Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where I'm At

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.

--Jeff

68 comments:

Jared B said...

Good luck, Jeff! I'll always be interested in what you have to say no matter who you work for.

Thomas said...

I am so relieved to hear you may already have a job. I really hope you get back to writing. I miss reading all of your work. I can't wait to see what's next.

Brain Blurbs said...

Sucks what happened. But you will land on your feet, I am sure :)
Just know that there is this weird group of gamers, wanting you to do well!!!

Sarah said...

Glad to hear that you're doing well. Change is hard and no fun, but when it is time to move on- that is what we must do. I am a full believer that what is meant to be is meant to be- so this means you have something ever better waiting for you! d(^-^d)

Enjoy your time off!!

Xavier Garcia said...

It's a small world, I actually just left EA last week myself! I was over at the Salt Lake studio but I did work with the Sims group for a while, anyways, sad to have never had the chance to cross paths. Best of luck with whatever comes up :)

Shane said...

Rock on Jeff, I had an feeling it wasn't gonna last at EA with the suits and transparency... All important question since you have time to organize it will there be a new Out of the Game? (I'l tweet that last bit in case you don't read this.)

Jeff Green said...

I'm always up for Out of the Game. It's those other slackers you need to pester! :)

Anonymous said...

C'mon Jeff, you know you were born for games journalism. Get back in the game bro.

Shane said...

It was so much more than 4 dudes talking about games I really enjoyed it...:(

V_Ben said...

Glad to hear that you're writing again. Can't wait to see the Blizzard thing :)

WarOfArt said...

Godspeed in whatever endeavors you embark on Mr. Green. We will follow them and you wherever you go, who knows maybe in the interim you guys could pop out another Out of The Game.

At any rate, I don't think your contributions at EA will go unnoticed.

guillermo said...

I love you, Jeff! I look forward to hearing you on my podcasts!

Chops-Suey said...

I've been a huge fan of yours for quite a while now, from CGW to GFW, from the Brodeo to the EA Podcast, whatever you do has (almost) always been gold to me. Good Luck with whatever you do next, and I can't wait to hear you do the podcast rounds in the upcoming weeks. Cant wait to read/hear/see what you do next!

Greg Kasavin said...

Good luck, Jeff. I empathized with what you wrote here. I was with EA for a little more than 2-and-a-half years and it was the types of changes of direction you describe that drove me to leave. I too met a number of amazingly talented and driven people over there. Sometimes I really miss the media side of things (nostalgia has blurred the not-so-good aspects) but as for me, I'm still looking to find my footing in game development, wherever that will be. Best of luck in whatever you do next and like everyone else is saying, good to hear your voice again.

Kai said...

Best of luck Jeff! And I hadn't heard about the Blizzard book... definitely looking forward to that.

Justin said...

Good luck Jeff. You've got an army of people that will follow you wherever you go to create content, as creepy as it may sound. Hope to hear more from you soon!

Josh said...

Bring back The Jeff Green Show!

Andy said...

Well it's unfortunate that you lost your job, or that you had to leave. It seemed like you and your employer were on two different wavelengths as far as commentary and producing content, so it seems like it's for the best for all concerned. I am excited to hear you on some podcasts or read some articles, at least until you find a full time gig. Good luck in your job search and I'm sure you'll land on your feet in a job that's probably a better fit for you.

Tristessa said...

Sucks to driven to move on. I've been teetering back and forth with the tough decision of leaving my 11 year run with a wacky giant bookstore chain (but I'd lose my 5 weeks of paid time off a year and book discounts).

A big plus side for folks like me is that we'll get to read more of your writing again. The sad part is we won't get to see you bring to EA that idea to do features and podcasts on their older games and franchises. I REALLY wanted to see that happen.

And thanks for reminding me about second drafts! I still have that thing of my own sitting around from last year, which right now is just a bunch of amusing scenes glued together with a feeble story.

I have no doubt you'll find more than a few great options that play to your strengths. It's all so interesting and mysterious waiting to hear what's next.

Cheers =)

Pete Davison said...

Best of luck, Jeff. I really admire what you were trying to do at EA. In fact, I cited you as a case study in an interview for a social media specialist position a while back. (I didn't get the job, but that's beside the point.)

