The Beat

POSTED BY akatkin ON May 20, 2011

28 Years of EA History

Nancy Fong 28 years ago today, On May 20, 1983, EA shipped its very first games. The entire company – at that point just a few dozen people – gathered in a warehouse in South San Francisco and everyone pitched in to pack up the boxes and load the UPS trucks.

Nancy Fong, EA’s 20th employee and currently the Senior Director for Business Affairs at EA, remembers the day clearly. “I remember clearly there were a handful of warehouse workers who were pretty frustrated with us. Watching a bunch of marketers and developers load up boxes while trying to have a good time.”

“We all worked all day long,” Fong recalls, “and at the end of the day we each got t-shirts that said ‘I survived’ and then we had a huge BBQ dinner at the warehouse.”

Bing Gordon, another one of the employees from EA’s early days, also remembers the day.  His primary recollection: “We were terrible warehouse workers!”

EA has released some pretty amazing games over the past 28 years, but we think that first batch of titles still stands out. Each title was packaged with the game creator’s names on the front and a powerful visual design that gave them appearance of rock albums.

Included in that first shipment were the following classic titles:

Archon: The Light and Dark, a chess-like combat game originally developed for the Atari 8-bit computer, and later ported to Apple II, Commodore 64 and other popular platforms of the day.

Hard Hat Mack

Hard Hat Mack, a single player puzzle game developed for Apple II that required the player to guide a construction worker through a series of traps and pitfalls. Relive your favorite Hard Hat Mack memories with this fantastic YouTube video.

Hard Hat Mack

M.U.L.E., one of the first hugely popular multiplayer video games, M.U.L.E. set the stage for a generation of games to come.  Developed for the Atari 400 and later ported to the Commodore 64 and Nintendo Entertainment System, the game allowed players to build a colony and compete to see who could amass the most wealth, while constantly balancing supply and demand.

Mule

Worms, originally released for the Atari 800 and later for the Commodore 64, Worms? allowed users to train their creatures to grow and survive as long as possible.

Worms

Axis Assassin, an early 3D shooting game,  challenged players to battle giant arachnids and clear away their cobwebs.

Axis Assassin