On a rainy day, Windows Phone Central visits Electronic Arts headquarters to play
The Xbox One launch is fast approaching, with many game publishers lined up to publish launch titles for the new console. One of those publishers is Electronic Arts, who have Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals ready for Xbox One.
In celebration if the impending launch, EA invited us to their headquarters in Redwood City, CA to check out a couple of Xbox One exclusive titles they have coming in the months ahead. We can’t talk about those games just yet, but I can share my experiences and impressions of the gigantic publisher’s sprawling base of operations.
As the article headline indicates, it was raining up a storm when we visited the headquarters. Two buildings at EA face the street and parking lot, with several more buildings behind them. Their design is elegant and modern, but some external decorations related to the publisher's gaming properties would have been cool.
The lobby leads to the employee store, the upper floors, and a long horizontal hallway. As visitors pick up their badges, they can watch trailers for upcoming EA games such as The Sims 4 and Battlefield 4.
At the center of the hallway rests this beautiful 1993 Ducati Supersport Desmodue 900 bike. Notice the Team Road Rash helmet at its rear.
The Road Rash motorcycle racing/combat series was one of EA's most popular franchises during the days of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. Many of us hope the series will return to glory someday. This 1993 bike would have been created between the releases of Road Rash 2 on the Genesis and the 32-bit 3DO Road Rash.
Displays lining the wall celebrate various periods of EA's history. On the left are several early home computer games. At the right, notice Road Rash for the relatively obscure 3DO console. I put so much time into that version of the game, which featured cheesy live-action story sequences and licensed music from bands like Soundgarten. Road Rash was later ported to the Playstation and Sega Saturn.
The display on the right celebrates the beginning of The Sims series as well as EA's strange Def Jam fighting games. Remember those?
Shortly after EA bought PopCap Games, zombies started to infest the place.
Both walls of his hallway are dedicated to EA games that have gone "Platinum" or above. That means they sold at least one million copies. Did you know that EA helped publish Final Fantasy X for the Playstation 2? It hangs on the middle of this wall.
Believe it or not, Electronic Arts really looks out for its employees. When the sky opens up, everyone grabs a free EA umbrella for protection. Beyond this door lies an outdoor playground for employee's children, a massive cafeteria, and a gym.
Here's your friendly neighborhood Games Editor with PopCap's Sylvain Dubrofsky (on left), the lead designer of Peggle 2. We'll have lots more to share about the Xbox One-exclusive Peggle 2 in December!
My visit concluded with a trip to the Electronic Arts employee store, where I picked up these games a few days ahead of the Xbox One console launch. The system itself goes on sale this Friday, November 22nd. You can look forward to our reviews of the Xbox One itself and many of its launch titles in the weeks ahead.
Anyone else planning on grabbing Battlefield 4 or Need for Speed: Rivals?
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Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!