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EA's Profits Up, Workers Get Layoffs

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the they-know-PR dept.

Businesses 436

Gamespot and GamesIndustry.biz has the news from yesterday's conference call where EA CEO Larry Probst reported higher earnings for his company in Q3, despite a small yearly decline. He also held forth on the future cost of next-gen games, which in his opinion will likely stay as high as $50 and could perhaps fetch more on retail shelves. Just before this story was to be published, Tim Butler wrote in with the news from 1Up.com that EA was laying off members of its LA studio. From the article: "According to sources close to the company, Electronic Arts is currently in the process of laying off between 50-70 team members from its minty-fresh new EA LA office. The teams affected worked on the poorly-recieved GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and the forthcoming Medal of Honor: Dogs of War FPS titles." Update: 01/27 06:34 GMT by Z : Update to the layoff article: "The first step is to rebalance the team. This has required us to let go 60 people -- from many different teams. There is no focus on any one team or any one class of individuals. It's a studio-wide thing to reset the business fundamentals and get the studio to the next level."

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Team Balancing ACT 2005 (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486446)

If you had read the friendly article, you would have seen the update:

After speaking to Neil Young, General Manager of the EA LA studio, it's now clear that the confirmed 60 layoffs are not heavily confined to one team or another, countering early rumors that the GoldenEye or Medal of Honor teams were specifically targerted -- countering the implication that the underperformance of certain games might have been the catalyst.

Maybe EA is shaking its developers up for the foreseeable battle with TakeTwo?

And it's undeniable that EA is in a good position to pull this kind of team-balancing stunt, because there are simply too many willing-to-work-25-hours-a-day multimedia graduates. If you come across an apple tree full of apples, you'll surely pick the best ones too.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (4, Funny)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486478)

there are simply too many willing-to-work-25-hours-a-day multimedia graduates

So there really is life on Mars?

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486884)

So there really is life on Mars?

Are you saying the mars rovers have provided us with evidence that EA is laying people off? I thought it was the LA office, not the Mars office.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486496)

Funny, I just saw a segment on the history of EA, on G4TV's icons yesterday.

Perfect timing EA :)

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (2, Interesting)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486510)

well layoffs is a sure way to get profits up. For the next few quarters at least, then you gotta pay the pipper. Of course the CEO will probably have graduated onto bigger and better things...

You can find anybody to work for any amount you wish to pay. The "best ones" != the ones that work the longest hours. Someone once said if you can't get it done in 35 hours a week you are not qualified for the job. Insane job description notwithstanding.

revolt against executives? (2, Insightful)

halfelven (207781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486649)

Well, long time ago, people felt threatened by machines that were replacing manual labor, so they simply smashed and broke the machines.
They probably weren't right. But...

But it seems to me that perhaps a random lynching or two of scrooge-ish CEOs by angry ex-employees might deliver a potent message to any prospective pursuants of this squeeze-then-kill strategy. You know, make them think twice or somesuch... ;-)

Re:revolt against executives? (2, Interesting)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486926)

But it seems to me that perhaps a random lynching or two of scrooge-ish CEOs by angry ex-employees might deliver a potent message ...

I'm sure it would. Unfortunately, that message would almost surely be: ``Hire in India, so they can't reach you when you lay them off.''

You think offshoring is popular _now_? Just wait.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486533)

Maybe EA is shaking its developers up for the foreseeable battle with TakeTwo?
So they make them put in 60 hour work weeks then they "shake them up". I wonder how many programmers will be fleeing to TakeTwo? Maybe some of them really are sick of churning out the same crap each year.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (3, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486591)

If you come across an apple tree full of apples, you'll surely pick the best ones too.

And then throw half of them in the trash? Oh, you mean they waited until after the game was done to realize these weren't the best candidates for the job? That's convenient. Why not just call it a temp job?

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486721)

If you come across an apple tree full of apples, you'll surely pick the best ones too.

Yes, because we can always blame our unethical decisions on somebody else. I'm particularly fond of the "if I don't do it, they'll find somebody who will" excuse that goes all the way to the very top.

