Electronic Arts has a message for unemployed Irish citizens in the IT field: We’re hiring. Thanks to the Irish Development Agency and the Irish government, Electronic Arts is expanding its customer support center in the city of Galway. The center will service people playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, FIFA 13, and other EA games.
The support center first opened in late 2011 thanks to major tax incentives offered to developers in the nation. The original goal was to hire a staff of 200 but the work force has already grown to 400 employees.
“We’re adding 300 jobs to our existing consumer experience center in Galway, to support not only what we’ve been doing with Star Wars: The Old Republic, but also a broader base of games such as FIFA, which launches next week,” EA COO Peter Moore on Tuesday, “These are technical jobs that we’re talking about here. This is not just a call center, this support for connecting games, looking for content, making sure entitlements are right, logging on, all the stuff that we’re all very familiar with now in this direct-to-consumer digital world.”
“It’s less than a year since I attended the opening of the EA facility in Galway, and I am delighted to announce today that EA has made the decision to invest further in Ireland by locating their strategically important customer experience center here,” said Ireland’s prime minister Edna Kenny, “The decision is a real endorsement of Ireland’s ability to meet the needs of leading multinational companies in the digital media space.”
It’s encouraging to hear that the struggling MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is creating jobs ahead of its shift to free-to-play. BioWare and EA laid off a significant albeit unspecified number of employees from The Old Republic’s staff in Austin, Quebec, and Alberta. By the time, the staff had swelled to more than 800 employees. While it’s good news for Ireland’s video game industry though, these new IT jobs will certainly be missed in those local economies hit by this year’s layoffs.
Ireland is aggressively trying to expand its video game industry, hoping to add 4500 jobs by 2015. A trade group looking to promote industry growth called Game Ireland, which counts Activision and others as members, was opened late last year.
Source: GamesIndustry International