November 1st, 2004

So, let's talk about it. What would you like to see?

Edit: Hello all. I'm sorry about this, but I've turned on screening for anonymous comments in this thread and the top one on the blog. 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: Comment screening turned back off; thank you all for your patience. =)

Press Page

Direct Contacts
The following reporters spoke with us either in person, on the phone, or via email, and so are included here at the top.

New York Times: "When a Video Game Stops Being Fun", by Randall Stross :

Los Angeles Times: "Working Too Hard in an Industry of Fun and Games", by Alex Pham :,0,336030.story?coll=la-class-employ-career "Santa's Sweatshop", by Katharine Mieszkowski
and follow-up, "A change of heart for Scrooge?":

CNet News: "For developers, it's not all fun and games" :

National Public Radio: "Stressed-Out Game Designers Sue Software Maker", by Laura Sydell :

Editor's note: For the following I have to extend a personal apology. Rick Healey from NetJak was one of the first to contact me via email regarding the ea_spouse story. We exchanged a few emails and he sent me a list of interview questions. In the following email deluge, I mistook someone else's questions for his, and answered them, but did not get to Rick's until he sent me a reminder email much later. Visit his site, and help me atone for being a flake. =) "A Call for Solidarity" (editorial) : "Interview with EA_Spouse" :

While our contact was limited to the blog, I do need to mention Paul from here, who faithfully reported on happenings in the blog and surrounding it for quite a long time. His post provides a neat cross-section of events as they occurred as far as press is concerned, and a number of the non-obvious links (NYT, LAT, WSJ, etc) listed here came from his site:

Other Features

Wall Street Journal: "Workers at EA Claim They Are Owed Overtime" : "Gaming's growing pains" :

San Francisco Examiner: "Long hours spur online rant" : "When A Video Game Stops Being Fun" :

Prior to its extended article, and after, CNet released a few others: "News: EA: The Human Story" :

Kotaku: "Fear and loathing at Electronic Arts" :

BluesNews: "Op Ed" (with comments) :

Gamasutra News: "'EA Spouse' Weblog Raises Issues On Game Development Quality of Life" : (Evan Robinson): "It's Not Just Abusive. It's Stupid." : "Krasse Arbeitsbedingungen in den USA" : "Kein Spaß bei Electronic Arts" : "Slavenarbeid bij EA?" : "EA Employees Unhappy, Attempt Class Action Lawsuit" (with comments) : "EA Work Conditions" : "A Spouse's Look At Electronic Arts" : "Corporate culture problem at EA?" (with comments) : "Electronic Arts: Innocent or Guilty?" : "'EA spouse' speaks out!" : "EA Spouse talks about life as a PC game developer" : "Gamer Overtime" :

Auxiliary Stories

Kotaku: "Former EA employee speaks out under real name" :

Kotaku: "EA promises changes in leaked internal memo" :

Kotaku: "Exclusive: EA confirms memo is real" :

Kotaku: "EA suit could change the face of the gaming industry" :

Kotaku: "EA keeps the promises coming" : "EA Feeling Pressure, May Reclassify Overtime" :§ion=feature&email=

Mercury "EA to reconsider OT-eligible jobs" :

BluesNews: "EA Class Action Suit Coming?" (with comments) : "Raking muck in 'The Sims Online'" : "Employees readying class-action lawsuit against EA" : "EA Faces Class-Action Overtime Suit" : "EA Facing Lawsuit Over Worker Pay" : "EA Not One of the 100 Best Places to Work?" : "EA Employees sue Company" : "Developer working conditions hide a cancer in the games industry" : "Neil Young heads to EALA" : "Top Gaming Lows of 2004" :

Penny Arcade news items:

Slashdot has covered a couple of different facets of the story (likely they were responsible for more than one of the original boosts in hits), and they have a few thousand comments on the story collectively as well, so I figured they deserved their own section:

"EA Games: The Human Story" :

"Electronic Arts Facing Possible Class Action Lawsuit" :

"Quality of Life Issues Holding Back Game Industry" :

"NYT on EA Games" :

"EA_Spouse Forum Becoming Thriving Community" :

"EA Spouse Posts Plans for Watchdog [Organization]" :

"A College Guide to EA" :

In a poll: "I Give Thanks For" (one answer: "A day off from my job at EA Games")

The IGDA produced a Quality of Life White Paper in 2003, first bringing up some of these issues; they broke the ice, but then the discussion dwindled. This year there will be an entire Summit at the Game Developers Conference to address these issues. Jason Della Roca, IGDA Program Director, has mentioned a possible negotiation with CMP to arrange for an inexpensive Summit-only pass as an attachment to the Classic Pass -- here's hoping they come through, I'd like to be there. (For non-GDC-goers, the main part of the GDC is Wednesday through Friday; Monday and Tuesday are tutorial days, covered by a separate pass or a larger comprehensive "GigaPass", which is correspondingly significantly more expensive.)

The IGDA Quality of Life website:

The White Paper:

The QoL discussion forum:

Discussion Boards
While not precisely press, here are some links to other forums where the story has appeared.


If you would like your blog listed here, email me and I'll add a link.

Joe Straitiff, ex-EA:
Jason Della Rocca:
SnarkySpot, also listed above:
Evan Robinson:
John Dvorak:
Code Monkey:
Charles Miller:
Darren Barefoot:
Skor Grimm:
Mark Raimondi:
Harold "AlphaTwo Vaughan":
No Status Quo:
Keith Soltys:
Bruce (
Stuart Moulder:

Webcomics ran two comics featuring the EA story: