You’d have to go back to June of 2005 to find out the last time I didn’t have a job. I had just finished grad school not a month earlier and was looking for work. It took me about a month to find a job at the now-defunct Backbone Entertainment. I was employed from that point going forward until Wednesday. That was a pretty good run.

I’m not sure what my next step will be. I’d like to take some time off and relax. I think that’s something I deserve and need at this point. Beyond that though, I have a myriad of choices before me. What will my next job be? I’m keenly aware of the pitfalls of taking any job that comes along first, just because I’m getting nervous about my situation. I want to love my job again and if that is to happen, I might have to make some tough decisions in the next few months. Of course, ask me about my resolve if I haven’t found anything by the time my severance money runs out.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy my time off. I’d like to sleep in most days. There is a huge backlog of games that I need to get through. I want to enjoy the simple pleasure of a weekday movie matinee again. I’d like to watch Oprah at its regular time slot instead of downloading the show off torrents. You know, the regular stuff dudes like to do.

There are many, many other things I’d like to do with my time off. If one of them is get another job, that would be ok but I won’t be bothered if it’s not the first thing I take care of.


“Having said all that, it wouldn’t really come as  a surprise if I actually got laid off tomorrow.”

The above quote is from my previous post. It turned out to be a prophetic statement as I was indeed laid off today. This time there was no forced march into a job I didn’t want. I was truly set free today. Getting laid off wasn’t a complete surprise to me. I can be honest now and admit that I knew I was going to be let go. The only bit that surprised me was that I thought it was going to happen in January when Fight Night was almost done.

While I’m being forthright here, I’ll also admit that I lost whatever passion I had for my job at the end of March of 2010 when I was essentially forced into a position that neither engaged me nor satisfied my interests. I really had no choice at the time. It was either take whatever handout job they had for me or walk away with nothing after four long years of service for the company. I didn’t have another job lined up at the time, so who would have walked? Who would have left with nothing, to go onto nothing? So I played their game and took their charity. Now here’s the thing you have to be clear on. If they had given me a choice, if they had offered me either a severance package or the chance to work in the sports label, I would have been fine with that. I would have taken the severance package. It would have allowed me to move onto something else, a new job on my own terms. That didn’t happen though, so I was forced into a job that I didn’t want and they got an employee that wasn’t doing what he did best.

For six months, I just did as I was told, trying to do my best while my heart wasn’t really into it. While I wasn’t super awesome at what was I doing, I actually wound up doing a decent job and would be able to find several people who can attest to that. At the end of the day though, having an employee do decent work when he or she isn’t invested or engaged in their job isn’t really good for anyone in the long run. Now if you’re wondering if I expressed my discontent to anyone, the answer is yes and no. I didn’t want to be a distraction to the rest of the team, so I only told my new career manager about how I was feeling. I worked with a lot of other people that didn’t need to know about my feelings about the job so I kept my mouth shut.

Being laid off today is the option that should have been given to me last March. I had to wait six months for it but at least I got what I wanted in the end. While I’m relieved it’s now all over, I cannot help but think about the last four years plus of work. This is the longest stretch of time that I’ve ever been employed. Even if you don’t include my time in QA (two years), this is the longest I’ve worked for any one company. In that time, I’ve used the same computer, monitor, mouse, keyboard, and TV. I’d hate to see what’s lurking in between those keys in the keyboard.

When I think back to the best memories of working at EA, the early years easily come to mind. Strangely enough, I found my job to be the most rewarding and most fun between August of 2006 to June of 2009, the exact same time the skate team was in downtown Vancouver. I loved my job back then. I was thrilled to be working downtown. The skate team was filled with so many great and good people. Working on skate and skate 2 provided me with so many good memories, enough so that I would like to share some of them in separate posts in the coming weeks. In sum, my working life was the most rewarding when I was working downtown on the coolest 12th floor possible with the best people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Now going forward, if you’re concerned about my well-being, at least financially, please don’t be. Though I’m not at liberty to disclose the full terms of my severance package, I hope I can mention that I’m getting my full salary paid (with benefits) for a decent amount of time (well into the new year). I will allow myself to take about a week off to relax, get some rest, and think about the next step in my career.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who gave me support, wished me well, and had kind words for me today. When I mentioned the awesome people I worked with in the past, those are the people who were there for me today. You guys are the best!


For the last week or so I’ve been writing posts about rumours of layoffs at EA. Today, I received word that some of those rumours are turning out to be true. When it comes to these types of matters, the whole truth is very difficult to ascertain and today was no different. I can start out with what I would classify as the most reliable info I have so far. I heard from two different sources that a small number of people from the EA Sports Active development team were laid off today. I don’t know the exact number but it certainly wasn’t a mass layoff of the entire Active team. Even then, I feel for the people who lost their jobs today. When you get laid off, it doesn’t matter if you’re the only one or if you were one of hundreds, it’s still an unfortunate thing to go through.

So let’s get to the stuff that still remains firmly in the realm of rumour. Any of the following is purely based on speculation or guessing. I have heard today won’t be the only day of layoffs. Tomorrow is supposed to be another day of action and that the numbers will be significantly higher. I have also heard that most of, if not all of, an entire development team might be let go.  Again, this is purely rumour so I won’t state which team that might be. If you follow the sports video game news, you can probably piece together which franchise that might be. I’ve also heard some other stuff but there’s not enough substance for me to write about for now.