A lot of people are very happy at the idea of you returning to writing and podcasting, myself included. You're always welcome for a guest spot on the Squadron of Shame. Who incidentally are about to relaunch our new podcast following a great deal of the advice you imparted at PAX East.

Keep doing what you do, Jeff. You're one of the most beloved and respected individuals in the industry for a reason.

BaronJuJu said...

Best of luck in all your future endeavors Jeff! I'm glad to see you have possibilities lined up and look forward to your thoughts on gaming and where its going.

Oh and I will give huge "Hell Yeah!" if you can start Out of the Game again!

Broseybrose said...

Right on Mr. Green! You do what you gotta, and I am happy for you! I always had a feeling youd be back on the writing side, and i cant wait to read whatever you cook up.

And i am anxiously awaiting your round of podcasts. Giant Bomb and Geekbox are great but wheres the Rebel FM love?

Joonas said...

Yay. Podcasts!

keithbungle said...

Yay, Jeffrey! I think this will all be for the greater good. And man, Cudgel of Xanthor! That guy Yatzhee Croshaw got a book published through Dark Horse, and if it does okay maybe they'll be looking for another one. We gamers buy all kinds of weird strange stuff, so why not a book by Jeff Green?

Skyliner said...

This is a sad and uplifting post at the same time. I think you put a lot of value and great content into EA and it's sad to have to part from work that you like doing, but have to break away from due to creative differences.

I can't wait to see what you work on in the future, no matter who it's with. You've always brought great quality wherever you work and I'm excited to see what you do next! In the meantime I think you've hit the nail on the head: spending time with family (or friends) while you can is a lot more fun than people give it credit for.

Also I'm still totally holding you to The Beer Lunch during PAX in a couple weeks, Mr. Green!

Andrew said...

Good luck, Jeff! I know whatever you do you will excel and make your employer and fellow employees better because of it! Side note: you should hook up with Leo Laporte and host a show on his TWiT network!! :X

teddeeh said...

one man, leaving one gaming company. maybe i should care atall... but love you jeff, been following you and shawn and ryam since the cgw days so my heart ges out. i will say one thing my pop said to me.. you have your family and all your fingers and all your toes.
from jai and teddy, much love to the legend. x

James D. Bausch said...

Sounds like EA and you were never quite on the right wavelength. Good luck, and I hope you find something that pays the bills, and is satisfying both creatively and careerwise.

Paul D said...

Hopefully things will work out for you.

If I could, I'd like to make a request - could you update your blog when you show up on podcasts? I don't follow you (or anyone on Twitter), but you are in my RSS feed.

danger ranger said...

Frankly you made visiting and listening to the EA podcast worth it. Sorry to hear you're leaving but the best of luck in your new endeavours. Look forward to reading your books too.

Will said...

We need to get CGW together again! The greatest magazine of all time. I'm looking forward to reading your book!

Anonymous said...

I hope things work out for you. I too have been having rough time with college.

Ashley said...

Sorry things didn't work out at EA, but you're such a great personality that I'll definitely follow you wherever you go!

NeuroMan42 said...

As a fellow writer and gamer, and due to me being a long time fan. I will be with ya where ever ya pop up. In the meantime, I have some yard work that needs doing. Call me. ;)

XaiaX said...

I had said "Congrats!(?)" on twitter since I thought maybe you were moving on to bigger/better things. I don't take that back, since getting out of a job you have while you still have it to face the unknown takes serious courage, so congrats on having that courage.

How about a new episode of Out Of The Game?

LiK said...

EA LOSES! I can't wait to hear all your upcoming podcast appearances, Jeff. :D

nickux said...

Jeff, I love what you were doing with EA. The company is missing out, I think, on cultivating the kind of connection you were forming with the audience for their games. However, I am so excited to hear you are going to be writing again soon. I look forward to your upcoming articles and, as always, will be listening to all the major podcasts. Hope to hear ya on them soon! Good luck.

Nick said...

This is great news now you have time to be my dad or get back in to games journalism where you belong it'd be great if you went to GamePro with John Davidson.

Shannon C said...

