The big and important video game publisher, Electronic Arts, has recently expanded into other markets in order to hopefully increase their profits. In spite of being rated the most terrible and horrible company in America by The Consumerist, EA is confident that the business practices that have worked so well for them as a game publisher will not hurt them in their most recent endeavors.
Let’s have a look at EA’s new line of MP3 players for starters. Designed to compete with Apple’s iPod, EA’s product stores music files and plays them back just like any other music player. One key and revolutionary difference, however, is that EA’s player, the “iLocket,” comes with a “remote upgrade” feature.
Here’s how this works: If you buy a 4GB iLocket, and later realize that you need an 8GB player for all of your music, you can go to the player’s online store and enter your credit card info to purchase four more gigs of space. Of course, you can’t download hard drive space; EA essentially sells you the 8GB player, and locks half of its hard drive space away so you can buy it later.
When we spoke to an anonymous EA representative, his reasoning was that “people love convenience. Not everyone knows what they want when they go shopping and, man, would it be a pain to have to return your old player just to upscale to something bigger when you change your mind. We’re just providing a service; the MP3 player works just fine without that extra space too.” It may not be a coincidence, however, that the iLocket’s 4GB model is priced comparably with the most recent 8GB iPod model.
And why should EA stop at electronics? Their furniture line is going completely swell. In fact, EA is paving the way for future companies with their revolutionary “world comfort” system. EA’s new armchairs and couches aggregate data from various users around the world to determine what people find to be comfortable at any given moment down to the second. Our representative says, “This functionality does indeed require a constant internet connection to use.”
Without an internet connection, the cushions of the seats withdraw into the furniture, and uncomfortable spikes deploy from the back of the seats. This surprised us, but the representative shared some of EA’s wisdom with us:
“The entire point of our furniture is to help our customers experience comfort in tandem with the rest of the world. This feature is a really big deal and our furniture would not be nearly as comfortable without it, and we wouldn’t want our users to experience what was comfortable, say a week ago; it would ruin the experience. So we lock the furniture away entirely when something might disrupt that service. Besides, who in this day and age doesn’t have a persistent internet connection anyway?”
Finally, if you’re into fashion, EA has a new line of high-end clothing that they say will revolutionize the industry. “Our clothes come from various highly educated designers who know what is hip and happening better than you do” says their billboard which you might have passed on the freeway.
The clothing has been well received by critics and customers, but some users have been electrocuted—yes, electrocuted while wearing the clothing. This has caused many customers to complain and ask EA why any piece of clothing would literally shock its wearer. Our representative speaks:
“Okay, everyone knows people steal clothing all the time. Stores have security systems in place to prevent this but sometimes people get through the cracks and beat those systems. We’re here to add an extra layer of protection against this crime.
“Our clothes are all tracked via satellite to ensure the legitimacy of the ownership. When a piece of clothing is not in a store, we run a check to determine if the clothes have been purchased by a certified outlet, and if not, we electrocute the user so that they will hopefully cease to wear the stolen clothing.
“While it is true that some legitimate owners might experience electric shocks because of this, we do issue full refunds to users who experience this malfunction.”
When we asked them to respond to news reports alleging that they had denied refunds to injured owners of their clothes and furniture, they responded: “We have not denied any refunds to those users who own our products legitimately.
“We have received many complaints from people who either do not seem to even own our products or who we have determined to be thieves. Our system for detecting this is infallible and we always must assume the worst because most people these days cannot be trusted.”
We intended to inquire further but were removed from the premises by a group of muscular men in suits. It was quite a shame, as we hadn’t even been given the chance to talk with the representative about “SimCity,” EA’s most recently published game.