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EA Louse, you are no EA Spouse. Your pettiness is shocking

By on October 13, 2010

Yesterday, a number of media outlets reported on the blog post by an anonymous soon-to-be-former employee at EA Mythic called EA Louse.

EA Louse attempts to take the moral high ground. His (and I assume it’s a man) rant begins:

“I would think myself to be part of some noble cause, like the original EA Spouse trying to save her husband from a hellish work environment at EA.”

Fat chance.


Warhammer logo

Because EA Spouse was fighting for a noble cause. EA Spouse issued a cri de coeur that difficult working working practices were breaking up relationships, families and marriages. If you don’t believe me, go and read it. It is an eloquent, carefully explained, rational and heartwrenching plea for a company (and an industry) that is highly profitable to stop treating employees like serfs, to understand the toll that insane crunch rules are taking on real people and their families and to ask for change.

EA Louse’s piece comes across as the “I want, I want” ramblings of a spoiled, self-indulgent brat.

EA Spouse was dignified; EA Louse is petty, mean-spirited and vindictive.

David Jaffe’s response was typically forthright:

“What the fuck is it about making games where it brings out the worst, most immature, most obnoxious sides of certain types of people on a team?”

I agree wholeheartedly.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There were people who survived the fall of RealTime Worlds (like Luke Halliwell, for example) who wrote thoughtful, insightful posts into their time there, with lessons for all of us. Startups frequently offer no-holds-barred analyses of their failures.

In contrast, EA Louse’s beefs appear to be:

  1. I got made redundant. Fair enough. This is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, and I feel terrible for everyone at Mythic whose jobs are on the line. Including EA Louse.
  2. He didn’t like his bosses. His producer was “the saddest excuse for a producer I’ve seen.” Project managers, studio bosses, marketing people – everyone was rubbish at their job. It is a litany of ad hominem attacks.
  3. No-one listened to EA Louse: EA Louse and his team would say “omg it makes NO sense, “ but the big bosses made them do it anyway.
  4. The game failed, so EA Louse got fired, but the bosses didn’t. Maybe fair enough, I don’t know.

I have worked with people like EA Louse. People who have no idea of the conflicting pressures of product development, administration, financing, marketing. They have no idea of the big picture. They think they know everything, and that everyone else is a jerk.

They are opinionated, ill-qualified know-it-alls who lack humility or understanding.

(I appreciate the irony of writing that arrogant, condescending comment about someone I’ve never met.)

This post doesn’t help people avoid the errors of the past (like Luke’s RTW posts) .It doesn’t call on EA to change its working practices to save people’s sanity, health and relationships (like EA Spouse). This post doesn’t even explain in any coherent way what went wrong at Mythic except “the bosses fucked it up”.

All that I learned from reading it is that EA Louse is a jerk.

For the sake of his future employment prospects, I hope that he is never unmasked.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: