This article is related to Electronic Arts, and not The Sims/SPORE/SimCity.
Why do people hate EA? When I say ‘people,’ I mean ‘some people,’ some of the time — a minority. And when I say ‘hate’ I mean mostly the writing of mean things on the internet.
This brand, this company, this group of people, creates some of the best and biggest games in the world with an average Metacritic rating that’s high and rising. It is profitable, but not outrageously so, and is under-valued by the stock market. So how has it managed to create enough ill-will to be voted the worst company in America? And even if it wasnt, even if we put that down to a temporary ‘Mass Effect ending‘ negative blip that everyone has already forgotten about, there’s no doubt that ‘EA Hate’ is a thing.
I wanted to talk about this with Peter Moore, EA’s COO and he was big enough to tackle the uncomfortable question head on. It’s obvious that the whole issue bugs the hell out of him, and other people who work at EA and who care about EA as an entity. “It’s painful when you read that commentary. The vitriol is hard on the teams. They read this stuff, their neighbors ask them about it. You probably saw the video, EA in a Nutshell. It portrays us as a money-grubbing monolith, gouging. And you just want to say… really…we are The Man? Unfortunately, I’ve always learned that the tallest trees catch the most wind.”
Of course, there’s no doubt that EA does silly things and makes dumb mistakes, as do all large companies. The point of this question isn’t really to exonerate EA for every foolish or greedy thing it’s ever done, but to investigate the depth of emotion that the company attracts — to try to understand why.