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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one… - When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one… - ea_spouse Page 3 — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ea_spouse

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[Dec. 15th, 2004|02:18 am]
ea_spouse
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature
and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions
of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

- The U.S. Declaration of Independence




Welcome, and thank you for visiting. If you are here in search of the original "EA_spouse" article, you can find that here. The following is my update as of 12/15/2004.

So much has happened in the past month, I find it difficult to grasp. One essay written months ago set off a powderkeg of response, not just from the game industry but from the entire software development community. Truly, the power of the Internet is astounding, and all other things aside, we live in a positive age when so much information can be shared so easily and quickly.

The thing that lifted this up into public view, though, was not my essay so much as the response to it, so I will keep this brief. I have left the original essay and comments intact, and you can find them below. To supplement the original essay, I have organized my own comments and links to others' commentary into a FAQ. I have also put together a press page that links to all of the news stories related to this blog.

I am pleased and a little flabbergasted to announce that "EA: The Human Story" was nominated for Joel Spolsky's Best Software Essays of 2004. More details on this as they come.

I also would like to announce the initial inception of Gamewatch.org -- don't visit it yet, there's still nothing there. =) But there will be. It is my intent to start a non-corporate-sponsored watchdog organization specifically devoted to monitoring quality of life in the game industry. As much as I would like to extend this to the entire software industry, games are what I know, and where I need to stay right now. However, this project will be as open-source as I can possibly make it. All code written for the maintenance of the site will be available to the public, and all financial information for the organization (which will be a volunteer one) will likewise be made public. While GameWatch will occasionally run articles, its primary purpose will be to provide a reporting site where employees from any company in the industry can come to share their experiences. Our goal is to hold up and reward those companies that operate ethically, the better to ensure that top talent can seek out employment where they will be respected and best provided with the resources to do their jobs, namely family time, sleep, and sanity. Employees will be able to post anonymously or publically, as they so choose, and will also be offered an in-between option to register with the site but have only their testimonial posted, not their name or contact information. Registered testimonials will be given a greater weight than anonymous ones, but both options will be available. We will also provide forums for advice and discussion for all game industry affiliates, including existing employees, veterans, and aspiring students.

If you are interested in helping out with Gamewatch, please contact me with 'Gamewatch.org' or similar in your subject line. In particular, I would also like to announce a logo contest for Gamewatch. Simply, I'm looking for a one or two-color vector graphic (black with single-color highlighting, or simply black and white), approximately 200x200 pixels, on the GameWatch theme -- a couple of ideas we've tossed around are a caricature of an English Bulldog or Doberman Pinscher with a controller in its mouth, or some variant on an actual wristwatch theme, but do not by any means feel restricted by these suggestions. I will accept entries at ea_spouse@hotmail.com for one month, until January 15, 2005, and then a winner will be selected. I will pay the winner $20.00 -- $25.00 if the entry is provided in a standardized vector graphic format (Adobe Illustrator .ai, for instance). It isn't much, but it's what I've got -- and the artist will of course be credited on the GameWatch website.

For those interested in discussing Gamewatch.org as a concept and in its details, I have added a page here for that purpose.

All of this aside, the most important thing I have to say is -- thank you, to everyone who has visited this page, and especially those who took the time to contact me with an interest in our story. And especially especially to the spouses and EA employees who voiced their support and declared their own willingness to help our industry fulfill its potential. We're not done yet, but we've made a great start, and that is entirely due to the outpouring of response that flooded the Internet over the past month. Thank you.

Edit: Hello all. I'm sorry about this, but I've turned on screening for anonymous comments in this thread and the Gamewatch one. We have a troll who has been spamming comments every few hours or so, and I just don't have time to keep coming in here and deleting them. Rest assured if you post anything that ISN'T vulgar, I will unscreen it as soon as I see it. Hopefully the troll will lose interest soon and I can lift this.
Edit 1/4/2005: Turning screening back off, since things seem to have calmed down a bit. Thanks, all, for your patience.
Edit 2/24/2005: Modified contact link to reflect my new gmail address, ea.spouse@gmail.com.
linkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: radink
2005-01-10 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well, hope all works out for you and your spouse. If I were him, I would just walk, but I know that's hard with bills, etc... The only way this would stop, is if people stopped buying EA games. Unfortunately this won't happen, because either people don't care, or are just too stupid to realize what's going on.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-04-03 07:19 am (UTC)
...or maybe it's because EA actually makes kick-ass games?
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-13 12:55 pm (UTC)

ea_spouse, I commend you!

I'm posting anonymously because I don't have an LJ account, and I don't want one just to comment on journals. ^_^;;

Being an avid gamer, and game designer wannabe, reading this journal has really opened my eyes. I've heard of (and friends of mine have witnessed) EA snapping up the latest young minds to fuel their company's development. It's quite jarring, to say the least.

Glad to hear that someone is standing up against this crime against humanity (so to speak ^^;)! You also have a very convincing, realistic argument. ;) Some people need to work on their research skills...

