Two time winner of the Consumerist‘s contest for Worst Company in America.
Held responsible for the downturn, and death, of a number of companies they purchased. It is believed that EA exploits the intellectual property of these companies until they are no longer profitable, then closes them.
Believed to released unfinished games, only to sell the missing parts to the consumer in the form of DLCs.
These are just some examples of how EA is perceived among the gamer community. Unfortunately for EA, their dismissive response to the Consumerist’s contest was not what the gamer community would have wanted. Rather than using it as a springboard to fixing mistakes, they did a collective eyeroll and blame whiny gamers. It was a missed opportunity, one that hinted at a hostile relationship between the gamer community and video game companies like EA.
So while it would be easy to leave it there, it would be wise to take a step back to see if EA has done anything to improve on customer relations. Surprisingly, they have.
EA began what they call “The Origin Great Game Guarantee.” If you want details, the link is right there. But simply put, you have 24 hours from starting to play the game to get a refund if you don’t like the game. This move appears to be almost entirely consumer-centric. EA is putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak. While the program is too new to say if it would be easy to get the refund, this move is a step in the right direction for the company. The customer has far more power to vote with their wallet. If there’s something about the game they do not like, they can return the game.
EA also is participating in Humble Bundle, offering several hit games for charity. It’s very admirable that EA is placing charity in the forefront like this. While it is possible to be bitter about this move and claim they are doing this only for positive publicity, it misses the point of what charities are all about. Regardless of motives, charities exist to help others. What EA is doing is raising money to help others. Plus, gamers have a chance to purchase very decent games published by EA for very little.
Time will tell if EA is serious about improving on their customer relations or if they will continue along the same path they have been for close to a decade. In the meantime, their latest two moves are beneficial to gamers. Can’t go wrong with that.