Thirty years ago today, EA’s first employees—including founder Trip Hawkins--modestly packed and shipped EA's first five games.
Senior Director of Global Media Solutions Nancy Fong was there on the fateful day in a South San Francisco warehouse that started it all. Fifty to sixty employees took a break from their usual job duties—programming, advertising, etc.—to instead get together in the warehouse, pack games into boxes, and then load them into UPS trucks. Unlike today, there was no dedicated game store or digital distribution that offered the option to let you download the game straight to your Commodore 64. That meant that these orders were going to mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar stores
Why was the whole company needed in the warehouse? Nancy reflected, “It was the only way we could have made it—we only had a couple of warehouse employees at the time. It was a great team bonding experience.” She added, “It was hard, but we had fun. The average age of workers at the time was around 25-26.” Once they finished packing, the tight-knit team at EA continued team-bonding over a BBQ, and commemorated that day with shirts sporting the slogan: “I survived: May 20th 1983.” When the day was over, Nancy recalled, “everyone was so happy, that was the culmination of so much hard work.”
So what was in the initial EA lineup? The first five games were: Hard Hat Mack, Archon: The Light and the Dark, M.U.L.E, Worms?, and Axis Assassin. Hard Hat Mack is truly "EA's first game", and featured a construction worker ascending a building in a similar fashion to Donkey Kong.
Want to hear more about that first shipment? Read more on Origin News here!