Written by: Joseph Albahari
While most people are focusing on the Final Four of college basketball, there’s another kind of “March Madness” going on in the world of finance.
Electronic Arts, the company behind the Battlefield games, the Madden games and The Sims, has been dethroned as The Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America.”
The Consumerist, a consumer’s finance blog, holds a yearly “March Madness”-like bracket, but instead of basketball teams, it lists prominent companies in America.
The companies were nominated via an online poll that was posted on March 17 on The Consumerist’s website. When voting, participants were only allowed to choose eight companies from a list compiled by The Consumerist. From the poll results, The Consumerist determined what Americans felt the worst 32 companies were.
The companies in the poll this year were Abercrombie & Fitch, Aetna, Amazon, American Airlines/US Airways, AT&T, Bank of America, Citi, Coca-Cola, Comcast, CVS, Delta Air Lines, DirecTV, EA, eBay/PayPal, Emeritus, Experian, Facebook, GM, JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, JP Morgan Chase, Koch Industries, Lululemon, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Safeway, Sallie Mae, Sears/Kmart, SeaWorld, Ticketmaster/Live Nation, Time Warner Cable, Target, Verizon, Walgreens, Walmart, Wellpoint, Wells Fargo and Yahoo.
Once the poll ended, the 32 companies with the highest votes were put into a bracket. The competition began Monday with another round of voting. Time Warner Cable dethroned the reigning champ, EA, 51-49 percent during the first round of the competition.
When EA won in 2013, the company posted a press release on its website−“We Can Do Better”−listing things that EA had been doing wrong, including false claims that they supported the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), their fan distaste of the Mass Effect 3 ending and server issues across many games.
In 2013, EA set out to change the way they were viewed by the public.
One of the biggest steps the company took was collaborating with Humble Bundle. Humble Bundle is a website that takes video games, movies, ebooks, music and other forms of electronic entertainment and bundles them together to sell, using a “name your own price” platform. The proceeds from the bundles go to the game developers and charity.
When EA made their bundle, valued at more than $200, they divided the proceeds among five charities: the Human Rights Campaign, Watsi, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society.
The Origin Humble Bundle, as it was titled, was the most successful Humble Bundle in the history of the site, making over $10.5 million. The average buyer bought the bundle at $4.93 and 2.1 million were sold.