If you’re at all worried about my own job safety, don’t be. A job in the video games industry is never really that safe, you just go back and forth between periods where your job is less safe and then more safe. More often than not, your performance has very little to do with how secure your job is. In any case, though I could get laid off any day just like anyone else, there are some things to consider. First, the game I’m working on isn’t finished and we’re working hard to get it done fairly soon. Another thing is that I know the area of the game I’m working on better than anyone else on the team. Sure, there are few dudes who know my code but it’s easiest for me to finish features and fix any problems related to my area. Having said all that, it wouldn’t really come as  a surprise if I actually got laid off tomorrow.

Stayed tuned for what will probably be an interesting post tomorrow night.


I was at a T&T Supermarket tonight when I noticed something I had not seen before. I quite enjoy going to T&T because I often discover new food items. Tonight was no different. I was in the seafood section when I saw packages of frozen sashimi. This was new to me. I’ve had sashimi in restaurants countless times before but I’d never seen it offered in a supermarket.

I know that restaurants in British Columbia have to freeze their sashimi as well due to health concerns. The freezing is supposed to kill any parasites that might live in the seafood. For the price T&T was selling these packages, it is way more economical to have your sashimi at home. You just have to wait for it to defrost and then cut it up into pieces. No cooking required!

My only concern is how safe it is to be consuming raw seafood from a supermarket that you defrost on your own at home. I suppose you’re putting all your faith into a restaurant when they prepare your sashimi, so at least in this manner you’re partially in control.

How many of you have prepared sashimi at home? If you’ve never done it, would you consider eating sashimi supermarket sashimi?


Though there was a lot of talk and whispering about layoffs happening last week, nothing materialized. It was actually kinda anti-climatic. A few of us thought if it wasn’t the current day, then surely it had to be the next. This repeated itself all week until we finally got to the end of Friday and there was nothing to talk about.

Tomorrow is the start of another week though and the odds are good it’s gonna be this week. The results of the financial quarter will be announced on November 2, not November 8 as I previously had written. This means there will be only six working days for them to trim their costs before the end of the quarter. That does leave the Monday of the week after this but that would be cutting it real close. My bet is this week. It probably won’t be tomorrow but any day after that is a good candidate.

Stay tuned!


Hey iPhone owners, did you know about this game called Angry Birds? Just kidding, I know you guys have been playing AB since December of 2009. As an Android owner, I only just got this game last week. AB for Android is free but is ad-supported. If my phone can’t connect to the Internet it won’t show the ads so I just shut off my wi-fi. No ads!

Angry Birds is the best mobile game I’ve ever played, with my sample size being like six games. I really like the colourful art style which gives it a whimsical feel. The fact that it’s a physics-based puzzle game that requires skill and strategy is the key to the game. The whole game mechanic works very well within the mobile environment that it operates. The fact that the help or instructions in the game require no written words to get across what your objectives are is a sign that the game simple enough for everyone to understand.

Go try Angry Birds if you haven’t already!


There was some chatter earlier in the week that something would go down at work today. Nothing did happen. The intel I received on the weekend still remains the best piece of information I have so far. Everyone is somewhat anxious about all the rumours flying about. Could tomorrow be the day? The odds of something happening increase for each day as we march closer to the end of the month.


When I’m not thinking about when my co-workers are going to be laid off, I actually play video games in my spare time. The game that I’m currently playing is Alan Wake. It’s billed as a “psychological action thriller” but it could  be described as a survival horror game as well.

I usually don’t like playing scary video games. The last game of this genre that I finished was Dead Space. Interestingly enough, I don’t classify zombie games in the horror genre. To me, anything to do with zombies falls into the action/adventure category. It’s certainly not light-hearted material but it doesn’t make me check underneath the bed either.

Alan Wake on the other hand, is a game I wouldn’t want to play with the lights off. So far, most of the game takes place in the forest at night where freaky dudes jump out at you out of nowhere. The game does a great job of combining beautiful graphics with rich audio to provide a suspenseful experience. I sometimes have to take a break every ten minutes or so to prepare for the next scary beat in the story. There are also times where I feel like putting the game disc in the freezer when things get too intense. At this rate, it’ll take my two months to finish this game.


Over the weekend I met up with a few of my former co-workers from the old skate team. A large part of our conversation over beers was about the rumours of impending layoffs at EA. The consensus is that there is no doubt layoffs will happen, we just don’t know who will be affected or when it the axe will fall. There were a few theories proffered and a couple scenarios discussed. All seemed somewhat plausible. The interesting thing is, a few of the people in attendance indicated they’d welcome a layoff with a fair severance package. I won’t go into the details of who those people were and why they feel that way.

Today I received one last bit of compelling “info”. I was at a supermarket which I won’t name and ran into a former co-worker whom also shall go unnamed. He indicated to me an actual date for the layoffs. He was clear to indicate this was second hand info but it wasn’t as if this was passed along from ten people down to him. It came from a credible source who told someone he knew and they told him. I will not divulge the date he mentioned because there’s no way for me to actually confirm the validity of that date. I will say, however, the date was a lot earlier than I would have guessed. I wrote in my previous post that anything could happen between now and the first week of November.

This is probably one of the worst waiting games a person can play.