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LiveJournal - EA Games write up


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#1 Jenison   Members   -  Reputation: 216

Posted 10 November 2004 - 09:39 PM

Didnt see this posted yet so I thought I would pass it along http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/274.html

Sponsor:

#2 Umbongo   Members   -  Reputation: 214

Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:37 PM

Doesn't suprise me one bit. There will be a peak when the big studios that have this practice collapse and I doubt EA is the only one.

#3 paulecoyote   Members   -  Reputation: 1060

Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:44 PM

Very interesting, thank you!

#4 Prozak   Members   -  Reputation: 865

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:15 PM

Quite a worrying outlook on our industry... hopefully things will change for the better soon...

#5 cdrw   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:26 PM

i hate sports games so much

i hate sports,

i wish sports would drop off the face of the earth and let church aloen to stimulate people on that wavelength,

sports are blasphemous

(im a heavy smoker)

#6 nev   Members   -  Reputation: 133

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:30 PM

EA being evil is common knowledge.
and they don't only make sports games.
they buy/dissolve/enslave good companies too (looking glass, anyone?)

#7 cdrw   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:34 PM

there was a tennis rpg game for the turbo graphics 16 and i played it and liked it, and i beat it in one rental.

and if i got done making a game,
i might be into video games that much again












































.dragon warrior + tennis enemies/matches

#8 LogicalError   Members   -  Reputation: 241

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:52 PM

Quote:
Original post by nev
EA being evil is common knowledge.
and they don't only make sports games.
they buy/dissolve/enslave good companies too (looking glass, anyone?)


no, looking glass died at the hand of eidos..

altough the story goes that eidos tried to save the company, but couldn't get another loan at the bank because of the whole ion-storm thing (which ironically hired most ex-lg people + bought the rights to the thief franchise)

#9 rick_appleton   Members   -  Reputation: 857

Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:57 PM

This is appalling.

What is GameDev's stand on something like this on the frontpage?

#10 nev   Members   -  Reputation: 133

Posted 11 November 2004 - 12:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by LogicalError
no, looking glass died at the hand of eidos..


hmm maybe i got that mixed up ;-)
thx for clarifying. (my point stands nonetheless)

and i dislike eidos just as much as EA.
and i think interplay can join them soon

yeah, the world is going down the drain

#11 walshb   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 11 November 2004 - 12:52 AM

Quote:
Original post by rick_appleton
This is appalling.

What is GameDev's stand on something like this on the frontpage?


I would like to know why this hasn't gotten more attention here...

#12 mattnewport   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 1029

Posted 11 November 2004 - 03:16 AM

I work for EA and my experience hasn't been like the one described in the article. I do have friends on other teams who've been through some fairly nasty crunch periods but that is a problem faced by the whole industry not just EA. Whilst it's true that there is no overtime pay that is also an industry problem, not specifically an EA problem (I don't know of any games companies that pay overtime). The same is true for the time off in lieu - most people I know who've been through heavy crunches have had some extra time off at the end of the project but there's no official policy on it that I know of. The only case I've heard of where a company actually has an agreed system for compensating overtime with time off in lieu is Rockstar Vienna (I have a friend who works there).

There are positive benefits to working for EA as well which aren't mentioned - unlike other games companies I've worked for you can be confident that you're actually going to get paid on time and in full. Also unlike other companies I've experienced, bonuses aren't just a hollow promise used during crunch periods to squeeze that last little bit of effort out of people - they really do get paid and they can be quite generous.

EA is a huge company and is split up into a number of different studios each of which have their own slightly different cultures and practices. It seems the experience described in the article happened at one of the US offices (based on the comments about employment legislation) so I can't really comment on how accurate it is (I work at EAC). I just want to balance out the article by saying that large parts of EA that I have experience of aren't as bad as the article suggests.

I think the article does reflect wider problems that the industry as whole has to confront. The IGDA whitepaper on Quality of Life for industry employees is a hopeful sign that people are starting to think about this seriously. I could tell horror stories of experiences I've had and heard of in other companies, both large and small, but the issue isn't so much one of practices in particular companies but of the culture of the whole games industry. Work / life balance is something that much of the industry doesn't get right. The reasons for this are complex and varied but hopefully as people become more aware of the issues we might begin to see some change for the better across the whole industry.

#13 Nurgle   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 267

Posted 11 November 2004 - 04:21 AM

Well, if you read the comments on the LiveJournal article, you'll see that EA Vancouver is excluded from the whole EA IS TEH EVIL thing.

#14 outRider   Members   -  Reputation: 852

Posted 11 November 2004 - 04:40 AM

If anyone has read Germinal, by Zola, it seems especially relevent here.

Management in the games industry needs a reality check.

Any system in which you must put in extra effort and aren't guaranteed anything in return for that extra effort is tantamount to theft.

Your employer is free to demand extra time from you, but any compensation is solely at their discretion? That's like customers walking into a store, demanding product, and maybe paying for it before they leave... if they feel like it. We all obviously love games, but quite frankly that's no excuse to put up with this sort of theft. Unfortunately, every year there are grads who need jobs who will feed the system.

I know that many people aren't so disenfranchised with their employer, but no guaranteed compensation for overtime (when the project is on schedule) is an industry-wide problem that needs to change, for everybody's sake.

Any initiative that marginalizes giant publishers and redistributes the billions of dollars the industry generates more equally, specifically to the people that are the heart of the industry (programmers, artists, musicians, designers) has my support.

#15 psamty10   Members   -  Reputation: 148

Posted 11 November 2004 - 04:40 AM

Seems to fit what I've heard from people who work there. But the idea of working insanely long hours exists at almost every game company - perhaps because of the prevailing, "If you can't work 90 hours a week, you must be a pussy", attitude exuded by most game execs...

#16 Jenison   Members   -  Reputation: 216

Posted 11 November 2004 - 04:40 AM

for anyone who has worked long hours they know why you cant do this for long. Its one of my only fears going into the gaming industry as a coder. I make a great living as a contract programmer for various industries and agencies. I set my own hours and have fun when I want.

However, this type of coding has really gotten old after 8 years. I'm always excited to work on my personal game projects and I think ti would be really great to see how I code vs how the industry does.

If my boss right now told me to work 7 days a week I would laugh. And I get paid every hour.



#17 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4539

Posted 11 November 2004 - 05:35 AM

While we're talking about EA games, Sims 2 is incredibly full of bugs and was obviously not play-ready when it was shipped. And after a month they haven't released any patches fixing any of the bugs.

#18 superpig   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1825

Posted 11 November 2004 - 05:36 AM

Anyone who hasn't already should read the IGDA Quality of Life whitepaper about the industry as a whole. It helps to put things like this into perspective (or at least, to show how much is EA and how much is 'normal' for the industry).

#19 mattnewport   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 1029

Posted 11 November 2004 - 05:40 AM

Quote:
Original post by Nurgle
Well, if you read the comments on the LiveJournal article, you'll see that EA Vancouver is excluded from the whole EA IS TEH EVIL thing.

I looked at some of the comments but didn't spot that bit. Anyway, my experience of Vancouver is a lot better than what's described in the article and quite a bit better than my experience at other games companies.

#20 nuvm   Members   -  Reputation: 326

Posted 11 November 2004 - 06:24 AM

Quote:
Original post by psamty10
Seems to fit what I've heard from people who work there. But the idea of working insanely long hours exists at almost every game company - perhaps because of the prevailing, "If you can't work 90 hours a week, you must be a pussy", attitude exuded by most game execs...


The funny thing about that, is by their own definition, they're all pussies.




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