Electronic Arts isn’t what you would call a creative powerhouse. The publisher’s got a stable of studios like BioWare and Criterion that are incredibly talented, but those creators are increasingly tasked with making games that are so broad in their appeal as to not have much personality left. So games like Mass Effect 3 and Need For Speed: Most Wanted are the video game equivalent of white bread? They’re still good for making a proverbial entertainment sandwich. Originality and risk taking are not Electronic Arts’ forte. At the very least, the company is a bastion of equality for LGBT game makers.
The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group working on behalf of LGBT community, gave Electronic Arts a 100 percent rating for LGBT equality this week, naming it one of the best places to work in the US in its Corporate Equality Index in 2012. EA received the same award from the HRC in 2010 and 2008.
EA was naturally proud of its policies. “I am very pleased that EA has scored a 100 percent rating and been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign in a year where the company has taken significant steps to remain inclusive,” said EA’s CTO Gabrielle Toledano, “EA has made changes to our medical benefits, been involved in LGBT events in our community and taken a public stance against the Defense of Marriage Act. EA champions diversity with a work environment where everyone feels welcome and can be themselves.”
What’s particularly impressive about this rating is how it demonstrates how far EA has come as an employer. In 2004, EA came under major fire after the wife of a developer chronicled the horrible working conditions at the company. Today EA has a modest reputation with games industry professionals, with a 3-out-of-5 star rating on company tracking service Glassdoor.
America’s a swiftly improving country for the LGBT community. While gay couples can’t legally get married in every state in the union, more and more states are letting same-sex couples tie the knot. Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state chose to legalize same sex marriage in this month’s election, while the state of Minnesota saw an amendment to define marriage as union between man and woman only got voted down. It’s good to see companies like Electronic Arts doing their part in the effort.