The big news

So what is this big news I alluded to earlier?

First of all, on October 1st I moved to Lyon and started working for Arkane Studios as a producer on a title they are developing with Electronic Arts. If all goes well, I will permanently move from Vienna to Lyon at the beginning of 2009.

This is a big, big step for me. Ever since Rockstar Vienna closed down in May 2006, I have had many offers to work abroad, including offers I would have jumped at only months before. But the death march of Manhunt 2 made me question why I would even want to move abroad.

The simple fact is that I love Vienna. It’s a great town to live in – one of the top three cities in the world, in fact – and I have many, many friends here. I have lived here for over 7 years, which makes it the longest I have lived in one place since I was 13.

At the same time, there is an immense amount of bullshit in the games industry that is keeping us from making great games that advance the medium. If the company is not directly or indirectly plagued by bozos, it is probably making boring, “safe” games. I realized that I literally couldn’t think of more than a handful of companies in the world that I would like to work for, that would maybe make it worth leaving Vienna. I didn’t want to take any more jobs because they look good on my resume. After 15 years I felt I had paid enough dues.

So I said no to everyone. It wasn’t easy. Even if part of you knows you no longer want the same things you wanted last year, another part is still yelling that you can’t say no to this. I became a free-lancer. Of course this didn’t necessarily mean I worked on great projects either, but it gave me variety, spare time, and a healthy emotional buffer between me and the bullshit. Freelancing has its own set of disadvantages, but I don’t regret my decision.

Then, just as I was getting used to the free-lancing life and was planning to seriously settle down in Vienna, I was contacted by Arkane (by Harvey, in fact – over Twitter), and they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And, this being 2008, I can’t tell you anything more about it, except that it’s very cool, and I had to accept or always wonder what would have been.

That offer came in early June, and the whole interview process and negotiations weren’t fully completed until the middle of September.

In the mean time, the second bit of good news happened, which is that I met a wonderful woman on the 14th of August (hi Andrea <3), and we fell in love, and now we’re officially marked as ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook. Very modern, I know. This is not a very personal blog, so I will not go into too much detail. Which is a good thing for everyone involved, believe me: Our Skype log would make love-struck teenagers puke. But in any case, I love her very much, and she makes me very happy.

Of course, the timing was terrible, and me being away is not easy for either of us. But I am very grateful that we had enough time to get to know each other, to fall in love, and to both decide that it was worth pursuing this relationship even though we would be living in different countries for some time at least.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life. How have you been?

Comments 16

  1. The Raccoon wrote:

    Congratulations on the big news. And big they are. Quite impressive, to be honest. I do hope the project is as exciting as it reads here.

    Ah, who am I kidding…<3
    ‘Nuff said.

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 13:55
  2. Jurie wrote:

    I love you little raccoon.

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 14:03
  3. Falko wrote:

    Really big news, all worth the wait. :) Congratulations on everything! Jobs via Twitter … relationships via Facebook … when I was young we only had good ol’ eMail and didn’t need all this modern stuff! :D

    It’s almost midnight and I’m still freelancing. Won’t you be missing this? ;)

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 14:34
  4. Jurie wrote:

    Ah, der Herr ist ein altmodischer Liebhaber :P

    And no, I won’t be missing that part :)

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 14:38
  5. Harvey wrote:

    Yay, welcome aboard.

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 15:06
  6. Razet wrote:

    Hey Sovaz sounds like your living the good life lotsa cuddlehugs from one of your small friends :)

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 15:57
  7. Eloy wrote:

    Great news !!! Congratulations and good luck to the both of you.
    I managed two years of transatlantic separation (back when you could bid for phone minutes on Priceline …)

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 17:50
  8. Stephane Bura wrote:

    Congratulations and congratulations :)

    Posted 03 Oct 2008 at 21:09
  9. Jurie wrote:

    Thank you for all the kind wishes here, on Twitter, on Facebook, on FriendFeed, and on the bulletin board of my WoW guild. I think I saw some smoke signals over Lyon as well.

    And it’s amazing how many friends of mine have had long-distance relationships I was previously unaware of :).

    Posted 04 Oct 2008 at 1:24
  10. Teq wrote:

    Congratulations buddy :)

    Posted 04 Oct 2008 at 1:57
  11. Markus wrote:

    congrats Jurie and good luck!!

    Posted 05 Oct 2008 at 4:41
  12. Erik wrote:

    Exciting times, old friend, I’m happy for you!

    “I had to accept or always wonder what would have been.” – this is valid for both of the great news in your life. And I’m sure good things will come out of both of them.

    [insert R.Crumb illustration here] – Keep On Truckin’ ;)

    Posted 06 Oct 2008 at 6:25
  13. Hailfire wrote:

    Congratulations matey! :)

    Posted 06 Oct 2008 at 10:34
  14. Marc wrote:

    Great news Jurie ! I decided to take a look at your website after watching another episode of life (dont’t ask me why but the hero always make me reminds you) so now I expect a trip to bordeaux soon …?

    (we have a twinbed for guests)

    Posted 11 Oct 2008 at 0:58
  15. Gareth R White wrote:

    Congratulations Jurie!

    “… I literally couldn’t think of more than a handful of companies in the world that I would like to work for …”

    I know exactly what you mean. I do have a list, but it’s extremely short and involves the USA, which I’ve resisted for a long time but perhaps change is in the air.

    The MH2 Deathmarch certainly contributed to me taking a sideways step to uni too.

    Hope it all works out great for you.

    Posted 14 Oct 2008 at 2:15
  16. Boris wrote:

    Congratulations Jurie!

    Taking those two big steps in your life sounds actually cool and very exciting to me.

    Recently I got in a similar situation: a new far distance love and crunch time just occured at the very same week – ok, maybe nearly the same situation as in your case just without the relocation, french red wine, and humongous payment. ;)

    I noticed that quite a lot people in our company live in a far distance relationships since – at least in Germany – you can’t just pick and move to the next best city when it comes to professional game development studios. But everybody is doing fine in their relationships so far. Love really works over distances as some like to say. :)

    Posted 22 Oct 2008 at 17:08