Truth is, you are responsible for your choices, how ever many apples there are on the tree.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486806)

Young was also quoted as saying "The first step is to rebalance the team. This has required us to let go 60 people -- from many different teams. There is no focus on any one team or any one class of individuals. It's a studio-wide thing to reset the business fundamentals and get the studio to the next level."

I don't know about you, but to me this statement has more spin that a top. Instead of coming off as cynical attempt to maximize profits despite increased revenue, they make it sound like something that's better for everyone. They're not culling developers now that they're not needed anymore, they're "taking it to the next level!" Yeah, right.

Re:Team Balancing ACT 2005 (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486811)

Maybe EA is shaking its developers up for the foreseeable battle with TakeTwo?

shmaybe..

And it's undeniable that EA is in a good position to pull this kind of team-balancing stunt, because there are simply too many willing-to-work-25-hours-a-day multimedia graduates. If you come across an apple tree full of apples, you'll surely pick the best ones too.

Maybe they're getting ready to ship development overseas, too, it's not beyond possibility, as we've seen all too much of in IT and Engineering.

Why pay coders chicken feed when they can pay someone off-shore a fraction of chicken feed.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about the company which brought us M.U.L.E. and Mail Order Monsters, back in the day.

If the game was bad (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486461)

shouldn't they be held responsible?

Why should they be carried by better producing teams if they couldn't?

Re:If the game was bad (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486695)

Or, maybe the games were unique in a way that they only attracted a niche market. Therefore, there is a possibility that those same teams could develop a breakout hit.

Re:If the game was bad (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486856)

I see your point, but trust me man:

Golden Eye: Rouge agent was

just. plain. friggen. terrible.

Re:If the game was bad (2, Funny)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486936)

Golden Eye: Rouge agent

I gotta believe that a cross dressing Bond would have attracted a larger audience...but that's just me. Or did you mean rogue agent?

Re:If the game was bad (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486830)

and what if the decisions weren't being made by the team?

Oh no! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486484)

A business acting like a business! Boooooooo! Hissssssssss! Profits up and they fired people? Well, good god, only evil can be afoot. There's no other explination!

Re:Oh no! (3, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486661)

Profits are up and they are firing people from teams that already work 70-80 hours a week, which will probably cause even more work for those that are still employed with them.

I'd say that's pretty "evil"...

Re:Oh no! (5, Insightful)

readpunk (683053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486704)

This is such childish logic.

Of course EA is acting like a business. I am upset about people getting fired in all positions when their company is making profits not because this doesn't benefit the hierarchy within the corporation, this is logical for those at the top who value strength in the stock market as well as long term profits for themselves.

What sickens me is that we live in a world with an economic system where the most logical thing to do when your profits are up is to fire workers.

Just because something is logical for those doing it, does not inherently make it "normal" in the sense that human beings are naturally inclined to do it, nor does it make ethical.

Re:Oh no! (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486983)

What sickens me is that we live in a world with an economic system where the most logical thing to do when your profits are up is to fire workers.

You're completely missing the point, and probably have a really wrong-headed view of what makes an economy work, or at least what keeps people putting investment money into companies in the first place. EA wouldn't exist at all without its original and ongoing investors.

What you're not getting is that the only reason EA's profits grow is because they consistently (or often enough) make the hard descisions to drop (and add) people and resources wherever they think it will impact their bottom line in the right way. They're not right about every decision, but it's the overall approach that works. To assume a causal connection between their bump in profits (which shows up after months of activity and reporting thereon), and the more immediate tactical decision about their overhead and productivity in LA - that suggests a bit of myopia on your part about the scale of their operations, about business competition, about free markets in general, and about highly competitive frivalous industries (like video games) in particular.

The system you decry is the very one that allows us to have an entire industry dedicated to entertaining geeky game players. If it weren't for that system, those jobs never would have existed in the first place. Now that, not the ongoing fine tuning of it, would be sickening.

