While I am certain there are quite a few video game companies that have less-than-stellar ratings with the Better Business Bureau, I was informed about a few companies in particular that seem very relevant given how their major MMOs have fared here within the last year or so. You see, there is an awful lot of hubbub going on recently in regards to Cryptic and Perfect World‘s latest MMO venture “Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter,” particularly in regard to a slew of game-breaking bugs. Yet, it’s not simply that some of these bugs make the game easy or exploitable (which many do), but they simply have destroyed the game’s economy. This matter is a subject worthy of it’s own post at a future date, but essentially the big problem resides in the fact that entering a negative bid on items in the game’s auction house results in the money being given to you as a refund. This has completely devalued the Astral Diamonds, which were the game’s premier tier of currency that would be used on the Auction House, could purchase special premium items, or be transferred into Zen, the global currency of Perfect World. In short, this has pissed off a ton of people who purchased the $199.99 founder pack because all the premium items, their Diamonds, and etc are no longer unique and are completely worthless, and this isn’t something that can be rectified in any sort of amicable way.
Anyway, as Aristeia was reading through all the gripes on the forums, he noted that someone pointed out that both Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment have a score of “F” from the Better Business Bureau. This is no surprise given all the stuff with Neverwinter, but they’ve had similar issues with “Star Trek Online” and “Champions Online,” and in both cases it was obvious that the company (now companies) cared little for the community at all, or really cared much about the quality of their games. Their customer service was (and still is) absolutely horrible (they “lose” tickets all the time and just don’t care about complaints), and they apparently have the mindset of needing to release a new game every 6 to 12 months.
Want to know another surprise that, well, probably shouldn’t be all that surprising? BioWare Mythic also has a score of “F” from the BBB. Obviously, BioWare itself is a large company and has three distinct entities, all of which fall under the umbrella of EA, and it isn’t clear if this rating reflects the other two branches as well. However, the other two divisions aren’t rated at all, so it very well could. The big problem with this company’s rating is that they haven’t responded to 90% of the complaints lodged against them, though if that is representative at all of how they dealt with customer service issues (particularly how BioWare handled “The Old Republic”), this shouldn’t be a surprise at all.
Interesting, isn’t it? It makes me wonder what other businesses in the gaming world have very sub-par scores.