EA Wants America To Love Them

Patrick Söderlund addresses the company's"worst company in America" reputation.

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Thanks to a poll by Consumerist, EA was perhaps unnecessarily voted as the “worst company in America” earlier this year (for the second year in a row). Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund wants to change that perception.

“When something like that happens, you have to sit down and ask yourselves ‘Why are people saying these things?’,” Söderlund said in a recent interview with MCV. “We did that and we started to realize that we are doing things that people don’t like.”

What does that mean, exactly? It means that EA wants to listen to what its fans want. Söderlund referenced how the company is doing away with the online pass, for one, because players didn’t appreciate it. Innovation in series iteration is also important, he said, because no one wants to pay $60 for the same game year after year.

“That response is telling us that gamers don’t want to play the same game every year,” Söderlund said, referring to the explosion of excitement over new IP like Titanfall being debuted for next-gen consoles. (Hopefully this means that the company will be announcing more new properties in the relatively near future.)

If this new tack on customer satisfaction actually sticks, it’s possible that EA really could turn their public image around – despite having been often seen as overly corporate in the past. Söderlund acknowledges that there have been mistakes ­– a messy cross-gen launch for Battlefield that left many PS4 players unable to join that game’s much vaunted 64-player multiplayer matches among them. (DICE recently apologized for the game’s launch issues and have since released a patch.)

“Not a single person or company will do everything perfect,” Söderlund said. “There is no such thing as a perfect.”

The industry could definitely use more humility like this – just, please, get rid of the microtransactions.


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