Hey Jeff! Thanks for the personal blog post! I'm sure it was hard to get the words out but I'm glad you did. I'm been a Twitter follower of yours and knew you worked at EA, although I never really paid attention to what you did. I do know, that I have always found your Twitter stream entertaining and full of good laughs. You are definitely a kindred spirit. I hate to hear about things ending at EA, but from the sounds of it, you are a really talented guy. So spend time with the family like you said and enjoy it. I'm thinking that it will not be long before your next adventure begins! Good luck!

StevenKW said...

Love you man! Where can I donate? :)

Wytefang said...

Good luck with your future endeavors, Jeff. I hope you find a new job that you really enjoy.

Ben said...

In my (albeit limited) experience few things can be as liberating as change. Especially for a creative mind, so its great to see that you've already got numerous irons in the fire. Just glancing at the comments, its clear i speak for a lot of people out there when i say your insights and commentary on our favourite of hobbies is something thats been sorely missed. So on a more selfish note, its good to have you back Mr. Green. You've been off the radar for far too long.

All the best in your future projects, we're all behind you man :)

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that you get back to doing what you do best - writing about gaming... and not just writing about gaming, but talking about gaming, either on a podcast, with others, or in front of a camera, perhaps with just one other.

I've been spending a lot of time lately at the website The Giant Bomb, and they have this awesome video segment in which these two guys just play through early release builds of games. Green, you would prosper under such a format.

Indeed, one of the best Spore reviews wasn't even in printed form - it was the video review you did for 1up. (Turning on the sprinkler system at the end of the video was a genius move, by the way.)

I think we can all agree that you're a talented writer. But I think that you yourself were probably surprised to discover, during your last few years at GFW, that you have a talent for aural communication as well.

Now that you've left EA, I think I can say this...

I'm hoping you don't take this the wrong way... but the EA Podcasts never worked for me. I couldn't help but compare them to the GFW podcasts, which were simply spectacular, and I couldn't help but feel that they were coming up short. I've said this a dozen times already, but I'll say it once more - the podcasts at GFW were about my life. What you guys were saying on those podcasts spoke to me directly. I never felt that way when I was listening to the EA Podcasts. (God knows I tried.)

I can't believe I'm about to quote Deepak Chopra - but he's always saying that people need to learn to go with the flow.

At CGW/GFW you were in your element, whereas it seemed to me that at EA you were always heading into the wind (although I realize that you needed a paycheck, and that EA provided you with this).

Still, after the dust settles on all this, I hope you'll find yourself going with the flow more, rather than against it.

Some of us really miss reading your stuff or listening to you talk about gaming, and it would be great to see you return to that professionally. Anyhow, whatever you do next, I hope you'll continue to maintain this blog.

I wish you Godspeed, Jeff.

Gentry said...

Good luck Jeff. That Blizzard book sounds quite interesting. I look forward to hearing you guest on some podcasts.

Kent said...

No Matter what, you are still my Hero.

And you are a better man than I for your attitude towards your former Employee!

With your permission I will still buy their games. :)

Keep on Keeping on.

Anonymous said...

That's a major bummer about EA. But, it's good to hear that you may have something lined up already. I know I look forward to hearing you on the many great podcasts(Rebel FM, Giant Bomb, Geekbox, etc.). Whatever you do I hope it involves writing since that's what you are great at. This blog is a perfect example. Good luck.

I can't wait to read the Blizzard book.

Sam said...

you are a noble man and I respect that. So lucky to know you and have worked with you.

Parallax Abstraction said...

Good luck to you Jeff. You a massive talent, the likes of which few others can compare themselves to. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you will excel at it.

spags said...

Jeff,

All the best. I'm sure there's plenty of work for you. I only hope you can get back to doing some sort of unfiltered podcast.

Jim B said...

Very sorry to see EA zig just when you were showing them the awesomeness of zagging. They'll rue the day they lost you. Rue it, I say!

And where will you be? On a boat. Polishing your Pulitzer for Distinguished Criticism (hey, they gave one to Dave Berry -- you're so due...).

By then EA will have sunk to the point of having to hock their "A" and will constantly be confused with that sad E! cable channel.

