the issue by Russ Pitts). Jumping too quickly to talking points distracts from the real problems consumers face in the game industry.
It's fun to hate on the fat cats. But that can only go so far. As gamers, critics, and fans, we need to be careful of the stories we tell ourselves.