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January 10, 2011 / farrelledwards

I’m Leaving EA.

Dad needs help. He will acknowledge that fact. Things move slowly in the lab. There isn’t enough help. There isn’t enough money. For safety reasons, two people have to be in the lab to run experiments, but Dad has only one employee. So Dad ends up helping Ajay in the lab so the work there can go forward. But Dad should be spending more time working on papers, attending conferences and getting other people involved. Time is not on our side. Dad isn’t getting any younger.

So, after months of thought and planning, I’m shelving a successful career in video games to go help him. What would a video games producer be able to do in a research lab? Well, a few things. Job #1 will be to find money to keep the lab going. Job #2 will be to find more money so we can hire a few people and pick up our speed. Job #3 is to manage international patent protection and related licensing, project manage in the lab, evangelize fusion, coordinate with USU, help in the lab where I can and do a little moonlight engineering to keep the bills paid.

Dad is clearly grateful for the help. He hasn’t endorsed the plan, largely because the lab doesn’t have any money to pay me. In fact, Mom and Dad tried on multiple occasions to talk me and Laurel out of it. But I think they finally realized our minds are made up because they stopped trying to talk us out of it.

It’s going to be tough to leave EA. I started here over 13 years ago when we were Headgate Studios; 12 people scratching out a living making golf games. Since then, we were acquired by EA, increased to 120+ people and moved into a nice downtown space.

In that time, I’ve worked on some great projects, made life-long friends, increased my skills, grown personally, gained a few pounds, made games my kids like and had a wonderful time. I’ll stay for a few more weeks, making sure Gardens is buttoned up, then I’ll start driving up to Logan to work at a research lab. It’s going to be interesting.

Wish me luck.

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