According to The New York Post, EA has been ‘quietly exploring’ their options with regards to a sale. Taken with mixed results by the media, here’s my two cents on the matter: If EA ends up selling, it would be amazingly beneficial to the company, the developers under its wing, and the consumers that buy from it. I honestly don’t care who buys it—whoever does will likely make it a better company, or at least attempt to move it off of the Worst Company of America title that’s made it infamous even among non-gamers. Here’s how they’ll do it.
Beating out huge companies such as ATT, Bank of America, and Comcast—many of which have their own terrible ethics—is a major blow to the company. It’s no wonder that they’re thinking of selling—at some point someone in the company made bad decisions, which led to bad service and bad customer service, which led to the perfect storm for negative publicity and negative reception for everything it publishes. Combined with allowing the little things like Mass Effect 3 to get away with its poor ending, sequels that end up being a poor attempt at grabbing cash, and a constant influx of DLC to run rampant for its games, it’s no wonder that even the company’s COO gets hurt when he sees company properties criticized.
But where am I getting with all this, you might ask? If the company ends up selling, it would likely be reorganized from the top down. Each poor decision maker that added a piece to the pile of scum that EA has become would be cycled around or replaced so that those poor decisions won’t be made again. The group of people that consider themselves customer service would hopefully be cycled out and replaced with people who actually make attempts to help customers. Screenshots of conversations with EA’s customer service show that this is desperately needed, perhaps more so than executive shifts. There’s a slim possibility that the company would try to save face and do positive things for its customers—because other than shoveling out game after game, EA has done little to address the concerns of its customers and instead focuses on monetizing their entertainment.
Granted, big publishing companies can’t always take the high route. They have to make their own money, they need to sustain their income, and they have to do that while supporting developers. But looking at another popular game publisher—Steam—shows that you can be a large game publisher and distributor without gaining a terrible reputation (let alone becoming dubbed the worst company in America). Focusing more on new IPs, improving IPs, and cutting back on the DLC instead of releasing it day-one for all of their games would help assuage customer concerns. Replacing customer service with better representatives would be an even better strategy. All of these are huge shifts from the current company policy, if its reactions to its negative publicity are anything to go by, and having the company sold out would do wonders to its infrastructures and the backwards policies holding it back.