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Former EA Chicago Employee Speaks Out

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the still-working-out-the-bugs dept.

Businesses 48

The closing of EA Chicago came as a bit of a surprise to everyone, including EA Chicago employees. Still dealing with the layoff, an anonymous EA Chicago employee laid out what it was like in the last days to 1up. He touched on the cold reaction to the closure from online readers, and the reality of EA expectations: "In Gibeau's memo, he cited the low chance of short term profitability as an overarching reason for shutting down EA Chicago. Our source claims the company simply had impractical expectations. 'I believe we were never given a fair shake. Fight Night was a huge success,' he said, but 'Def Jam was another story. The estimates for Def Jam's sales were extremely unrealistic for the game. Even if it had done well it would have never hit the unrealistic goals and projections that the marketing department made.'" Update: 11/12 21:31 GMT by Z : Corrected link. Additionally, the folks at Infinity Ward have now offered ex-EA Chicagoans the chance to work with them.

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Story? (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327491)

Is there a story link that should have been in the summary? I see one link to an older Slashdot article and nothing else.

Re:Story? (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327895)

No kidding. I did a double take when I saw that it was Zonk and not kdawson that posted this story.

Re:Story? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21329089)

No, kdawson would have links to the wikipedia entries for EA, Chicago and 1up before not linking to the interview.

Re:Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21344559)

Fucking LOL!!!

Re:Story? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328003)

Not a whole lot of additional meat in the article, anyway. Basically the guy feels lousy because he got laid off (been there, done that), and says they were never given a chance, and expectations were unrealistic, etc.

One thing that got me is that he seems to solely blame the marketing department for Def Jam's failure, even though all the reviews of it seem to suggest that the game just plain sucked. Sure, marketing may have overhyped it, but that doesn't make them responsible for the technical issues that likely contributed heavily to poor sales.

It sucks that these people lost their jobs, and I sympathize with the fact that they're being lambasted for sucking all over the Internet, but on the other hand they made crappy games that sold poorly. On top of that, they worked for a company viewed as evil by most people who care about these things. So now, instead of being mocked for working for a lousy company on lousy games, they can now be mocked for formerly working for a lousy company and formerly working on lousy games.

My advice to this guy would be to step away from the Internet until the chatter dies down. If hearing that EA sucks and EA Chicago deserved to go down because they sucked is going to get him depressed, he should avoid the kinds of sites that are likely to say those things. This whole story will die down as soon as people like him stop contacting game sites to complain about it.

Re:Story? (4, Informative)

bethorphil (241623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332471)

One thing that got me is that he seems to solely blame the marketing department for Def Jam's failure, even though all the reviews of it seem to suggest that the game just plain sucked. Sure, marketing may have overhyped it, but that doesn't make them responsible for the technical issues that likely contributed heavily to poor sales.


I've worked at EA. Marketing doesn't just sell the game, they pick the damn features. They set the release date. Sometimes, they even dictate the technology you will use, if it means a back-of-the-box bulletpoint.

People seem to be stuck on the idea that EA is a game company. Wrong! Electronic Arts Inc. is a titanic marketing company, which has somehow rolled up some talented coders and artists, Katamari-style. The dev team can be super-skilled and still get bulldozed along with the rest of the crap-wad. If Def Jam sucks, I wouldn't be suprised if it's because the marketing department was desperate to shove it out the door in time for the MTV Music Awards, or Dr. Dre's new album.

Re:Story? (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21333427)

I can buy your argument, but the developers have to accept some level of responsibility, if only that they weren't smart enough. Maybe Marketing/Management was daft to think they could get someone talented enough to pull it off for what they pay, but that doesn't remove the fact that they made a crappy game.

That's the way I like to think, anyway. It at least leaves the door open for self-improvement.

Grow up and move on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21327555)

There were way too many branches of EA. With profits shrinking, of course they are going to close down the least productive dev. houses. Fact of life in the game industry. Of course the crappy games they made played a role in their closing, no big surprise there.

