The purpose of video games is to provide entertainment. And the purpose of video games companies is to create and produce those games for consumers. Not all games are made equally. Game companies often collapse after making one or two bad games. But, just because a video game company makes an excellent game, that doesn’t mean the company is actually a good business. In fact, the creators and publishers of some of the best video games in the industry are actually some of the least consumer friendly businesses in the industry. The following are the worst video game companies for consumers.
Electronic Arts – Also generally known as EA, has the “honor” of having won the award for Worst Company in America in both 2012 and 2013. This is due to a host of consumer unfriendly policies on the part of the company. The most egregious of these policies is how it deals with online play. EA requires players to sign up for an Origin account and download Origin. Origin is known to monitor computer usage and even send that information to EA. Combined with the degree to which EA tries to milk consumers for post-sale money through DLC and season passes, EA games simply seem designed more to line the pockets of the company than to actually provide a fun experience.
Blizzard – For a game company that has such a solid reputation in some ways, Blizzard has taken huge steps backward in recent years. The most telling point is that World of Warcraft, a game that is over a decade old, continues to have a $15 a month subscription fee. The game is obviously worthy of a subscription, but the price point is increasingly high as the game gets older and older. A fee of roughly half the current subscription fee would be much more reasonable. Diablo III also suggests a new direction for Blizzard that is particularly unfriendly for customers. On the PC, the game requires a constant internet connection to play, even for single player only mode. Additionally, the real world auction house that existed when the game was released suggested that Blizzard was more interested in monetization of the game than actual game play. The latter has since been removed from the game and the former is not present in the console version of the game, so Blizzard may be turning a page, but it will take time to fully get back into the good graces of players.
Ubisoft – Ubisoft is easily the worst video game company on the market when it comes to DRM. A whole generation of games from the company used SecureROM, a form of DRM famous for failing to actually recognize legitimate copies of original game discs. After that Ubisoft was one of the first companies to switch to requiring players to be always online in order to play, even for single player games. After consumer backlash for that, Ubisoft actually upped the ante. Games like Might and Magic Heroes 6 don’t require you to be always online, but you lose access to features if you don’t play online. If you do play online all saves are stored on the cloud, instead of your own machine. This means you can’t load your saved game if you lack a connection for any reason. Ubisoft is clearly so concerned with piracy that it ignores the enjoyment of its customers in order to protect its assets.