En Masse was established about a year ago, and this being the first anniversary of the company's founding, I had the notion to write a bit about our progress.
To take you back to the beginning, we started off in a temp office in the South Lake Union area of Seattle. Initially there were four of us in a one-room office, but we quickly grew to 30 and soon found ourselves working in pretty tight quarters. There were three different lunch options within walking distance, and that was fine until the second week when we were all sick of the same sandwich, taco, and teriyaki rotation. As our numbers grew, we often lost power because we had too many computers drawing from too few circuits. We even had the Fire Marshall stop by and mandate some changes to our setup! But it was from these humble beginnings that we recruited some of the amazing talent that is a part of our group today, including a marketing director responsible for Halo launches, a network operations director responsible for setting up Xbox Live data centers, a lead writer with D&D credits, and a PR director who came to us from Bioware. And it was from this office that we pulled off our first focus group test, showcased TERA at our first trade show (GDC), and developed our company brand identity (En Masse Entertainment). So it was with mixed emotions that we left that office for the new space in downtown Seattle, but it was the beginning of even greater things to come.
In June we had an amazing E3, jam-packed with press demos and late nights. It was gratifying to see the press reaction to our group gameplay demo, because it was the first public validation we had in the West that TERA was as special as we thought it was. We came home energized and with an even greater sense of purpose. As much as the community feeds off the information we release, we feed off your feedback and excitement. The summer was good to us as it introduced a strong European partner in Frogster. We also had the chance to meet with some of you in person at Comic Con and at PAX. We have continued to grow over this time, building the team with more great talent. Most importantly, we've made great strides Westernizing TERA. The level of collaboration between En Masse and Bluehole is unprecedented and the result of this collaboration is going to set a new standard for how an MMO can, with the right people and process, be successfully tailored to fit multiple audiences.
It is time to look ahead. It is going to be an amazing year that will see all of our planning and work manifest in a ground-breaking game. Next year we will do what we came together as a company to do: we will launch our first game, and see you all in TERA!