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Author Topic: EA troubles
animator-boy
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Egads

http://snarkyspot.blogspot.com/2004/11/ea-spouse-speaks-out-against-game.html

the LINK at the bottom goes here....85 hours a week baby!!!

http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/

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JDC
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Wow.. I read those articles and they make me mad. EA shows no regard for their employees when they treat them like that. To any EA employee out there, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE.. don't be intimidated by management, they are people just like you. Maybe I'm in a bad mood today, but we gotta stop this "We'll fire you and send your work overseas" garbage. [Gary]

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Kevin
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JDC is absolutely right. To all of you at EA, what was described in that link is patently ILLEGAL. It is a complete violation of California state labor laws. You can fight it on your own, or you can organize.

The Animation Guild has been getting rep cards from EA employees. Unfortunately, most in the games industry don't have a clue about the Guild, or how much good it would do for them, so we don't have nearly enough cards to do anything.

Get educated! Call the Guild office at (818) 766-7151, and talk to Steve Hulett.

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Eric Hedman
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quote:
Amazingly, Electronic Arts was listed #91 on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2003.
When last I was at EA, this is something that they were angling for, not something that was awarded because they were some company like SAS back east. Many of the folks I knew in HR who helped win this award have moved on to other companies.

When I worked at Maxis I worked the hours they described, but not constantly. I wanted to make the art and animation and design I was supervising better each time we did a product.
And it worked that way.
I did it for myself and my team.

If you have to work in games, I would suggest you find a smaller studio that will publish through a larger entity...and has no interest in selling themselves to the monolithic prescence.
Oh yeah, treating you with respect is good too.

Keep your eyes open, and don't hold on to a job in a bad place. Life is too short to squander your health on someone or someplace that pretends to care about you...and uses your sense of loyalty to control you. Chances are they are just talking.

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dermot
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wow.....sounds like this became an issue much more suddenly....and to a greater extreme than the axe over our heads in series work .

I remember finally getting the courage to say I would never tell my crew they had to work a weekend ( for free ) to make a shipping deadline on a monday . ( why did so many shipping deadlines end up on mondays anway ?)
It was perhaps rhetorical.....but when my producer said something to the effect that "it would be easier to just ship all production overseas I could only say do whatever you want it's your company "
It would have been curious to hang on and see if they would have come up with some reason to fire me..but I went out on my own to something else soon after . My successors laster much longer than I......but at least one felt no guilt in handing work out to people and telling them it had to be finished for the next day .

Eventually I think a lot of us found it was easier to take the work home...and bring it back untouched saying " something came up "

I remember an idea Charles posted WAY back on work for free.....take it.....and don't do it !

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OFFBEAT
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The only way these companies will get it through their heads is if you quit in protest, and go work for the competition. And if people boycott them.

Only when the cashflow is interupted is when it becomes a problem of those in power.

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Eric Hedman
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Being creative content makers is one of those things makes it so we can just go away and show up at the competitions place. Not so for programmers if they suddenly show up enmasse at the competition working on basically the same product as happened recently with the EA Medal of Honour crew going and doing Call of Duty at Activision. That became an issue for lawyers and settlements. [Smile]

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Russian Judge
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I hate to get political, but...

...labor unions are political entities. They have suffered greatly, and not just at the hands of Republican administrations, either.

It's time to start looking for the Congresspeople who will be running in 2006, and start pinning them down on what they intend to do for all labor unions and work laws.

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CreepyDan
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UPDATE: There is a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against EA

http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/274.html?thread=41490#t41490

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Dickie Crickitts
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yeah and the talk is that the guy in the law suit, (sueing for overtime - an artist I believe) is going to win. Some people at EA fear this will only send the games overseas to be made cheaper. [frown]
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Dickie Crickitts
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It's time to start looking for the Congresspeople who will be running in 2006, and start pinning them down on what they intend to do for all labor unions and work laws.

Yeah and you can thank non other than George Bush who wants to put an end to overtime. You can count on that going thru this term.

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Floyd Bishop
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EA wouldn't have this new problem if they just did things the right way from the beginning.