A link would be helpful.... (0, Redundant)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327591)

You know, a link to what the article is supposedly talking about. They tend to help.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3164291 [1up.com]

Thought I would help.

MARKETING DEPARTMENT !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327717)

you gotta hang those guys in every company. then all will be ok. im almost serious.

Re:MARKETING DEPARTMENT !!! (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327803)

I try to keep the marketing/sales guys as far away from the development staff as possible. I tell them WHAT to sell not the other way around. When you have marketing/sales driving development you get a lot of pretty widgets that don't really do anything until the first "bug fix" or unrealistic short sighted applications that go over budget and undersold.

you said it partner ! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328281)

you bet you gotta keep them away. else theyll go amok with their sales fantasies.

Re:MARKETING DEPARTMENT !!! (5, Interesting)

DarthTeufel (751532) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328263)

I agree with your sentiment. I once had to lay off 20% of our production plant because marketing/sales couldn't meet the goals they laid out justifying the capex. Most depressing day of my life hands down.

Since then, I've made it my personal crusade to call bullshit on Sales and Marketing. I got an accounting degree, but most of the people not smart enough to get a real business degree got a marketing degree.

While a necessary part of the business, I absolutely hate them.

Re:MARKETING DEPARTMENT !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21329287)

when i was in university, they made it obligatory for industrial designers to take courses in manufacturing. because, they were designing so utterly stupid products that, they were impossible to produce with most modern of techniques.

all BA people need to be required to have taken courses in any related field they are going to work in to. for example, a sales and marketing person to work in a software company need to be required to have taken software design courses, at least one, or prove that s/he understands the concepts of software design, by self taught effort.

cross-disciplinary understanding is needed.

Money wasted in other ways... (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332861)

Got to wonder whose idea was it for a studio that was losing money to move to Downtown Chicago...When you're talking $15-$30 per sqft on an annual lease you're talking a LOT of money (god forbid they actually bought floors or one of the actual buildings). Besides giving the employees a defacto $1000+ pay cut due to parking and/or mass transportation cuts, you've done nothing to make you're buisness more financially stable.

Re:Money wasted in other ways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346375)

Since the time Kudo Tsunoda gained control of that studio, he increased the employee count from 40 to 150+ and moved the studio from a cheap suburban office to a expensive downtown one. Because of his blundering and hubris, he couldn't manage to even salvage the studio by reducing the head count. Think about the epic amount of incompetence required by the studio head to force closure of the entire studio rather than just cutting half the staff (keeping the most talented of course), moving to a cheap office and focusing on profitability. Not to mention that all the great changes of DEF:ICON were his brillant idea.

This is definitely one case where the admiral sank his own ship. With his ego, and the realization he will never manage another studio, I'm sure he's facing quite a philosophical dilemma. Probably the only two options are to start his own studio or commit suicide. Probably would be easier just to swallow the bullet now dude.

That would be... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21327733)

because Def Jam Icon sucked. Seriously, it had to be the worst fighting game ever. Laggy controls, awful music, and that god awful "remix music while fighting" mechanic that wrecked it for me. I wish they could have made Def Jam: Fight for New York for the 360...the "old" one isnt compatible yet...but that was a good game. Good controls, good fighting techniques, and fun levels (the subway matches were awesome) mixed together with good characters and music. I hope they can pull it together and make a GOOD Def Jam for the 360 and save the franchise from doom.

Re:That would be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21327915)

You sound like you actually purchased the game without getting the demo. Lesson learned I hope.

Re:That would be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334773)

so true! Dropping the 4 player multiplayer was probably the worst idea ever for a brawling game. I think they took a list of all of the features of FFNY and meticulously removed every positive aspect.

at least there's a reason now... (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327771)

People have a decent defense against the RTFA for once.....

