Continuing the backlash over EA's recent blunders, users have voted the publisher as America's worst company of 2012. Conducted by Consumerist.com, the annual poll pits 32 companies against each other in a weekly faceoff. To earn its title, EA trumped Sony, Best Buy, Comcast, AT&T and the runner up, Bank of America. As the "winner," the gaming outfit will receive a "Golden Poo" trophy. In previous contests, other finalists received equally demoralizing Bronze and Silver Poos.
Readers have mixed feelings about the outcome, with many noting that companies like Bank of America have undoubtedly had a greater overall negative impact on consumers. It's tough to argue that a bank's worst offenses outweigh a game publisher's. In that respect, it's safe to say EA isn't necessarily the "worst" company in America, but it's certainly one of the most hated. Recent controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3 surely contributed to and perhaps clinched EA's position in the polls.
Gamers who voted for EA over Bank of America believe "award" might change the former's behavior, whereas the latter would casually dismiss such criticism. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. "We're sure that bank presidents, oil, tobacco, and weapons companies are all relieved they weren't on the list this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide," said EA representative John Reseburg.
Contrasting the Consumerist poll, Reseburg noted that EA subsidiary BioWare recently made it to the finals of Escapist Magazine's "Best Developer" competition, beaten only by Valve. He also mentioned praise from the Human Rights Campaign, which is distributing a petition supporting EA's "decision to have developers include same-sex relationships in recent games." It was to be expected that EA would downplay the hostility, but hopefully it's quietly taking the criticism to heart.
This is Mass Effect 3: The Reapers have come, just as Commander Shepard spent two games trying to warn everyone they would. Most species' homeworlds are burning, all around the Milky Way. This still-mysterious alien race is a genuinely existential threat, and the odds of full victory against them are inescapably slim.
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