US: Electronic Arts notes anti-gay campaign as reason for ‘Worst Company in America’ award

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Video games company Electronic Arts (EA) is a highly likely contender to win the award for the Worst Company in America, for the second year running, and the company’s COO said he thought an anti-gay campaign was partly to blame, but said he was “proud” of the company for supporting issues such as equal marriage.

EA won the Golden Poo award from last year and despite the winner not having been announced yet, is very likely to receive it again this year.

The company’s COO Peter Moore, wrote a blog post titled ‘We Can Do Better’, which details, ahead of the ahead of the announcement that the company had won the award, that he thinks it will win, and the reasons for it.

Those reasons noted by Moore in response to the poll, as well as operational problems, included the possibility of a right wing hate campaign, in response to the company’s pro-LGBT stance.

Moore was believed to be referring to games such as Mass Effect, which allows the option of a same-sex relationship, a well as the fact that EA signed a petition in support of equal marriage, and against the Defense of Marriage Act.

He wrote: “In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America.”

Moore also referred to operational problems with games, including the recently launched SimCity game.

“I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity. We owe gamers better performance than this,” he wrote

He concluded by saying: “So here’s my response to this poll: We can do better. We will do better. But I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create and the people that play them.”

EA hosted an event in New York in March focussing on LGBT issues within the gaming industry, and worked with the Human Rights Campaign and Ford Foundation to discuss issues from taking a stand against DOMA, to gay romance within video games, and getting involved in gay pride events.

In January, Electronic Arts joined coalition of businesses has formed in support of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, to allow equal marriage recognition to same-sex couples federally.