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Kion
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quote:
was awarded because they were some company like SAS back east
SAS in North Carolina, and is an awesome place to work. I visited there a few years ago. It is an amazing place, the nearest thing to comapre it to is pixar. they have a huge campus. There goal is to keep there workers happy, and they will bend over backwards to do it. I think it was all started by graphic designer that had a small shop across the street from NC State. If I were still in NC i would be working there.

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Paul Allen
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UPDATE: The original EA Spouse post is up to 665 comments so far, and getting heated in places. I award a gold star to this post on page 11:

Shove it up your @$$
(Anonymous)
2004-11-11 22:53 (link)
Boo-hoo indeed. How dare anyone complain about their working conditions! I mean, someone else is guaranteed to have it worse! Instead, lets all just keep our mouths shut, and make it even easier for a few people to become millionaires on the hard work of others.

Give me a f**king break. You people are absolutely ridiculous. I work in a call center, making crap wages, wishing I could get a job at a game dev studio. And I still have empathy for these people.

So either give a damn about other people, or take your selfish attitude, follow the subject, and put in an application for management at EA. I hear they like to hire a$$holes.

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BobV
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Hey Paul, can I have a million dollars?
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Paul Allen
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If I was the rich Paul Allen, I'd hook all of ya up with some walking around money.

(I keep trying to convince that dood to give me at least $10 a day just for having the same first and last name. Humph... he won't even return my calls. The nerve...)

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Paul Allen
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UPDATE: Up to 770 posts on the original 'EA Spouse' post. Here's a sample from page 12:

"This practice is rampant in the game development sector, even in small studios.

My husband works for a studio where a guy recently had a heart attack, and instead of letting the poor man rest, the management kept in touch with him telling him how behind they were getting, and how it would be really great if he could come in and work. It was disgusting how they were trying to guilt him into working hours when he was suppose to be resting. This is what they do best. They make you feel like you are a disappointment to your team. That the game won't ship because of you, and you'll start losing them contracts.

Divorce and families troubles are common, workers have gotten into car accidents due to falling asleep at the wheel. Workers have had strokes, ulcers and other stress related conditions. This is a relatively young work force too. Most of these men are in their 20's and 30's.

Something needs to be done, and I think your approach of public awareness is brilliant. Thanks for being so brave."

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Charles
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It's clobberin time.

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ovi nedelcu
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one of my best friends is an animator there, and i usually call him at work from my house...AT 1AM IN THE MORNING!! he hates it, and tells me they say "its crunch time", but i dont care what type of crunch time a company has, thats just downright rediculous. he has been working WEEKENDS also for the past 5 months! whats the hell?! that place is a mess.

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ALSO VISIT: PIGTALE @
http://pigtalecomic.com/

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Dickie Crickitts
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Believe me, as a spouse of an EA artist, its as bad as she says. They are cranking out a product and could care less what happens to the people that work there as long as they sell as many copies of the games as possible. **Also, take note: the engineers are the stars, not the artists.**

Still, the pay is fine and the yearly bonuses are good (at least in our opinion). They have good benefits (except the dental kind of sucks). The only thing I can complain about as a spouse is the hours and the pressure they put on everyone to stay as late as possible and weekends year round, etc.

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Paul Allen
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Just an FYI for all of you following this topic, a big thread on this at Slashdot.
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Paul Allen
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Man, this has been a long day. I just posted some more info and updates following this. CNET has picked it up, and Intl Game Developers Assoc. is following it. I posted the update on my blog:

EA Spouse Speaks Out Against Game Industry Practices

The new info is at the bottom of the post.

G'nite all!

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Paul Allen
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More updates and discussion links at bottom of:
EA Spouse Speaks Out

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Paul Allen
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UPDATE: (I'm continuing updates on my blog. Updates are tacked on at the bottom of the post.) Please visit all the sites (here, CG-Char, Slashdot, Darren Barefoot) and contribute to the discussions if you can, spreading information and ideas is a great way to let more people know what is happening. (I'll be cross-posting this to CG-Char.)

