Electronic Arts (EA) is a leading global interactive software company widely known for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Dragon Age™ and Plants vs. Zombies™.
The Charlottetown location opened in 2011 and is now located in the top three floors of the former Kays Wholesale building on Queen Street. The staff of approximately 100 works in the company’s successful Mobile game division. Another 25 team members work in Kitchener, Ontario.
EA is headquartered in Redwood City, California, and has studios all around the world, including Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver.
The key departments at the Charlottetown studio include:
- Product Management
- Quality Assurance
Some job titles
- Game Designer
- Software Engineer
- Quality Assurance
Denise Bulger, the location’s Human Resources Business Partner points out that “Electronic Arts is part of the digital entertainment sector. These days, many people spend their entertainment time playing video games and consider them their favourite leisure activity.”
About the staff
The demographic of the studio is continuously evolving; a few years ago, the average age was 26 years old, and now it’s closer to 35. “Our employee mixture is very culturally diverse,” says Denise. EA has initiatives to increase diversity in the industry and works closely with various organizations and educational institutions to encourage women and young girls to pursue careers in STEM based areas.
“We have seen a lot of people grow within their discipline (i.e. engineering or art) and move on to more senior roles,” says Tanya Di Bennardo, Senior Recruiter based out of Montreal, remotely supporting the Charlottetown team. “They take on more duties, lead teams, and may move to another of our locations.”
EA posts open positions on their website as well as many well-known job search sites. “We regularly share the opportunities that are available to our employees at Electronic Arts locations around the world,” says Denise. “It’s great that employees can continue to grow and evolve their skills at a global company like EA”.
Co-ops and internships
Electronic Arts is also committed to growing solid talent who are completing studies related to the industry. The company often has co-op students on staff from universities across Canada, mainly in Engineering or Computer Science programs. “We sometimes hear from people considering certain courses at Holland College (and other art, animation and design focused schools), who are wondering what it is like to work in the industry,” Denise says. “Our employees have made presentations to classes at these schools, and one of our employees currently teaches at UPEI.”
The PEI studio has hired individuals who have attended UPEI, Holland College, New Brunswick Community College Miramichi campus, and the Nova Scotia School of Art & Design among other institutions.
Skills & training
There are core skills required for every position. “Good communication and teamwork skills are also important,” Tanya says. “In an interview, we ask questions about collaboration and leading a team. There is a focus on ‘how’ people work at EA.”
It is also important for Electronic Arts employees to continue to learn and grow; “training happens internally as needed and we also solicit training from outside the company — it depends on what the needs are,” Denise says.
“We offer a competitive compensation package and hold team-building events throughout the year” often including family and spouses. The studio holds a summer barbecue, holiday parties, and movie nights among other smaller events.
Key to successful employment
“Gamers are extremely passionate, so our staff has to also be passionate about what they are doing as well as the games produced here. Flexibility, collaboration, and a willingness to step out of the box are important as well.”
“We live in a world where technology continues to advance. EA is actively working on many technological features within games, for players, and incorporating smarter use of technology into how we work.”
For more information on Electronic Arts, go to https://www.ea.com/careers and search Charlottetown.