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Electronic Arts Wants a Better Reputation

EA's CEO Andrew Wilson said he does not want EA being viewed as the worst company in America any more, but his ideas to improve that image are still all business-speak.

For the past two years in a row, Electronic Arts has won the Golden Poo award.  For those unaware, this award is given every year to the company people vote for on the Consumerist.  The award is prestigious in all the worst ways, as the votes are for the worst company rather than the best.  EA blamed its most recent win on homophobes, but seemed to take no actual responsibility for the business decisions that led to so many people hating them as a company.

The company has gotten a new CEO in the time since then, one Andrew Wilson, and he has stated to Kotaku that he wants to rebuild Electronic Arts's reputation.  A few of the things he says are hopeful, such as pointing out how annual sequels are a problem.  It never takes long to find multiple people ready to condemn the very idea of such blatant franchise milking, but such should be an obvious issue by now.

Wilson also emphasizes how he wants to improve the company's relationship with gamers over the long term.

Any time we create something, if you’re asking for an investment from the consumer in dollars and time, make sure they feel like they’re stealing from you and that they are getting the best end of that deal and the rest will follow. And that will be our philosophy...

On the one hand, the cynical gamer in me is leery of the obvious business language used in this statement.  There is no discussion about actually making quality games, or appealing to any particular audience, or even listening to most feedback.  Wilson simply says his aim is to make people feel as if they are getting much more than their money's worth out of Electronic Arts products.  This statement could apply to literally any product in any industry, and that vagueness sets off a few warning bells in my head.

Nevertheless, it is still the most positive thing I can recall having heard a representative from EA say in ages, so I will watch the company closely in the near future.  I am still not rushing to install Origin, but I may actually give serious consideration to buying a game that will require it if the ideas Wilson has put forth bear fruit.

Published Nov. 5th 2013
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