Sweet Vengeance (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327925)

It sounds like EA Chicago kinda got the shaft. It'd be sweet vengeance if they formed their own company and beat their old employer with something fresh and new. It seems that developers everywhere need to be ready to take fate into their own hands because the corporations will boot you out the door without hesitation to meet some short term goal. Innovation doesn't generally blossom in the short term. Heck, given a chance, what they were trying to do in Def Jam might have evolved into something great. I mean people probably laughed at those quirky Japanese rhythm games when the ideas were first floated. Now I, and many others can hardly wait to spend $100USD to whoop it up with fake guitars and other instruments.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (2, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328031)

I used to be one of those laughing at guitar hero, but now I'm sad and my guitar gently weeps. It weeps for all of those that play on a crappy plastic thing incapable of its virtuosity. It weeps as men sell their souls for a lifetime of pretending to cover other peoples songs. Ask not for whom it weeps, for it weeps for thee.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328075)

But how much is -really- management's fault (unrealistic goals, according to the summary) and how much is the employees'?

If they were capable of putting in the amount of work necessary for a startup, do you think EA Chicago would still have died? It's a -hell- of a lot more work than EA, no matter how bad EA is. EA only takes 80 hours a week, a startup takes every last second that's available... And if you don't have enough available, you won't make it.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (2, Insightful)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21329153)

Right. Only 80 hours. Apparently your management isn't familiar with the principle of diminishing returns. Startups aren't even run that way any more, at least not in silicon valley where I work. Smart startups and VCs these days are much more interested in sustainable, stable companies than the boom/bust nonsense of the .bomb era.

Working crunch at EA may "only" take 80 hours of your week, but trust me, there's nothing left after that because the work is challenging. If you're pushing much over 80, your job is time-consuming but easy, or you're just planning on a quickly approaching burnout sometime soon.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21330859)

I don't work for a game company. I was refering to the (I thought) well known fact that EA requires massive overtime from all their game development staff. They're pretty much the industry leader in beating the shit out of an employee and getting thanked for it.

My point was that as bad as EA is, starting your own business it harder! Even if they wanted to take all the same people and just start a project, they'd have to PAY all those people from something... You suggest Venture Capital, but that isn't magic... You have to pound the pavement to get that as well. In the end, you either end up with a few people who destroy themselves to make it work (and fail doing it) or you end up with a bunch of people working their asses off to get the thing going. It'll make days at EA look like a picnic.

And of course, that's assuming they have an idea what they want to do, and can agree on it. Without an idea, there's no money and nothing to work on.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (3, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328571)

The reality is probably that nobody got "the shaft", but also that it wasn't the employees' faults either.

I think there is a tendency among a lot of people to take this kind of thing personally. There's nothing personal about it. EA doesn't see this as laying off a certain number of employees; they see it as jettisoning an unprofitable part of the company. Nor should they see it any other way; we don't live in a socialist economic system, the whole point is to be profitable. It's not up to EA's board of directors or CEO to get to know every single employee and pledge to take care of their families forever, regardless of anything.

Employees, likewise, know there's always a risk of a layoff when they're hired. That's part of the bargain. In return, an employee is allowed to quit whenever he wants, with a reasonable expectation of finding another job in fairly short order. That's a freedom that people in many countries don't have.

I think this unnamed former employee is taking all of this a little too personally. Yeah, it sucks to get laid off - I've been through it too. But there was nothing personal in the firings and there is honestly probably nothing personal in the "cold" comments he's reading on the net either. All anybody on the outside knows is the games that this division put out, and that they're a part of a giant conglomerate that everybody hates as a matter of course. Those are what we have to judge this studio by. So how can he blame anyone for being harsh? People are just making a judgment based on the information they have. It's got nothing to do with him personally.

