This is a damn good article about how EA went about repairing their rep amongst gamers.
Probst knew that EA, which had grown into one of the world’s largest video gaming companies since it was founded in 1982, was struggling: Its financial performance wasn’t meeting expectations, its stock had fallen two-thirds over the last six years and a loud group of critics were probably about to crown the company the worst in America – for the second year in a row.
In fact, more than 250,000 people cast their votes on the advocacy website Consumerist and crowned EA the worst company in America the year before, beating out Bank of America.
“It was a hideous thing,” Probst said of finding the company so hated. In that conference room on that cloudy Monday, with the executive team surrounding him, Probst “hit the roof,” as one person described it. “The message I tried to deliver was, ‘This will not happen again,’” Probst recalled in an interview a year and a half after the gathering. “‘As long as I draw breath, this will not happen again.’”
Five months after taking over, on February 12, 2014, Wilson gathered 146 of the company’s top leaders at EA’s headquarters. Together with Gabrielle Toledano, EA’s chief talent officer, Wilson hatched a plan to help them understand why so many customers were unhappy.
The group was led to the basketball court, which had been temporarily remade into a conference space with stations of computers and telephone lines. For hours, executives went through the steps of installing, troubleshooting and playing the company’s games. They also listened in on customer service calls so they could hear firsthand players’ frustrations.
"We weren't thinking about everything we were doing in the context of the player experience," said Wilson.
Yes, obviously, EA still churns out some shitty stuff, and they “killed” your favorite studio or franchise. Dragon Age Inquisition was a soulless pile, and Battlefield 4 launched as a shitshow, etc… But the difference between EA of 2012/2013 and EA now is pretty huge. Even the Origin client isn’t as badly hated as it was.
Now, it’s Ubisoft’s turn to figure out why they suck.