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How EA worked to lose its title of 'Worst Company in America'

Current and former Electronic Arts execs speak to CNet about what it was like to be named "Worst Company in America" for two years in a row, and discuss their efforts to get the company back on track.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

June 2, 2015

1 Min Read

"The message I tried to deliver was, 'This will not happen again. As long as I draw breath, this will not happen again.'"

- Electronic Arts exec Larry Probst recalls an internal meeting shortly after Consumerist named EA "Worst Company of the Year" for the second year in a row.

Back in 2012, Electronic Arts seemed to brush off being named "Worst Company in America" by consumer affairs watchdog The Consumerist.

"We're sure that bank presidents, oil, tobacco, and weapons companies are all relieved they weren't on the list this year," EA representative John Reseburg told Gamasutra at the time. "We're going to continue making award-winning games and services."

But when 2013 rolled around and the company was named Consumerist's "Worst Company" for a second year in a row, EA chief Larry Probst reportedly "hit the roof" -- and EA exec Patrick Söderlund now tells CNet there were some significant internal changes set in motion.

"We needed to look at systemic problems," Söderlund told CNet. "We needed to understand this is how people perceive us -- right or wrong, it was as simple as that."

The aforementioned article goes on to lay out some of the changes EA has made in the past year to win popular approval (giving away free games on its Origin platform, for example) and correlates them with commentary from members of the game industry (including EA execs past and present) as well as shifts in the company's fortunes.

It's a decent overview of the company's evolution over the past few years that's worth reading in full over on CNet.

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