Re:Oh no! (3, Interesting)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486754)

there are many companies that are "businesses" but don't act the way EA has. goldman sachs comes as one example of a very profittable company that has also been commended for its fair and dignified treatment of the workforce.

not all businesses are alike. pursuing profits isn't mutually exclusive with treating its employees with respect.

the way EA is doing business is one way, and it's their way of doing things. personally, i'd never work for or buy products from company that seems to show absolutely no compassion in its business practice or for its employees. that's my way of doing things in response to such companies. and i doubt that i'm alone.

Re:Oh no! (1)

__int64 (811345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486897)

"that's my way of doing things in response to such companies. And I doubt that I'm alone."

No you're not alone, but unfortunately you're still in the very small minority...small enough, practically speaking to probably cause a divide by zero error when taking the quotient of the majority by it.
Hence EA writes off the spite of bad consumers like you as a cost of business, same as their programmers. There will always be stupid programmers willing to work for them...just as their will always be stupid consumers willing to by from them.

Share prices matter the most (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486759)

Profits dont matter as much to the investors in a company. What they care about is the increase of the stock price (in some cases dividends factored in of course).

That's the standpoint you have to look at it from.

No was for a company's stock price not going up even if their profits grow (cause sometimes the analysts only care about profit growth rate increasing) .. well that you can blame analysts, the economy, and/or the investing public.

Re:Oh no! (1)

Lips (26363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486823)

But remember, a business (in the US at least) is the same as a person. So surely as a person they have some sort of moral responsibility.

If EA wants to act as an amoral business then thats fine, but then they should also give up the benefits and rights that being a person brings.

Re:Oh no! (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486894)

It's not a business operating as a business. It's a corporation acting as a corporation. Businesses look out for their employees, as they're valueable assets. Corporations don't give a fuck. They're big enough that they're visible and able to bring in the brightest/best/most.

EA's profits up? (0, Flamebait)

adlaiff6 (810221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486493)

Maybe they're selling off workers as slaves in Cambodia (n.o. to any Cambodians). Otherwise, I don't see how.

This is Not a Layoff (5, Interesting)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486501)

Don't look at this as a layoff.

This is an invitation to enter the field of merchandising the games they built directly to consumers at the retail level. WalMart, Best Buy and Target are all hiring, and can use people knowledgable about the games themselves.

Seriously, how much money does that company make from building these games? All the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that go into being an EA employee and this is all they have to give their developers. And you know their executives are going to receive higher bonuses this year for trimming the fat.

I guess all we can say is thank you for the nedless hours of high-tech distraction your guys have provided us, at least the gaming community appreciates you.

M

Re:This is Not a Layoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486545)

Companies have to make profits. If they don't, then they won't be able to employ anyone.

The "blood, sweat, and tears" that the employees gave were rewarded: With checks they voluntarily took while employed, and with severance packages now that they aren't. If they're talented, they'll find new employment.

What's wrong with that?

Re:This is Not a Layoff (3, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486643)

Companies have to make profits. If they don't, then they won't be able to employ anyone.

They are making profits.

If they're talented, they'll find new employment.

So they can get fired again. I gotta ask: when do we get real jobs? Not bullshit temp work, but a REAL FUCKING JOB?

What's wrong with that?

Nothing, until their car gets reposessed and the bank forecloses on the house.

Nothing at all.

Re:This is Not a Layoff (2, Insightful)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487014)

I have empathy for these people, but man it sounds like you just have too much pity, maybe you're just jaded?

Losing your job is a fact of (American) life. It happens to almost everyone, maybe it's because someone in their family is sick and they need to move back home. Maybe it's because their spouse got a good job, and they had to move. Perhaps it's because they did a terrible job. It could even be because the company couldn't afford them.

If they are talented, they will get work again. If not, then maybe they don't belong in their current field?

You might ask, "Well if only the really good people get employed, then what are we to do?". There are thousands of thousands of average companies that hire average employees to do average jobs.

If their car got reposessed and their house foreclosed, whos fault is that? It behooves a person to ensure he/she can afford an item they own, be it a car, house, motorcycle or television. Some (most?) of us have learned that the hard way with credit card debt. Save up 6 months worth of the payments, then purchase the item. Live below your means, don't overbuy a house/car.

