Friday, June 08, 2012

Why I Left Eat Sleep Play

I'm always bummed when people on the net act as if I did some terrible thing by leaving EAT SLEEP PLAY.

They say stuff like 'it's his company and he left it and now he's gonna go start another company! How long till he leaves that one too!?!'

And I'm like ,'How can I do a better job at communicating the "why I left" situation because clearly I'm screwing that up big time for some folks.'

A bit of press has hit about what we're hoping to do with the new company in San Diego. If you don't know, the plan is: fantastic free to play browser games with some adjustments to the free to play biz model in order to make free to play appeal more to gamers.

As the news has hit, I see more of those 'Jaffe left EAT SLEEP PLAY so he sucks!' folks commenting on the sites. And that really bugs me because it makes it sound like I abandoned that really talented team in Utah. And that's just not the case.

So here's me trying to make it a bit more clear (and also procrastinating a bit because I got an overwhelming mountain of work that piled up during E3 week):


#1- Eat Sleep Play is in Utah. I'm am in San Diego. I don't want to direct games remote anymore. I've done remote game directing/co-directing (Twisted Metal series) and internal game directing (God of War) and I prefer internal. And since I'm not moving to Utah, my only choice was to leave EAT SLEEP PLAY.

#2- Eat Sleep Play was majority owned and founded by myself and Scott Campbell. I admire and respect Scott as a person, friend, and game maker. But post Twisted Metal he and some of the team wanted to do different kinds of games than I wanted to do. While I have no idea what they are working on, I know Scott and some of the other key team members have wanted to do smaller mobile/social stuff for years. I imagine they are now doing that and I think that's fantastic. The best games come from teams who are passionate and I bet they will knock their next titles out of the park because of that passion. I wish them the best.

But why should I stay with a company- even if I co founded it- if it's not excited to be creating the stuff that excites me?* And why should I spend the time and energy trying to force my will on my partner and team mates when clearly THEY want to do other kinds of games than I want to do? That's hard enough when you are in the office with those folks. Try forcing a direction when a talented team doesn't want to go in that direction from 1000 miles away. The game would suffer as would our relationships, health, spirits,etc.

#3- Hard as Twisted Metal was for us to create, it's not like I walked out on my kid. I stayed till ship and beyond. And hell, I STILL plan to work with Sony to do a bit of tuning and balancing (just trying to find the time). It's not like I showed up day 1 and left 6 months later. I was at EAT SLEEP PLAY for 4 years and 10 months. We shipped 2 games I'm real proud of (aside form the network issues and trophy bugs that still plague some users sadly).  How long is long enough for some folks?

Ok so there you have it. Those are the 3 reasons I left EAT SLEEP PLAY. Nothing new. Been saying this to the press and folks on twitter since February. But there it is, all in one easy to read/find place :). Now I can link haters to this blog post when they come at me about leaving the company. And if this doesn't make it clear enough for them then hell: I guess you either are predisposed to want to find issues with me or I simply suck at communicating.

Either way- thanks for letting me try to explain!

Talk soon- later ya'll!


*excites me as a game designer. As a gamer, I love a lot of the mobile/social games out there and I'm excited to play those from EAT SLEEP PLAY if that is what they are working on.