Yesterday, Electronic Arts walked away yet again with the dubious honor of being voted the “Worst Company In America” by readers of the Consumerist. In order to commemorate the occasion, I pirated a PC copy of the original Mass Effect.
Pirating a PC copy of a game when I’d already purchased the Xbox 360 version not once but twice seems rather silly, but it made me feel better. At least it did until I installed it and ran it, only to discover that the game has not aged well and that most of the in-game textures looked like something that I fish out of my cats’ litter box on a regular basis. Well, no matter; I found a fan-made high resolution texture patch for the game, and after I installed that it actually holds up much better than it did at first. Why the high-resolution textures weren’t included in the original PC port is a mystery to me, but I’m sure it had something to do with EA simply not bothering to sink too many resources into the project. It’s a shame because I actually like the UI of the PC version a bit better than the Xbox one, but that’s less to EA’s credit and more to Demiurge Studios, the development house that handled much of the grunt work for EA.
This is, as far as I’m aware of, the only time the same company has won back-to-back Golden Poo awards from the Consumerist. I’m not surprised in the least that EA walks off with that top honor, though, especially since it’s been debacle after disaster over the last 12 months, culminating with the “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out” departure of former CEO John Riccitiello in the wake of the SimCity public relations disaster. I don’t have high hopes that this is actually going to change much of anything when it comes to EA’s success as a business, especially since the company could probably coast for another few years just on the annual sales of its FIFA and Madden titles, the choice of drunken soccer hooligans and fratboys everywhere.
Still, it’s ice to see EA’s name dragged through the mud in such a public forum. Let’s face it: getting voted worst company in America once could be a fluke, but twice in a row? That’s in a trend. See you next year, EA!