I don't understand how people can make such derogatory statements about this - something with entirely good intentions (besides letting EA lose staff XD). Some people just don't know how to appreciate the good things that come along.

I really admire your idea for Gamewatch.org. Supporting you all the way! And congratulations on your nomination! :D

~R
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-16 07:06 am (UTC)

Attention potential video game employees

You want a visual example of what working in the video game world is really like? Watch this week's episode of America Hot Rod. Boyd Codington is your future boss. Watch specifically the end of this week show. He is oblivious to the feelings of his employees. Additionally he's so egotistical that he lays blame for the missed deadlines on his employees and not on his unrealistic deadlines.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-04-06 06:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Attention potential video game employees

You're so wrong it's incredible. I work for EA and we receive so much recognition for our hard work it's amazing. The goals they set for us are reasonable, and we're never yelled at or treated unfairly even when we don't meet them. Sure, the hours can get crazy, but the picture you're painting is absurd and untrue.
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[User Picture]From: uhfrayed
2005-01-17 07:53 pm (UTC)

Article on NInsanity

I'm executive editor at N-Insanity and one of our editors recently did a feature making mention of ea_spouse and the conditions of EA. Please check out the article and make note of it if you see fit to do so. We appreciate what you're trying to do, and it's great to see someone standing up against this monster.

http://www.n-insanity.com/modules.php?module=article&id=1022
--- Josh
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From: ea_spouse
2005-01-19 03:34 am (UTC)

Re: Article on NInsanity

Thank you for the notice. I will add your link to the press page.

Purely for trivia, while the description was creative, the comment about EA being a "furnace" was not mine, if it was anyone's.
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[User Picture]From: onyx_elite
2005-01-21 04:17 am (UTC)

Thank you

Hi,

I'd just like to say thankyou. Like many posters here, I'm in the middle of a course of education so that I may become an employee of the games industry.

I saw a link your original post in a community I was a member of, a short while before news spread everywhere of your essay. I thought it was amazing how much attention it got. I have been concerned at EAs position for a long time and their general stagnating of the games industry through unimaginative sequels and licenses and your post gave me hope that the industry might be saved from companies like EA ruining an industry born from a passion for fun.

Many thanks again, if you need any help with Gamewatch just let me know, I'll do all I can.

P.S. Don't pay any attention to all the ignorant cowards who post anonymously with hate messages. You've done a good thing, not just for your spouse but for innumerable developers, artists, modellers and games students who may benefit from the exposure your article has attracted. Be proud.
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[User Picture]From: rhaevith
2005-01-24 11:07 am (UTC)
"...employment where they will be respected and best provided with the resources to do their jobs, namely family time, sleep, and sanity."

----

I couldn't help but chuckle when I read that. It's made to sound like the essentials and basics of life have become too difficult to ask for when in the workforce. Clearly goes without saying that it shouldn't even require a request of any sort, simply just provided. Makes me wonder what's happened and continuing to happen to the human race.

Best of wishes and luck with your quest, albeit one that shouldn't have ever been necessary to undertake under any circumstances in the first place.

Lastly, my sincerest apologies for having to have gone through what you have, and thanks to you and your family for stepping up and putting this together. A hope for it to be able to prevent the past from reoccuring.

(Reply) (Thread)
From: pyro01
2005-01-24 11:39 pm (UTC)
VGCats just linked to your page. You may be recieving a hell of a lot more visitors soon.

http://www.vgcats.com/
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-25 07:57 am (UTC)

Me too

Heh, that's where I came from...

Keep up the good work ea_spouse!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-25 08:34 am (UTC)

No time to read all the comments, so...

It is clear from reading your essay that a lawsuit should be filed. There are some labor violations there. A class action lawsuit would surely change things a bit there, and provide some monitary compensation for the slave labor tactics of EA. I would pursue lawyers instead of essays on the net. However, I learned that I won't be buying anymore EA games from the article. That's unfortunate because, like the music industry, the gaming industry in rolling into one big, greedy, bland, faceless corporate abuser ruining all things good. I may not have a choice if I don't buy EA. Good luck to you. Sue them into the ground.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-27 06:23 pm (UTC)

Job cuts at EA_Spouse's EALA studio...

EA_Spouse a hoax? I don't think so. EA actually have people who 'spin' postings on forums and newgroups for them and that is exactly what is happening here.

Anyone from either side want to comment on the layoffs? Did it affect anyone who has posted here, or is part of the class action?

http://www.investor.reuters.com/business/BusNewsArticle.aspx?ticker=ERTS.O&fullstoryurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.reuters.com%2ffinanceQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml%3fstoryID%3d7455459%26ric%3dERTS.O%26infotype%3dnews%26articletype%3dRTR&target=%2fstocks%2fnews%2frecentnews&page=busnewsarticle

Company News
advertisement
Electronic Arts cuts 60 developers in LA studio
Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:45 PM ET
LOS ANGELES, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) laid off 60 game developers from its studio in Los Angeles as part of a restructuring, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

EA, the world's largest video game publisher and maker of games like "The Sims," has aggressive development plans for the next generation of video game consoles, expected to be released over the next two years. The spokeswoman said the cuts were part of realigning the studio for next-generation development.