He feels bad now, but he'll get another job and forget all about this eventually. My being laid off sucked, and the job I got laid off from was probably the best I ever had, but it ended up advancing my career. I'm sure that I wouldn't be making the money I'm making now if I was still stuck at that job, and I likely wouldn't have a house or a wife. You never know how things are going to play out, and what's going to end up being the catalyst you need to take the next step in your life.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21328757)

Just wanted to mention that I used to work for EA, and while they do seem like a monopolistic 800 lb gorilla, they still, at the end of the day, try to take care of their own. The fact of the matter is that EA studios are run against each other (just like any other set of competing game companies). If your company cannot sustain dollar amount X, well, you have to go. It's just the economics of EA, and everybody working for them knows that. This being said, whenever there is a studio closure (and there have been plenty, many of which nobody notices), the staff of the closed studio are (for the most part) offered relocation to other EA studios. Unless someone really shows no value for the company (i.e. would have to have had a really bad evaluation etc.), they will still have a job if they want one. It's just that they will have to move. And most times, said job moves come with some sort of payout for having to move/being terminated etc.

So, while it may be depressing, it is far from the end of the world. Besides, if they REALLY don't want to move, there are still a small number of developers in Chicago that I'm sure would be more than happy to take on new experienced staff. Experience in this industry is lacking.

Just my 2 cents.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (2, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21330295)

I would have hoped that EA had the common sense not to have two studions working on titles in identical genre's. That happened to other multi-studio game developers. The theory was a nice idea; let every team work on whatever interested them. This certainly attracted staff and the company grew massively, but in the end, they end up with multiple numbers of teams around the place competing against each other for the Christmas/Summer holiday slots.

Re:Sweet Vengeance (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332753)

I'm not here to defend the actions of EA, but will say that I don't know why people always see layoffs of talented companies as attacks on inovation. Fans would want to believe that EA Chicago got shafted and to some extent that may be true - They worked 50+hours per week, they developed quality games, they did what they were asked. But the other truth is that they still lost money, and were expected to continue those losse possibly into 2011 based on reports from related media.

May posters on this article propably has not experienced a layoff, so I'll make it plain and simply. Layoffs are about cutting cost. When a company swings the ax to cut costs, skill set and talent is secondary to the getting $$$$ up to what is expected. Call it downsizing, corporate evil, EA being EA or whatever. That's the way big buisness works - This isn't an industry of 5 guys coding in a college dorm or rented loft in downtown Philly. It's about profits, and we're naive to believe that the MBAs who run these companies won't do what it takes to appease shareholders.

How to kill innovation (5, Insightful)

bflynn (992777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327965)

Shame, shame, shame.

Innovation might be EA's mantra, but their actions are fighting against it. When you're working in the fields of innovation, for every spectacular success, there will be at least one spectacular failure. And probably many more than one. If you're not willing to accept those failures as the cost of innovation, then you have no business calling yourself an innovative company. EA just told every one of their developers "don't take a risk. Do it the safe way."

If you want to blame anyone, blame the management. With proper technique, they should have known well before final production which games would make it and which would flop. EA is obviously a company on the decline.

Brian

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328197)

EA isn't about innovation. EA is about selling you the same sports games every year with updated player rosters. EA is about spamming you with pop-up ads every time you start up the N-th incarnation of the Battlefield game. EA is about selling ad space on in-game billboards. EA is about making low-risk, low-cost investments and monetizing the shit out of them. There is no innovation at Electronic Arts.

Re:How to kill innovation (5, Informative)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328987)

Spore, Dead Space, Army of Two, Crysis, Boogie etc. etc. EA is as innovative as any of the next top 5 major publishers (which is not very). It's not like you're singling out EA in any way with your comment. You're just describing the current state of the gaming industry.

Look at Activision, 2K, Ubisoft, THQ and how many sequels and franchise spin offs they publish. THQ spits out endless terrible movie franchise titles, which are uniformly bad.

EA cranks out a million sports titles, but that's just their exclusive licenses. Every company has their franchises, and any company that could get their hands on EA's sports franchises would do exactly what EA is doing with them.

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331175)

Other publishers dont abandon their software 3 months after getting it working as advertised, which is 8 months after it was released.

