On December 1st, Headgate Studios became EA Salt Lake. That’s right, Electronic Arts, the worlds largest video game publisher purchased the game development studio I work for. The studio focus is to be on Wii projects for Nintendo.

This is both good and bad for the studio and its employees. Good for “stability”, bad for flexibility. I prefer the flexibility. You can read about my concerns here as well as a well written rant about the situation here. Mostly concerning the fact that EA feels a right to own anything you work on in your time away from work if it’s related to the “business” of EA.

It’s not just the ownership of my own time that concerns me. It’s the new attitude from management that has already become apparent since they took on more projects and accepted the break neck time frames. We’ve started doing some pretty important stuff for EA and we’re now seeing the effects of powerful executives pressing their agenda on us. You can read from my last entry about how we would constantly have to fight EA about how we manage our overtime. Well, management has buckled under pressure and I imagine will continue to do so so long as we remain part of the EA mega corp. I don’t like the feeling I have when I go to work anymore. Sure, my tech lead is great and doing what he can, but how long can he keep up the fight under the constant rebuke and pressure? It’s been a little while in the works but we’ve finally become an EA studio with the EA culture of “Crunch hard for our late reviews and feature creep and get the thing out the door!” After considering things, I don’t think things will “remain the same as they were” with respect to quality of life. Things were already changing before they purchased the studio.

I don’t know if I will stay or for how long. Several more appealing opportunities have become available. I turned down working for EA in the past so that I could work for Headgate. Looks like I just can’t get away from them.

I have always had my side projects that I could use keep my sanity and provide me with a creative outlet. EA wants me to stop working on them so I can focus more on my work for EA and not “compete” against them. Well, I will not stop working on them. Weather I stay with EA Salt Lake, or weather I go elsewhere, I intend to continue with my work. That’s just the kind of personality I have. There are so many things I want to do—want to create. I won’t give up this flexibility for “stability”.