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Company says DRM debacle has little to do with its unpopularity

Each year Consumer Union's The Consumerist site doles out a dubious distinction to one dastardly corporation -- the title of "Worst Company In America".  Last year pro-digital rights management Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) beat out bailout whipping-boy Bank of America Corp. (BAC) for the crown.

This year BAC and EA emerged yet again as the top two contenders from a field of 30 gleaming prospects.  But when the smoke cleared it was EA who once more received the most votes, via a healthy 78 percent margin.

Perhaps the single defining moment that allowed EA to bring home the gold was its SimCity 5 DRM debacle, which saw thousands of gamers unable to play a game they paid for due to EA's lack of server support for its DRM-scheme.  Aside from the SimCity mess, many take issue with declining quality in titles from the top gamemaker, which saw its financials slide this last year.  

In a recent blog company COO Peter Moore acknowledged that his company was in contention for a second win, but looked to shift the blame, claiming it was a homophobic conspiracy that was driving votes.  He points to players ability to create cross-dressing/transgendered characters in certain titles and gay relationships in other titles as leading to a boycott.  Mr. Moore failed, however, to cite any specific examples of these posts and we were unable to locate any at the time of publication.
 

EA COO blames homophobes for his company's "worst" win, not his firm's own DRM missteps.
 
Last year EA released an official statement to Kotaku after the award was handed out. We'll see how they respond this time around.

Sources: The Consumerist, EA



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RE: Wow...
By Amiga500 on 4/11/2013 2:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
^^^no idea what he's talking about


I sense the stench of managerial BS off you. You may or may not believe it, but I know my way around very large technical projects.

1. When the game is good, review sites will have it front and centre - people will read it and they will react. Word of mouth from there is infinitely better than any advert.

2. If something is not ready, it is not ready. Yes, dates should be aimed for, otherwise things would never get done. But they are not inflexible. I've seen far too many project managers insist on compromising quality too far to meet schedule. EVERY SINGLE TIME it comes back to bite. Do it right first time, even if it takes a bit longer.

3. Popularity = More sales of that game and of subsequent games.

4. You are right, the very high-end specialists usually do not want to manage and couldn't do it well. That is where instead of the brilliant, you get the very good - those that understand deeply what is going on. The number of meetings I've sat in on where time is completely wasted and actual time-to-completion lengthened 'cos project management doesn't have a f**king clue what is going on is unreal.

Management done right with the right systems in place does not take half as much time or effort as the majority of the clowns that end up doing it would purport.


RE: Wow...
By Just Tom on 4/11/2013 3:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
While I am all for setting reasonable schedules and not shipping sub-beta software if you let programmers decide the schedule no project will ever be done.

There is a lot more to shipping software than just pressing DVDs or uploading a digital file. Review sites and magazines work on schedules and if your fantastic new game's release date keeps slipping it impacts their publication scehdule. If the game is sold as a DVD there are distribution timelines.

In my professional experience involving large projects, admittingly not in the software industry, the real culprit behind less than ideal work and slipped deadlines is the constantly changing requirements for those projects. Nothing blows up a deadline like "Well, add this to the project. It is not a big deal."


RE: Wow...
By Motoman on 4/11/2013 4:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
When I was in college taking computer science classes, I couldn't understand how anyone could release software that had bugs in it.

After my first few days working as an intern for a major insurer, writing COBOL and some other stuff on a major project of theirs, I became astounded that anything ever worked at all.


RE: Wow...
By Amiga500 on 4/12/2013 7:37:07 AM , Rating: 2

quote:
In my professional experience involving large projects, admittingly not in the software industry, the real culprit behind less than ideal work and slipped deadlines is the constantly changing requirements for those projects.


Indeed - military programs are notorious for changing requirements. But, a lot of that is due to an ever evolving threat environment and the requirements that cascade from that.

However, in this environment, things are relatively stable - so if the people planning the project understand the work area - then it'll all follow through much easier.

Additionally - setting deadlines before fleshing out basics will lead to problems too, as things are invariably forgot.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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