The discussions continue, another spouse of an EA employee gives a viewpoint
at Darren Barefoot:
(post from DB)
I have to take issue with one or your statements: "For my money, there's something kind of ingenuine that this guy's partner is writing this piece."

As the spouse of someone who works at EA, I can vouch for everything in the original article. I can think of 8 people off hand immediately that have quit from my husband's current project within the past 6-8 months; is that 50%, I don't know, but it's a lot from a single team.

My husband hasn't had a day off since early October. Yes, that means he's worked straight for at least 4 weeks. That's not just working 7 days a week, that's being worked like a slave.

He's gotten home around 2am for the past week and a half. Before that he was working from 9am until 10:30pm (6-7 days a week, only occasionally getting a Sunday off), for the past 3 months. [sarcasm]That wasn't too awful.[/sarcasm] We haven't been able to go out to dinner or a movie or do anything remotely resembling time together since early summer.

So yeah. His wife wrote this piece. You know why? Because her husband, like mine, is at the complete edge of mental exhaustion. He's probably so exhausted he can barely form a coherant sentence, never mind writing something as moving and important as what she wrote.

Like her, I'm pissed as hell. We have a right to be. Our husbands have the right to work in the gaming industry (which they really want to do, so being told "Get a new job" isn't very helpful) without being pushed to a point that damages their health, their families, or their marriages.
Posted by: Big Brother is Watching at November 11, 2004 09:00 PM

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Twedzel
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This ***** got to stop! All the young punks in our industry who have railed against unionisation and promoted the dim witted we got to work incredible hours like it's a fuking badge of honour are just getting steam rolled by thoughtless heartless corperate managers without a clue on project time management.
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Paul Allen
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New updates on bottom of post.
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Eric Hedman
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If only Spouses ruled the world.
Gotta get me a spouse.
Can you still find them at WalMart?

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Paul Allen
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Lots of news site, discussion groups, blogs are picking up the EA Spouse story. New updates on bottom of post.
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OFFBEAT
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Spouses are great..
They inspire you to do great things..
and then prevent you from doing them.
[Big Grin]

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Graphiteman
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quote:
Spouses are great..
They inspire you to do great things..
and then prevent you from doing them.

[funny]
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dermot
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I really can't understand what I'm missing here..can someone be legally fired for NOT doing 40 hrs of unpaid overtime?

How would the wording look on that dismissal ?

Not so long ago our premier here in Ontario outlawed getting unemployment benefits if you quit your job....but that just meant if you had a crappy job and wanted to quit, you had to wait for your boss to get the hint and "let you go " so you could still collect and look for other work .

why don't those guys who are quitting anyway consider just working their 40 hrs ( ok.plus 2 or 3 for good faith )....and get FIRED for doing nothing other than a normal work week ? Gee boss....I'd love to put in 40 hrs of free overtime..but....well....I have family coming over this weekend . COURAGE !!

or am I REALLY stupid here?

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Graphiteman
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That should be recorded in the official book of quotes!
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dermot
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that I'm stupid?? [Confused]

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Graphiteman
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quote:
That should be recorded in the official book of quotes!
I mean what Offbeat typed.
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dermot
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Gotcha man!!.fast typin! [funny]

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Twedzel
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Theres also alot of internal preasure to not let down the team. Everyone else works a 16 hour day and when you go home after 8, you feel like you're letting down your team. Its an insideous self policing that is much harder to shake than simply standing up to unreasonable management demands. I've personally been dealing with it for a while now.
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Paul Allen
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I didn't know EA had Management Motivational posters....
EA Management Motivational Posters

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Paul Allen
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About those 'Motivational Posters', sometimes a little parody can drive a point home as well as serious discussion.

(Hopefully everyone will take them the right way, no disrespect to the EA employees.)

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Dickie Crickitts
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dermot, i think he did get fired. many people got fired around the same time for not pulling their weight -- supposedly. EA expects you to be there pretty much 7 days until the product ships.
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rostrum
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seems those modivational posters work well when you replace EA with Disney too.
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