EA Games

How a multi-billion dollar gaming company tapped a team of in-house web developers to build workforce apps for its 8,500+ employees.


At EA Games, a small team of experienced web developers was asked to take on a new, employee-focused mobile initiative. By standardizing on Ionic, the team has since tackled some of the toughest challenges facing IT, and continues to introduce transformative mobile experiences that make the firm’s 8,500+ employees happier and more productive.

The challenges

  • App sprawl impacting employee productivity
  • Inconsistent brand and user experience across platforms
  • Delivering more features with limited resources

The solution

  • One code base via the Ionic Framework
  • Developer friendly environment
  • Openness and integration

The benefits

  • Vastly improved mobile experiences for employees
  • Ability to deliver on the executive team’s vision for mobile
  • Low technical debt, ability to pivot quickly

App Sprawl & Inconsistency Holding Back Employees

They faced significant challenges in the early days of the project. App sprawl and design inconsistencies meant that employees had to juggle up to 18 different apps, all with varying user experiences and workflows. On top of that, many of the apps were outsourced, so the team had very little control over how they were designed and built.

According to Bill B., the team’s Director, their first order of business was to bring the outsourced apps back in-house, starting with an internal app that offered pre-release games to employees for testing and evaluation.

Turning Web Developers into Mobile Developers

The first challenge was finding a platform that matched the team’s skillset. As Bill explains, “It wasn’t like we had a bunch of Android and iOS developers sitting around.” Instead, they had lots of skilled web developers that knew JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and had recently standardized on Angular and TypeScript. After evaluating Sencha, a tool that had previously been used for mobile development, they decided to try other platforms instead. One of the developers on the team had worked with Ionic before and recommended it.

It didn’t take long for everyone on the team to come to the conclusion that Ionic was the way to go.

Bill B.

The team successfully rewrote the testing and evaluation app with Ionic. After that initial success they were asked to take on a number of new projects charted by the firm’s newly promoted Chief People Officer. She had laid out a bold vision for using mobile technology to elevate and transform the employee experience.

Keeping Technical Debt Low with Developer-Friendly Tools

The team has since gained a reputation for solving hard problems. “Because of the work we’ve done within the last two years, there’s more support and investment for what we’re doing. When you tackle a difficult problem, your reward is more problems people haven’t been able to solve”, explains Bill. “The only way to handle that with limited resources is to not allow any tech sprawl to happen. You have to keep technical debt as low as possible.”

To do that they’ve standardized on developer-friendly tools like Angularjs for desktop, Ionic for mobile, Node for backend services, and AWS for most infrastructure.

The Importance of Cross-Platform

Another key enabler for the team’s success is the ability to work cross-platform. “Working cross-platform is so important. We don’t even think about it. We’ve been hybrid from the beginning. It’s settled. We have it. My stress points would be significantly higher if we had to code everything over again for each platform.”

Openness and Integration

Finally, the openness of the Ionic platform was a major benefit. The company chose Salesforce Lightning to drive consistency in front-end experiences, and Ionic’s ability to support their choice of tools means employees get a consistent look & feel across desktop and mobile experiences. Summarizing his views on Ionic, Bill explains “Of the numerous things I have to worry about, Ionic and our choice of the platform is not one of them. Totally solid.”

Of the numerous things I have to worry about, Ionic and our choice of the platform is not one of them. Totally solid.

Bill B.

You’re in good company. Ionic powers millions of apps at some of the smartest companies in the world.

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