What is your current role at EA?
I'm a Graphics Software Engineer II on Madden NFL at EA Tiburon in Orlando, FL. I work in the blendshapes group which develops body deformation. This technology allows us to create unique body types for all our characters in game and is also used for our "Create a Player" feature.
How did you begin your video gaming career?
My first exposure to video games was in one of my Linear Algebra classes in high school. Our lecturer used the example of Lara Croft from the game Tomb Raider to explain how matrices work. I found this interesting and decided to go to university to study games programming.
When I graduated, I spent a couple of years developing military flight simulators until I tried my luck at DICE. I sent in a general application with no hopes of hearing back. One night however, a recruiter from DICE called me and said that they were interested in hiring me for a tools position on the Frostbite engine.
How did you end up at EA SPORTS – Tiburon?
I’ve visited lots of EA studios, and they all employed lots of overseas creative talent. I knew that if I worked hard enough, I could one day be one of them. I stayed connected to a recruiter and even went so far as to book a flight to California from Sweden. It was a short visit but beneficial nonetheless. Fast forward another few months and I was invited in for two new interviews within EA, one in Redwood Shores and another one later on with Tiburon.
I was already in California on vacation, so I rode the bus from LA up to Redwood Shores. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I went back to Sweden to await my second interview. It went well and I started in January.
Why did you want to work at EA?
The first EA game I ever played was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. To this day I still have the poster of that game up on the wall of my childhood bedroom. I also remember back to Battlefield 1942. Being able to enter vehicles and play different roles was something I hadn’t seen before.
I became a big fan of Battlefield games. Soon I was old enough to start thinking about my career and since I grew up in Sweden, what better place to work than for DICE. Being able to work on the games you like sounded like a dream come true.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
When you create a game feature that directly impacts one of your peers and you can see them light up with happiness and you get this sense of appreciation. That really motivates me.
What’s your favorite perk at EA?
Since I’m a fan of TV series and movies I’ll have to say that the movie collection we have here at Tiburon is my favorite perk. Being able to rent movies for free keeps me happy!
What advice can you give to someone who aspires to a career in the gaming industry?
I didn’t go to a prestigious university. I have my bachelor’s degree in game programming, I had zero internships and I never worked on an open source project. What I do have is persistence.
I don’t believe you need to come from a certain background to get your foot in the games industry. You just need to be persistent, continue honing your skills and show that this is what you really want. Getting your dream job may not be as simple as going from A to B. There may be bumps on the way but I believe that the more challenges you have to overcome to get to where you want, the prouder you will be of your accomplishment when you finally get there and the more you will appreciate what you finally have.
What is your favorite EA memory?
My favorite moment at EA was when my recruiter told me I had been accepted for the position here in the US. I had spent several years trying to get into EA and move to the US and knowing that it finally happened was an unbelievable feeling.
How do you unwind and unplug?
For me the best way to unwind is to spend the evening at the gym or perhaps watch a TV show or movie.
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