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21339059)

For the most part a lot of these gaming companies haven't put out something really original in the past 5-8 years. It seems like most of the new games are just sequels to past games. (GTA IV, Halo 3, various sports titles for each year, Empire Earth III etc.) I'm clinging to find something original, hopefully Mass Effect will fill the void for awhile.

Re:How to kill innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21351757)

Well someone did some analysis and a few charts of that sort of thing about 3 years (?) ago, printed in MCV, and EA was *way* out in the lead for sequels/licenses (90% IIRC). The most innovative were Sony and Microsoft for some reason (less than 50% sequels). It would be interesting to see if the change of CEOs (and consoles) has changed the mindset and EA is less sequel driven in the last year or so.

Re:How to kill innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331249)

In my experience, most marketing people are only good at selling one thing- themselves. They are good at convincing nervous CEOs and board members that they are necessary for the success of a company. I have tons of marketing horror stories in the games industry. Like one marketing guy telling the company it should kill our new IP because they there was no brand recognition and we instead should license a movie property. Um, that's your job, idiot! You are supposed to make the consumer know about and want to buy our game. If I give you ice, you better find a way to sell it to eskimoes. Or my favorite was when our team wanted to branch out and came up with a new spin on an old genre. Marketing informed us that "That genre is dead. Those games don't sell anymore." Well, that will always be true until the next successful game in that genre. Sure enough, a competitor did a new game in the same genre we proposed and had a huge hit a year later. The same marketing weasels in the company came to us DEMANDING we make a game in that genre because that's "what's hot" and complained that our last game (that they made us do) was in an overcrowded genre. And therein lies the problem with marketing. They can't tell you what will be popular or why something is popular, they can only tell you what IS popular (which any idiot could do by looking at monthly sales charts). To a marketing person, Half-Life and Daikatana are the exact same game. They have all the same bullet points. A marketing person would probably give Daikatana the nod as the "hotter" and more marketable game because it had Romero and a more wide open theme (time traveling). On the surface they are the same game if you go by features on the back of the box. But obviously there is a huge difference in the two products and that difference is unquantifiable to marketing people.

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#21333759)

If you're saying that a studio should be expected to churn out 50% stinkers as the price of being "innovative," I'd have to disagree. Look at Nintendo - their worst first-party games are still better that 90% of the stuff EA puts out, and they're probably the most innovative game-makers out there.

If that sounds like fanboyism, look at some more "conservative" studios (which I think you could argue have innovated more than this EA department ever did): Bioware (pre-EA), Blizzard, Valve.

What do all these companies have in common? They put an emphasis on playability and consistent fun, which mean EXTENSIVE playtesting and polish, every step of the way.

If you're a game company pushing a game gold when you think it's only got a 50% chance of entertaining people, you've already screwed up.

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334369)

I agree. Innovation must not automatically mean that some games are going to suck. It will probably mean that some games are not going to sell well, but really: You just know whether your game sucks or not before you publish it. There's no guessing involved. And if you're really not sure, do playtests. Hell, send out a few prerelease review copies. You'll quickly find out whether your game sucks.

Re:How to kill innovation (1)

AgentSmith (69695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21337037)

All true. Some CEOs, marketing and accounting professionals who work at game companies
have no concept of game playability. You need to turn that concept into something quantifiable
for them. Odd? Testing and surveying seems to help with that. Are there marketing departments
out there in gameland doing this? I dunno. But anyway.

Innovation takes time! Valve produces Half-Life. A game that has lasted by
it sheer playability. Sure, there were other FPS games out there at the time, but
this was an improvement by leaps and bounds.

Also, I don't see Starcraft 2 leaping onto the shelves either. Blizzard is taking its time.
Which I hope translates into a awe inspiring sequel. If it was up to EA Starcraft 2 would have
been launched a year or two after Starcraft.

