You've undoubtedly heard it by now: Electronic Arts pulled a big upset in The Consumerist's Worst Company in America tournament for 2012, besting favorites Bank of America by a majority vote of nearly two-thirds.
While I think that it's telling that a video game company found its way into the voting to begin with, considering all of the potential candidates out there, the end result will change nothing. EA will still make games (with Online Passes), consumers will buy them (and complain about them), and the Circle of Life will continue. The idea that EA was voted the "Worst Company" will likely be forgotten in a few weeks, and EA won't be making any business decision changes because of an unsatisfied group of internet voters.
EA probably should have lost to Comcast or to AT&T in earlier rounds of voting. I didn't vote for EA in a single round of the event. Comcast has questionable service at times, and AT&T has had its issues with data throttling and other anti-consumer issues. It was fun to "handicap" the event on Twitter over the last few days, but EA kept pulling through from round to round. I never thought that EA would have a chance in the final round, stacked up against Bank of America's fees and other shenanigans, but upsets happen. There's an air of dissatisfaction among consumers when it comes to EA. Online Passes, the Mass Effect 3 debate, and complaints of lack of competition in the sports video game arena have fueled this dislike.
Unfortunately, as if on cue, video games media is jumping to EA's defense in a harsh fashion:
Maybe the Consumerist should have pointed out that by extension, Bank of America forecloses on a lot of moms' basements.
-Justin McElroy of Vox Games
Are we really going to do this generalization thing again? Blah, blah, entitled whiny gamers, blah, blah, something else. Give me a break. We're back to press versus consumers once again. There's such a blind sense of loyalty to the industry that some of these people cover, and consumers just don't have a right to be angry about anything. Instead, we should be thankful that video game publishers still make games for us to drop $60+ on, because, if they didn't, what would we do?
I get that many people don't agree with the outcome. I don't agree with it myself. I can also understand why the negativity exists. That's what we're all missing here, among the "DON'T LIKE WHAT I DON'T LIKE" condescension. There isn't a consumer's side in the gaming press, for whatever reason. It all comes off as an extension of the gaming industry, as if it's owed some sort of call to arms any time a negative story pops up. Consumers shouldn't be mad about online passes, because they shouldn't be cheap and buy used. Consumers shouldn't be mad about Mass Effect 3 because it's art, or because they have no right to change a creator's vision, or any of the other litany of reasons cited over the past month.
Consumers should just sit there and take it. Apparently. Even mild venting via an internet poll is frowned upon and means that you live in your mother's basement and have no clue about how much injustice there is in the world.
It's one thing to disagree with the outcome. I get that. It's another to jump back on that "better than us" high horse. I don't get that. At all.