Too many of my friends are house-rich, but can't afford gas for their SUVs. Do I feel empathy? Yes. Do I feel pity? Hell no. They made the dang choice.

gaming market is $10 billion (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486650)

Hardware and software. More than feature movies.

Perhaps if they tried innovating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486502)


"The teams affected worked on the poorly-recieved GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and the forthcoming Medal of Honor: Dogs of War FPS titles."

what did they expect ? if they keep re-hashing the same old games instead of innovating then thats the obvious outcome, perhaps if they didnt take the public for idiots then things might be different

i guess innovation is dead in the games industry as well as hollywood, oh well it was good while it lasted (at least it is for the CEO's who don't have to worry about retirement funds while sunning themselves on their sunseekers)

EA is the Microsoft of the gaming industry. (1)

TheLittleJetson (669035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486682)

Innovation is not dead, it's just not part of their business model. It's easier to let smaller studios do the innovation, and then either buy them out or pummel them into mediocrity with a ripoff competitor that they market strongly.

To look at this and say innovation is dead within the industry is silly.

Re:EA is the Microsoft of the gaming industry. (1)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486814)

It's easier to let smaller studios do the innovation
I'm not so sure this is accurate. The two biggest franchises around are Grand Theft Auto and The Sims. EA owns one, Take-Two (the newsworthy competitor to EA) owns the other. Had they come from smaller studios, there would be new competition. Think Id Software.

EA has published some risky games. American McGee's Alice was almost entirely an 'out-there' concept. It is an artsy novelty game. The Sims was a new concept when it was released aswell. I wouldn't rule a corporation like EA as completely business-formula driven. Perhaps it is the developers who are lacking. I have given attention to some game developer conferences and they don't impress me(a gamer) much..

Re:EA is the Microsoft of the gaming industry. (3, Informative)

werelord (562191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486916)

The two biggest franchises around are Grand Theft Auto and The Sims. EA owns one, Take-Two (the newsworthy competitor to EA) owns the other

EA's The Sims is a Maxis creation. While EA did buy Maxis, The Sims was originally a Will Wright creation, and was not a "star product" like others were. GTA is a Rockstar game also; published by Take-Two (perhaps in the same position as Maxis and EA)..

Don't confuse publisher with developer. While the publisher will often fund the developer's projects (and and own the IP), they are still the creations of the smaller developer.. rarely will you see a blockbuster be developed in-house by the publisher..

What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486504)

Zonk and the other editors seemed to have embarked on a jihad against EA for some odd reason. Did you get turned down for a job there or something?

I gotta say, this is definitely not front page news, and its certainly not stuff that matters to most people here. Please disengage this childish and silly crusade.

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1)

rahard (624274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486556)

I second your opinion. It's not "stuff that matters."

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1)

Blutarsky (580739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486571)

Matters to me, sure as hell won't be buying anything from EA anymore.

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486654)

I'm not going top buy any EA game from now either.

(doesn't mean I'm not going to play them though. Long live warez sites :)

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486608)

Agreed.

I don't really care to know that EA made a profit! Oh noes, a game company made a profit! Layoffs? That's a part of life...and no offense to those 60 or so people but this is hardly news.

Frankly, I don't even see anything newsworthy in the whole summary...but apparently that's just my opinion and one not shared with at least one person.

Yeah, right (5, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486739)

Please disengage this childish and silly crusade.

Hey, what's this? Anonymous Coward? Let's see who's hiding behind that mask!
(removes mask from Anonymous Coward)
*GASP* It's some guy hired by EA!
"Yes, and if you hadn't unmasked me, i'd probably had been successful at shutting up those meddling kids!"

Another case solved!

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486784)

Sincerely,

Yves Guillemot.

P.S. - Back to work, you lazy posters, or you're next!

Re:What's With the Obsession Over EA???!! (1)

gmajor (514414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486832)

Exactly my sentiments.

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (4, Insightful)

KnowledgeFreak (528963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486508)

I didn't hear that Rogue Agent did badly. I bought the thing and loved it.. yeah, it had some aspects that were obviously a knock off of halo, but some of it was innovative for an FPS, and parts of it were a hell of a lot of fun.

