A few days ago I went downtown. For poops and tee-hees, I decided to take Skytrain and got off at Waterfront station, thus mimicking my old commute. Upon exiting the station, I was at 250 Howe Street, where my whole team used to work. I saw a young couple, tourists, who had a video camera out. They were pointing the camera towards one of the smaller EA signs that was still there. I didn’t have the heart to tell them we no longer had a presence downtown and that we had retreated back into the wilds of Burnaby. Out front, the large metallic EA sign that was beautifully neon back-lit at night was now gone. I half expected to see some faded paint where signed used to be but you couldn’t even tell it was once there.
To really drive home the point, I then headed over to Yaletown. My destination was the Yaletown Brewpub or more specifically what was on top of it. The top of that building is now the home of United Front Games. Now it wasn’t supposed to be like this. About a year and a half ago, when the world was a much, much happier place, the skate team was told we were going to move to that space. Then the world economy took a bad stumble and EA’s finances followed suit. To make a long story short, I’m now working in the ‘burbs and UFG is in that prime location in Yaletown.
Now UFG has only been there for a few short months. The addition to the Yaletown Brewpub building only got finished recently. In fact, I had not been to Yaletown since UFG moved in. So as I walked down Helmecken, I was not prepared to see what was to come. As I got to the corner at Mainland, I looked up and saw, in all its glory, two big United Front Games signs, towering over everything in the immediate area.
I was impressed and then overcome with envy. In an alternate universe, those signs would have read “Black Box” and I would have been working upstairs somewhere in that building. Instead, I had to settle for a few drinks at the bar at the brew pub. My bartender was even nice enough to tell me the beer that they named after UFG was a pilsner. Yep, a pilsner.
So for all you UFGers out there be thankful for what you have.