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I have been working at BioWare full-time (More than 10 years)
BioWare has always had leadership that cares about its people. From the founders, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, to the current GM Aaryn Flynn. The company is focused on creating some of the best games in the world and it shows in its track record of games, including the recent Dragon Age: Inquisition (GOTY).
BioWare's culture is defined by the statement "Quality in the Product and Quality in the Workplace". It is difficult to balance the needs of a project with the needs of the employees, but BioWare has done a good job of it over the years.
BioWare is a company that values open communication/critique. This can lead to stress as everyone's work is held to a high standard. If you enjoy a high performance culture, this might be a positive :-)
I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at BioWare.
I've been searching for an open BioWare writing position for years--it's my dream job. I finally found one advertised on EA's job boards that asked for a <5,000-word original story (outline plus dialogue) along with my standard resume and cover letter. Here are the requirements they gave on that sample:
Set within an existing BioWare franchise
Include a choice or complication to demonstrate player agency
Define any emotional beats
Include voice directions
It should be either composed using with Twine or a linked word document.
Coming up with a story idea, detailing it and penning the dialogue, creating interactive branches, putting it all in a functional Twine shell ... I write mobile games and do other creative writing for a living, but even with lots of experience writing quickly, this is no small feat. Especially if the position really means something to you, and you know that you've got to do the best job possible. Producing the sample (along with my resume, cover letter, and an EA jobs profile) took me about fifteen working hours.
A few hours after my submission, I saw my job status change from my "application being reviewed" to EA suggesting I "look for other opportunities." I then get an email:
"We appreciate your interest in the role, however, this position does not have relocation available or remote work options, and we are only considering candidates already located in the area."
Nothing in the job posting said that this position was for local candidates only. My fifteen hours of work didn't even get read. What a crushing response. Not just because I've now completely wasted my time, but because I'm moving to Austin anyway, so could have taken the job without relocation. Not that I've been able to communicate that to EA; my rejection came from a do-not-respond address, and scattered emails to whatever HR addresses I could find have been met with silence.
I'm certainly not saying I would have been offered the position otherwise. BioWare obviously attracts some of the highest caliber writers out there, so heck, I would have been lucky beyond words to even reach round two. I guess I just wish EA's HR department would have performed better due diligence with its job description, and not asked for a massive custom writing sample from what have now inevitably been numerous candidates unknowingly destined for auto rejection. I understand EA has a good gazillion or so candidates applying a day, but this is a massive oversight, and one that really affects the individuals striving for positions within its company.
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