"remembered and respected for the games we make," and not as the reigning 'worst company in the US' as they have been for two years.
He doesn't "believe for a second" they're actually the worst US company, in fact they aren't, but the message was clear. They looked at Online Pass and cut the dead weight.
Banks, weapons manufacturers, and energy consortiums are without a doubt the festering evil within the US corporate world, and yet EA was targeted for being 'worse'.
"I don’t believe for a second that we are the worst company in America, but I do believe when something like that happens, you have to sit down and ask yourselves ‘Why are people saying these things?’,” Patrick Söderlund told .
"We did that and we started to realise that we are doing things that people don’t like.”
The EA Studios EVP wants them to be respected and even trusted by gamers, which is something they're sorely lacking right now as evidenced by the two-year running worst US company vote.
“We looked at something as simple as the Online Pass,” he adds. “People were telling us they didn’t like that. So we weighed up the pros and cons and went ‘Ok. We will remove it.’ These decisions need to be driven by what consumers want and tell us, and that is where we may have faltered a bit in the past."
Online Pass was known as Project Ten Dollar, which sought to earn revenue from the second-hand games market which is hogged by retailers alone who don't want to share the wealth with publishers and studios. It was though up as a 'fair' method of charging second-hand owners for online services like multiplayer server access.
"If we continue to do those types of things, then we will earn people’s trust and respect. We don’t want to be bad, we have no desire to be voted the worst company in America. On the contrary we want to be voted the best.”
Not everyone is going to be made happy. “Well you are bound to make mistakes, but when you do, just be clear to communicate that you agree it was a mistake, and you are taking the appropriate actions to fix them,” answers Söderlund. “Not a single person or company will do everything perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect.”
"My goal is to be seen as the best in the business," he concluded. "I want people to recognise us for the games we make rather than anything else. Whether that is the Worst Company in America or whatever people don’t like. We need to be remembered and respected for the games we make.”
Recent events stand in the way of that respect and trust especially after fiascos like the SimCity launch and now Battlefield 4's rather lame duck opening weeks, especially on PlayStation 4.
'Worst Company' vote made EA realise "we are doing things that people don't like"
28 November 2013 | By Simon Priest
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