There has been a lot of news this week in the gaming industry over what has to be considered a major f**k up from Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore. In case you’ve missed it EA won the Consumerist’s Worst Company in America Award (again) for putting out half finished games at $60 price points, gouging players with microtransactions, and insisting that SimCity be always online, doesn’t need to work and won’t be refunded. But side stepping actually owning up to any of it Moore blamed us, the gamer community, saying EA got the award because of a bunch of bigots and whining fanboys who wanted a different Madden cover. The Consumerist wrote about how absurd Moore’s defense was, suggesting that, “just because people are allowing you to nickel-and-dime them it doesn’t mean you should be doing it.”
Just about everyone has jumped on the we-hate-EA bandwagon. Another one of my favorites is from the Penny Arcade Report’s senior editor Ben Kuchera who wrote, “we hate them because they destroy companies we love. We hate them because they release poor games. We hate them because they claim our hate doesn’t matter as long as we give them our money.”
Really though, the truth is our hate doesn’t matter as long as we keep giving them money; we are allowing them to nickel-and-dime us. You vote with how you spend your money, and by spending it with EA the community voted for half finished games, money gouging and getting screwed, so we got them. EA’s behavior isn’t new or uncommon, it’s predictable, and still 1.3 million units of SimCity have sold since launch just over a month ago. A more relevant quote is from a different Moore, (Alan) and writer of V for Vendetta who said,
How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told… if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
I think Peter Moore is an asshole executive so please don’t think I’m arguing in his favor, but he’s just a place holder. Every bit the empty suit his critics claim because if anything happened to him or EA they would just be replaced by some other asshole and some other mega corp willing to capitalize on ignorant consumers. Activision anyone? Moore is just filling a void created by gamers willing to waste money.
So for all the gamers complaining about EA’s ethics and Moore’s heartless response, know that no worst company trophy will ever make a difference. Complain as loud as you want but the only community statement will truly be heard is not funding them. Until the community wisens up and stops rewarding these gluttons for robbing us at every turn we can continue to expect many Moore executives in the gaming industry.