Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Electronic Arts Singapore

For some reason that's beyond me, the awareness among the student body, of what Electronic Arts does in Singapore seems to be just localization. Semester after semester when the school begins a new ATAP intake hardly anyone applies for an EA internship (ATAP = CS3880 Advanced Technology Attachment Programme). And after what I've been through for 6 months, I'm nonplused! I thought everyone would be jumping at the chance to work for EA.

So, with these three posts I'd like to get everyone properly acquainted with EA’s Singapore presence. I'll be talking about some of the things that EA does, followed by my next post, where I'll mention some of the things I did as a Software Engineering Associate, and lastly I’ll end off by talking about how fun it is to work for a gaming company like EA.

EA Singapore is a hub for many of its Asian initiatives from publishing to localization, including development, adapting many major titles for Asian gaming markets and EA recently established a new Asian Development Studio this year, right here in Singapore.

Yes, that's right, EA makes games here in Singapore. It joins 25 other worldwide studios, and I was among the first batch of interns they accepted. Considering that only 3 interns were accepted, I certainly felt very lucky. After all, this is EA we're talking about, one of the world's biggest (if not the biggest) interactive entertainment companies in the world. AND THEY HAVE A DEVELOPMENT STUDIO IN SINGAPORE!!

The EA Asia Studios is a full-fledged development studio staffed with a multi-national team of game development talent. Coupled with EA's global resources the Singapore studio works on some of EA's biggest titles, among which includes FIFA Online 2.

FIFA Online 2 is EA's biggest online game franchise, currently deployed in South Korea with more than 6 million subscribers. More than 6 million!! Now tell me another internship opportunity that will let you put the name of a PUBLISHED game with more than 6 million subscribers in your résumé. I think that fact alone should be reason enough to apply for EA, because it’s hard to get a job in the gaming industry when companies out there are seeking for a couple of years of development experience and a published game under your belt.

Of course FIFA Online 2 won't just be a name in South Korea. The open beta for Singapore will be launched later this year along with Malaysia, Vietnam & Thailand, with other Asian countries in the pipeline. By then we won't just be looking at 6 million gamers. All of that excitement is taking place right here in the Singapore studios.

And as an Intern, you will get to experience all of that excitement. Interns are fully-involved in studio tasks. You will become an integral part of the development process to take corporate objectives further. You will receive complete ownership in your areas of responsibility with support from many wonderful colleagues. You will be exposed to an extremely rich learning environment with unfettered access to proprietary EA technology. Man, talking about all this makes me miss my time there.

If you do end up being lucky enough to be accepted at EA, the onus will be on you to turn your time there into a wonderful experience. There's no spoon feeding, no textbook, no lecturer or tutor to show you the ropes. EA will put everything on the table and you can do whatever you see fit, but EA will be watching what you do with what has been provided. So in a sense, it isn’t just an opportunity to learn from the best and improve your skills as an engineer, it’s probably your first job interview. Albeit one that lasts for 6 months. If you’ve proven yourself, your journey in the gaming industry would have just made its first few steps and believe me, it’s hard to get a foot in that door.

Lastly, all work and no play makes EA employees dull people. We wouldn’t be able to make good games if we don’t know the meaning of fun. So at EA, we’re a close-knit group that makes an effort to enjoy ourselves and relax. And that means lots of FIFA, lots of Rockband, Happy Hours, staff benefits, special team events, and so on. When you join EA, you’re not just getting yourself into a 9-to-6 desk job, you’re joining a new family, and like a family, we take care of one another. I continue to be a part of this family even now that I’ve left the company, and I’m more than happy to be telling everyone about the EA experience.

I hope by now I've caught your attention. If nothing else, here are the key takeaways from my post. If you're lucky enough to be an intern at EA, we'll be talking about

  • Exposure to international aspects of business issues in the gaming industry
  • An internal glimpse at how one of the best in the industry makes games
  • Working with wonderful colleagues who have an endless amount of experience and knowledge to impart to you.
  • Rich learning opportunities. There's no limit to what you can learn from the company.
  • Close-knit, fun-loving working environment, where everyone’s treated like a family member.
In my next post I'll be talking about the technical aspects of my work at EA just to provide another perspective on the internship experience.

- Shijun

1 comment:

Stéphane said...


About how many developers are located in EA Singapore?
Is it a big development studio?