Former Electronic Arts developer and World of Goo co-creator Ron Carmel has explained why he chose to leave the company in 2006, likening the firm to that of a factory.
"The reason I left EA was because it really was a machine," Carmel said at the XOXO Festival recently (via Kill Screen). "There was the designer/producer who came up with the design document--it’s literally this packet of paper that’s 50 pages deep--and it was handed to me."
Carmel said he was not able to flex his creative muscle in any significant way while at EA, noting that he felt like he had a "lot to contribute to the design process," but was not in a position to do so.
"It was my role as an engineer to implement the design document, and so I could steer it maybe one or two degrees in any direction," he said. "But I really felt like I was a factory worker more than a creative worker."
Carmel added that factory-like conditions are not exclusive to EA. Rather, such conditions are a foregone conclusion at any large company, he said.
"It's inevitable that when you're at a large company, you are a specialized tool," he said. "That’s kind of how the work gets divided. It’s the exact opposite when you go off and do something independently in a small team."
An EA representative was not immediately available to comment.