Blog Post Sparked Revolt in Gaming Industry

Posted on April 26, 2006

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that a blog post by Erin Hoffman as EA Spouse, the wife of game developer, helped ignite a revolt against game publishers that were overworking game developers. The complaints by game developers eventually led to several class-action lawsuits against publishers. Hoffman was frustrated at the unpaid overtime and 85 hour work weeks her husband was working.

So Hoffman, then 23, poured out her frustration -- under the pen name EA Spouse -- in a November 2004 blog that resonated so strongly with other video game developers that it helped spark an employee uprising inside EA and several of six lawsuits for unpaid overtime against three of the industry's most prominent employers.

Hoffman wrote on her blog that EA's attitude toward its workers was: ``If they don't want to sacrifice their lives and their health and their talent so that a multibillion-dollar corporation can continue its Godzilla-stomp through the game industry, they can work someplace else.''

Now, more than a year later, game developers have won settlements in three class-action lawsuits alleging EA created exhausting work schedules without paying overtime, and successfully pressed employers to ease unrelenting workloads. And EA Spouse, whose true identity has been cloaked until now, is becoming a voice against America's culture of overwork.

``We had received so many excuses, and they had done so much overtime and everyone was so tired,'' Hoffman said. She told her fiance, ``I need to write something about this. It's not right.''

The blog post was made almost two years ago and since then there have been three successful lawsuits made against game publishers. Erin Hoffman and her husband now run a game developers forum called GameWatch.org.



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