So there’s a fairly serious problem at work (other than the state of our cafeteria). We are running out of space to put people.
This is an interesting problem because about six or seven years ago when EA wasn’t doing so well, there were entire floors that were devoid of people. I had a former co-worker tell me that he’d go up to these empty floors and it would be silent with empty desks and cubicles. I wasn’t around then as I was involuntarily de-employed from the company, as many other were.
Well, we have the opposite problem now. The company is doing much better and the business needs require us to hire on more people to do the work to help make video games. The studio is bursting at the seams. To alleviate the problem, we have actually moved a significant amount of people to a satellite studio, located in the building Capcom Vancouver used to be in. Not the one they recently just vacated but the one they had near Still Creek. Interestingly enough, the new location is called EA Still Creek.
People are still shuffling over to the new location but in early next year, about four hundred people will be in that space. This only a temporary move though. The long-term goal is to move those people back into the original campus once expansion is done.
Starting in 2019, the plan is demolish a portion of the studio, and build several new floors on top of what used to be sorta two floors. I have heard that this will take somewhere around three years to complete. In the meantime, some people will have to work out of the satellite studio.
Even with people shuffled off to Still Creek, I am told that still won’t be enough to alleviate the space problems. Management has been hinting that additional moves will need to take place but they’ve been real coy about it. This could mean leasing another satellite location close by, which would be hella boring or it could be the holy grail that everyone has been waiting for since late 2010, the return to a permanent, downtown location.
Having an EA Motive Vancouver studio in the downtown area would be a return to greatness and a sign that the company is invested in the long term. Plus, it would be just hella cool to be working downtown again.
I can only dream and hope but there definitely will be more moves in the next few months.