P.T. Barnum once said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Well, we’re kind of curious how the showman would handle this bit of news. Electronic Arts have made USA Today’s “America’s Top 20 Most-Hated Companies list, clocking in at #5. Surprisingly they’ve beaten out long-hated companies like Comcast, Wells Fargo, and even Facebook in this year’s list, but still aren’t viewed as poorly as FOX News, the NFL, or Equifax. There’s little doubt the company got on this list to begin with after botching Star Wars: Battlefront II‘s microtransaction system to massive ridicule, angering millions of Star Wars fans in the process. Below is the entry from the article, which you can read in full here. It’ll be interesting to see what the company does to get off the list in time for 2019’s writeup.
Electronic Arts, or EA, has been making highly successful video games for decades. EA has produced dozens of wildly successful franchises, including “The Sims,” “Battlefield,” and “Need for Speed,” and the annually-sold, fervently-purchased sports titles, Madden and FIFA. While it has helped shape the face of gaming, EA has also unfortunately earned a reputation as the industry’s evil empire. There are many examples of EA buying up smaller studios or operations for a specific game and then either stripping the game of its originality or running the studio into the ground.
The company added to its infamy recently during the early release days of the latest installment of another of its big franchises, “Star Wars Battlefront II.” EA released an early access version of the game, and immediately drew widespread ire from gamers, who discovered that unlocking some of the more popular characters required over 40 hours of gameplay or spending hundreds on in-game purchases. The public outcry surrounding the perceived greed led the studio to temporarily suspend in-game purchases.