PopCap – Now the Worst Company in America
The voters have spoken over at consumerist.com. Loud and clear they told me: We sold PopCap to the worst company in America (2012 edition). Wow. Of all the companies we could have sold our souls to, we picked the deplorable, evil, Electronic Arts. The company that has the gall to release a new football game every-single-year! The company that had the audacity to create a game which inspires anger with the ending! A corporation in America that has made hard business decisions and had to close studios! The company which has bought studios that didn’t work out! EA! You tricked me! You promised perfection and now I see the truth! YOU EVEN SELL DIGITAL GOODS! DIGITAL GOODS!!!!!!!
Every week I would check out Consumerist’s NCAA style bracket of evil companies and every week we won. We beat Sony, Best Buy, Comcast, AT&T and Bank of America to reign supreme as worst company. Why did EA win over other companies? Here are my thoughts:
- The business of games is hard – Unlike movies the technology of games is constantly changing. Production values rise, new platforms come and go, sports games get outdated within days of shipping, acquisitions fail because of the acquirers, acquisitions fail because of the acquired, marketing costs are huge, customers are fickle, it’s tough
- The art of games is harder – Come on. Make some fun games. Go ahead. Heck, just make one. Make a game that you have to update every year or customers complain. Make a game that has thousands of hours of dialog and story telling. Make a game that requires empathy. Make a game that excites, engages, and inspires. Now do it again. And again. For 30 years. In every genre. On every platform. I double dog dare you
- Everyone makes mistakes – Yup. EA does not have a perfect past. It’s made HR mistakes. It’s made huge game design screw ups. It’s messed up studios, marketing campaigns and beloved franchises (sometimes all at once). It will do so again. There is no perfect company, and I won’t promise perfection from PopCap
It was a bit frustrating to read EA winning, but when I look at the list of companies, I only see one or two others that actually inspire any emotion or passion. Apple. Google maybe. I may rant or complain about DirectTV’s atrocious customer service, Comcast’s flakey connection speeds, Bank of America’s ATM fees, or ticketmaster charges, but do I really care? Naw. No matter how angry I’ve been at them, I ultimately don’t care.
But man… you miss my expectations on the ending of an epic three game space opera that I’ve spent hundreds of hours enjoying – go f yourself EA!