Electronic Arts, who has earned the title of “The Worst Company in America” from The Consumerist for
the last two years running, has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in 2014”
by the Human Rights Campaign. A truly surprising revelation.
EA receives a lot of (arguably well-deserved) hate for their
money-grubbing DLC policies and, more recently, some disastrous game launches (I’m
looking really hard at you, Sim City).
But despite the years of unfavorable press EA has gotten, they
haven’t done everything wrong. Turns
out they are apparently pretty good to their workers and, most importantly in the eyes of the Human Rights Campaign,
they are quite liberal when it comes to the treatment of their gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender employees. This has earned them a whopping 100% on
the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 2012, EA is one of only 304 businesses to receive the 100% rating, placing them in the company of giants such as Microsoft, Sony, Disney, and Apple.
To earn their spot in the Human Rights
Campaign’s “Best Places to Work” list, they hosted and sponsored a variety of LGBT-themed
events such as Full Spectrum (a panel discussion on equality issues in gaming)
and the first GaymerX convention (pretty self-explanatory). They have also had
a strong presence at PAX and several other conventions, showing their support through panel discussions on LGBT issues there as well.
This is all great for EA’s
reputation (as I’m sure their marketing team intended), but will all this equality and good will erase the memory of Battlefield
4’s launch (among other things) from the minds of the masses? I’m not so sure. I am pretty sure the majority of people who follow gaming culture are smart enough to see through such obvious good will gestures. I also think that in order to change gamers’ perception of their company, EA needs to target them more directly by giving them what they want (good games without the DRM and excessive DLC getting in the way would be a start), instead of cherry picking causes that they think will make them look more favorable in the eyes of the public. But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe EA really does care about LGBT issues. What do you think?
Oh, and they also just happened to
donate $1.65 Million to the American Cancer Society with the money they raised
from The Humble Bundle, so
maybe we can let the microtransactions slide… for now.