EA also did the excellent C&C3 and helped publish ME2. By any sane account they're one of the least repulsive big, stable publishing houses.
Getting mad at EA is so...four years ago. It's the Riccitiello era now.
Yeah, it's a lot like the still-strong Derek Smart hate even after the guy's calmed down a lot and generally gotten pretty cool. He's not really even a bad developer, he has some great ideas. He just doesn't have the manpower to implement a lot of his ideas.
There is a difference, though: Derek Smart came here and acted super-dickish directly to us, then badmouthed us in the press. The quality of the games he makes has little to do with why many members of the FS-community still dislike him. Much of the hate for him is on a personal level and still justified, to an extent, as he's never apologized for any of it, nor has he ever returned to interact with the community in a positive manner. You might call it arrogant to lay the expectation upon him to take time out of his schedule to apologize to us for anything, but he took the time out of his schedule to make several long-winded posts about how little he cared for us in the first place, so five minutes (or seconds for that matter) to bang out, "I am sorry for my previous, immature behavior and hope that the FreeSpace community can find it in their hearts to forgive me," doesn't feel like asking too much. Then, we could go back to judging him strictly as a game developer.
By contrast, EA made some bad business decisions a few years back and has since endeavored to correct their course. It was never personal with EA, and even if it had been, the company has had a change of leadership, so any remaining grudge with the company is woefully mistargeted. EA has done what they needed to do in order to redeem themselves. Derek Smart still has a big step to take to properly resolve remaining grievances between himself and many members of our community.