Peter Moore of EA: “We Can Do Better”

I’ve always liked Peter Moore. He has this certain charisma about him, even when he’s showing off tattooed logos of games he’s working on, that makes you want to sit down and have a beer with him. So when the man himself decides to address Electronic Arts’ place in the vox populi, it’s generally worth listening to him.

And listen I did, as he rattled off a list of perceived issues with EA’s position as “Worst Company in America”  last week on EA’s official site. Here’s a snip:

Are we really the “Worst Company in America?”  I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity.  We owe gamers better performance than this.

Some of these complaints are 100 percent legitimate – like all large companies we are not perfect. But others just don’t hold water:

  • Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme.  It’s not.  People still want to argue about it.  We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.
  • Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam.  45 million registered users are proving that wrong.
  • Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming.  Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games.
  • We’ve seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really…
  • In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games.  This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America.

That last one is particularly telling.  If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on.  Because we’re not caving on that.

It’s true that a lot of the complaints against EA are valid, but there are equally as many outrageous quibbles that the public has with EA that just aren’t valid. “The tallest tree catches the most wind” may sound like a brag, but the man has a point. I do take issue with putting a spotlight on the outrageous demands people have to take heat off of the real complaints, but admitting that you’ve done wrong by your customers is still a big step forward.

Having worked for EA myself, I can tell you that there are a great many things wrong with the company. However, not everyone who works for EA is some sort of evil space villain, and you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water every time. The company has the potential to do some good, especially with an upcoming change in leadership. Let’s wait and see what the tallest tree does after a bit of trimming and pruning.


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