I'm getting up there in age. I have kids and I don't have a much time to play which means I'm
no longer in the target market. I haven't bought a new game, since HL2 came out.
Give me something worthwhile and I'll put my money on the table.

Welcome to the world of work (3, Insightful)

ScotchForBreakfast (1060672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21328271)

I like games, and to a certain extent I feel some kinship with the folks who make them. So it is a bummer when I see those places closed down.

At the same time when I hear these stories of development locations or developers being closed down and the subsequently whining by a few of them I can't help but think "welcome to the world of work". Seriously, gaming is a business like any other and regardless of realistic or unrealistic expectations, or just random unfairness stuff like this happens.

Re:Welcome to the world of work (1)

wdolez00 (1163607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21329935)

I'm still glad that I didn't accept the position with EA Chicago back in March.

Re:Welcome to the world of work (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331101)

Yeah, I've been on a sinking ship before. It sucks. Very few workers at any business have any real say in the long term plans of the company. So they may do wonderful work on their projects, but if the company makes horrible strategic decisions, they go down with the ship. My advice to anyone is to find a job where you can have as much of an impact on the long term success of the business and do your best. That might mean working for less money in the short or near term, or for a smaller company, but Its worth it for me. The less management/sales/marketing above me the better. I don't mind them when they are good at what they do, like the ones I work with now, but it takes owners/board members longer to figure out the incompetence of those higher ups than any one lower on the pole.

Re:Welcome to the world of work (2, Insightful)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21357733)

Day late, dollar short, all that. That's what I get for not reading Slashdot daily. ;P

The problem is that game development is a creative endeavor. Part of what makes a team work well is team chemistry, and it's not easy to go to a new place and instantly feel that chemistry. That's one of the problems with modern game development, because otherwise promising teams are axed merely by looking at the bottom line and ignoring the other factors that can't be put in terms of dollars and cents on the balance sheet. Game development, despite it's similarities with software development, is much more similar to putting together a movie or play rather than coding a business application.

Yes, game development is a business; I was an editor for a book [psychochild.org] on that very topic. But, there's much more to maximizing profits in the industry than simply increasing profit and/or lowering costs.

Misleading Headline (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332667)

First off, the 1UP headline Infinity Ward Offers Ex-EA Chicago Devs Jobs is just plain wrong. They weren't offered jobs - They were offered to interview for open positions at Infinity Ward, which just so happen to be available to the rest of the public also.

Secondly, people need to remember that Infinity Ward is on the other side of the country. These people have families, their children go to neighborhood schools, they have homes. Some may be able to just pick up and leave, but for others, that may not be an option.

Infinity Ward's gesture is nice, I'm sure - But this is by no means sanctuary for those laid off.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

MarkAyen (726688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21340335)

First off, the 1UP headline Infinity Ward Offers Ex-EA Chicago Devs Jobs is just plain wrong. They weren't offered jobs - They were offered to interview for open positions at Infinity Ward, which just so happen to be available to the rest of the public also.
Given that Def Jam: Icon was subpar by any measure, Infinity Ward is wise to hedge its bets. Clearly, some out-of-work EA Chiacgo staffers were better at what they did than others.

Getting laid off sucks, no doubt. (Been there, got the unemployment check.) Development houses are hiring right now and the development community knows by reputation who's competent and who isn't. Anyone worth their salt will be back up and working within a couple of months, assuming they're willing to relocate.

And, yeah, chances are they'll have to relocate, at least if they want to stay working in game development. Them's the breaks.

EA Chicago had it coming (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334139)

As a gamer, I found them quite annoying. Their games were generally sub-par, and from what I've seen from the studio itself, at least some of the people clearly were full of it. [gametrailers.com]

I think EA is trying to move towards more innovation, new franchises and smaller games, and EA Chicago simply didn't fit. They made mediocre sequels, so EA cut them and bought a few "real" development studios instead.

I'm sorry for the people who worked there, but I think for EA, it's the right thing to do.
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