Popular blog The Consumerist recently asked readers to name the worst companies in America. On the list of nominees: banks Citibank, and Bank of America; retailers GameStop, Best Buy, Kmart, Wal-Mart, and Target; service providers Ticketmaster, PayPal, the US Postal Service and UPS; and a whole bunch of other big firms, including Comcast, DirecTV, and Spirit Airlines.
But it was video game company Electronic Arts (EA) that took the crown. Runner up: Bank of America.
So, what’s the problem with EA?
Experts are pointing to the hugely disappointing ending to the hugely anticipated Mass Effect 3, which rounded out one of the most critically-acclaimed sci-fi video game series in recent memory.
However, it’s hard to finger that single problem as reason for the ‘award’: after all, ME3 scores excellent reviews from most game publications, and most gamers have said they thoroughly enjoyed the experience up until its final section.
Instead, it seems EA’s business practices are the real issue. With Mass Effect 3’s ending proving so unpopular, it appears the company is planning to release an alternative conclusion this summer. The problem with that? Greedy EA will be asking gamers to pay cash to get the better ending.
It’s kind of like getting a terrible meal at a restaurant and being offered an expensive dessert instead of a refund.
Also a real downer for gamers: EA buying up the National Football League license, preventing other game companies from producing a rival to the firm’s Madden series. The Madden games haven’t exactly wowed in recent years, likely because there’s no incentive for EA to introduce exciting new features to what is becoming a stale formula.
Wal-Mart and AT&T rounded out the final four. According to The Consumerist, EA beat out Bank of America by a score of 64 to 36 in the ‘national championship’.