The cuts came Wednesday and affected developers across a number of projects, she said. Staffers from other areas of EA's Los Angeles operations were not affected.

With the cuts, EA's development staff at the L.A. studio -- one of its "hub" operations -- was reduced to 320 from 380.

Affected staffers will receive severance and outplacement help, she said, but the company does not expect to take any charges in the current quarter, its fiscal fourth.

EA shares were down 9 cents at $62.75 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. The stock nearly reached an all-time high on Wednesday after the company posted a profit for the holiday season ahead of expectations, though it moderated its forecasts for the rest of the fiscal year.
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[User Picture]From: sugarplumkitty
2005-01-27 06:39 pm (UTC)
wow. I knew it was bad. I didn't know it was THAT bad. My former boss tried to push me to work crazy hours like that for his software (not gaming) company. I wouldn't do it. I said I had obligations outside of work. Of course, I no longer work there.

Software engineers need a union.
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From: syncrosonix
2005-01-31 04:25 pm (UTC)
i came real close a couple years ago to be hired on to EA. i did a few days research of the hours that testers in all the various compaines work...i told them, "fuck that shit. i'll stick with pizza delivery until i'm finished with college." i would have been driven up a wall, and probably sitting in a jail cell, on death row by now if i had taken that job.
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From: world_of_paradi
2005-01-31 07:15 pm (UTC)

i will just say internet is helping a lot to bring the inner feelings of people

hi read ur essay ....and was ammazed to go through what u people might feel while working in this arena...i was thinking only marketing people r being traded this way but it seeems the whole industry is like this way. only right way to overcome this thing i feel is unity, will power, and people to take iniative. i dont know what u have planned to overcome this situation but i think i can feel the vibes which say me u can overcome and help others too. hoping u succeed ..... good luck :-)
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-31 11:55 pm (UTC)

I am boycotting EA

I don't know where else to post this. EA's website has no method of submitting an email. But I want to somehow, in someway, make sure it gets mentioned that this 30-year old white male who buys 10 PC and/or Playstation titles each year will no longer buy an EA product until these unfair labor practices cease.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-02-02 08:35 am (UTC)

Re: I am boycotting EA

I don't know where else to post this. EA's website has no method of submitting an email. But I want to somehow, in someway, make sure it gets mentioned that this 30-year old white male who buys 10 PC and/or Playstation titles each year will no longer buy an EA product until these unfair labor practices cease.


If you feel that strongly about it, there is a MUCH better place you can make your thoughts known. Take a good long look at this link...

http://www.garagegames.com/mg/forums/result.thread.php?qt=25160

It's not a joke. They are building an argument for antitrust against EA and your opinion could very much help the cause. Spread the word.
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[User Picture]From: kunami
2005-02-05 04:55 am (UTC)

Just another two cents to spare...

I know this is probably not the place to post this, but as stated above, I see no way of contacting Electronic Arts directly, so here I am. I feel it's more at home here than anywhere else, anyway.

I buy around 15 to 25 game titles a year, spanning three consoles and two portables. Occasionally, when I find a PC game that I want and that my setup can support, I'll pick it up as well.

This being said, I will never buy another Electronic Arts product. Never. I have never been a fan, but I did enjoy a few of their franchises... namely SSX and Command & Conquer (which I played pre-EA anyway). No more, though.

You know, the NFL deal felt a little sour. The ESPN deal pissed me off royally and was ultimately the final straw. While I might be able to overlook the other two, on their own (as they were only business decisions, albeit, vile ones), when grouped with this neglegence... I just have nothing to do with the company or their products any longer.

Right now, me, as an individual... I plan on working in this industry in the future. At this point, I am nothing. I plan on getting the proper education that I need and changing that. And I would love to, one day, be on the front lines, watching a crippled and mortally wounded Electronic Arts crash and burn in a pile of their own filth.

Do I sound too angry? Does it look like I might be taking this a little too personally? I couldn't really tell you why I feel that way. I know I sound like an ass, but damn... I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Here's to a happy 2005 to all you guys in the industry, 'specially those getting boned by EA. Hope it's a solid year for you all (with the one, obvious exception).
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From: klapaucio
2005-02-10 05:23 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm a highschool student and I'm writing an essay on the whole EA thing. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much the EA developers are paid? I've read that they're grossly underpaid but I can't really find what that means. I've got an article in the magazine PC Gamer about the EA situation as well but it doesn't tell me much more than The Human Story did.

Thanks for any help!

James
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-02-11 08:35 am (UTC)
they actually make good money. plus they don't have much living expenses because the company pays for the dinner once they've worked 10 hours per day. and they pretty much stay at work all day long. So no need for the cost of renting an apartment with all the monthly utilities. EA's got a world class gym so employees can bath there every day. Sh*t sounds like straight money into the back to me.
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