Re:Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (1)

aixou (756713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486730)

I can't stand what EA did with Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. They're whoring the name of a great game for no reason other than to make money.

It's almost as bad as what happened with Napster (taking a famous name and rebranding it on something else for $$)

the person who should be fired for goldeneye.. (5, Interesting)

glenkim (412499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486520)

I talked to a friend who was actually one of the game designers for the new Goldeneye game. When I found out he had worked on it, I told him that the game looked pretty crappy and he told me the reason. Apparently, the producer of the game wasn't happy with the initial draft of the game's script... so he went home and rewrote it. by himself.



BOFHs writing games? Yeah right, I hope his ass was canned.

Re:the person who should be fired for goldeneye.. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486701)

Because if it was his fault he would have told you.

Worst companies to work for, Top 500 (1)

halfelven (207781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486522)

And the winner is... :-(

Not the first company you can think of! (4, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486640)


Replying with Microsoft, gets me modded as Funny or Flamebait.
Replying with SCO, gets me modded as either Troll or Insightful.
Replying with IBM gets me modded as Overrated.
So that leaves HP doesn't it? I can't keep up with who is our friend this week on slashdot.

Re:Not the first company you can think of! (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486974)

It's pretty obvious that EA is on the shit list this week.

Re:Not the first company you can think of! (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486995)

Only if you want to be indoctrinated this week into thinking so. Honestly, I thought it was MS.

I think we all know how they'll manage without em. (1, Funny)

Dunarie (672617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486525)

Guess this means everyone left is going to have to be pulling 100 hour work weeks!

I'll say it right now (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486538)

EA is evil. EA represents the suit-and-tie, corporate-owned, mainstream conversion of the gaming industry. They represent cheesy CEOs coming over from other failed companies who are only getting into the game industry because they see massive annual revenues from this thing, not because they're into games. Merely ten years ago, we had a sort of Silver Age of gaming, from Doom to Descent to Command & Conquer to Myst to Simcity 2000 to...well, you were there. It all spanned multiple genres. Where is it now? The good games are far and few between. Now, it's the yearly update of the new Tony Hawk game, complete with skateboard fat clowns that spray graffiti, and the "underground racing" games where morons who think neon lights are a good investment tell each other how "sick" their "tricked out" cars are as obnoxious, over-compressed, repetitive rap music blasts while you race down wet, nighttime city streets. Because that's "underground!" Meanwhile, the PC industry purposely speeds itself up faster and faster to increase the yearly bullshit upgrade cycle. If you don't have a video card with two fans taking up two slots in your translucent, neon-lit PC case, your penis just isn't big enough to play the latest id Software game made up of approximately 90% pitch black darkness on-screen. Innovation? Fuck it, let's fuck up Deus Ex so we can get on the console in time while we destroy Fallout 3. After that, we'll suck the teat of the latest Microsoft DirectX release, focus-group tested with a new name ("DirectNext! Because it's the NEXT one!") guaranteed to generate 87% profit margins on new graphics card updates. And that blazing fast PC you custom-built last year? Fuck it, better ditch that because your goddamn RAM chips aren't operating at a fast enough speed to melt the paint off the wall and generate enough electromagnetic fields to shrivel the balls off your legs as you read the latest paid-for review in a dying game magazine.

I'm bitter about today's PC gaming.

Re:I'll say it right now (4, Funny)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486603)

I'm bitter about today's PC gaming.

Really? You sure do a nice job covering that up; It's hardly noticable.

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

dakara (798841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486614)

You know your biggest problem is you bottle everything up! Just let it out man, Just say it how it is.

Re:I'll say it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486615)


In the words of Hudson:

"Fuckin' A!"

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486626)

You sound like my parents complaining about "that damn rock music!"

Why, in my day we had good video games, not like today's kids, what with their tricked out cars, etc.

There are good games out there and bad games. If you like a game, play it. If you don't, don't play it, don't buy it, don't buy any more games from that company.

