Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Electronic Arts Building

While I was observing my standard Memorial Day rituals (putting flags on every war memorial within a 500 mile radius, defacing the gravestones of foreign veterans, singing “God Bless America” nonstop for eight hours), I forgot to post a blog entry.  I guess I’m just too patriotic.

Anyway, to make up for the lack of posting, today’s post will be half as funny as normal.

Even if you don’t play games, you’ve heard about Electronic Arts.  They’re one of the oldest video games companies.  I was a fan of their work from the beginning, and how could you not love them?

This was my generation’s introduction to Electronic Arts.  It’s a classic poster showing how they were treating their employees like rock stars.  Okay, entirely white, male rock stars, but rock stars nonetheless.

Anyway, a while ago, they announced they were moving into a new building I was sad.  The old EA buildings were a big part of my gaming experience.  They even showed up in one of my favorite games, F/A-18 Interceptor.

That's it over on the right.  Okay, so graphics were sparse back then.
At the same time, I was excited.  I mean, how cool was an EA building going to be?  Would it spout fire and strippers?  Would it make your bones vibrate the solo from Bohemian Rhapsody? 

 Finally, I drove over to look at what they came up with.

Wow.  Out of all the possible choices, they went with a rectangle.

I’m not all that surprised.  See, a while ago a friend of mine was walking the halls of EA and heard the CEO (Trip Hawkins) complaining in the hallway one day that he was tired of producing the same tired old crap every year.  The next week, he was gone, replaced by a business man from Clorox named Larry Probst.

Since Probst took over, they became a big, faceless corporation.  Every year, they pump out a Madden game that is exactly 18% better than the last one.

Now, I don’t have a problem with business.  I understand if you put art over money, eventually your company collapses.  Still, EA used to be about art.  Now it’s just another Clorox.

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