Electronic Arts Blames Anti-Gay Critics For “Worst Company In America” Votes

ea-gayLast year, the Consumerist awarded Electronic Arts its Worst Company in America award and this year the video game giant looks on the verge of a repeat victory. But according to COO Peter Moore, the company’s support for LGBT rights makes it an unfair target.

The Worst Company in America award is voted on by Consumerist readers, and while Moore concedes that EA “can do better“, he thinks they’re doing just fine when it comes to gaying up their games:

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…If that’s what makes us the worst company, bring it on.  Because we’re not caving on that.

According to the Consumerist, however, Moore can put the gay card back in the deck:

EA received hundreds of nominations from Consumerist readers this year, by far the most of any contender in the bracket, but not a single one mentioned anything about sexual orientation. Consumerist does not condone homophobia or hate speech of any kind, and our readers understand the Worst Company contest and nominate businesses based on their merits.

The Consumerist contends that EA’s dubious distinction has more to do with its shady business practices than consenting to C3PO’s and R2D2’s homoerobotic affection — but what do you think?

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  • Ron Jackson

    EA deserves the Worst award because of it’s disdain for it’s customers. It’s use of shoddy DRM,greedy micro transactions, and pushing games out in an unfinished state is why people are voting them down. I don’t doubt the religo-conservative activist have targeted them also.

  • Mark

    Yes they deserve props for their pro-gay stance, however this goes nowhere near to make up for their many other faults, the most recent of which is the botched launch of Simcity (and quite frankly the entirety of that game).

  • Motard

    While it’s clear these are not mutually exclusive possibilities, it’s worth pointing out that plenty enough of the other companies in Consumerist’s brackets are at least as well known for their gay-friendly policies and environments.

    United? FedEx? Facebook? Apple?

  • 2eo

    DRM, releasing unfinished products, refusing to fix them, closing down servers on games barely over a year old. The list of reasons people hate EA is endless and completely justified.

    It has nothing to do with a serious minority of anti gay gamers. They are searching for every other reason other than their failures as a publisher and developer.

    Some of us have never forgiven their closing down of Bullfrog either.

  • Farben

    OK… so as a gamer, I think, yeah you know what EA is pretty shit.

    But then I think, Monsanto….

  • 2eo

    @Farben: Monsanto are legally protected, and calling them the worst is a surefire way for a company to lose sponsors and advertisers.

  • tdx3fan

    Please… this is what I never understood about gaming companies. EVERY single gaming company does the exact same things that EA is blamed for and gets a pass? Seriously? Look how crappy the games that Blizzard makes (and they are mostly anti-gay as well). Look at Activision. Look at Bethesda (not only are their games not finished and FULL of bugs, but they also require you to use Steam to purchase their DLC). The whole industry is actually ridiculous, but EA is not the top offender it is just the largest gaming company with the largest variety of games, so it can manage to piss off multiple crowds.

  • kingkuy

    @tdx3fan: i like when people ask a question and then proceed to answer it themselves…

  • enfilmigult

    @tdx3fan: “…EA is not the top offender it is just the largest gaming company with the largest variety of games, so it can manage to piss off multiple crowds.”

    Isn’t that kind of what makes it the top offender?

    Yeah, I was honestly offended to see them try to pass this off as the reason why they got voted worst, and make a big proud statement about being pro-LGBT in the face of this alleged homophobic conspiracy. It’s less appalling in the context of the entire letter, I was glad to see, but the letter is still just as delusional as you’d expect. They need someone to sit them down and calmly but firmly give them a few PR tips. Like, based on this letter alone:

    -Don’t react to a “prize” like this by listing all of the reasons you probably didn’t deserve it…no, not even if you make sure to throw in a nonspecific promise to “do better.”

    -Don’t count everyone who uses your games as someone who loves them, then brag about how many people love you. The people voting you as the worst company aren’t the ones who DON’T use your products, bro.

    -DEFINITELY don’t say you’re getting a lot of flak because “a tall tree catches the most wind.” I mean, honestly.

    The fact is, they have a lot of customers, and they’re jerks to them all. Their only customer service contact is a “help forum” with no moderation and the occasional rare, unhelpful appearance by an EA employee who asks a “did you restart” type question and then disappears. They need to start looking inward pronto and stop trying to blame their reputation on things like homophobia. Buying up big, bestselling properties, and thereby getting big sales no matter how bad their new version is, isn’t going to work forever.

  • sangsue

    Blaming anti-gay critics is very anti-gay. It’s as if they’re saying, “If we didn’t support the LGBT community or have LGBT characters in our games, then we wouldn’t be considered to be the Worst Company in America.” How about the fact that they make shoddy unfinished games. Other game companies may do this but they’re not as big as EA.

  • Scott

    I agree EA has tons of problems.
    This said, when EA originally announced Star Wars the Old Republic would have lgbt storylines and companions, the anti gay groups, including the Family Research Council, went into immediate action to blast EA for so many over the top and unnecessary reasons. The result was no gay companions. And only recently, way delayed, was it released as an optional quest with a gay storyline.
    I appreciate the gay sims, not only does it allow me to play gay characters, but I have straight friends who also play gay sims. The option for same sex relationships has always been implemented in The Sims, for this I am appreciative, and would never vote EA the worst company in the world. Plus I still play avidly simcity 4 and simcity social with enjoyment. I didn’t play the new simcity at release for various reasons (waiting for an xpac and will buy as package etc..). EA does not get the worst company in the world vote by me. That goes to Zynga.

  • DarkZephyr

    I don’t believe homophobia is WHY They were voted the worst, but they HAVE gotten a LOT of flack for it, and those of you who think they haven’t are very mistaken. If you go to’s forums (and this is just one example) and read the threads about Dethmold, a psychotic gay villain in The Witcher 2, you will see a LOT of bashing of BioWare for the same sex content in their games. MANY gamers are RABID homophobes and I AM glad that EA is not going to cave in about being pro-LGBT.

  • Scott

    “MANY gamers are RABID homophobes” completely agree. Anyone who has ever pvp’d is bound to have heard the random “Fag” rants after someone goes splat. It’s not everyone but the word is used quite frequently.

  • FStratford

    I don’t get why these gamers hate digital downloads. I love it. It makes EA profitable and that means they keep on producing games I like. With gay characters.

    Pure packaged goods games is a negative profit product. It will go away – or it should be priced 5x download to justify its existence.


  • ButterBaconBoy

    I commend EA for supporting gay rights in video games. I think that is awesome. I also think that EA is not very supportive of its customers. Yeah, there are other game companies that release games with a lot of bugs, but that is totally expected when the world is giant, there are a ton of sidequests, and there is no one way to play the game. You can’t blame a company for bugs if the game itself is huge. There are things that will be missed.

    As for the many things that EA sucks at, there are other companies that don’t suck at those things. The customer service is horrendous, most of all. I think that they deserve worst company of the year. Not because of anti-gay people voting, but because they focus so much on trying to be pro-gay, they mess up everything else that they do. Keep being pro-gay, but stop being so crappy at everything else.

  • Cee

    You guys complain too much. Every game I’ve ever played has issues. They’re never gonna be perfect. I’m not a big fan of EA Games, but they incorporate a lot of stuff in their games. It’s bound to have issues. The Mass Effect series is pretty bad ass. Mass Effect 3 is in my top 5. Yeah, there were a lot of issues and I didn’t care for the ending, but it was a great game overall. I give them credit for incorporating a gay story line too. They didn’t half ass it either. They went full throttle. If you’re LGBT you should respect their effort because the gaming world is very homophobic. Don’t kid yourself.

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