Origin Reunion

As the Austin Game Conference kicked off, I took Tuesday night to run up to Austin and meet up with several of my old cronies from the days at Origin working on Ultima Online. They have all scattered to the four corners of the United States at this point, now working in California, Texas and Georgia for EA, Sony, and Cartoon Network, so it was a rare and delightful opportunity to get to catch up and spend the evening having dinner and a couple of beers. (More than a couple in some people’s cases…)

During the course of the evening, the question inevitably came up, “Do you ever think about getting back into the game industry?” Honestly, I’d have to say no. Though I probably had more fun working at Origin than I have had at any other job, it’s quite common to have to deal with “crunch time” in that industry, which means 60-80 hour work weeks, sometimes for months at a time. And even at the places that are good about maintaining a healthy balance between work and the rest of life, I’d have to endure a long commute or move away from the community where we’ve invested a lot of ourselves, which doesn’t feel worthwhile for a mere job. (For a job that furthered my life goals it would perhaps be worthwhile, but game industry jobs appeal to me for other reasons.)

Anyway, shout outs to Steve Henry, Mike Howard, Josh Kriegshauser, and Rob Knopf. I had a great time catching up with you guys! Thanks for the super evening.