Re:I'll say it right now (4, Insightful)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486700)

You sound like my parents complaining about "that damn rock music!"
The analogy's not even fair - unless those Rock musicians you listened to brought out the same album year after year, just reworked enough that you needed a whole new stereo to play it on!

I'm all in favour of a good rant now and then, and I think he did it well...

Re:I'll say it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486909)

Hey, sounds like AC/DC!

Re:I'll say it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486638)

Damn, dude, take a fucking chill pill. It's only a game.

Wouldn't you perfer a nice game of chess?

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486795)

NO! Thats the same old shit tired game as well. Damn game developers, how do they get away with this shit! I had hopes for the upcoming expansion set but all it offers is a B&W board with the same squares and the same 2 colours. It still comes in a big cardboard box for christs sake, everyone knows by now that DVD cases are better and they save shelf space!

Re:I'll say it right now (2, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486674)

Er... ummm... so you still wanna come round mine and LAN right?

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486736)

Tell us how you *really* feel.

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486774)

Bravo... BEST RANT EVAR!!

my appologies for running out of mod points.

Re:I'll say it right now (2, Funny)

Richard Frost (18848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486801)

Don't worry; Duke Nukem Forever will change all of that! Mostly because of the heat death of the universe, but, hey, you gotta take what you can get.

Re:I'll say it right now (1)

ripbruger (312644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486900)

I totally agree with this guy. I'm not seeing lots of really innovative games and systems (the closest we've got so far is the DS, and I haven't seen too many innovations there either). I think we have to realize that gameplay does win over power in a system or console. Look at Katamari Damacy, that game was amazing, and it only came in at $30 (CDN). I know this is mainly to the PC side of things, but it's the same with the console market as well. The real question is now, how do you let people know that better gameplay breeds better games?

Obviously (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486541)

They don't call them the Evil Alliance for nothing.

My company (1)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486552)

Team size: ~100
2004 profit (not revenue): $200m
Hours worked per week: 60-70
Bonus: $600 (in gift certificates, not cash)

Re:My company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486569)

Team size: ~100
2004 profit (not revenue): $200m
Hours worked per week: 60-70
Bonus: $600 (in gift certificates, not cash)

The pleasure your CEO gets from screwing you: Priceless.

Re:My company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486798)

Wow, and what exactly do you get for working nearly two full-time jobs at this sweat^H^H^H^H^Hcompany? Your execs must be rolling around in dough with this earnings/employee ratio and you're getting ripped off, unless you all are making $1m each.

Something tells me with $600 gift certificates, they're probably towards the company store, so y'all are getting royally screwed!

Re:My company (1)

Maul (83993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486949)

Well, it can't be EA. Then he'd be working 120 hours a week.

Re:My company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486812)

At least be glad you didn't get a pay cut.. this past year was the first year that (because of our screwed up bonus plan, which takes up a good 40% of our actual salary) I was given a paycut of about 20%, even though the company's bottom line increased by 40% over last year.. Because we didn't "grow" as fast as we did last year..

OT - sig (sort of...) (1)

rbird76 (688731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486887)

With those hours and bonuses, how do you manage to 1) stay awake to patrol your home and 2) keep yourself in shotgun shells?

At that rate, unless you hire out, all the thieves have to do is wait until you pass out and then begin to pillage.

Re:My company (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487000)

Lately I've begun to see My-Job-Worse comments on slashdot where posters just make up bad stuff about their jobs to blend in with their peers. I saw a comment on how the posters company was even worse in abusing marketing buzzwords in response to a story about marketing jargon. The comment was promptly ripped off from a page on the GNAA website.

Sweatshop 2005 (5, Funny)

j1bb3rj4bb3r (808677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486555)

New from EA Games... Sweatshop 2005 where you start a 15 year career as a team manager putting out world class video games. You must keep your team happy-ish, while driving them to the brinks of insanity. New features include 'personal day approval' where you must decide whether letting your multimedia developer go to their mother's funeral is worth the slip in schedule. Transfer team members to other lower performing teams in order to maximize your cost/benefit ratio. Upgrade your staff with 'efficiency experts' for that extra paranoid boost of productivity. Move up the ranks of the corporate ladder while crushing those who stand in your way. Collect praise and bonuses for the slave labor of your subordinates.

