Well, first, I'm sorry it took *this* to get me back to my personal blog after a horrific 3-month absence. However, now that you know, maybe you'll understand *why* there's been a horrific 3-month absence. Because a cloud has been hanging over me for a long time. And it was seriously stifling both my creative instincts as well as my desire to empty my head in a public forum, as I am wont to do. I mean, if I can't speak openly and honestly on this page, then, what's the point? So I've been hibernating.
Anyway, yeah, if you don't follow Twitter--and, hey, I don't blame you, the thing is evil and should die--I've left EA. The details of the hows and whys and wherefores are mostly better left unsaid, for all sorts of reasons. But to get the one thing out of the way that everyone wants to know---did he quit or was he fired---the answer is: Kind of neither. The folks who run the website wanted to change directions. That direction didn't include the creation of original content. So my job description was changed. And since what I do best (well, other than play games, eat pizza, and lay on the couch and do nothing) is create content, it clearly was no longer the best fit for me. So I'm out.
But, again, who did what when and in what order is not necessarily important, and I've left with warm feelings and high regards for a great many of the people at EA that I've been lucky enough to work with. That place is just freaking loaded with talent and big brains at all levels of the company. Definitely some of the smartest and most creative people I've ever met or worked with. And I wish them all nothing but the best.
What I was trying to do at EA was something I truly believed in, and which I think companies are going to continue to do and get better at as this nascent "social media" thing progresses. My pal Dan Amrich over at Activision is already doing a better job than I was able to do, and I think as other companies get on board with the idea of More Transparency and Better Ways to Communicate With Their Audience, we'll see further cool developments and ideas. I had all sorts of bigger plans for ways to entertain from within the rubric of EA, and, hey, maybe those will still happen further down the line. I think I was probably pushing a little too hard for something that wasn't quite ready to happen yet.
So, to use a phrase I absolutely loathe: It is what it is. I'm not gonna slag on EA because they did what makes the best business sense for them right now, and, ya know, that's what it is: A business. And I had to do what's right for me because I am what I am: A doofus.
As for my next move, there's been lots of speculation, and lots of folks thinking I'm holding back on some kind of announcement, but the more mundane truth is that I actually don't fully know yet. I have at least one big pending possibility that I am in love with, and possibly one other after that. In the short run, I have one neat thing happening, which is that I've contracted to help write a (nonfiction) book in the next few months. And beyond that, I've been talking with all of your favorite game websites and magazines and already have more articles assigned than I can handle, and will probably be late on. Just like the old days! Yay! And I'll be doing a big round of podcasts, just to reconnect with that side of me--though if folks are expecting a big round of hate from me on my old employer, I'm going to disappoint. I'd rather just talk about fun stuff and happy stuff and the future.
I'm also going to use this bit of "down time" to do all those things that are hard to do when one is working full time at a big company. Such as: Spend more time with my wife/kid before school starts again. Get back into all my writing projects, which includes both this blog and my Cudgel of Xanthor novel, which is anxiously awaiting its first revision. Get my fat ass up and exercise more. Finish all these games I have sitting around. Spend time with friends again, who I have neglected for far too long.
Like I said when I left Ziff Davis, change is hard. And I'm really bad at it. (Thus my 17 years at Ziff.) Two years was far too little time at EA, and I'm filled with regret that I couldn't really get done what I wanted to do there. But maybe some other time. Because, like I said, I still like them a lot, and would pick up that mission again when we were all ready. In the meantime, all I can really do is look forward, push ahead, and strive for more. I have all sorts of things I still want to accomplish with my life and my talents. And I guess now is as good a time as any to get to it.