And you could have saved them from all that. If only they could see in the future like us...

(Seriously, sorry to see it didn't work out. I think you had the right ideas, but maybe not the right company to implement them at. Here's hoping you find a great match for your creativity and talent soon. Longtime reader and listener -- looking forward to the next chapter of Greenspeak.)

Jon said...

Good luck dude. Coming from someone who was in a similar situation a year or so ago. It is good that you left. I left/kinda was asked to leave from a job that wasn't right for me, and though it is rough, I wouldn't have it any other way. I look forward to hearing you on podcasts!

Anonymous said...

I always thought from day 1 that you joining the evil empire was a move destined to fail. You did better than I thought - I said you'd be gone in a year so kudos to you.

I'm not trying to sound harsh, I just thought you and the faceless big business of EA were a terrible marriage. Here's to hoping you get back into the journalism side of gaming where you belong - good luck!

Sully said...

I still listen to the GFW podcasts on my iPod just to pass the time sometimes. I'll choose one at random. Or sometimes when I'm going to sleep, and I've just turned out the light, and it's kind of lonely, I'll put you on my iTouch and you all will mumble in my ear and sing me to sleep. And you know, those podcasts hold up. I like it especially when you talk about these games that have long since come out, and I'll listen to Shawn speculating on what it'll be like, something like Stalker. And the humour and jokes came easy. Because on one level you guys kinda didn't care, which was nice. It was a good chemistry. That was a golden time for videogame podcasts. I am grateful to hear you'll be appearing on a bunch in the very short future. I can't wait to hear what you have to say now that you've been on the other (dev) side. You'll be like Prometheus, coming back with fire. Finally, will you be my dad? (But not in a creepy way).

Tim said...

Good luck Jeff, all the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you are alive!!

Rob said...

Oh Jeffrey : (

Sorry to hear the EA gig didn't work out. Hopefully we can see more of your writing on the Interweb.

Cedstick said...

Fucking CUDGEL OF XANTHOR. Get on that shit :)

Best of luck in the future and all it's possibilities! Hopefully you can get another Out of the Game up soon -- take Shawn Elliott on that offer and chat.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear from you again!
*big man hug*
As for this "big pending possibility"... is it an autobiographical action adventure movie?

Because that would be awesome.

Cedstick said...

OH MAN GIANT BOMBCAST I LOVE YOU JEFF. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE MY GRAVEYARD SHIFT AWESOME.

The Deviot said...

All the best! Hopefully you feel at ease whereever you go to work next, and it allows you to live comfortably. I guess the selfish golden age of gaming magazines fan in me would love to see the old guard reunite @ EGM or something, but you have to do what's best for you, and the fam.
So again, all the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people hate EA - I don't hate them.

They happen to produce great PC titles.

What are we supposed to do. Only buy low budget titles made by independent studios? Trine - hated it. Torchlight - utterly detested it. Braid - pretentious crap... hated it, hated it, hated it.

Give me the Dragon Ages, and the Mass Effects, and The Simses.

Seriously, is it supposed to be cool or something to be disrespectful of software companies that create tripe-A titles for the masses? Why? Personally, I think it's a big mistake to disassociate a company or a corporation from the people who actually work there. And I'm assuming that the people who work at EA are some of the brightest and most talented people in America.

Which honestly makes me wonder how Jeff ever got a job there?

The Goose

David Doel said...

Good luck Jeff.

I love hearing you on podcasts, so regardless of what you do, I think you should start your own weekly podcast. And hell, charge for it. I know I'd pay a subscription fee to be able to hear you host a weekly podcast.

Pete said...

I wish you the best, Jeff. I Just downloaded the episode of Giant Bomb you are on!

Anonymous said...

Wow, imagine my surprise when I opened the Giantbomb podcast and heard your voice...Anyway, it's a shame that you decided to leave EA, but I know that whatever you end up doing will suit you just fine and you'll yet again contribute your brilliant mind and influential voice to your next venture. Best of luck to you.

~Jim

steven said...

Jeff, I've been following you since your very 1st GFW podcast. Whatever you do next make sure It's what you really want. We all love you in the UK!

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Wes said...

Just wanted to say, we miss you Jeff.