I'd play it.

Re:Sweatshop 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486859)

I'd play it.

I'd pirate it.

Re:Sweatshop 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486866)

The sad thing is that actually sounds like it would be a fun game.

Re:Sweatshop 2005 (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486885)

In could do this as an expansion pack for the SIMS, import your favourite families and watch how they react to all the cool features you just mentioned. But they are affected by the detrimental challenges at work for the slaves family. You could watch how the house and car get reposessed and see the wife slashing her wrists in a mountain of bills.

Not a good sign. (1)

sedition (662413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486564)

You gotta worry about the quality of the game if they got laid off even before it was released... heh.

You know (5, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486567)

The cynical answer to this would be "no comment." So obvious is business' contempt for education and an honest day's work now that it becomes pointless to even discuss it.

But each time anyone attempts to emphasize the fact that business has turned its back on just about everything except its quarterly earnings, we get "nobody owes you a living so get over it."

The fact is, it is wrong to fire people like this. It is absolutely wrong. These companies are damaging, and in a lot of cases destroying the careers of people who work for a living. It isn't fair and it isn't right.

EA has no problem investing millions and tens of millions to build colossal glittering corporate edifices where they can hold meetings about whom to fire this week. But on payday they claim costs are too high.

W-4 employment is obsolete.

Re:You know (1, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486925)

It isn't fair and it isn't right.

No, but it is capitalism. The problem is that the people capitalism works for are the people that can afford to buy the laws that they want, which make sure that capitalism works for them and not ordinary people who can't afford to do the same thing because capitalism doesn't wrok for them, so they don't have the money blah blah blah.

As you pointed out, anyone that complains gets the old mantra of "nobody owes you a living", which ignores the fact that that is exactly the principle that the people at the top of the pile work under: they think we all owe them a living. Look at Gates: literally born a millionaire, he spends his life telling elected governments what to do. Why? What do they owe him and his aristocratic friends? "Bugger all" is the truth, but tell that to Bill and he'd have a hissy fit and fill his nappy.

I think we should take a leaf from the Israelis and just do random executions to keep the bastards in line.

TWW

Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486944)

Please stop, sniff, you're breaking my liddle heart.

as the bumper sticker says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486613)

Working at EA sucks, then they lay you off.

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486618)

This VGCats comic [vgcats.com] from this monday seems to be particularly timely.

Anyone else say "screw em"? (4, Insightful)

EZmagz (538905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486642)

Here's my take (given that I haven't RTFA, it ain't worth much)...to hell with EA. Seriously. I'm not a huge gamer or console freak, so I don't spend a lot of money on games. Maybe 2 or 3 a year max, so it's not like my money matters in that much in the grand scheme of things.

That being said, after reading all of the crap that EA has been putting their employees through, I refuse to buy a game from them anymore. The last sports game I bought was Tiger Woods Golf 2004 for my PS2, and that WILL be the last game I'll buy from EA. Period. I refuse to give my money to a company that gets away with the slave labor antics and rediculous headcutting that EA has graced us with. While all those 100-hour-a-week programmers get sent to unemployment, EA's CEO still gets his 7-figure salary and a fat bonus. And YES, I realize that my Old Navy jeans are made in China and my polo shirt was made in some third-world country. Exploitation goes on worldwide, and I've come to terms with it. This is just one battle that I choose to let affect my purchasing decisions.

So basically EA, fuck you. I'll take my $100 a year that I would have spent on your products and go to one of the two or three remaining competitors left in console gaming. Or maybe I'll go buy some basement-made games like Uplink instead. Or maybe I'll just say screw you all and go buy used NES games, which still entertain me way more than your 'Sports Title $YEAR' titles ever will. Either way EA, you can kiss my money goodbye.

Re:Anyone else say "screw em"? (1)

j1bb3rj4bb3r (808677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486697)

But FIFA 2005 is sooooooo gooooooood.

