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Four Years Later

Posted January 15th, 2009. Filed under , ,

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours.” – Harry S Truman

Well, my recession just turned into a depression as almost four years at Tiburon came to a close today. I won’t comment on it as it isn’t a very good idea, but I figured I’d let my readers know out of full disclosure. I haven’t decided what I am going to do next – move out of Orlando and find a new studio and give up the great living conditions and friends that I have in Orlando or move out of the industry, let the dream die and stay where it is warm and safe. I’ll keep everyone updated.

I guess I’ll have more time to post. If any of you all know somewhere that is looking for a mint condition designer, you know how to find me – my email address is on every page.

I said on New Year’s that I thought this would be my year for great things. Maybe it will be.

10 Responses so far

  1. Michael Walbridge says:

    Sucks to hear, man.

    Wonder how long before some news outlet picks this up =0

  2. Zack says:

    As much as I’d like to believe, firing some nameless designer ain’t news.

  3. Northern Fire says:

    Well, Zack, seems you are more important than you think since I came across your blog courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel. I am sorry you got laid off. You are not alone, you know. My husband is a 25-year IT vet and a good one and he’s out of work, laid off by a large prominent IT employer. And, of course, there are so many more, sadly.

    I hope you all get great jobs. I hope you all give them ‘what-for’.

    Your position makes me wonder. My daughter wants to go into Game Development. It’s been her dream since she was a little girl (she’s now a Junior in HS). All her classes and activities have been tailored towards achieving it and now I’m wondering if she is considering a dangerous line of work, from a stability standpoint. She hates the sight of blood so medicine is out. And even you’re considering quitting the industry?

    I would be interested in the thoughts and musings of an industry insider, thank you.

    Hang in there and the best of luck to you!!

  4. grant saeger says:

    contact me..we are located in Orlando and we are starting a game company and would like to discuss a possible opportunity.

  5. stuart says:

    lol, just came see to check out your blog after the post on the sentinel website hehe ironic michaels post, http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/etan_on_tech/2009/01/layoffs-hit-electronic-arts-tiburon-in-maitland.html

  6. Danny McGee says:

    “As much as I’d like to believe, firing some nameless designer ain’t news.”

    Well, turns out it was. Not sure if you realized it yet but you got quoted in the Orlando Sentinel, which got quoted on Gamespot today.

    Anyway, I’m a QA temp at Tiburon, and I knew a couple of the guys who were let go from our department, but I had no idea they were going this high with the lay-offs. I’m sorry to hear it. But hey, like I said, as of right now your contact information is three clicks away from the front page at Gamespot, so maybe with some luck the exposure will bring some new opportunities. Take care, man.

  7. Carl Dungca says:

    Small world, this industry. I wound up here after following a Kotaku link to the Sentinel. Sorry to hear about the termination.

  8. Zack says:

    Northern Fire,

    I don’t think games is any less stable than IT or any other comparable field. Everyone is hurting now unless they are in some sort of untouchable government job or a tenured professor. If it is her dream, she should pursue it. Game companies are eager to hire female designers as it is a very male-dominated industry. She should get a degree in something tangential to the industry like Computer Science so that if game industry jobs dry up she has the skill set to move around. My degree is in Information Systems and it helped quite a bit. Best of luck.

  9. Northern Fire says:

    Zack,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts. It’s very sound advice and I’ll pass it on. She’s actually salivating over Full Sail – it is her dream school. Her current plan is to pull off a Masters in Computer Science with a concentration in Development. ‘Course, with 2 girls in college right now and the cost of tuition at Full Sail, we’ll have to win the lottery or sell our souls to pull it off – ha!

    Happily, it looks like your little blog has garnered you a bit of attention. Who knew, eh? I hope it translates into opportunities for you. You seem thoughtful and intelligent and you’re well-spoken. It would appear that you are definitely EA’s loss. At least you have a lot of folks thinking good thoughts for you, it has to bode well for you. All the best!!

  10. [...] While it’s unsurprising that EA is following through with their earlier announcement, it’s certainly unexpected to see them focus on one of their top studios in an effort to thin the herd. The idea that Madden is underperforming financially is a gloomy barometer of the current video game climate. If these guys aren’t safe then who is? Certainly not vested designers such as Zack Hiwiller, victim of the recent round of layoffs, as he points out in his blog. [...]

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