Re:Anyone else say "screw em"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486903)

So your answer to the fact that they laid people off is to not buy from them in hopes that they will shut down and everyone gets laid off?

The part no one here mentions is this - we don't know the circumstances of why these people were laid off. The company upstairs from me is owned by AOL. They have like 15 people working for them. When that recent layoff hit they lost one guy. Guess who? The worthless piece of shit employee. This was someone who needed to be fired but - get this - AOL was nice enough to roll him into a mass layoff so he doesn't have to go to his next job and say he was fired. He even got like a month's severance.

Ritual laid off a bunch of their Elite Force 2 developers after they finished the game. But the reason was simple - they didn't have any more money to pay them with. The advances had run out, they couldn't bank on having profits from the game (sad reality of the industry), and their game ideas had been shot down by Activision, so no revenue from advances on them either.

We always see someone getting laid off as bad, and it is - but it's not neccessarily as inheriently evil as it's made out to be.

Re:Anyone else say "screw em"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486938)

Good riddance. We don't want pricks for customers like you anyways.

-EA

One can only take so many (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486666)

Medal of Honor, Call of Duty(activision) addons and expansions.
Please DON'T make any more WW2 games until you got some truly new amazing technology to show. It has been done to death.
If there only had been made one tenth of that in the Halflife universe, I'd be happy.
Nothing wrong with making a game series, a interactive story, but I am sick and tired of WW2 weapons and storylines.

Having all those expantions with little new gameplay does not help building a solid server base on the internet for multiplayer action.

Re:One can only take so many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486922)

Here's a hint:

(You don't have to buy them!)

Then they may try to find what you do want to buy.

Anony mous

I'm trying to resist (0)

Xerp (768138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486685)

... I can't... hold... back....

Something... making me... write... it....

1.) Lay off top-notch staff
2.) ???
3.) Profit!!

Gaaahhh... nooooooooo!

Prices (4, Interesting)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486734)

future cost of next-gen games, which in his opinion will likely stay as high as $50 and could perhaps fetch more on retail shelves.

I can already tell you that if every next-gen EA game comes out on the shelves at a $50+ price point, I'll simply turn to other games (or, more slyly, wait until the games appear used - in which case EA gets no profit out of the resale). They may hold certain niches, but they don't own the market ... no matter what they have convinced themselves of or how many developers they buy out.

its very simple... (1)

twoes00 (839980) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486780)

EA Sucks... They may have the most money, but the quality of games is terrible. The only good EA labels in my opinion are Maxis and Westwood, the rest just suck...

Hey we should thank EA for this one. (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486790)

Let me rephrase TFA:

"As a good-will gesture, EA has cooperated with our demands and released two groups of hostages, who obviously seemed overexhausted to deliver inferior products. The hostages are currently under rehabilitation (read as: Finding a better job). Due to the fact that this good-will gesture resulted in profits for the company, EA decided that it will release more groups of hostages in the course of the year. Maybe they're not so bad after all.

And here's Mike with the weather."

I live about a mile from the offices (3, Insightful)

gphinch (722686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486850)

Maybe they shouldn't have spent all their money on an all glass building 1/2 mile from the beach, compelete with full soccer field. Perks are nice, but nothing beats a reliable paycheck.

Re:I live about a mile from the offices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11487021)

Also, the building is in what use to be a nice marsh land, kinda like their building up north along the bay. I'm not a green freak, but it suprised me that a company as large as theirs would make such a non enviromentally aware move.

Of course (2, Insightful)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486855)

You do not need to produce quality when you have created yourself a monopoly. The future for EA will be crappy sports titles for the small price of $99.99

Sorry - EA is a FANTASTIC place to work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486924)

If you are someone who actually makes games, ie. the engineers, EA is an absolutely fabulous place to work. Although there are many studios all over the place, working conditions are wonderful. You're not going to be working on anything ground braking most likely, but that is the tradeoff.

However, if you are just another interchangeable cog, ie. artists and low to mid level producers, you will of course be worked to death and discarded when no longer needed. Shit like that happens when you have skills with very low marketplace value.
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